- Conversations Top 100 Adult Books of 2015
- Conversations' 25 Most Inspirational Books of 2015
- BOOK REVIEW: The Face That Changed It All by Beverly Johnson
- Conversations Book Club's Top 10 Fiction Summer Reads 2015
- Conversations Book Club's Top 10 summer nonfiction reads 2015
- BOOK REVIEW: One Righteous Man by Arthur Browne
- Conversations Book Club President Cyrus Webb interviewed, Sat. Feb. 21st
- Cyrus Webb Introduces "A.J. and the Talent Show"
- Conversations Book Club's Top 100 Books of 2014
- Conversations Summer Book Fair 2014: Mission Accomplished!
- Conversations Top 25 Summer Reads for Adults (2014)
- Conversations' Top 10 Summer Reads for Young Readers (2014)
- Conversations Announces April 2014 Book Selection: Poetic Meter and Random Prose
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Those who were chosen to be recognized are no stranger to the book club or the radio show, and are both respected by readers and those in the literary community as well.
It is with great pleasure that we announce Bestselling author Wahida Clark as "Author of the Year 2009-2010" by Conversations Book Club.
Conversations' "Author of the Decade 1999-2009" is Bestselling author John Saul.
Both Clark and Saul have been guests on Conversations the radio show several times, have been featured by The Write Stuff Online Reality Show and were chosen as part of Conversations' "Literary Legends, Class of 2009-2010".
We congratulate both authors on their accomplishments and look forward to their next literary contributions. To find out more about this year's honorees, visit www.literarylegends2009.com.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
WHAT'S COMING UP NEXT FOR CONVERSATIONS LIVE! RADIO...
HIP HOP AND BOOKS LITERACY CAMPAIGN RETURNS AND PREPARES FOR 2010!
Over the past six years, Cyrus Webb and Conversations LIVE! Radio have talked to some of the biggest names in arts and entertainment. Now at the end of 2009 and going into Season Seven of the show, they bring their listening audience conversations you don't want to miss...
SUN. DEC. 13, 2009 @ 7p.m. CST (6p.m. CST/4p.m. PT) --- Dr. Neal Hall talks about race, the state of the United States and his new book NIGGER FOR LIFE.
Mon. Dec. 14, 2009 @ 8p.m. EST (7p.m. CST/5p.m. PT) --- Constantine Markides is the host of the first blog-based reality show Fourth Fiction. He talk about the inspiration for the show, and some of the contestants from the first season will join him to share their experience.
Listen to the shows live at www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive.
CYRUS WEBB TALKS ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING PROUD OF WHO YOU ARE, NOT WHERE YOU'RE FROM
CYRUS WEBB PRESENTS "BOOKS OF INSPIRATION 2009"
CONVERSATIONS BOOK CLUB'S TOP 100 BOOKS OF 2009
It is one of those lists that is a way of recognizing great books and also the authors who write them: Conversations Book Club's "Top 100 Books of 2009". Compiled by Cyrus A. Webb, this is just one way that the literary organization shows why it is one of the best for those looking for best in literature.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
It is one of those lists that is a way of recognizing great books and also the authors who write them: Conversations Book Club's "Top 100 Books of 2009". Compiled by Cyrus A. Webb, this is just one way that the literary organization shows why it is one of the best for those looking for best in literature.
TOP 50 FICTION TITLES OF 2009
- "Faces of Fear" by John Saul
- "Mudville" by Kurtis Scalletta
- "Lifestone" by Gary Kaschak
- "Too Tall Alice" by Barbara Worton
- "Kill Me Twice" by Jerry Bayne
- "Change Up" by John Feinstein
- "No More Tomorrows" by Rodney Lofton
- "Lesson Learned" by Portia Cosby
- "Mexican Whiteboy" by Matt de la Pena
- "Battered Clergy" by Dr. Joseph Howard, Sr.
- "The Girl Who Threw Butterflies" by Mick Cochrane
- "Pieces of the Hole" by Tony Lindsay
- "When Lightning Strikes" by Keya
- "The Dyodyne Experiment" by James Doulgeris and V. Michael Santoro
- "The Fox" by Arlene Radasky
- "The Green Eyed Butterfly" by Kiffany Dugger
- "Greenwood" by Herbert McCann
- "Tatto Tears" by Mr. Mean Mug
- "The Circulary" by J. C. Thompson
- "Sunday Morning Secrets" by Shirlita McFarland
- "Sense of Love" by Sheryl Mallory-Johnson
- "Cheating On My Mistress" by S. Dodson
- "Liquid Sunshine" by Justin C. Hart
- "Children of the Waters" by Carleen Brice
- "Breakneck" by Erica Spindler
- "Loitering with Intent" by Stuart Woods
- "Sweet Deception" by Patricia Sargeant
- "Traitor" by Mark Eller
- "Excess Baggage" by Sean Gardner
- "Jena's Choice" by Beverly Scott
- "Home Repair" by Liz Rosenberg
- "Married Lovers" by Jackie Collins
- "The Osiris Alliance" by Jack Ford
- "Numbers" by Dana Dane
- "A Misrepresentation of Myself" by Mary E. Gilder
- "My Husband's Fiance" by Kaira Denee
- "The Last Block In Harlem" by Christopher Herz
- "Unsigned Hype" by Booker T. Mattison
- "Deviations: Covenant" by Elissa Malcohn
- "Pulling Me Back" G Starr
- "Flames of Deception" by Marcia Woodruff
- "Cowgirl Dreams" by Heidi M. Thomas
- "Don't Hate The Game", Anthology edited by Michael T. Owens
- "The Magic Bullet" by Andrew Neiderman
- "Secrets Unveiled" by Sheshena Pledger
- "Black Dogs" by Jason Buhrmester
- "East Garrison" by G.M. Weger
- "Lotto" by Joe McDonald
- "Fatal Waters" by Iris Moss
