Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Royalty Check and Me!!!

My First Royalty Check

I received my first royalty check in the mail the other day. It felt good. It felt great. It felt spectacular. Stop!!! Wait a minute. I meant to say that I felt Robbed!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Let me just set the record straight, I did not write my book for any monetary gain. I wrote it because I love to write. But, because I did write it and I did put my heart into the book hence the title HeartFelt: A Book of Poems, I must say I was surprised. I was surprised that the check was very little. VERY LITTLE!!!!

Besides the amount of the check, I am happy, excited, thrilled and blessed. Blessed beyond measure that I can actually say I received my first royalty check. But, I just wanted to let you guys know how I felt. I just wanted to share some of my emotions.

Yes I am a little emotional...actually very emotional....very emotional am I!

My first royalty check opened up my eyes. It allowed me to see that I am a broke author trying to make it to the door steps of some high time, professional and brillant publishing manager.

Yes I am Motivated...actually very motivated....very motivated am I!

I am a Motivated self-published author who won't stop until I get a publishing deal from a major publishing company!!!!

I am motivated!!!! Let's get it!!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

A Tribute to my Mama
Lora R. McLeod

Now i believe that Mother's Day should be everyday. I dont understand why there is always a 2 hour wait at all the local restaurants or why flowers cost you double. Like you should show your mama love everyday. But, to go along with the flow of our backwards society I would like to wish my educated, strong, black, god fearing, outspoken mother a Happy's Mother's Day!!!!

I thank god everyday for blessing me with a mother like her. She is the true definition of what any mother should be. She puts her family first before anyone or anything. She has morals and stands by them daily. She gave my brother and I a great childhood full of laughter and joy. She gave us such a great childhood that sometimes i wish that i was still a child just to go back to Sesame Place or ride bikes or go to Disney World.

Now we dont always agree now that i am a young adult but i tell you one thing if anyone ever talks about my mama it will be World War 3. She is my heart and my best friend. So this Sunday i will celebrate her and all that she has done for me and the inspiration that she has been in my life. Now if you still didn't get the Hallmark card or dozen roses you better go out and get your mama or grandmama, or big mama down the street a love gift. Life is too short so we must celebrate all mothers who have loved us and supported us even when we didn't deserve it cause you know we can act up sometimes. So run to hallmark or your nearest florist to show that special lady in your life some appreciation. Be blessed and have a wonderful Mother's Day!!!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Mother's Day Edition...

Nikki Giovanni

( A mother, writer, poet, author, and professor)

As Mother Day approaches it is imperative of me to highlight some of our society's most influential women who are writers, poets, authors, career women and and most importantly mothers. Starting this week up until Mothers Day I will highlight a talented, educated and dedicated woman who has inspired her community to achieve success through writing and teaching. This week I will talk about the famous Nikki Giovanni.

Nikki Giovanni is a Grammy –nominated American Poet, activist and author. Giovanni is currently a Distinguished Professor of English at Virginia Tech. In 1960 she began her studies at Fisk University . She graduated in 1967 with honors, receiving a B.A. in history. Afterwards she went on to attend the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University. In 1969 Giovanni began teaching at Livingston College of Rutgers University.

The Civil Rights and the Black Power Movement inspired a lot of her early poetry that was collected in Black Feeling, Black Talk (1967), Black Judgement (1968), and Re: Creation (1970). She has since written more than two dozen books including volumes of poetry, illustrated children's books, and three collections of essays.

While writing Giovanni gave birth to her only child named Thomas Watson Giovanni, on August 31, 1962. She later stated that she had a child out of wedlock at twenty-five because she "wanted to have a baby and could afford to have a baby.” Giovanni has been quoted saying, "I just can't imagine living without him. But I can live without the revolution, without world socialism, women's lib...I have a child. My responsibilities have changed.”

Interesting Facts:

Thug Life Tattoo- Nikki has a tattoo saying “Thug Life” to honor Tupac Shakur.

Professor at Virginia Tech- She taught Seung-Hui Cho (the mastermind behind the 2007 Virginia Tech Killing Spree) in her poetry class and described him as mean and wanted him to be removed from her class.

