The Colors of Me
by Maya and Jello
Narrator: Maya and Jello
Length: 53 minutes
Publisher: M&J Literary Works Inc.⎮2020
Release date: Jan. 28, 2020
Synopsis: A collection of poems. The critics are raving four/four stars. The Colors of Me is a collection of beautiful poems. The author’s creativity is amazing. It’s bold, sexy, spiritual, yet intriguing.
Welcome to The Colors of Me. Each poem was written based on inspirations gained from my life experiences. Listen and enjoy. Then listen again. Listen and share the experience with your friends and loved ones. It is a journey you will not soon forget.
About the Author:
Maya and Jello was born and raised on the beautiful island of Trinidad, the sister island of Tobago in the West Indies. She migrated to the United States as a young teenager. Her main objective was to obtain a great education in the hopes of affording a better life for herself, her family, and to be a blessing to those around her. This quest led her to attain a Doctorate in medicine. But she never let go of her passion for writing poetry. Her works have been published in various school publications under various pen names. During medical school she wrote a segment in the College newspaper under the pen name Sparkie.
The poems in this collection were written over a span of 30 years.
She hopes that you enjoy reading them, as much as she enjoyed writing them for you.
Question: Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
Answer: Originally I did not consider creating an Audiobook. In fact I was so excited about actually compiling my poems and getting them published, that the thought of creating the Audiobook didn’t occur to me until much later on. Frankly I thought that once the book got reviewed with a four out of four stars it would hit the market so to speak and begin selling like hot bread. After all this was 30 years of work in the making and the critics loved it. But much to my surprise the process was not that simple. So I began exploring other ways to introduce the book to readers. Just in an effort to make it easier for people to be introduced to my work. I quickly understood given the constraints of everyday life, having to juggle responsibilities and multitask, many people were becoming avid Audiobook listeners. I noticed that people were constantly wearing their air pods, at the gym, on the trains, on the buses, while walking and even at work. It was then that it became quite clear to me that I needed to create an Audiobook so that these people too can enjoy the pleasure of listening to my poems. I wanted them to have as much fun listening to them as I had writing them. You may wonder why I chose to narrate the book myself. This is because I wanted to do something fun. Writing my poetry and sharing it with the rest of the world proved to be just that. You see, everything up to this point in my life has been quite serious. I’ve had to cross my T’s and dot my I’s. But when I’m writing I’m venturing out on this epic journey. And poetry allows me to take you the reader along for the ride. Of course it was not all peaches and cream. I came across many obstacles mainly because the process was all new to me. I thought to myself how hard could it be? All I needed was a studio technician; a studio and I’ll be all set. But much to my dismay I found out that every studio isn’t a studio and every technician isn’t the technician even though they may say so. So the process was somewhat difficult. To begin with I sought out and trusted other people’s recommendations. After all they were artists in the music industry. Now mind you having already spent a large sum of money to publish my books I needed to get this done on a shoestring budget. So I found myself in people’s basements, their closets and crowded spaces with other artists constantly walking in and out. I remember sweating bullets at this one studio because the technician refused to put on the AC, claiming it would add to the background noise. So as you can well imagine it was a learning experience. Some of which I did enjoy but then it became a nuisance. Had I known at the time that ACX actually provides Producers at a reasonable rate, my journey would have started and ended much sooner. But like they say live and learn.
Question: Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
Answer: All of my poems have been based on real-life experiences. The entire collection was written over a span of 30 years. Yes I said 30 years. Each poem was written as I was inspired by either something I observed or something I myself experienced. This is why I think that there is something in this book for everyone. If you have not experienced one thing you have experienced the other. And because of that, the reader and or listener in this case find it easier to connect with one or more of the poems in The Colors of Me.
Question: How do you manage to avoid burnout? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
Answer: Well as I stated before, my inspiration comes from everywhere. My main source of light, energy, strength and love comes from my spiritual connection to the Creator. So when I find myself drained, I refuel by communing with Him. That may take the form of quiet meditation, reading my Bible, listening to music, taking a walk on the beach, or maybe a stroll in the park just to relax and refocus on being grateful for the simple things in life.
Question: Is there a particular part of the story that you feel is more resonating in the Audiobook performance than in the book format?
Answer: Make no mistake, everything was brought to life in the Audiobook format. I especially enjoyed being able to add a little spice, little drama, rhythm to the rhyme. And of course in doing so, take the listener on the journey with me. I was also able to sing the song that my Grandmother sang at the beginning of the poem The Hem. Hey I’m no Tamela Mann but that was certainly lots of fun.
Question: If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
Answer: I have watched a number of movies where curiosity killed the cat. In essence we think that somehow we can change the bad and still have the good. But I have come to realize that the good exists as good as it is, because of the bad. So would I time travel? I don’t think so. Simply because I already know my past. And somehow I’m looking forward to being pleasantly surprised in my future.
Question: If this title were being made into a TV series or movie who would you cast to play the primary roles?