- "Louisa" by Richard Emmel
TOP 50 NON-FICTION TITLES OF 2009
- "Cheaper" by Rick Doble and Tom Philbin
- "Down At The Docks" by Rory Nugent
- "Memories of Times Past" by Marta Hiatt
- "Satchel" by Larry Tye
- "The Pixar Touch" by David Price
- "The Sky Rained Heroes" by Frederick Lacroix
- "Promotion: Denied" by Joseph Hoffler
- "A Mighty Long Way" by Carlotta Walls Lanier
- "Young Professional's Guide To Success" by Ryan Kohnen
- "Hope, Change and Obama" by Norma Lavonne Smith
- "Step Out On Nothing" by Byron Pitts
- "Leaving Johnny Behind" by Anthony Pedriana
- "My Goodness: My Kids" by Nesta Aharoni
- "The Catch" by Gary Myers
- "Angels Among Us... Even In Iraq" Diane Hassan
- "Innocent War" by Susan Violante
- "Brothers Kept Apart" by Walter Phillips
- "Moonwalk" by Michael Jackson
- "Cancer Vixen" by Maria Acocella Marchetto
- "The Smartest Way To Save" by Samuel K. Freshman and Heidi Clingen
- "Parallel Play" by Tim Page
- "One and The Same" by Abigail Pogrebin
- "In My Heart" by Ursula Hanks
- "Lessons For The Living" by Stan Goldberg
- "The Anatomy Of Buzz Revisited" by Emanuel Rosen
- "Shattered Reality" by Kimberly Cheryl
- "Babe Ruth and The Baseball Curse" by David A. Kelly
- "The Weight Of Silence" by Shelley Seale
- "The First 30 Seconds" by Stephen Armstrong
- "The Happiness Factor" by Kirk Wilkinson
- "Trust God and Buy Broccoli" by Gerri Helms
- "The American Evolution" by Matt Harrison
- "Giants Among Men" by Jack Cavanaugh
- "Border Crosser" by Johnny Rico
- "Man-Up" by Ricky Spann
- "Living In The Rear View Mirror" by Kim Vazquez
- "Looking For Closure" by Maria Stewart
- "She and I" by Michael R. Brown
- "My Heart Has Wings" by Kris King
- "Step By Step" by Bertie Bowman
- "Miracle On The Hudson" by William Prochnau and Laura Parker
- "Perseverance" by Carolyn Robenstein
- "We Were Relentless" by Martin J. Levin
- "Bittersweet Journey" by Anthony Littlefield
- "Look Me In The Eye" by John Elder Robison
- "You Gotta Dance" by Bryant Daluz
- "Lucy's Story*" by Larry Hamilton
- "Shh...Don't Tell" by M. A. Moorer
- "Hidden Butterflies" by Nikki Ransom
- "Red Grange" by Gary Andrew Poole
Missed our list from the past years? You will find them at www.thebestbookclub.info.
* NOTE: "Lucy's Story is a fictionalized account of true events.
TWS EPISODE 5, PART 1: Cyrus Webb shares parts of his interviews with bestselling author Brenda L. Thomas and Dynah Zale. U. K. Filmmaker Tom Sands shares his commitment to work with The Write Stuff in promoting literacy.
TWS EPISODE 5, PART 2: Watch parts of Webb's interviews with bestselling authors Shelia Lipsey and Daphine Robinson. You will also watch this week's marketing tip by Earl Hall.
TWS EPISODE 5, PART 3: Webb shares parts of his interviews with bestselling authors Jonathan Richardson and Allison Hobbs. There are also commercials from Think It Ink It Publishing and Everybody Wins.
TWS EPISODE 5, PART 4: Webb shares parts of his interviews with bestselling authors Dedra Johnson, Tony Lindsay and C-Murder.
TWS EPISODE 5, PART 5: Author Jeff Rivera shares this week's 60 second writing tip and Cyrus Webb introduces Conversations Book Club's Top 50 Non-Fiction Books of 2009!
TWS EPISODE 5 PART 6: Host Cyrus Webb shares Conversations Book Club's Top 50 Fiction Books of 2009!
TWS EPISODE 5 PART 7: Cyrus Webb talks about the war against illiteracy and summarizes this week's show.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
It is a six-part conversation that you will want to watch and share with anyone who finds themselves struggling with those very issues. This show is dedicated to the memory of Izear Roberts, Jr.---the father of producer Stanley Clark---who passed away unexpectantly this week, those who passed away in the horrible incidents in both Texas and Florida as well as their families. It is our hope that all will find something to encourage themselves as we go through our own challenges in life as well...
Saturday, October 24, 2009
PART ONE: Bestselling authors Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes talk success
PART TWO: Bestselling author Wahida Clark talks about her amazing career
PART THREE: Cyrus Webb talks about the book club designed for sports lovers and introduces books designed with them in mind. He also begins his conversation with author Gary Myers about the events that inspired the book THE CATCH
PART FOUR: The continuation of Webb's discussion with author Gary Myers
PART FIVE: Our literary profile features CBS National Correspondent Byron Pitts
PART SIX: Find out what is coming up next for The Write Stuff and how you can become more involved in our literacy campaign.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
In the debut episode of The Write Stuff, host Cyrus Webb makes a trip to his literary partner Wal-Mart to talk about the importance of reading and introduce this week's guests. Bestselling authors John Saul, Erica Spindler and Emanuel Rosen talk about their incredible journey to literary success. Webb also talks about how watching Oprah inspired author Stacey Kannenberg to begin her publishing career. Author Jeff Rivera talks about the importance of an Author Platform, and finally Webb tells authors why they want to get to know author/book reviewer Joey Pinkney. (Note: Due to the high traffic in the Wal-Mart store we were unable to use the boom mic so there is background noise.)
