This woman personifies social networking.
I first met her when I was a reporter at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, at a meeting of Dallas/Fort Worth Association of Black Communicators (now called DFW Association of Black Journalists, the local chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists) back in the day when social networking was done face-to-face (the 1990's in case you were wondering). We didn't have Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or LinkedIn. Just a telephone and a monthly meeting.
In case you're not familiar with Ms. Stringer, she is the morning show co-host and News & Public Affairs Director at 94.9-FM KLTY, host of the weekly talk show "DFW Perspectives with Starlene" and host of the syndicated TV talk show Even Greater with Reinhard Bonnke. Add in being a news anchor, producer, director, actress and model, she's a certified fitness instructor for both Bally and 24 Hour Fitness. She's also a motivational speaker who has authored two inspirational books -- Speak Through Me: Diary of a Military Brat and I Am Her...and It's Actually Okay!
It's the last line that I managed to interview her about (see above images). This might be encouraging to the readers who want to be published and have gotten short shrift from the publishing houses.
Believe it or not, even someone with Starlene's credentials had a tough time getting published. So, naturally, she did what any one of us wouldn't dream of doing -- she started her own publishing company (Epiphany Productions & Publications). Yeah, I know. Kind of hard to work for the Man when you are the Man or Woman, but, as Starlene will show, it's working. Both of her books are bestsellers (Diary of a Military Brat is an Essence Magazine national bestseller, #5 July 2003).
Greg: What made you decide to publish your writing yourself?
Starlene: With my first publication, timeliness was critical. I didn't have time to wait for acceptance and approval, etc. I had shared some of my poems on-air and people wanted copies. So they need to be available, right away. The other reasons I chose to create my own publishing company was so that I could have the freedom to write whatever I choose and not have someone try to change my words.
Greg: What was required for you to do this?
Starlene: I had to do lots of research. I consulted Black book store owners, attended publishing classes and read online articles. I established a LLC, got copyrights and barcodes, selected a graphic artist, chose a printing company, etc.
Greg: What would you say was the hardest part of self-publishing and why?
Starlene: The hardest part is you have to do it all. It's very time consuming and it takes away from the time you could spend being creative and writing more.
Greg: Do you publish other writers?
Starlene: No. I don't print the work of others right now. I've had a lot of people ask me to, but I don't have the time.
Greg: Would you say it was all worth it? And why?
Starlene: Yes. It was worth it. I accomplished what I set out to do and that was to share what I had to say with others.
Greg: Again, thanks for all of your help and assistance. By the way, when is your next book coming out?
Starlene: Later this year.
Fortunately for those of us who desire to follow her and not wait for the next book, she's on all the social networks -- look up "Starlene" on FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Of course, you can always check out her personal website www.starlenestringer.com.
And, you know, I just realized that she said she read some of her poems on-air and people called in, demanding copies.
Now, that's social networking.