Diagnosed with Lung Cancer- In 1995 she was diagnosed with lung cancer and had surgery to remove her entire lung. Her mother and sister died from lung cancer.

Name-Yolande Cornelia "Nikki" Giovanni

Birthday- June 7, 1943

So let’s salute a powerful, educated, and brave Mother. Nikki Giovanni should inspire all mothers to strive for excellence!!!! Have a blessed weekend everyone!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Interview on

Interview by T.TOLI from

Nicole Little holds many titles, daughter, friend, sister and now is adding published author to her list. Check out how she is keeping up ………….

What is the name and title of your debut book ?

Heartfelt: A Collection of Poems by Nicole D. Little and Lora R. McLeod

What inspired you to create a book of poems?

I have always loved to write. That's why I chose Journalism as a major at Hampton University. In High School I entered writing contests and wrote for my school newspaper. This book started from fun and leisure. Then as I continued to write I wanted to do a book about real life and the things that human beings experience or witness. I actually was inspired by a lady from my church who quit her corporate job at Merrill Lynch to write books and start her own publishing company. While speaking to her one day she said, "If you want to accomplish something in life, accomplish it now. Don't wait until you are 30 and 40 years old." Her words woke me up and inspired me. From that day forward I decided that I wanted to publish a book and I wasn't going to wait.

This book was created with you and your mom. How was that and how did the idea come about?

Well basically I told her that I wanted to publish a book and she wanted to get on board. Since she is my mother I couldn't tell her no. I'm only joking but anyway she writes great and her poems are really deep. I thought that it would be a great idea to have my mother write a couple of poems for my first book.

What type of relationship do you and your mom have?

We have always had a close mother/daughter relationship. She has always been my #1 supporter in all that I have done. She's not only my mother but I consider her to be my best friend. She keeps me grounded and when I get off track in life she is the one person who can get me back on track.

What is the message you want readers to get after reading the poems?

The message is that we all go through things in life and we all have to overcome obstacles. At 23 years old I have witnessed a lot. There is a lot that I haven't witnessed but there is a lot that I have witnessed. I just wanted people to know that they are not alone in this crazy world and there is always room for change in your life. There is always room to gain knowledge and learn not only from others but from yourself. Actually the greatest teacher on this earth will be YOU and the experiences YOU go through.

What is your favorite poem? Why?

Awww man I have a lot. This is a hard question. So, I will name the ones I really like. Diva Gals, When He Cheated, When She Cheated, and Just Be. I actually like Diva Gals the most because it's a poem for the ladies. Its a poem honoring all my Divas. Divas just don't dress nice or look nice but they are educated and hard working women. I also love a couple that my mother wrote. Here they are: Why Wont You Listen?, Can't You Hear?, My Nieces My Queens, and The Beautiful Women in our Family.

What are a few of your dreams, aspirations or goals?

Well, this will not be my only book for sure. I would like to do another book of poems within the next 2 years. I would also like to write a couple of novels down the road. My main goal is to write for a major magazine within the music/fashion industry and maybe one day creating a magazine of my own.The sky is the limit and I will make sure that everyday counts. Thanks so much for the love and support!!! You can find my book and make a purchase at, or

Friday, March 13, 2009

Omar Tyree and Heartfelt: A Collection of Poems

Happy Friday everyone!!! I hope everyone has had a blessed and productive week amidst the recession that America is experiencing. Just know that you are still blessed!!! Anyway i recently had the pleasure of asking one of my favorite authors Omar Tyree some advise on book publishing and ways of promoting and selling books. His advise to me was the following:

My Question:

What advice would you give to a self-published author looking to get a book deal from a major publishing company? What are some steps that a self-published author needs to take to position his or herself for a book deal?

Omar Tyree's Answer:

"When I was picked up for my first, historical 2-book deal with Simon & Schuster, it was because I had already sold 25,000 books on my own, which represented more than $250,000 generated in the publishing industry with my name attached to it....The Equation for success in any business is the accumulation of Green SUPPORT! You must have it in order to survive and to move forward. And once you have shown that you can indeed gather a large number of supporters for your work, you will have no problem getting a major publishing house to sit down at the deal table and talk serious numbers with you."