Music for this episode was provided by Dj Down South (The Write Stuff theme song, "I Will Still Shine" and "Get Your Read On"), Tray Chaney ("Watch, Learn and Listen), K. D. Brosia ("Love A Woman Right") and Herschel Dixon (wrote "Get Your Read On").
Creator/Executive Producer/Host Cyrus Webb wishes to thank our literary sponsors and supporters for a successful launch. We also thank Asst. Producers Stanley Clark, Herschel Dixon, Mark Eller and Jeff Rivera.
Monday, October 12, 2009
THE WRITE STUFF PREPARES FOR ONLINE DEBUT SAT. OCT. 17, 2009
It has been one busy year for Mississippi native Cyrus Webb. The 34 year old has been hosting 10 live radio shows a week, moderating 8 monthly chapters of the book club he created in 2006, taking care of the clients of his publicity department, writing book reviews and still finding time to work on his own novel. However, with all that he has on his plate in 2009, nothing has been the focus of his attention like The Write Stuff Literacy Campaign.
"The Write Stuff Literacy Campaign has already made a big difference when it comes to talking about the importance of reading," says Webb. He along with many of his literary supporters spent the summer holding events across the country explaining how reading is a privilege that we have to take seriously. A major part of the campaign is the creation of America's first literary reality show, The Write Stuff, that will debut online at www.thewritestufftv.com on Sat. Oct. 17, 2009.
Part conversation and part competition, The Write Stuff gives advice and encouragement from those who have made it in the literary world and showcases how others can do the same. Below you will find additional information about the project:
The online edition of The Write Stuff debuts Sat. Oct. 17, 2009,
Cyrus Webb introduces you to The Write Stuff,
The Write Stuff Creator Cyrus Webb answers questions about The Write Stuff, http://www.youtube.com/thewritestufftv#p/a/u/1/Xbu1vndKX-Q
To keep posted on the events taking place with The Write Stuff, visit www.thewritestufftv.com and the official blog at http://thewritestufftvofficialblog.blogspot.com. Cyrus Webb can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 601.896.5616.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
The Literary Community Unites To Promote A National Day of Reading In Each State
Contact: Cyrus A. Webb, Founder of The Write Stuff Literacy Campaign
email@example.com / 601.896.5616
Earlier this year, ABC News reported that over 30 million Americans ages 16 and up were unable to read or write well. This proves what many have said for some time: Illiteracy is an epidemic that is spreading daily, claiming victims of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds.
Shadow Play Entertainment, Conversations Book Club, The Write Stuff Literacy Campaign and their literary partners are excited to announce a historic event geared towards sharing the gift of reading and books across the United States under a show of united support in each state. On Saturday, November 21, 2009 between the hours of 10-6p.m., The Write Stuff founder and host Cyrus A. Webb is working with others in scheduling Reading Parties (see http://tinyurl.com/readingparties ) throughout the country geared towards 1) speaking in one voice in support of encouraging reading, 2) supporting local authors and their books and 3) providing a positive outlet that is sometimes overlooked with all the chaos going on in the world around us.
Each Reading Party will be designed for that particular area by that particular area. Webb and his supporters will only act as a means to promote the event and help strategize where their is a need for assistance. During the time frame selected by each Reading Party, there will be booksignings, book discussions or whatever seems appropriate to that host. The events are part of the Art, Books & Beats movement (www.artbooksandbeats.com) which combines the power of visual/literary art, books and music. Those participating will be listed online at www.thewritestufftv.com identified by their state along with what type of event they are hosting as well as the time of their event. All Reading Parties are free to the public.
If you are in a position to do so, The Write Stuff Literacy Campaign is asking that you bring a new or used book to the event you attend. Book donations will benefit CityKids Foundation, Common Ground Foundation, Everybody Wins, Reading Tree, Adele's Literacy Library and NEA's "Read Across America".
Have questions about this National Day of Reading? Are you an author, book lover, book club or entertainer that would like to coordinate an event in connection with our historic literary event? Contact Cyrus A. Webb at firstname.lastname@example.org or 601.896.5616.
Friday, September 4, 2009
Conversations Presents Its "Literary Legends 2009"
For years the world has enjoyed the work of authors of various genres who not only entertain but create dialogue through their books. They have given so much to readers, and now those readers are able to give something back.
Conversations Book Club and its supporters are pleased to announce one of its most historic recognitions of those making an impact in publishing today. Introducing "Literary Legends" Class of 2009:
- 1. V. C. Andrews
- 2. Maya Angelou
- 3. Steven Barnes
- 4. Reshonda Tate Billingsley
- 5. Wahida Clark
- 6. Jackie Collins
- 7. Tananarive Due
- 8. Roy Glenn
- 9. Father Andrew Greeley
- 10. John Grisham
- 11. James Earl Hardy
- 12. Jerry B. Jenkins
- 13. Deja King/Joy King
- 14. Stephen King
- 15. Dean R. Koontz
- 16. Judith Krantz
- 17. Tony Lindsay
- 18. Mary Monroe
- 19. Andrew Neiderman
- 20. Francis Ray
- 21. J. K. Rowling
- 22. John Saul
- 23. Sidney Sheldon
- 24. Erica Spindler
- 25. Stuart Woods
Thanks for taking out a few minutes to talk with us. First of all, how does it feel to see your novel actually in print?
