Yolanda M. Johnson-Bryant, also known as That Literary Lady, is an author, freelance writer, public speaker and consultant. Yolanda became a published author in 2004, with her debut novel “My Daughter’s Keeper.” She followed up with her sophomore novel in 2005 with “Circumstances.” In 2012 she released “Revelations” and is pegged to release “27 Flagship Cove” in January 2013.
Yolanda began writing at an early age. She wrote poetry as a child and wrote lyrics to songs performed by her high school girl band. She knew this writing thing was more than just a hobby when, in 1999, she entered a short story contest sponsored by Playboy Magazine and Fastweb.com. Yolanda won the first place prize of $1500. From there she started her first manuscript and nearly a dozen story lines were created.
After sending letters to agents and getting a rejection letter from one agent and no response at all from another, Yolanda set out to learn everything she could about the publishing and literary industry and decided to self-publish her work. After experiencing various growing pangs in the industry, she decided to be a resource and help other writers and authors who sought to self-publish. She consults writers in the processes of self-publishing, marketing, social media and entrepreneurship.
Having an educational background in computer sciences and information technology, Yolanda has also been fascinated with the evolution and advances of technology and social media venues. She always strives to be on the cutting edge of technology and social promotion.
Yolanda often offers consultation, workshops and classes advocating both youth and adult literacy. Through her company, Literary Wonders! and Literary Wonders Kids!, she conducts scholarship and anthology projects and considers herself a valuable resource to the literary and publishing communities.
Yolanda gives workshops and classes in the community to promote literacy and entrepreneurship. She has participated with such organizations as the Greensboro Public Library, Christians in the Marketplace, The Nussbaum Center of Entrepreneurship and Women’s Entrepreneurship Learning and Leading, (W.E.L.L.). She currently volunteers with Junior Achievement, the Volunteer Center of Greensboro and is a mentor for The Women’s Resource Center’s New Choices Program.
Yolanda is the Area 42 Governor for North Carolina District 37, Division E Toastmasters. She serves as Vice President of Education for Speakerpreneur Toastmasters, is a current and charter member of MprovMasters Toastmasters and is the Assistant Division Governor of PR for Division E Toastmasters.
Connect with Yolanda on these social networks:
Facebook Fan Pages – https://www.facebook.com/YolandaJohnsonBryant, https://www.facebook.com/ThatLiteraryLady
Twitter – @ymjauthor, @thtliterarylady
Podcast/Radio Show – http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/on-the-air-with-that-literary/id498160831
Would you like to introduce yourself to readers?
Hello all! I am Yolanda M. Johnson-Bryant, also known as that Literary Lady. I’m originally from Denver, Colorado but currently live in the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina with my wonderful husband. I am the author of several books, the latest being Revelations. I am currently working on a few titles due out in 2013. I am a freelance writer and columnist. I am also the host of “On the Air With That Literary Lady” which is podcasted on iTunes. I am the mother of two grown children and three beautiful grandchildren.
What is your current or most recent project?
I have several projects in the works. I recently created Sweethearts of the Triad, an organization that recognizes women entrepreneurs and community servers. We will be having our first annual Sweetheart of the Year Luncheon in December. I am working on 27 Flagship Cove, my first novel in the Tommie Lane Christian Thriller Series; Someone to Watch Over Me, my first teen book and the first book in my That Literary Lady Knows Series, that will address everything from public speaking to publishing, to social media.
What are you planning to write next?
I will continue with my Tommie Lane Christian Thriller Series, the That Literary Lady Knows Series, and a novel about domestic violence. In addition, readers have told me they’d like to see more of Renee Matthews, so I will be penning that at the end of 2013.
Are you a member of a writers group? Have you attended writing courses or seminars? Have these been helpful to you?
Currently, I a member of several online writing groups. I have weaned off most of my offline writing groups due to my busy schedule. I attend writing workshop on a regular as well as conduct them. I find that some are helpful, while others aren’t helpful. That isn’t to say they are not helpful to someone that is less experienced.
Have you other interests outside of writing? What do you do with your spare time?
I know this is an oxymoron for a writer to say, but I also love to read. In addition, I love to spend time with my husband, talking trash about sports—he’s a Broncos fan and I’m a Cowboys fan. I love interior decorating, so I’m always doing something around the house. I also do a lot of community work.
What’s the most useful ‘how to’ advice you’ve encountered?
Being a business owner, my writing often takes a backseat to my clients. With that being said, the most useful advice, not necessarily how-to, came from my husband recently. He said, “Babe, you’re always helping everyone else. You’ve helped people that were less experienced than you, now they have more books out than you. You need to take some time to do you.” And, this is so true. It’s okay to help others, but not at the risk of losing your dream.
Tell us a little about your book(s).
Circumstances – Renee Matthews is desperately searching for inner peace and her rightful place in life. She is daunted by a mentally abusive, self-proclaimed spiritual mother—Barbara Jean Jackson—who keeps her torn between her personal insecurities and her desire to love and to be loved.
She succumbs to fear as she turns down the proposal of long-time friend, Charlie Thatcher, in fear of his racist mother. Trying to reclaim her life, Renee falls in love with Stuart Humphries, a man she met over the Internet. Within Stuart’s past, lies a secret that even he has yet to learn while within Renee’s past, a secret lies in wait for its resurrection, with hopes of destroying everyone, including Renee.
Revelations – In Circumstances, Renee Matthews left behind the painful memories of Denver and her mother, Barbara Jean, for promises of happiness in San Diego. With a prominent position at one of the country’s largest securities firm, Renee has found financial security, self-acceptance, friendship, and love with Stuart Humphries—this is until Barbara Jean interrupts her wedding with a bombshell of a secret that will change everyone’s life forever.
Now, the tables have turned. Barbara Jean has fallen ill, and the only person she can count on is her daughter. In spite of all Barbara Jean has done to destroy Renee, she is at her mother’s side. Being ill doesn’t change Barbara Jean’s feelings for her daughter and Renee soon finds out why it is that her mother despises her so much.
The more time Renee spends in Denver with her ailing mother and her family, the more family secrets are revealed. Renee wonders if she will survive the revelations that make up her world, or if her mother will ultimately destroy her.
27 Flagship Cove – Detective Tommie Lane is a veteran of the Greensboro Police Department and following in her father’s footsteps. A serial killer is on the loose and he’s targeting prominent Christian women and leaving a trail all the way from Denver to Greensboro. Det. Lane and her crew must catch the killer before she becomes one of the “Holy Roller” killer’s victims.
What genre do you consider yourself?
I hate putting myself in a box because you’ll never know which direction I’ll come from, but if I absolutely had to put myself in a category, it would simply be women’s issues. Everything I write is geared towards women, whether it is a fiction title, a non-fiction title or a business title, but it can be utilized by all.
Why do you write? Is it something you’ve always done, or always wanted to do? Or is it something that you started fairly recently?
I write because it enables me to express myself and be creative. In the interim, I am able to help others. God has given me many revelations and things to write about, not to mention, my life is full of great material. If I could do nothing else, I would write. If I didn’t get paid for it, I’d still write. Writing is who and what I am.
Where can we purchase your books?
For other outlets, just “Google me!”