- Born: The United States.
- Description: A life changing event for me occurred at my college graduation in May of 2003.
National bestselling author, Karen E. Quinones Miller, was the keynote speaker. She delivered a speech about how she had written a book, self-published it and sold so many copies on her own that major publishing houses fought to offer her a deal. I sat amongst my graduating class fully alert and attentive. It was as if Karen was talking directly to me, telling me to bypass trying to get a job in advertising copywriting and follow my true passion of becoming an author.
I was unquestionably inspired and two months after graduation I began writing my first novel, Secret Society. Three months later I had a complete manuscript and was ready to move on to the next step.
I conjured up the nerve to email Karen and let her know that she had motivated me to pursue my goals of being a writer and that I had completed my first book. I asked her for tips on self-publishing. She simply told me to let self-publishing be my last resort and that I should first seek a publishing deal. I took her advice and researched the ways to go about submitting a manuscript. I sent a query letter, a synopsis, and the first three chapters of my book to Teri Woods Publishing. Teri Woods was known for publishing urban novels and thus I figured she would be interested in Secret Society. Teri Woods was not only interested, but wanted to buy my book outright and on top of that offer me a five-book deal. I was astonished. The only thing I had to do was write a second book to prove to Teri that I could produce.
I wrote Diary of a Mistress and shortly thereafter I was poised to go to New York to sign a deal with Teri Woods. I was excited and anxious, yet nervous. I was new to the publishing industry and I wasn't sure what the contract should look like, what type of deal was appropriate and most of all if selling my book outright was a smart thing to do. Once again, I conjured up the nerve to email Karen. That time she responded by telling me to call her and her telephone number was in the body of the email. She advised me not to sell my book outright and that I needed someone knowledgeable to attend the meeting with me. After realizing that her own schedule wouldn't permit her to accompany me, she took a chance and asked her agent to do so. Liza Dawson, Karen's agent, agreed to read my manuscripts over the weekend and let me know Monday whether or not she would be willing to represent me. I immediately emailed both manuscripts to Karen and Liza.
The next day I got a call from Liza telling me how good of a writer I was and offering to be my agent. I accepted and the next thing I knew, I had three major publishing houses interested in signing me. Teri Woods was notified of this and was asked for her bid. By Monday, an auction was held. Simon and Schuster was the highest bidder offering a six-figure advance and a two-book deal far exceeding my expectations as a new, unpublished author. I was in awe. Everything that has happened from then on has been a joyride. I am living my dreams and it is with thanks to Karen E. Quinones Miller. I often wonder what I would be doing or where I would be had it not been for Karen's speech those few years ago. There's no telling. But I know for sure that I am grateful that she told her story because it was truly the beginning of the success I enjoy today. Now, I feel it is my obligation to pass it on.
I am available to do speaking engagements and motivational talks at community centers, schools, group homes, prisons, outreach programs, shelters, etc. My goal is to reach as many people as I can and make a difference in the lives of others. I firmly believe To whom much is given, much is expected and indeed I have been given much.
To book me for your group or event contact Oshun Promotions at [email protected]