- 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
Thursday, May 28, 2009
In this special interview host Cyrus A. Webb will talk with Klang about his humble beginnings, what it has been like to have his entire career chronicled through a reality show and what he wants his fans to know about him that maybe television doesn't show. Because of Webb's commitment to literacy and his special campaign in 2009, he will also talk with his guest about the importance of reading and what he wants his fans to know about feeding their minds.
Listen to the interview live by visiting http://www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive or through the switchboard at 1.347.426.3645.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Recently ABC News announced online that stated over 30% of Americans 16 and up are not reading at their suggested level. With all the talk of change in the United States, one thing that is not improving or getting the attention it deserves is the importance of reading and the seemingly never-ending problem of illiteracy. To combat this dangerous trend,Shadow Play Entertainment, Conversations Book Club and those associated with The Write Stuff literacy campaign will be hosting reading parties across the country. The theme for these events is "JOIN THE ADDICTION: Get Hooked on Books".
Hosted by Cyrus A. Webb, President of Conversations Book Club, host of Conversations LIVE! Radio and Executive Producer of The Write Stuff Reality Show, each party is designed to allow book lovers to come together for networking, to meet authors from the area as well as to discuss how they can work together to promote reading. Beginning June 1, 2009 the northern leg of the tour begins (see below).
Monday, June 1, 2009--- Philadelphia PA *** Join us at the Comfort Inn Philadelphia Airport * 53 Industrial Hwy * Philadelphia, PA 19029 from 5-9p.m. The event will include networking, open mic and a discussion on what we can do to help encourage reading among others. Special guests include Adele of Adele's Literacy Library. Admission free, but bring the donation of a book to help our cause!
Tuesday, June 2, 2009---Flint, MI *** Join us at the Comfort Inn Airport * 2361 Austlin Parkway * Flint, MI 48507 from 5-9p.m. Flint's own Mark Eller, author of TRAITOR, will have a booksigning beginning at 6p.m. This will be followed by a discussion on what we can do to help encourage reading among others. Admission free, but bring the donation of a book to help our cause!
Wednesday, June 3, 2009 ---Chicago, IL *** Join us at the Comfort Inn * 4005 Gabrielle Lane * Chicago/Aurora,IL 60504 from 5-9p.m. Special guests include Nikki Shallwani from MTV's 50 CENT: The Money & The Power. Enjoy networking, an open mic event as well as a discussion on what we can do to help encourage reading among others. Admission free, but bring the donation of a book to help our cause!
Thursday, June 4, 2009--- Indianapolis, IN *** Join us at the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center * 2930 Waterfront Parkway West Drive * Indianapolis, IN 46214 from 5-9p.m. The event will include networking, an open mic event as well as a discussion on what we can do to encourage reading among others. Admission free, but bring the donation of a book to help our cause!
Friday, June 5, 2009 --- Louisville, KY *** Join us at the Comfort Suites Airport * 6535 Paramont Park Dr. * Louisville, KY 40213 from 5-9p.m. The event will include networking, an open mic event as well as a discussion on what we can do to encourage reading among others. Admission free, but bring the donation of a book to help our cause!
(To see when we will be in each city visit this link: http://thewritestufftv.webs.com/twsreadingparties.htm )Each is free and open to the public, however, those who attend are asked to bring a new or gently used book as a donation that will go to either the Read Across America Project, CityKids Foundation, the Common Ground Foundation, Everybody wins, Adele's Literary Library, Reading Tree or a library in need within that particular city.
These events are sponsored in part by For The People Productions, Hype Magazine, NuSouth Magazine, Industry Standard Magazine, Poetic Monthly and Crunk Magazine.
To find out more about the reading parties or other parts of the literary campaign, visit http://www.thewritestufftv.com. For more information about the project and how you can get involved, contact Herschel Dixon at 1.502.994.7852 or Cyrus A. Webb at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
At the age of 19, Kessman is no stranger to the public eye, having had roles in the film 2012 and television series Without A Trace, My Name Is Earl, The Unit, Ghost Whisperer and most recently MTV's reality show Bully Beat Down. A California native, he is using his celebrity and name recognition to bring attention to causes that matter to him, including literacy.
Kessman took a few minutes to discuss his life and support of The Write Stuff Literacy Campaign with Webb in this exclusive interview.
How long have you been interested in the entertainment industry?