It feels great. I have a strong passion for writing. I enjoy the opportunity to share my works with the world.
What surprised you the most about the journey from having the idea, writing the story and the process to seeing it published?
I think I was must surprised with the time it takes to find a good book editor. Everything else flowed smoothly from beginning to end because I did some research about the book industry beforehand.
Have you gotten used to the promotional aspect yet?
Yes and No. Promoting your work is a job within itself. You have to stay on top of it or else your work will get lost in the pack.
Take us into the book CHEATING ON MY MISTRESS. It is a provacative title and an incredible read. Where did the idea come from?
The idea for Cheating On My Mistress came to me in a dream. The story is centered on the life of a retired NBA player named Carmelo Miller. He has the money, cars, wife and the home. He seems to have it all together, but doesn't have the courage to talk to his wife about their sex life. Instead, he steps outside of his marriage to fill this void. This results in him meeting and starting a relationship with two other women: Augustine and Monique.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Contact: Cyrus A. Webb, Lead Publicist
In September 1992 a violent inmate named James Demouchette was executed in Texas for the shooting death of an assistant manager and another man at a Houston pizza restaurant on Oct. 17, 1976. Now in 2009, his youngest brother, Jermnine Demouchette, has released a book that not only chronicles his brother's life but offers hope for young people that might be prone to follow in his violent footsteps. James Demouchette vs. the State of Texas is a revealing look into the mind of a violent man whose reputation in and out of prison earned him the moniker of being "Texas' meanest death row inmate."
"There is no question that James was an evil man," says Jermnine. "The account I give in the book attempts to take the reader into the mind of this sociopath, recounting key events in his violent history. There is also a comprehensive section of documents that shed light on his existence in prison."
In addition to the 1976 murders, James Demouchette was convicted of fatally stabbing a fellow death row inmate in 1983 and was sentenced to 15 years. According to reports, he was disciplined for beating and raping other inmates, stabbing at least two other offenders, twice set fire to his cell and stabbed two guards searching his cell.
(National recording artist Slim Thug seen above with a copy of James Demouchette Vs. The State of Texas at a recent red carpet event.)
To help get the message of the book out to the public, Jermnine Demouchette enlisted the services of publicist Cyrus A. Webb. "I am pleased to help share the message that Jermnine has outlined in his bio about his brother," says Webb,34. "The story is so personal, but I know that there are many people across the country that will be able to relate to some part of it and pick up on the lessons it conveys." (Webb also serves as the Lead Publicist for authors Norma LaVonne Smith "Hope, Change & Obama", Mark Eller "Traitor", T. C. Alexander "Consequences of Adultery", Grandmaster Eric O'Neal "The Legend of Lionman", Sherry Hill "The Marquise Hill Story" as well as t.v. personalities Derrick Hargrove & Nikki Shallwani from MTV's 50 CENT: The Money & The Power, and author/recording artist/actor Tray Chaney from HBO's The Wire. Webb was also the lead publicist for Corey "C-Murder" Miller's book tour DEATH AROUND THE CORNER.)
Webb is quick to mention, however, that the book is in no way glorifying the life and actions of James Demouchette. Jermnine explains this way: "The book will show young kids this is not the way you want your life to be, using drugs and hurting people. You will end up in jail are on death row like my brother for the rest of your life. I hope that they will learn from my family's experience, take control of their lives and be productive young men and women."
Jermnine Demouchette is also speaking from personal experience. After having his own run-ins with the law he looked at his life and saw that he wanted something better for himself and those around him. He believes that by sharing his story others will be inspired to take a second look at themselves as well.
The book can be purchased on Amazon.com or ordered at your local bookstore. Demouchette will join Webb in an event called ART, BOOKS & BEATS at the Comfort Suites Near The Galleria (6221 Richmond Ave. * Houston, TX 77057) on Sat. September 12, 2009 beginning at 2p.m. Admission is free.)
To schedule interview, booksigning events or speaking events with Jermnine Demouchette, contact Cyrus A. Webb using the information above.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
We recently caught up with her to talk about her life, her success and how she is able to balance everything that she has going on from day to day.
Miasha, thank you for taking out time out of your busy schedule to talk with us. First of all, for our readers that may just now be learning about you, how would you describe who Miasha is?
Thank you for the interview. I'm the bestselling author of five novels, just released my sixth one (Chaster)...I'm a wife, mother... a little of everything.
You have experienced tremendous success over the past few years, and it seems like part of that success is that it is really a family affair for you. Is that true?I'm really blessed. I really couldn't ask for a better support system in my family. My husband has been great from the beginning, and my extended family has really been helpful when it comes to my boys. They are able to keep them for us which allow us to do what I need to do for the business.
When you look at what you have done already, is there any surprise for you?You know, since I was young I saw that I was going to be successful, but I didn't know it would come at this rate. Again, I am very thankful.
I have read and heard different interviews with you over your career, and you always seem to be very appreciative of what you have. What keeps you grounded?I'm definitely very much into God and family, and the two keep me grounded. I've always been a humble person, plus I come from humble beginnings so I think everything I've been through in life has shaped who I am today. Regardless of what comes in the future for the good or otherwise I'm always going to be who I am.
When someone reads a book or story by Miasha they can always expect to find a strong story and strong female characters. Is it important for you to portray women in a certain way?Women come in all different sizes, shapes and so on so there is no one way to portray a woman. You have stories for all kinds, regardless of if it is good or bad. For me personally what I write comes from my own experiences or what I've been around. I just write from my heart.
