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Archive for April 14th, 2015

She's All Caught Up

Title: She’s All Caught Up!

Author: Jamila T. Davis

Publisher: Voices International Publication

Pages: 338

Genre: Memoir/Young Adult

Format: Paperback/Kindle

She’s All Caught Up is a cautionary tale based on the life of Jamila T. Davis, a federal prisoner serving a 12 1/2 year sentence. Jamila grew up in a loving middle class home, raised to become her parent’s ideal star child. All was copacetic until high school years. Jamila rebels and chooses to live life in the fast lane. When this good girl goes bad, it seems there is no turning back!

For More Information

She’s All Caught Up! is available at Amazon. Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble. Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

THE PSYCHE OF A REBELLIOUS TEEN: What Parents Just Don’t Understand But Need To Know!

By Jamila T Davis  |   Submitted On September 23, 2014

As we advance in age we often quickly forget the struggles we encountered as teens. Although many of us vowed decades ago not to become just like our parents, somehow fate caused us to embrace exactly what we once despised. Now with children of our own, their behavior appears foreign and we panic. Instead of conquering our desire to be our children’s role models and their best friends, we find ourselves struggling to maintain a solid influence in their lives. Sound familiar?

Back tracking the steps that led to my rebellion as a youth and dealing with my own teenage children, I was able to discover some viable parenting tips to sustain my parental influence and block the wiles of adverse peer pressure. The key to my success has been fostering my children’s desire to be successful and independent.

Think about it. Many of us couldn’t wait to turn of age so we no longer had to listen to our parents and could explore life on our own. Our kids are no different! In their minds our rules are set in place simply to block them from having fun. They believe when they finally get out on their own that’s when the good times will begin.

Often times when we smother our children and enforce too many stringent rules, we cause them to rebel. Even worst, when they finally break free, they go wild! This rebellious behavior in many instances turns out to be extremely destructive. To avoid this tragic fate, we must develop trust and foster our children into maturity and independence.

I found it most helpful to gauge my children and find out their deepest desires and dreams. Regardless of how far removed these dreams were from my own expectations, I embraced them and decided to help them set a plan of action to reach their goals. Nothing has been more rewarding than watching the glow on my children’s faces when they saw I genuinely embraced and supported their dreams and could provide useful pointers to tackle their desires. During our countless hours of planning, I’ve been able to establish trust while fostering a sense of pride and independence within them.

Working together on life projects with your children will ultimately bring you closer together. It will be amazing to watch how many similar gifts and talents they have inherited from you. Spending quality time working on a project they are excited about affords you the opportunity to watch your children open up and express who they truly are, without worries about being rejected or judged.

Be confident in your parenting skills and never second guess yourself. If you’ve done your job of instilling morals and values within your children, they will ultimately land on their feet, no matter what! Be open and allow them to explore. Let them know you trust them and believe in them. As you show your support of their independence they will ultimately embrace you more.

Want to know what’s really happening in your children’s lives and what truly motivates them. Sit down and have a conversation today about collaborating with them on a project they will enjoy. Teach them how to set goals, how to research and find answers and how to persevere despite adversity. I guarantee you they will embrace your advice and you will build a strong, healthy relationship that will last for many years to come. Enact this simple piece of advice and you will turn an awkward relationship in to a close bond that breeds success!

Jamila T. Davis (@JamilaTDavis), author of “She’s All Caught Up!,” is a self-help expert, motivational speaker and a women’s prison reform activist. Through her inspirational books and cautionary tales, based on her unique real-life experiences, she is helping to transform the lives of both the young and the old. For more information about Jamila T. Davis visit http://jamiladavis.com or http://www.facebook.com/authorjamilatdavis.

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Joel FoxJoel Fox has spent over 30 years in California politics, serving on numerous state commissions, working on many ballot issue campaigns, and advising candidates. An adjunct professor at the School of Public Policy, Pepperdine University, Fox has authored hundreds of opinion pieces for numerous publications including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today and Los Angeles Times. Joel Fox is also the author of the Zane Rigby mystery series—Lincoln’s Hand and FDR’s Treasure— in which an FBI Special Agent must solve a puzzle from the past of an American president to solve modern day murders.  A native of the Boston area, Joel Fox lives in Los Angeles.