Answer: Well well first of all let me just say that this book of poems is so multifaceted that it would take a genius producer to actually put the pieces together to create a movie. No having said that I think it would make a great movie. Not only because it’s my work. But the work in its entirety tells the story. And it’s one that’s full of all those great aspects of a good movie drama, suspense, comedy, passion deception, betrayal, love and hate. So it goes without saying that the actors would have to be multi talented. Let’s see. At first glance this may be the lineup. Taraji P Henson, Viola Davis, Denzel Washington, Antonio Banderas, Kevin Hart, Dave Chappelle, Kevin Costner, Jason Stathum, Dwayne THE ROCK Johnson and Jahi Di’allo Winston. Quite a multifaceted lineup. And why not, it is The Colors of Me.
Question: What do you say to those who view listening to Audiobooks is cheating or as inferior to real reading?
Answer: I would say that we were born with five senses and some of us with a sixth. Listening to Audiobooks is just using one of the other senses to experience life. We need to be realistic about the constraints we have trying to multitask in an effort get things done on a regular basis. I would say it makes much sense. And like it or not, I believe it’s the wave of the future. Even though something has to be said about the comfort of cuddling up with a good book while sipping on your favorite drink.
Question: Do you have any tips for Authors going through the process of turning their books into Audiobooks?
Answer: Certainly. Get yourself a good fit when it comes to your Producer. It may cost you a little more but it’s certainly worth getting the job done right the first time. And most don’t take yourself too seriously. Have a little fun with it. People love to be entertained.
Question: What’s next for you?
Answer: Where do I start. The Colors of Me is one of two books which were published at the same time. It has a sister book so to speak entitled, The Colors of Me Too which is now available online, through all marketing platforms. I have already written a third compilation of poems entitled The Colors of Time which is in the publication phase as we speak. And I’m really hoping to have it launched by April of this year. On a lighter note I’m presently working with an illustrator to produce a children’s series of poetry books. This has proven to be a really fun project. I can’t give away too much at this time. But what I will tell you is that the main character is a three-year-old girl called Maya. And each book in the series is based on a single adventure that Maya takes along with her family and friends. I have introduced the first book to a number of kids and they seemed so excited about it, that it made me anxious to finish the series. The series should be out by the end of the spring or maybe the beginning of this summer. Then hopefully you would have me back to talk a little bit more about those books.
-Reasons why readers who love poetry will appreciate this title:
If you possess a true appreciation for the art of poetry whether it be pros, verse, lines, or sonnets. Whatever format, whatever flavor. There is something in The Colors of Me written just for you. Each poem embodies the entirety of and experience. And all of the experiences are different. The poems are designed to open up like a flower in bloom and then if needs be fall apart petal by petal. It is in this that I’m able to take the hand of the listener and lead them down a path; meandering through the darkened corners of emotions that we so often hide. Each poem is chock-full of imagery. Who doesn’t have that Mother or Grandmother, Teacher or Preacher who made such a difference in their lives? Who hasn’t experience the wind being knocked out of their sails by betrayal or a lost love? If you’ve ever felt something, ….anything. Then you’ll certainly appreciate The Colors of Me. A good poet can make you cry but I pride myself in making you laugh, and moreover at yourself. The heartfelt romantic pieces are a melee of unbridled emotion. They would ignite the passions in your soul and rekindle what you have, take you back to a time or make you long for that perfect love. You’ll rise to the triumphs and sink in the squalor of inexplicable pain. But just as you think you are about to break, you’ll hear a poem, a message, seemingly straight from the heart of God himself that would lift your spirits, that would mend your heart. It would rekindle your passion for life and living. You’d feel empowered to dust yourself off and rise to the occasion. You’ll gain the strength to embrace your past and forge forward to bigger and better things. And who knows, with faith in your left pocket and hope in your right, you may even venture to love again.
-Actors you would want to play the main characters: (see previous list)
=Songs that could be in the soundtrack to for this book:
Unstoppable- Koryn Hawthorne
It’s The God in Me- Mary Mary
Closer Marvin Sapp
Not Lucky I’m Loved- Jonathan Reynolds
The Nearness of you- Ella Fitzgerald and Lois Armstrong
One Look In your eyes- Luther Vandross
A Song for you- Donny Hathaway
That’s Life- Frank Sinatra
Keep Your Head Up- 2Pac
THIS OR THAT
waffle fries or curly fries? Steak fries
GIF with a hard G or soft G? Not sure
fantasy or science fiction? Depends on my mood
Superman Batman Spiderman
text message or call depends on what time of day or night it is
pancakes or waffles? Waffles
Dr. Who or the walking dead? Neither
TV shows or movies? It depends who I am with
Facebook or twitter? Facebook
Alice in Wonderland or Robinson Crusoe? Robinson Crusoe
be into warm or too cold? Neither
Netflix or HULU? Netflix
work hard or play hard?
Amusement park our day at the beach? Day at the beach
honesty or others’ feelings? Honesty
movie at home or movie at the theater? Depends on my mood