What do you hope your sons learn about the way women are to be treated?I'm really proud of the mother that I am. I didn't grow up with a mother, so I have to be the greatest role model. When they grow up I hope they will look at the way I am and the way their father treats me, and see that as a way they should see all women.
Congrats on all of your success including the release of your sixth novel CHASER and the screen play. If our readers want to find out more about you, where would you direct them?They can find out everything about me and what I'm up to by going to www.miasha.com.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
TAKE TEN: Author Shelley Seale
Author Shelley Seale is using her love of travel to not only find enjoyment across the world but also bring attention to problems that she sees taking place along the way. A native of Dallas, Texas, she has written a powerful book called THE WEIGHT OF SILENCE (Invisible Children of India). Conversations Book Club chose the book as its Book of the Month for August 2009 (see www.thebestbookclub.info.) The author took out time from her busy schedule to talk with us about the project, the role of her family in her life and what she hopes you get from learning of her research.
I have read since I can remember, and my love of stories and reading is what evolved naturally into my own desire to create stories. I loved writing since I was a kid – as a child I used to go to my grandmother's nursing home and listen to resident's stories, and then I would go home and make little books about their stories. Kind of dorky, but I really always loved to write.
When it comes to books, is that something your family was into as well or just yourself?
No one in my family is nearly as much of a bookworm as I am. But when I was little, I was the first child and also the first grandchild on both sides of the family. So I got a lot of undivided attention in my first few years, and my mom and both sets of grandparents read to me a LOT. So really, that was what created my love of reading. It was an incredible gift.
Since I mentioned your family, Shelley, I guess this is as good a place as any to ask about your soft spot for children, especially those who seem to be less fortunate. Why do you think you are interested in making a difference in their lives when so many would just turn the other way?
Yes, again I think that this originally stemmed from my family. When I was in junior high school my parents became foster parents, and we began taking babies into our home who were being put up for adoption. Through the years more than fifty children lived in our home. In fact, when I was a senior in high school my parents adopted my little sister Katie, who had been one of the foster children with us. So the knowledge that not all children had loving homes or parents was known to me from an early age, and I grew up being interested in children's rights and advocacy. Besides these children in India that the book is about, I have also volunteered here at home through the years with Child Protective Services, teen mentoring centers, and CASA which provides advocates for children removed from their homes due to abuse. And both of my sisters work today for non-profits as well; one for a foster agency and one for Planned Parenthood.
To read the entire interview, visit this link: http://tinyurl.com/lmgk8k. Shelley Seale will be our guest on Conversations LIVE! Radio this Friday (August 28, 2009) @ 12p.m. CST (1p.m. EST/10a.m. PT). Listen to the interview at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
There are few people who have achieved the success of Booker T. Mattison and managed to remain as humble and appreciative as he is. He is the author of the novel UNSIGNED HYPE as well as a filmmaker who wrote the screenplay for and directed the film adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston's "The Gilded Six Bits," which aired on Showtime. His films have been screened at the Smithsonian Institute, the Library of Congress, the Directors Guild of America , and Harvard University . Music videos that he has written and directed have aired on BET, MTV Europe, and the Gospel Music Channel.
Mattison's novel UNSIGNED HYPE has been chosen as the Book of the Month for the Hip Hop and Books Club during September 2009. ( Listen to author Booker T. Mattison's recent interview with Conversations LIVE! Radio here.)
In this discussion he talks about the parallel's between himself and the main character Tory, how he views success in his own life and what he hopes his children remember about him and the work he has created.
Thank you, Booker T., for taking out the time to talk with us today. Before we talk about your debut novel UNSIGNED HYPE I want to talk about you. How would you describe who Booker T. Mattison is?
I am an author and filmmaker, but more importantly I am a professional husband and father.
You have been busy working in music and even film. What led you to writing the book?
Believe it or not, the opportunity to write this book kind of fell in my lap. A publisher friend of my literary agent asked her if she could find a story with a teenaged black male protagonist that wasn't all about sex, violence and drugs. My agent asked me if I could write it because all of her other writers are women. Even though we didn't wind up going with that publisher, once the story was birthed it was ready to find an audience.
Is reading something that you enjoyed growing up?
I have always enjoyed reading. I'm thankful that my mother and father emphasized the importance of reading, and education in general. It's difficult to develop an appreciation for books if you're not introduced to them at a young age.
You happened to weave together a story where the characters dealt with their own personal demons as well as external forces. What led to your writing this story?
Since I'm a former rapper, producer and ex-knuckle head, the story flowed out of many of my own personal experiences. I think that's why the characters in the book resonate with so many people. Essentially, each character in the book represents an aspect of my life or a particular part of my personality.
You talk about being a proud father. When we talked on Conversations LIVE! Radio not too long ago I didn't ask you about the legacy you wanted to leave for your children. When they read the book, what do you hope they think of when it comes to who wrote it?
I want them to remember that their father was a man of integrity, a man of character and a man who embraced truth no matter what the cost. I also want them to recognize the importance of using their God given talents to promote a point of view that is consistent with how God views the world.