So i guess in order for me to get a major publishing deal i have to SELL BOOKS!!!! So i'm ginding you'll...Grindinnnnnnnnggggggg!!!! You can see Omar Tyree's full blog on Until next week be safe you'll!!!

Updated News: South Plainfield Observer has published an article about Heartfelt: A Collection of Poems by Nicole D. Little and Lora R. McLeod in the March 13th issue! God is good even in a recession!!!!!!!! Love you all!!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Update on Book!!!

Hello Everyone,

I just wanted to stop by to give a brief update on my book Heartfelt: A Collection of Poems by Nicole D. Little and Lora R. McLeod. I give all the honor to god. Without him none of this would be possible.

Book Status:
  1. First Book Signing- February 28, 2009
  2. Published Article on March 11, 2009
  3. South Plainfield Observer-Milestone Announcement being published
  4. First Interview- Katz Media on March 11, 2009
  5. Barnes and Noble Book Signing-TBD
  6. Booking Signing at The Cathedral International- TDB

Friday, February 20, 2009

Highlighted Author: Eric Jerome Dickey

Eric Jerome Dickey

One of my favorite authors is Eric Jerome Dickey. Eric Jerome Dickey is a New York Times best-selling African American author best known for his novels about contemporary life within the black community. He is also known for writing several crime novels involving ex cons and assassins.

It was 1997 when i brought his book Friends and Lovers. As soon as i got through the first chapter i was hooked. I loved the way he manipulated and utilized certain words. The book used very descriptive vocabulary and made you feel like you were a character in the book. I couldn't put the book down. I automatically became a fan of his work. The next two books I brought were Milk in my Coffee and Cheaters. Cheaters became an automatic success for him. I remember everyone talking about it and how they could relate to it. Dickey practically put out a book every year since those first couple of books. I wonder how he did it? How did he find the time? If anyone catches up with him tell him that i would like to sit down with him to find out his recipe for success.

Dickey has also ventured out into comedy and the movie world. Eric Jerome Dickey is one of the best authors of his time. If you have read any of his books please feel free to comment on the ones that you really liked. Have a great weekend!!!! His bibliography is below!!!!


Dying for Revenge (November 2008)
Pleasure (April 2008)
Waking With Enemies (August 2007)
Sleeping With Strangers (April 2007)
Chasing Destiny (May 2006)
Voices from the Other Side: Dark Dreams II (April 2006) - contributing writer
Genevieve (May 2005)
Drive Me Crazy (July 2004)
Naughty or Nice (October 2003)
The Other Woman (May, 2003)
Gumbo: A Celebration of African American Writing (2002) - contributing writer
Thieves' Paradise (2002)
Black Silk (2002)
Griots Beneath the Baobab: Tales from Los Angeles (2002) - contributing writer
Between Lovers (2001)
Mothers and Sons(2001) - contributing writer
Got To Be Real (2000) - contributing writer
Liars Game (2000)
Cheaters (1999)
Milk In My Coffee (1998)
Friends & Lovers (1997)
Sister, Sister (1996)
Cappuccino (Movie)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Highlighted Author: Faith Evans

Keep the Faith…A Memoir
Book Review

So, I saw Notorious a couple weeks ago. For those who do not know it is the movie mapping out the life story of Christopher Wallace aka the Notorious Biggie Smalls. I felt like the movie could have added things that the media or average people that were not close to Big didn’t know. The movie showed us everything that we already knew. I felt like the producer which was mainly Mama Wallace should have also added in key players such as Jay-z and Tiffany Lane aka Charli Baltimore. Being that they showcased Faith Evans, Lil Kim and Biggie’s love affair they should have added in Charli Baltimore who was his girlfriend at the time of his death.

But, before I saw the movie I read Faith Evans book which is Keep the Faith: A Memoir. I never really knew about her life before and after Biggie but the book gives it all and more. To some Faith is a very talented and soulful artist who fell in love with one of the best rappers that hip hop has ever seen. To others she may be a gold-digger who jumped on an opportunity to wed the biggest east coast rapper ever and caused a deadly feud between two of the biggest rappers in our history.

From reading the book, I believe that she was just a young artist on the rise that fell in love with a witty, intelligent, street-smart artist. Biggie was definitely not a Brad Pitt of the rap game but to everyone that got to know him he had a great comical personality that could win over practically anyone. To me the book not only talks about her relationship with Big but it talks about her story, the story everyone does not know about. Being that she is from the state that I was born and raised in at some point I began to feel like I was in her shoes. I related to her and the way she grew up. The book starts off by introducing the readers to her family, neighborhood and church beginnings. The book highlights her ups, her downs and her rise to the top. I believe the book does a great job at painting a picture for its readers.

Faith is a mother, wife, friend, sister, daughter and last but not least the first lady of hip hop. She will never forget Big and the rest of the world won't either but her life is and was so much more then just her relationship with him. If you read the book I hope you enjoyed it and if you don't have a copy yet you should go get one!! It's a great read and if you have any interest in hip hop you would enjoy it.
I would like to know some of your thoughts about the book and or the movie?

Friday, February 6, 2009

No Average Thinking!!!

Success + Average dosen't make sense!!!!

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962)

Leadership is the challenge to be something more than Average

Jim Rohn (American speaker and Author. He is famous for motivational audio programs for Business and Life.)

What makes you different from the next man or woman? What makes you stand out? Why do you think that the poor and middle class out number the rich and upper class? Why do you think that at a company there is 1 manager to 15 or more employees? Why do you think that we have one President of the United States?

The answer is that so many of us are so caught up with our daily routines that we forget about achieving success. I think we forget about our dreams and aspirations. Anyone who has a little education, self worth and a little pride wants to succeed but everyone doesn’t know how to succeed. That’s why the successful are outnumbered. Now being successful to one person may not mean being successful to another person. Actually, everyone looks at success differently. But, to me being successful means to first love and know you. Once you love yourself you will know your self worth and then you will also know what you bring to the table. You will know what makes you different and what seperates you from the rest. Once you know that you are different from everybody else you can achieve success by always trying new and different things to get new and different outcomes. I believe that a person can not reach success by being average.

Average is doing the ordinary. Average consists of doing things that we are used to doing or comfortable with doing. Let me just tell you folks doing average things will get you average results. Let’s try to think outside of the box and do things that we are not comfortable with. Let’s do things that will separate us from the rest. God bless and have a great weekend!!! See ya next week and try not to be average!!! I think President Barack Obama has showed us that it is ok to think outside of the box and to do things that we are not comfortable with. Let's think outside the box!!! Love you all!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Diva Gals from Heartfelt: A Collection of Poems

Diva Gals
By: Nicole Little

I’m talking about those gals who wear stilettos no matter the occasion.
I’m talking about those gals who don’t dress to impress but dress because it’s a necessity.
I’m talking about those gals who don’t need a guy driving a Benz because they got one of their own.
I’m talking about those gals who walk with their head up high regardless of what people have to say.
I’m talking about those gals who stand up for what they believe.
I’m talking about those gals who love their bodies regardless of their bra or shoe size.
I’m talking about those gals who take themselves on shopping sprees and don’t need a guy to complete them.
I’m talking about those gals who speak their mind no matter what.
I’m talking about those gals who don’t put up with any drama.
I’m talking about those gals who don’t put any man over their kids.
I’m talking about those gals who work hard and make sure their kids are taken care of.
I’m talking about those gals who know what they want in life and are not afraid to get it.
I’m talking about those gals who know the true meaning of by any means necessary while still keeping their dignity.
I’m talking about those gals who never make him a priority if they are only an option.
I’m talking about those gals who don’t settle for just being an option.
I’m talking about those gals who know their worth and won’t compromise their worth.
I’m talking about those gals who know their place and won’t settle for anything less then that number one spot.
I’m talking about those gals who live and learn from their mistakes.
I’m talking about those gals who pay rent, pays all the bills and still shops.
I’m talking about those gals who got their priorities straight and know that when they got a good man they better hold him tight.
I’m talking about those gals who take care of their man if and only if he’s taking care of all their needs.
I’m talking about those gals who don’t mind cooking and cleaning.
I’m talking about those gals who are educated and always enlightened.
I’m talking about those gals who have a game plan like every other man.
I’m talking about those gals who never stress because they know that they are too blessed.
I’m taking about those gals who don’t accept being his mistress because they know that they are wifey material.
I’m talking about those gals who know their goals and reach their goals.

Are you a Diva Gal?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Published Author in 2009!!!

Heartfelt: A Collection of Poems
By: Nicole D.Little and Lora R. McLeod

So I am proud to announce that I am a PUBLISHED AUTHOR!!!! Wow God is great and I’m excited about what 2009 will bring as well as the years to come. My mother and I worked so hard to finish this book of poems. We believe that there is a poem in the book for everyone. Remember in 2009 instead of “Keeping up with the Joneses” to keep up with yourself. LOVE and LIVE LIFE. I love all those who love me and love those who hate me even more. Growing up some used to say that I would never make it to any where big. Some wanted me to fail but I knew in my heart that I had the recipe for success. So now it’s my time to succeed and I know it is your time as well. These next couple of months will be hectic for me. But, anyway please have a blessed new year and remember to keep up with yourself and don’t worry about the “Joneses.” You can catch my book on, and Be blessed and please support my mother and I. Thanks!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Keep up with Yourself!!!

“Keeping up with the Joneses?”
By: Nicole Little

Some may say that the quote, “Keeping up with the Joneses" is a popular saying in many parts of the USA. The quote is often referred to as the desire to keep up with one's neighbors or friends by using the accumulation of material goods. We have even heard the phrase during the world renowned television show, “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” Co-star NeNe says, “I don’t keep up with the Joneses, I am the Joneses.”

So why are people so focused on keeping up with the “Joneses?” Has celebs really tarnished the minds of the everyday American? I’m thinking so. To keep up with consumer demands banks started giving people loans that couldn’t afford to pay them back. First time home buyers began purchasing houses that were far beyond their budget. Budget? I think so many people have forgotten about that word. Instead of buying things that are affordable people have opted for buying things that look more appealing to their friends, family, co-workers and or associates. Well, I guess now we all are paying for Mrs. Brown trying to be Mrs. Jones. According to the Federal Reserve, over 40% of households spend more than they earn. Americas' average credit card debt in 2007 was $8400 per household. By the end of 2007, consumer debt in America had risen to $2.5 trillion. The year 2008 brought so much heartache to many Americans. They began to loose their jobs, houses, cars, and etc. Un-employment lines became longer and food banks became crowded. Prominent businesses began to close and major corporations began to fold. Could it be that we were trying to live like the “Joneses?”

In college all of my needs and wants were pretty much taken care of by mommy and daddy. If I wanted a new dress for that jumping party all I had to do was call home. If my Acura Integra needed an oil change all I had to do was call home. If I needed groceries for my apartment all I had to do was call home. But, I still chose to open up credit cards to purchase items that I truly did not need. I guess I wanted to be a “Jones.”
Right before graduation I told my parents that I was going to move back home. Yes, move back home. Instead of purchasing a brand new car or get a place of my own I wanted to save and pay off all credit card debt. Soon after I got out of college I realized that mommy and daddy were not always going to be able to hold my hand and supply my every need. I had to work hard and come up with a game plan so one day I would be able to supply a comfortable life for me and my family. When I say comfortable I mean having the big house, nice car, nice clothes, being able to travel and still being able to save and invest my money.

The Mercedes, big house on the hill, fur coat, and diamond necklace will always be there to buy. But, our sanity and happiness will be sacrificed if we try to buy expensive items prematurely. I don’t know about you but I will get all that and more but I’ll assure you that I won’t be in any debt because of those items. I refuse to keep up with “Joneses.” So, in 2009 instead of “keeping up with the Joneses” I’m going to keep up with myself. What will you do?