Friday, November 30, 2012

Devin C. Hughes - HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Devin C. Hughes. He is award winning speaker and a bestselling author.

Author Genre: Ethnic & Minority Studies + Biography

Website: Devin C. Hughes
Blog: Google+
Twitter: @DevinCHughes
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn
Facebook: Check Out Facebook
Pinterest: Check Out Pinterest

Author Description: Devin C. Hughes was born in Washington D.C. in 1969 to a black father and white mother. Devin grew up in a mixed--and mixed up--world. His home life was chaotic, riddled with his parents' drug use and unconventional ways of educating; dyslexia made academic learning a seemingly insurmountable challenge; and his identity was beyond confusing--was he black because he felt black or white because he looked white?

Devin knew one thing: he needed to escape his environment and get into college, beyond which he believed the world would open up to him.

His memoir, Contrast, is his gift back to those who are looking for some inspiration and passion to move forward, not look back. A great life is measured by ones progress not perfection!

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

First of all, do you have another book on the horizon? If you do, give us a timeline when we can get our hands on it and what it will be about?

I just recently created a comic titled "Self Talk" which is to be used by parents and educators as a resource with kids who are struggling to fit, being bullied and or may just feel isolated alone or disconnected from others. I plan on releasing another comic next year focused on "Tolerance". Beyond that, I see releasing one comic per year for the next several years. I would also like to jump into the wonderful world of fiction and I can see a book in a genre coming out as well very soon.

Being a successful speaker and communicating verbally, did you have a big transition in putting your words and thoughts on paper? Did you have outside help? You can give credit here.

I was diagnosed with dyslexia at nine years old and I struggled to read and write for many years so the one way that I really enjoyed interacting with the world was via stories. I loved them so it was a natural for me in many respects to take that love and translate it into my speaking career. It felt like a pair of loafers that just fit!

Many authors would die for the opportunity to get in front of a large audience especially people that already know what their message is about. When you go on a speaking engagement, what kind of response do you get to your book? Do you ever run out of copies?

Thus far, the responses to my book have been overwhelmingly positive which is great thing but I am also not naive to think that everyone will love it. It is my story, it's raw and I held nothing back from the readers. The one predominant response that I have received is that they are shocked that I was able to climb out of the proverbial "mud" that I was in as kid with all the chaos and dysfunction surrounding me. I have only run out of copies a few times and that was when I was surprised at first to see the emotional response from folks after hearing me tell my story.

How much does social media play into your book marketing efforts? With your busy schedule, do you have time to keep up with all your followers?

I am huge social media maven and spend hours a day interacting with a wide variety of folks which includes people who have read the book, the comic or have heard me speak. Some may see it as a chore but I enjoy the contact and use Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest every day.

I noticed you belong to the Independent Author Index. Faydra Deon has put together a great bunch of writers. Do you look to this group for support for your writing or your marketing or both? Do you belong to any other support groups that help you in the book business?

Faydra's group is awesome and I do occasionally look there for support or clarity around issues or challenges that I encounter since other writers can relate to my situation.

My publisher (RTC) has been fantastic and is a true partner in every sense of the word. I am in contact with them every week planning, discussing, debating and looking for creative ways to spread my message. I would not be at this point in my career as an author without them.

Author's Book List
Self Talk
Today's children are riddled with shots that chip away at their self-esteem and self-worth. From bullying—whether overt or passive—to learning disabilities to familial dysfunction to peer pressure, they are constantly under fire. Positive self-talk, a concept culled from Devin C. Hughes' autobiography "Contrast," is a crucial, effective strategy anyone can use to build their self-esteem and self-worth.
Amazon Buy Page -- Barnes and Noble Buy Page
Contrast: A Biracial Man's Journey To Desegregate His Past
In 1967, the Supreme Court legalized interracial marriage in America. Devin Hughes was born two years later to a black father and white mother who fled to Washington DC to escape the racism of the Deep South. Bigotry still ran rampant up North, and light-skinned, greeneyed Devin felt its pull from both ends: strangers who didn’t know he was half-black and friends who didn’t care he was half-white.

In racial limbo, Devin found himself more consumed with his dysfunctional family life—a father who offered an alternative “street” education and a mother whose drug use zombified her for most of his childhood. Despite his parents’ flaws, they were Devin’s greatest believers.

From his dad founding a neighborhood baseball team to his mom advocating for him in school, they taught Devin that anything imaginable was within reach, that their mistakes needn’t be his choices, and that his destiny was for greatness. Ultimately, Contrast: A Biracial Man’s Journey to Segregate His Past isn’t a book about race; it’s a book about acceptance, perseverance, and love.
Amazon Buy Page -- Barnes and Noble Buy Page
Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the HBS Author's Spotlight plus the blog: eBook Author’s Corner. Check out the index of other Spotlight authors. Spotlight Index.

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