Read the entire interview here: http://authorstaketen.blogspot.com/2009/08/take-ten-author-booker-t-mattison.html
Sunday, August 16, 2009
MONDAY, AUGUST 17, 2009 @ 12p.m. CST (1p.m. EST/10a.m PT) --- Members of the Award-winning R&B Group Day 26 discuss their new video album "FOREVER IN YOUR EYES"
MONDAY, AUGUST 17, 2009 @ 7p.m. CST (8p.m. EST/5p.m. PT) --- Recording artists KPC make their first appearance to talk life, music and debut their new single "Wildin' Out"
TUESDAY, AUGUST 18, 2009 @ 12p.m. CST (1p.m. EST/10a.m. PT) --- Mogul/Activist Dante' Chestnut talks literacy and debut new music by Cellow ("College Chick")
TUESDAY, AUGUST 18, 2009 @ 7p.m. CST (8p.m. EST/5p.m. PT) --- The Real-Life Billie Jean" Theresa Gonsalves talks about Michael Jackson, her writing career and what's next for her
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 19, 2009 @ 8:30a.m. CST (9:30a.m. EST/6:30a.m. PT) --- Award-winning Journalist/Author Jack Ford discusses his novel THE OSIRIS ALLIANCE
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 19, 2009 @ 12p.m. CST (1p.m. EST/10a.m. PT) --- Author/Activist Mahonek discusses history and his book MR. PRESIDENT AFRICA AWAITS YOU
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 19, 2009 @ 7p.m. CST (8p.m. EST/5p.m. PT) --- Radio & Television show host/Author/Reality Show Star Abiola Abrams talks life, success and what's next for her
THURSDAY, AUGUST 20, 2009 @ 12p.m. CST (1p.m. EST/10a.m. PT) --- Actor/Author/Recording artist Tray Chaney (Poot from HBO's The Wire) discusses his career, literacy and his new music
THURSDAY, AUGUST 20, 2009 @ 7p.m. CST (8p.m. EST/5p.m. PT) --- PANEL DISCUSSION: C. A. Webb Presents "Racial Pride: A Thin Line Between Love & Hate" The group will discuss is there anything wrong with loving your own race, and when does such love cross over into something more divisive and dangerous. We will be taking your calls!
For more information about the above roster, contact Webb at email@example.com or 601.896.5616. Know someone who should be a guest or if you have something you want to share, let him know! Past shows can be downloaded for free at www.conversationsliveradio.com.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
"With so much going on in the world it's easy to forget how many lives are being affected by not being able to read and write well," says Webb, but he is determined to use the various platforms he is given to not only keep the awareness on literacy but bring others together to do the same.
In May 2009, ABC News reported that about 30 million Americans have trouble reading and writing. "There is no way I can reach all the people that need help," Webb admits, "but I am taking advantage of every opportunity to not only mention the problem but network with individuals who care about being a part of the solution."
Since 1999, Webb (seen below with a classroom and associates at Pearl High School in Mississippi) has been working in classrooms promoting visual and literary art and made his services available to non-profit organizations and others who wish to shine an all-important light on the subject and importance of reading. "Mississippi has had one of the highest rates for illiteracy, teenage pregnancy, obesity and high school drop-outs for a number of years," says Webb. "This is something that has to be addressed on a daily bases. Those who have been given a voice have to use it in order to make a difference and impact the lives of as many as they can."
Through his radio and television show, bi-monthly Conversations Magazine, the numerous chapters of the Conversations Book Club, his blog as well as articles and commentaries, he is introducing the world to authors of various genres and interests as well as discussing ways that those who are readers and non-readers can come together and join what Webb refers to as an "addiction to books."
He realizes that there is no one way to address the problem. "We all like different things," Webb says, "so it is our job as literary soldiers to find ways in order to reach those who are in need of help." Publications such as Crunk Magazine, Hype Magazine, S.T.I.L.L. Magazine and Nu South Magazines have also enlisted into the service to promote the importance of reading.
In order to tie all of his literary components together, Webb (seen above during a book discussion of Platinum-selling recording artist Corey "C-Murder" Miller's bestselling novel DEATH AROUND THE CORNER at Barnes & Noble) created the "Do The Write Thang" Campaign (see http://www.dothewritethang.com) Thus far Webb has joined with allies in over 30 states, including bestselling and up-and-coming authors, celebrities in tv and radio as well as recognizable names and faces in sports(including Tray Cheney of HBO's The Wire, Derrick Hargrove of MTV 50 CENT: The Money & The Power, Korto Momolu of Bravo's Project Runway, numerous cast members from VH1's I WANT TO WORK FOR DIDDY, Recording artists Nappy Roots and more). They are hosting and supporting what are called "Reading Parties" that provide networking for book lovers but also discussions as to how we can work together in order to help others. Webb is also hosting a series of town-hall style meetings in-person and through his radio show addressing issues that everyone are dealing with, offering solutions along the way.
One of the most popular tools that Webb is utilizing is a touring event called "Art, Books & Beats" (http://www.artbooksandbeats.com) During these events those involved in the various forms of the arts can come together with musicians and authors/booksellers to create an atmosphere that will attract a variety of groups that may not otherwise come together. Admission is free to these events. HunidRacks Energy Drink based out of California is the official energy drink of the literary campaign.
In order to cover travel, lodging and venue costs during this literary warfare, Webb is donating 50% of his artwork sales, 100% of his Hip Hop & Books compilation cd sales as well as 100% of his organization's newest Word Search book (available beginning Friday, August 7, 2009) to help take ocaer of the expenses. A website has also been setup using Give Forward in Chicago, IL (www.giveforward.org/thewritestuff).