Website / Facebook

Q: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, The Mark on Eve. What was your inspiration for it?

A: The idea for my book came from a Cape Cod legend in which a woman in colonial New England was suspected of witchcraft when her pirate lover’s ship went down in a storm. The pirate ship Whydah, captained by Sam Bellamy, was real. It sank in 1717 and was discovered and salvaged in 1984.  I simply took some of the persons in the legend and changed the story by asking: What if the woman was not a witch but was be-witched to live forever? It allowed me to explore how she would manage through different periods in American history all the while maintaining suspense in the modern day story in which she tries to keep her secret while giving meaning to her long existence by helping a female governor run for president of the United States.

Q: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist.

A: Besides that she is over 320 years old! Since the pirate ship went down in 1717 I made her 25 years old at the time. The actual woman referred to in the legend, Marie Hallett, was supposedly 15 years old, but I wanted my leading lady to be older and more sophisticated as she made her way through the epochs of American history. Conveniently, having her as a 25-year-old means she would have been born in 1692, not coincidentally, the year of the Salem Witch Trials.

Cover (3)Q: How was your creative process like during the writing of this book and how long did it take you to complete it? Did you face any bumps along the way?

A: This book was written in two phases. I did an earlier draft a decade ago. I moved it aside to begin a mystery series I created featuring a senior FBI agent, Zane Rigby, who solved modern day murders by solving a puzzle related to a former American president. I picked up the book again and polished it off, making some changes. I guess you could say the decade long span was a big bump. However, I gained more confidence in my abilities over that time and I always liked the story in The Mark on Eve so I decided to go back to it.

My writing process consisted of waking up early in the morning, opening up a laptop computer and sitting in a comfortable chair in the corner of the bedroom with a low standing light so as not to disturb my wife. I figured I would not be distracted if I did not venture beyond the bedroom. I wrote most of the book this way, about two hours every morning. Toward the end I would write at my main computer and other hours of the day relying on adrenalin to get the job done.

Q: How do you keep your narrative exciting throughout the creation of a novel?

A: I believe in keeping the story moving. I rely on relatively short chapters and chapter endings that hopefully leave readers with the desire to see what happens next. In this particular book, I have a number of flashbacks in time so a chapter may end with a question but the next chapter takes place during another historical period, usually connected in some way to the previous chapter. The reader will get involved in that part of the story and read on to find out what happens in the modern day story.

Q: Do you experience anxiety before sitting down to write? If yes, how do you handle it?

A: I guess there is always some anxiety that the story will flow. However, what I often try to do is end the previous day’s work in the middle of a chapter so that I have some sense where I’m going. That way, I find it is easier to pick up the story and move ahead on the next day.

Q: What is your writing schedule like and how do you balance it with your other work and family time?

A: As I mentioned earlier I do most of my writing in the early morning when everyone is asleep and the phone is not ringing. Usually 5 to 7 a.m. That way I have a sense of accomplishment even before the sun is up and I don’t have to excuse myself from family to get involved in my writing. I also find early morning writing is more conducive to creativity. I think I might work out some of the problems I face with the writing while I’m sleeping.

Q: How do you define success?

A: I once told a writing instructor that I would consider that I was a successful fiction writer when someone pays me for my writing. As an act of encouragement, she sent me a few coins to build my confidence and said I was a paid writer. I appreciated the thought but I needed to receive payment from an independent source. Now that I have conquered that step, I look forward having readers tell me they enjoyed what I wrote. That is success.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers whose spouses or partners don’t support their dreams of becoming an author?

A: I would encourage the spouse or partner to become a sounding board for the project. Be involved in discussing the plot and the characters. If that doesn’t work, perhaps the writing should be done while the partner is sleeping.

Q: George Orwell once wrote: “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” Do you agree?

A: There is no question that writing is as difficult as Orwell describes but it also has those exhilarating moments when you know you hit the right phrase or you are tickled by what a character says or the direction the plot is heading. In those moments you become a fan of your own writing and that helps propel you past the difficult demons that Orwell describes.

Q:  Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?

A: Thanks for spending some time with me. I hope you are interested in joining Eve on her 300 year adventure and also checking out my mystery series at my website www.joelfox.com.

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