I have been interested in the entertainment industry since the early age of 5.
Is it something that your family has always supported?
Yes, entertainment has always been a strongly supported industry in my family.
Looking at the actors that are out there, who do you look to as models to follow?
I would say i like to follow the most Vin Diesel and Jason Statham.
Your time in the industry has been short but successful. What do you attribute it to?
My willingness and desire to succeed.
Being so young, do you feel as though you are missing out on anything by spending so much time pursuing a career?
No, i don't feel like i am missing out on anything because this is the career i have always wanted to do since i was little.
For those who are out there looking to make it as an actor or in any form of the entertainment industry, what would you tell them?
Continue to follow your dreams as there will be obstacles to overcome.
With life comes disappointment. What has been the biggest disappointment for you so far and how did you overcome it?
My biggest disappointment so far in life is accepting a full ride football scholarship to BYU only to find out the school wasn't what I had expected. I overcame this obstacle by perusing another life long dream of the entrainment business.
Thank you, Ryan, for joining us in combatting illiteracy through The Write Stuff Literacy Campaign. Reading is something that is very important to our supporters. Why do you feel as though reading is something that more people of all ages should do?
When you can read and understand you have tackled a large portion of obstacles in life.
What is next for you?
I pitched to MTV mine and Tyger's (aka Derrick Hargrove from MTV's 50 Cent: The Money & The Power) idea of them to sponsor us to go to schools and lecture on the aspect of bullying in schools. Suicide are ramped in schools districts and most of it is from bullying.
If our readers want to find out more about you, where can they find you online?
Google Ryan Kessman or on Myspace.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Jeff, thanks for talking with Crunk Magazine and Conversations. First of all, I want to say congratulations on the success of your debut novel Forever My Lady and your other projects. I have to ask you, if someone had told you 10 years ago that you would be doing what you are today, would you have believed them?
Thanks, I'm still in shock with the way that things have come together for me but it hasn't been without it's ups and downs. So many people didn't believe in me, I had to move forward and not listen to the nay-sayers. I always dreamed of having great things but had no idea how it would happen, so in a way, yeah I'm just as shocked as anyone else and thank God literally everyday for everything that's happened.
When did you first realize that you had a love affair with words?
At a very early age, when I was in first grade. I didn't even know it was called writing. It was just what I did, wrote stories about the kids in class. The stories didn't make any sense but I didn't know that back then.
Would you say that your love of words was something that was encouraged by those around you?
Not at all. I mean, my teachers and parents encouraged me to do it but not as a way to make a living. But I dreamed of one day making that happen and thank God at least God was listening.
I was impressed to find out that your journey through live has not always been so easy. Take our readers into some of the challenges you have faced in your life and more importantly how you overcame them?
Name it and I've probably been through it. I grew up in American poverty, homelessness, child abuse. It hasn't been easy but let me tell you there is always someone who's been through much worse. So, I'm not complaining.
There are many aspiring writers that will read this interview that will want to know how you were able to be picked up by a major publisher with your first book. Before we get into that, however, tell us how the idea for Forever My Lady developed.
Forever My Lady began when I was working at Kmart. I met a friend of mine who came from a work release program and was trying to turn his life around for his lady, that was the inspiration for me to tell my story of a fictional character named Dio who would stop at nothing to win his lady back. It started out as a screenplay but after many rejections I decided to self-publish the book from there the novel grew a huge following online and Warner (now called Grand Central Publishing) got wind of it.
A question I know you get a lot is how much of Jeff Rivera is in the book. What would you say?
I would a good 90% of Jeff Rivera is in the book in each of the characters, I can relate to each of them in different ways.
Your book was published by Grand Central Publishing, formerly Warner Books. How did it get to them?
I had sent it to them and it rotted on their desk for 3 months, then when I got an agent, she made a phone call and they read it over the weekend and had an offer within 7 days. Come to think about it, I think it was like an offer in like 3-4 days. It was very fast. When it's meant to be, and the timing's right, it happens quickly and effortlessly.
A misconception that some aspiring writers have is that being published by a major publishing house lessens the amount of work they have to personally do to promote the book. Were you surprised at how much the book's success still depended on you?
Not at all, I was warned ahead of time that I would be doing most of the work. I wasn't doing any less than I was doing to promote the book when I was self-publishing.
Among the other projects you are doing is GumboWriters.com. Tell us about it.