For more information about the war Cyrus A. Webb and his associates are waging against illiteracy, contact Webb at firstname.lastname@example.org or 601.896.5616. Also visit http://www.dothewritethang.com.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
MONDAY, JULY 20, 2009 @ 12p.m. CST (1p.m. EST/10a.m. PT) --- Author Rick Glaze
MONDAY, JULY 20, 2009 @ 7P.M. CST (8p.m. EST/5p.m. PT) --- Journalist/Political Commentator Billy Hallowell
TUESDAY, JULY 21, 2009 @ 12P.M. CST (1p.m. EST/10a.m. PT) --- Conversations LIVE! Radio celebrates its 100th guest of 2009: Author David Price
TUESDAY, JULY 21, 2009 @ 7p.m. CST (8p.m. EST/5p.m. PT) --- Authors Kris King and Martin Levin
WEDNESDAY, JULY 22, 2009 @ 12P.M. CST (1p.m. EST/10a.m. PT) -- Author Lekesha R. Barnett
WEDNESDAY, JULY 22, 2009 @ 7p.m. CST (8p.m. EST/5p.m. PT) --- Author DaPharoah69
THURSDAY, JULY 23, 2009 @ 7p.m. CST (8p.m. EST/5p.m. PT) --- Author Rhonda R. Carpenter
FRIDAY, JULY 24, 2009 @ 12p.m. CST (1p.m. EST/10a.m. PT) --- Author Erica Spindler
All interviews can be heard live at showtime by visiting http://www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive or through the switchboard at 347.426.3645. The shows will be available via podcast at http://www.conversationsliveradio.com.
This week's exclusive interviews are being sponsored in part by author Mark Eller (TRAITOR), author T. C. Alexander (CONSEQUENCES OF ADULTERY), author/actor Tray Chaney (THE TRUTH YOU CAN'T BETRAY) and VITAMINWATER OF LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY.Find out more information about our sponsors at http://www.conversationsliveradio.com
Missed other interviews on Conversations LIVE! Radio? Visit http://www.conversationsliveradio.com. Want to be a guest? Contact Cyrus A. Webb at email@example.com or 601.896.5616.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009 at 7p.m. CST (8p.m. EST), the Master urban suspense makes his third visit to the program to talk about his 14 years as a published author, his challenges in the business as well as share information about his newest release NO MORE TEARS IN THE END. (Visit www.royglenn.net)
Listen to the interview here: http://tobtr.com/s/570616
Monday, July 6, 2009
To listen to the entire interview visit this link: http://tobtr.com/s/595991
Sunday, July 5, 2009
INTERVIEW: "The King of Conversations Talks The Past, Present and Future" by Stanley Clark with Herschel Dixon
by Stanley Clark with Herschel Dixon
(Part three of our discussion with Cyrus A. Webb.)Part One of our Three-Part Series about Cyrus A. Webb and Conversations
Part Two of our Three-Part Series about Cyrus A. Webb and Conversations
On Friday, July 17, 2009, Cyrus A. Webb-The King of Conversations—will celebrate his 34th birthday. In the past 10 years of his life he has been recognized as an award-winning visual and literary artist, motivational speaker and the founder of one of the largest literary franchises in the United States. With all of his accomplishments he has worked hard to remain humble in the face of his success and careful not to let setbacks, negativity or the natural occurrences of life to distract him from his goals.
Of all the projects he has lent his name and abilities to, it seems that the Conversations brand with its radio and television shows, bi-monthly magazine, newspaper columns and most recently his book clubs has been the highlight of his life thus far.
READ THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW HERE:
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Shadow Play Entertainment and the Conversations Brand are sadden by the death of an icon: Michael Jackson. Though we never had the opportunity to interview him directly, we did have the opportunity to befriend the real-life "Billie Jean", Theresa Gonsalves.
On her website, www.theresagonsalves.com she had this to say on Thursday, June 25, 2009: "My heart is heavy with sadness as I mourn the loss of my dear friend
Michael Jackson! Michael, I will see you in Glory!"
Cyrus A. Webb, President of both Shadow Play and Conversations was able to interview Gonsalves several times over the period of three years about her relationship with Michael Jackson, how she dealt with the media attention and about her book OBSESSIONS which talks about the two of them as well as about the relationship that threatened to kill her.
IN THE BEGINNING...
In 1984 Star Magazine, a publication said to sometimes stretch the truth, was the first to reveal something that had puzzled many a music lover: who was the inspiration behind Superstar Michael Jackson's hit song BILLIE JEAN. They answered that question with not only an interview, but a series of pictures of the woman: Theresa Gonsalves.
Theresa's relationship with Michael began when she was twelve years old. She became "obsessed" with him and wrote him numerous letters until they met in Las Vegas for her sixteenth birthday! The obsession continued as they stayed in touch from that point on. Their worlds have continuously gone full circle always leading back to each other. They last saw each other four days before his arrest for these current child molestation charges as she introduced her own son Mychal (named after Michael) to him. Michael had his kids with him as well and was genuinely happy to see that Theresa's son was so well cared for! However, it was Theresa's son Todd that was the controversy behind the hit song Billie Jean. Her friendship with Michael was such that she confided in him about all aspects of her life. In detailing her situation about her baby's daddy....Michael wrote the song Billie Jean about her!
Read the entire interview as it appeared in the online magazine Blagazine back in August 2006: http://www.blagazine.com/Feature/Cyrus/CW082406.htm
During the summer of 2008, Webb interviewed Gonsalves on his radio show Conversations LIVE! Conversations Book Club was hosting her first visit to Mississippi to promote her book OBSESSIONS and THE MAN IN THE WOODS. Listen to the entire interview here: http://tobtr.com/s/239415
Our sincere thoughts and prayers go out to the Jackson family and all of those who are reflecting on the life and legacy of 'The King of Pop.'
Monday, June 15, 2009
Shadow Play Entertainment is excited to announce that International Bestselling author John Saul will be on Conversations LIVE! Radio today to discuss his amazing career as well as his new projects.
Chosen as Conversations Book Club's Author Of The Year 2008-2009, Saul will share his beginnings as an author, the release of his book FACES OF FEAR in paperback (July 2009) and his new novel coming out later this year.
To listen to the interview live, visit http://tobtr.com/s/565919. Have a question for the author you want answered? We will be taking calls as well!
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
by Herschel Dixon with Stanley Clark of For The People Productions
(Part Two of For The People Productions' Three-Part Series Celebrating The Six Years of Success of Cyrus A. Webb's Conversations Brand. Missed part one of our three part interview with Cyrus A. Webb? Visit this link: http://forthepeopleproductions.blogspot.com/2009/06/king-of-conversations-celebrates-six.html)
I got a call from Cyrus on the afternoon of Monday, June 1, 2009 telling me that he was on hold to talk with Martha Stewart on her radio show. That's right: Martha Stewart. And as you can imagine he was excited. I didn't know it at the time, but he had seen a tweet from Martha on Twitter inviting people to call into her show during her "Ask Martha" segment. That was all he needed.
That is the Cyrus Webb I have gotten to know over the past decade since we first met. He sees something that he wants, and he goes after it with no thought of what can't be done. The word "No" doesn't exist in his world, at least not when directed towards him. Obstacles just mean "Not right now."
The month he was celebrating as the six year anniversary of his Conversations Brand is really a celebration of the growth Webb has experienced not only within himself and his audience, but the number of walls he has brought down because of just wanting to bring people together to promote the very best of themselves.
I have heard Cyrus joke with people that he has a split personality: the everyday Cyrus Webb and the more public alter ego C. A. Webb. I believe at some point that might just be true. From what I have seen, however, over the years it has been hard to tell when one ends and the other begins.
"I run my life just like one runs a political campaign," he says. "My typical day begins between 4-5:30a.m. 7 days a week with a very deliberate routine. I get dressed, put on the water for my coffee and check email before updating my websites and going through my daily schedule." That's right: a schedule. Before going to bed each day he makes a list of things he knows he wants to get done when the next day begins. "The list may change some throughout the day," he admits. "Some things are added or even moved to the following day, but there is an effort made to make each day count."
Failure to best utilize the hours he is given can sometime lead to a side of Webb that is not as flattering as the calm persona he likes to show. He is a control freak. This is not something I have heard, but something I have seen firsthand over the time since we met. Cyrus Webb does not like for outside forces to sway him in any way. Time is precious, and he doesn't like to waste any of what he is given. "I have a saying that I tweet everyday," he says. "It's very simple: 'YESTERDAY is gone. TOMORROW is not promised. All you have is TODAY.' That is not just true of me, but everyone."
For Cyrus time is not just money, but a priceless resource that can't be wasted. It seems that is the reason why he has done his best to make his brand, especially Conversations, something that is not limited to one group.
"One of the things that frustrates me the most is people assuming things about me and what I do based on what they think they know or what they see," Webb says. During this conversation on the phone he paused as though trying to make sure he made his point the best way possible. "I am a young black male, but this doesn't mean everything I do is based on my age or my race. My world is so much bigger than black and white. I don't see this argument having to be made by those who are my white counterparts and friends. I don't want to be put in a box."
(Photo above courtesy of Jackson Advocate Newspaper)
As Webb continued to grow Conversations, it became clear that his vision was not going to be a one note. From the radio or television shows to the magazine and then to the book clubs, there was something for every group. What impressed me the most about the way the brand was constructed, was the fact that Cyrus had an invested interest in every aspect. He researches every guest, reads every book and personally writes them an electronic Thank You note afterwards. "It's called Conversations," he says, "so it stands to reason that I would have to be personally involved with every aspect of it. In order for all of these parts to work, I have to know what I'm talking about, especially if it is something that takes me out of my comfort level."
Read the remainder of this interview by visiting this link: http://bit.ly/1aDONl
Sunday, June 7, 2009
"Conversations At Cici's"!
Welcome to "Conversations At Cici's*", where we combine good books and an affordable meal to create great conversations to be enjoyed by all. Whether its our book club meetings or the hosting of Rankin County's only weekly open mic night, we have something for everyone. Admission is only the cost of the buffet. Visit www.conversationsatcicis.com These events are held at the Cici's Pizza located at 1303 W. Government Street in Brandon, Mississippi. Call-in orders are welcome. Contact Cici's Pizza at 601.591.0864.
* This is another Shadow Play Entertainment/Conversations Book Club Production.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Hosted by Cyrus A. Webb, Conversations LIVE! Radio welcomes authors (and husband/wife team) Kim Wayans and Kevin Knotts.
The two talk with listeners about their children's book series featuring Amy Hodges and how they hope it creates dialogue about diversity and acceptance of others.
To listen to the interview live, visit http://www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive at showtime.
Missed other interviews by Conversations LIVE! Radio? Visit http://www.conversationsliveradio.com
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
The 3 minute conversation took place during her "Ask Martha" segment on her Sirius radio show. Webb began by telling Martha how glad he was she had taken his call, and that he had loved her book THE MARTHA RULES and uses it in his own life. He then told Martha about the upcoming Reading Parties that are being held across the country to promote literacy, and asked her for advice on how to reach out to others to share the love of reading.
She first said that the parties were "a great idea" and then said it was important to encourage reading. Martha went on to say that some who might not have a love for reading may have had some type of disability that might have prohibited them from doing so effectively or might just not know where to begin. She suggested reaching out to those in the community who are known to reach out and assist, such as teachers, community leaders and organizations equipped to assist individuals. She then wished the project luck!
Webb thanks Martha for her kind words and advice. We look forward to having her involved in our literacy campaign in some fashion in the future.