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Roz – Visit With Roz
  • Motivators

    Writing About Ancestors

    Writing about ancestry is very emotional. Telling your family’s story makes you vulnerable because you’re exposing the family’s journey, good and challenging. The writer who takes on this task is bound by established facts, but is still engaged in the art of storytelling, walking back in time. Like a puzzle, sometimes the pieces fit neatly together as expected and at other times, the writer is surprised by what she discovers. Don’t try to change the story. Be authentic and own it.

  • Writers' Tools

    Writers’ Tools

    An important storytelling tool for authors is the book’s cover art. It should be part of the story. What do we want it to say? When someone picks up the book and looks at the cover, it should be an introduction to the story and an invitation to learn more. The prospective reader then examines the back cover. The blurb on the back cover should be a compelling statement of what your book is about. The statement should be as pointed and concise as you can make it in the small space available. In the section about the author, briefly tell what you want readers to know about you.

  • Writers' Tools

    My Writing Life

    There are certain questions I always get from readers and last week during the Ask Me Anything event I was asked, where do I get my story ideas. As with most writers, my ideas come from (1) examination of my world view on a particular subject or event, (2) observation of how a person or group interprets and acts on everyday events and (3) consideration of ideas, events and actions I wonder about.

  • TJ Sloane

    Ask Me Anything This Sunday

    Ask the Author This is what I hear all the time, “Roz, how do you get your book ideas?” Well, this Sunday you’ll get your chance to ask me anything about my latest book, TJ Sloane, any of my previous books, or my life as a writer. We’re meeting at 2:00 PM on Sunday 6/6/21. Free Registration is HERE and then you’ll get your private Zoom link information. See you there!

  • Writers' Tools

    writing about family

    Discovering your family’s past is empowering. You may be opening the door on a mystery or solving a puzzle, while also giving strength to your personal identity. For African Americans, the search often slows or stops when reaching back to the time of enslavement. There are ways, however, to pierce this seemingly impenetrable curtain. Some of the southeastern states, most of those that fought for the confederacy, still have limited records, e.g. South Carolina. Check the websites in these states and some of the cities. My great grandfather who was born into slavery in Cheraw, SC, ended up in Apalachicola, FL, before migrating with his family to Battle Creek, MI.…

  • Writers' Tools

    Author Events

    Since the beginning of the year, I’ve participated in three author events; two writing workshops and a three-member author panel. They were lively and valuable discussions. Participants had many questions. One of the questions pertained to sharing drafts. Do I share my drafts with others for feedback during the writing stage? I don’t share my drafts because I’m not comfortable with that process. It is okay, however, if the author is honestly looking for constructive feedback and can trust the person or group providing the feedback. Some of us may interpret any feedback as rejection. I’m not sure, but I may be one of them. Periodically, I’ll share additional questions…

  • black author of tj sloane roz johnson giving a talk
    TJ Sloane,  Writers' Tools

    Book Event June 6

    Hey Team, On Sunday, June 6, 2021 at 2:00 p.m., we’re having a zoom discussion of my latest book, T.J. Sloane. Registration is free and a link will be provided prior to the event. We’ll be discussing T.J.’s life, issues and fears. Ask me anything about T.J. Sloane, my previous books or my life as a writer. Receive my email updates by joining list HERE

  • Personal

    Thanksgiving Story

    One of the missions of this blog is to encourage each of you to tell your story. In the telling, you have the opportunity to practice your writing techniques, thus increasing your skills. Since we’re into the holiday season why not share a memorable tale. I have one about Thanksgiving. I grew up in a traditional family home where we shared dinner every day around the dinning room table. The table was always set and we were in our seats before my grandfather was called. These were the times when black men did back-breaking work their entire lives. So, when they came home from work, they expected a calm and…

  • Motivators


    When we open a book and begin to read, our emotions immediately engage with the words, characters and settings. These beginnings are reminders of past experiences, hopes, daydreams, even old fears. They provide vivid mental pictures. As writers, we’re often told to provide a hook for the readers that will keep them reading. This started me thinking about books that ‘hooked’ me at the very beginning. One such book is Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. It was published decades ago, but continues to show up among readers’ favorites, certainly one of mine. The very first word in the book is the name of the main character, Okonkwo. Over the first three…