GumboWriters.com is a one-stop shop for writers who want to get an agent or who want to self-publish. I work with editors formerly with the major publishing houses who will edit your manuscript and bring it to the level expected for a major house.
You are also working with Shadow Play Entertainment as part of The Write Stuff Literacy Campaign. You will be sharing 10 writing tips in 60 second segments. What do you hope aspiring writers get from those tips?
These tips go beyond the obvious tips you always here. I think aspiring writers will hear some things they've never heard before publicly like what it really takes to get published.
What's next for you?
I'm working on a kids book and some other projects up my sleeve, including the sequel to Forever My Lady.
Jeff, thanks again for talking with us. If our readers want to find out more information about you, how can they do so?
Definitely check out: http://www.GumboWriters.com
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Founded in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, The Warehouse Crewe is live every Tuesday and Thursday from 7-9p.m. CST and is a premier interactive radio broadcast that showcases both the audio and visual elements of each show. Beginning in May 2009, it has partnered with The Write Stuff in showcasing not only the cast, producers and supporters of the program as well as cross-promoting topics that they feel appeal to everyone.
The following interviews have been scheduled beginning Tuesday, May 19, 2009:
Tuesday, May 19, 2009 @ 8p.m. CST (9p.m. EST) --- Grandmaster Eric O' Neal (Creator of The Lionman Foundation) and Cyrus A. Webb (President of Conversations Book Club and Hip Hop and Books Club as well as Creator of The Write Stuff)
Thursday, May 21, 2009 @ 8p.m. CST (9p.m. EST) --- Author Sherry Hill (THE MARQUISE HILL STORY: From The Cradle To The Bowl) and Author Tommie Townsley (contestant on The Write Stuff)
Tuesday, May 26, 2009 @ 8p.m. CST (9p.m. EST) --- Authors Justina Wheelock and Wolf Baldassarro (contestants on The Write Stuff)
Thursday, May 28, 2009 @ 8p.m. CST (9p.m. EST) --- Authors Sybil Presley and Keyana Hawthorne (contestants on The Write Stuff)
To listen to the interviews live or to review past shows, visit http://www.thewarehousecrewe.com.
Monday, May 18, 2009
"Tray is just the type of individual we need to be part of the face of our movement," says Cyrus A. Webb*, President of Shadow Play Entertainment, host of Conversations LIVE! Radio and Founder of The Write Stuff Literacy Campaign. "He has been living proof of the importance of education and reading, and the success he has enjoyed goes to show what is possible with hard work." Chaney joins Derrick Hargrove and Nikki Shallwani from MTV's 50 Cent: The Money & The Power in supporting the cause of reading.
Tray Chaney has been building his brand since the age of eight, having appeared on Showtime At The Apollo, written the autobiography The Truth You Can't BeTray and starred as Poot in the hit HBO series The Wire. Currently he is working on several projects including his debut album featuring the single Delima with Jazz from Dru Hill.
The Write Stuff Literacy Campaign is a national project geared at bringing awareness to not only reading but areas where extra help is needed in The United States. As part of his relationship with The Write Stuff, Chaney will be one of the most visible aspects of the project's message.
To find our more information about The Write Stuff or Tray Chaney visit http://www.thewritestufftv.com or contact Herschel Dixon at 1.502.994.7852.
* Webb interviewed Tray Chaney for Conversations Magazine as well as Conversations LIVE! Radio. To read the print edition, click here: http://thewritestufftvofficialblog.blogspot.com/2009/05/mulit-media-personality-tray-chaney.html . The radio edition of the Tray Chaney interview is here: http://tinyurl.com/dnzezp .
Friday, May 15, 2009
On Friday, May 15, 2009 Conversations LIVE! Radio presents one of its most celebrated monthly segements: "The Business of Books"!
Authors Paul Hutchins, Kimberly Cheryl, Dr. Diane Hassan and Nesta A. Aharoni talk about their beginnings as writers, the challenges and rewards as well as their advice to aspiring writers who want to take the leap into print.
This discussion can be heard live beginning at 7p.m. CST (8p.m. EST/5p.m. PT) by visiting http://www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive or listening via the switchboard at 1.347.426.3645.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Did you miss C. A. Webb's exclusive interview with Actor/Author/Recording artist Tray Chaney on Conversations LIVE! Radio? If so, listen to the podcast here: http://tobtr.com/s/518431
Best known for his role as Poot on HBO's The Wire, Chaney talks about his first taste of fame at the age of 8, how his family has encouraged his career, exactly how he balances his life and work and what is involved in building the Tray Chaney brand. During the interview you hear two of his singles: "Baby Let's Go" and "Dilema" as well as hear him talk about his autobiography The Truth You Can't BeTray and why he supports The Write Stuff Literacy Campaign.
