Thursday, December 17, 2009

Gumbo for the Soul's Beverly Black Johnson!

Beverly Black Johnson hails from the San Francisco Bay Area, born in the liberal city of San Francisco, raised in East Palo Alto from the age of six.

By age 17 Beverly would experience the death of her step-father, the suicide of her only brother and would barely graduate high school in 1977. Between 1977 and 1980 she made several attempts to attend college only to drop out yielding her destiny to a booming electronics industry where she would learn the trade from lasers to electrodes and everything in between. This trade would prove valuable for over 20 years with bouts of drug and alcohol abuse intertwined. In 1982 she gave birth to her first child, a very healthy baby boy. In 1984 Beverly, after falling deep into the crack epidemic, gave birth to an underweight, crack addicted baby girl. By age 3 and 5 the kids were brought into the "system" by family member's as Beverly's bout with drugs continued.

Now with over 17 years “clean” Beverly has returned to her first love-writing. Her story will be told in a full biographical account of her life’s trials and tribulations.

Writing is my first love. Growing up my brother and I would make up poems and change song lyrics to create our own styles. My passion is writing poetry and gospel lyrics.

Iyanla Vanzant and Bishop TD Jakes are by far two of my favorite authors.

My favorite book is The Holy Bible.

I founded Gumbo For The Soul Publications which focuses on humanitarian issues that affect the communities of this world. Our first award-winning release, endorsed by Tavis Smiley, focuses on the enormous high school drop-out rate of today’ youth titled, Gumbo For The Soul: The Recipe for Literacy in the Black Community. The second focuses on adoption and elder care titled, Here’s Our Child-Where’s The Village? We publish anthologies that give voice to many seasoned and first time authors and poets worldwide. We’ve featured many authors’ works on our websites and will be adding forums in 2010 giving even greater exposure. It blesses me and I’m inspired by people sending their “thank you” emails because their individual works are being featured on our sites and blasted throughout my networks. It’s a gift all the way around.  Inspiration/Self Help although future works are brewing to expand our horizons and open up other genres.

A tip I would give new authors is research your market, take your time to learn and grow in knowledge to avoid costly mistakes and don’t be afraid to seek out seasoned writers for guidance. Also I would say to never give up. Don’t let rejection letters deter you from your pursuit of publishing.

Since becoming and author I’ve learned to be patient and stay focused.  What works for one may not always work for you. Ask questions. Get a mentor. Someone in the business that you can bounce your ideas off that will give it to you straight, encourage you when you’re on point and let you know when you should take something back to the drawing board. We all need feedback. You have to have a deep passion for this because it’s not immediate or guaranteed pay dirt. There’s a lot involved in becoming successful in this business. There is a lot to learn.

We have several open ‘Calls for Submissions’ which can be found on our website and our press release page. Our third anthology is due out October 2010-Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We have a full campaign we are working on to launch with the book release.

We are focusing on spreading the word to make sure people know we need their voice. Our works seek to educate and offer resolutions to the problems that plaque our community.
Beverly’s preferred service of choice is PR et Cetera, Inc. I would have to say that I personally would not have sustained without a lot of support from many in the business that have been kind enough to share their wisdom, knowledge, time and services. They were there for me whenever I needed them. Toni Beckham of PR et Cetera, Inc. has been there for me as a friend and a professional media rep before I started Gumbo. Eve’s Literary Service has had my back for years. The Gumbo family page tells it all. I’m blessed with a supportive circle of the best people I could ever ask for.

Gumbo For The Soul Publications’ website is Our books are available directly from us and via the online book chains. I can be reached by email at

Beverly we thank you for giving us variations of Gumbo for the Soul and look forward to your continued success and involvement in many lives as well as the literary community. ~~Literary Wonders!

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