Missed other interviews on Conversations LIVE! Radio? Visit http://www.conversationsliveradio.com to download them for FREE.
Friday, May 8, 2009
FRIDAY, MAY 8, 2009
Actor/Author/Recording artist Tray Chaney, best known for his role on HBO's The Wire will give an exclusive interview to Cyrus A. Webb of Conversations LIVE! Radio on Friday, May 8, 2009 at 7p.m. CST (8p.m. EST)
During this special primetime interview, Chaney will talk about his first taste of fame at the age of 8, how his family has encouraged his career, exactly how he balances his life and work and what is involved in building the Tray Chaney brand. He will also be dubuting his single Delima featuring Jazz of Dru Hill as well as talking about his autobiography and why he supports The Write Stuff Literacy Campaign.
This is an interview you don't want to miss. To listen live, simply visit http://www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive or call the switchboard at 1.347.426.3645.
Monday, May 4, 2009
It is one of the most powerful lists that Conversations Book Club puts together each year. The books that make the list are from authors and genre that book club President Cyrus A. Webb have personally read and has put his stamp of approval upon. Now as the first issue in 2009 of Conversations Magazine prepares to be released, the book club is pleased to unveil those who make up the "Top 20 Summer Reads" of 2009!
Listed in no particular order, here are the books and their authors who Conversations Book Club and its 10 chapters feel should be on your "Must Have" list as you make your summer plans. JOIN THE ADDICTION: Get hooked on books!
To see the titles and authors, click this link:
When looking for examples of those who are talking the talk and walking the walk when it comes to their dreams, they don't get any more real than Tray Chaney. He has been used to the public eye since he was a young boy, and now with feature films, a budding music career, an autobiography and a celebrated role on HBO's The Wire under his belt, the future just continues to look brighter. Tray took out time out of his busy schedule to talk about his evolution as a man and entertainer, and why he is supporting projects like The Write Stuff Literacy Campaign in an effort to give back to those who are looking for something better in their lives. Here is our conversation.
Tray, thanks for taking out the time to talk with us. You have achieved so much in your life from an early age. Are you surprised at how quickly things have come your way?
Well, I feel as though I really put in alot of hard work, time and effort throughout the years. I been in the entertainment industry since I was 8yrs old. To be able to get recognized through out the world for some of my achievements such as starring on one of the biggest shows that ever hit television (The Wire) portraying the character "Poot" and also having an inspirational Book out titled The Truth You Can't beTRAY" is defitnely a blessing from God. The only reason I am not all that surprised at how quickly things have come my way is because I am a firm believer in God, and I work very hard and take this job serious and thats what it takes to achieve goals.
Take us back to Tray Chaney as a child. Did you always know you were going to achieve big things?
Well I did have a strong support system behind me such as my parents, family members, the community. When individuals see that a child has something that he or she is trying to do on a positive note usually you can get that strong support. I always dreamed about achieving Big things, and its defitnely nothing wrong with dreaming. I still dream, so to answer your question YES I did feel like one day I will become successful the older and more mature I get.
What about your family? It seems like from the video on your website www.traychaney.com that your family has been supportive of your dream from the beginning. Has that always been the case?
Yes that has defitnely been the case. I am truly blessed to have the parent I have. My parents always taught me to be humble at the same time determined to achieve my goals in life. They also taught me that education has to be taken very serious if I was going to be pursuing a Career in the entertainment industry PERIOD. They were very Firm when it came down to getting my education. They have truly provided for me as well as Supported.
You have gone from performing on television at the Apollo to being on HBO's The Wire. What would you tell those who want to enter the entertainment industry about your experience that could help them?
Honestly I would tell them to never take the word NO as an answer. Study your craft. Studying your craft could mean furthering your education on what it is that you are pursuing by taking Classes, just really staying humble and devoting your time as well as energy. Dont ever get discouraged because once that happens that can really throw your focus off and you defitnely dont want that to happen. Always realize this business is Tough, so you have to stay Strong.
Read the full interview here: