Naleighna Kai is a fresh, vivacious, upbeat, very personable and gifted writer who gracefully appeared on the literary scene as the mysterious lady behind Macro Publishing. www.Macropublishing.com. Take a look for yourself on how far this company has grown. If the unique design of the Macro Publishing site doesn’t lure you, the authors and content of books published by Macro Publishing will.
The company published a variety of titles and genres synonymous with classy and appealing cutting edge covers that not only drew readers attention, but finely well read stories and plots that leave you fulfilled with breathless content you’ll always remember.
Once we matched the beautiful and hard working mom’s face with this elite publishing house, and as the proud parent of J.L. Woodson, who was only 18 back then, but is now a grown man off on his own and a dashingly handsome Prince of Literature, we couldn’t help but take note of a publisher destined to succeed as part of our Disilgold history maker series. (Please note, Macro Publishing no longer publishes authors, but is a thriving and full literary agency focused on promotion and marketing).
Our history with Naleighna Kai, who happens to be the Essence bestselling author of “Every Woman Needs a Wife”is a phenomenal woman. We met the authoress whose real life name is “Lissa Woodson,” at the Book Expo’s America African-American Pavilion. My team showed up with very large cameras which caught the attention of everyone present who may have been surprised and so camera shy, many of the authors who have not been exposed to the paparazzi were simply not prepared to be interviewed. I saw ladies taking out their lipstick cases, powder cases and fixing their hair instead of coming over and saying, “Hello!” It is so difficult as it is to lug expensive camera equipment around and then have to decide who will we interview, but one lady made our job very easy.
I have this habit of abruptly turning around to see who is standing around, and low and behold there was the Macro Publishing family and Naleighna Kai.
I knew immediately that I would be interviewing this entire family poised and ready for success. Naleighna Kai never told me she was an author. She continued to talk about her authors and mentioned all of their titles and what their books were about. She had no idea I was calculating an overall picture of her professionalism. There was no doubt in my mind, that this lady would become more than a great woman someday, but a promoter or manager. I know a good promoter when I am facing one face-to-face. It’s sort of like a stand-off. It’s a little worse than two greeks from different sororities meeting one another at an event. However, I am one of those people who can release her powers to let other folks shine, and do I let Naleighna Kai work the entire Macro Publishing family right in front of our cameras. She was bold and unstoppable. There wasn’t a sign of sweat on her brow. Such a confident lady I thought, but I saw through all of the glamour, impeccably designed hairdo of curls, already well prepared touch of make-up and outfit that spelled fashinista with a purpose. This Nalieghna Kai was ready to take on the world.
Naleighna intently pulled over her Macro Publishing family one by one. One gave me a sensuous hug and kiss and wouldn’t let me go. That was J.L. Woodson back then, a charming man.
I remembered him when he was just 17 speaking at a Men Who Cook & Write Luncheon hosted by QBR with the big boys like Colin Channer, Toure, George Nelson and Obery Hendricks.
J. L. Woodson got up there to the podium like a shy kid and froze when he spoke. His lips trembled . He was nervous and seemed real shy, but it was fun listening to him because everyone in the audience sort of knew he was just being humble and by no means trying to over step the big boys. I said, “Aw, how adorable, but I am going to school him on the ropes of speaking when the event is done.” I figured he was just being mama’s boy since Naleighna Kai was in the room, but she doesn’t follow him around. You wouldn’t even know she’s his mom. She’s really his publicist. J.L. gets a lot of speaking gigs and is a bonafide literary celebrity. I have word on him playing golf with celebs and even dancing at celeb events. That J.L. is a superstar every bit that he looks, and you’ve heard.
I think Robert Fleming signed an autographed book for both of us at the Men Who Cook & Write event because J.L. was just as in awe speaking at an event with so many accomplished authors. He respects mentors and authors.
Toure’ had a book out called Soul City, and wrote for Rolling Stone Magazine. I think I interviewed him before he got that gig as a host of The Black Carpet on BET so the history of the people at this event is historical.
Colin Channer has gone on to major success and the list goes on. J.L. will go down in history as a guest speaker at this event.
After the event, I privately spoke to J.L. Woodson and I congratulated him on his appearance and then I advised him as a literary peer with words like, “If you are going to speak, get up there and take over. Don’t hold back. This is your world. Don’t be afraid. You can’t let them see you sweat. You have a prosperous career ahead of you. This is only the beginning. ”
Now J.L. Woodson is the author of the book , “The Things I Could Tell You,” which sold maximally so who was I to tell J.L. any advice? However, what I loved was how he listened and said, “Yes, mam. I will do that.” I just wanted to tear because he was such a respectful and sweet person, and more than any author I had ever met. Where did he get this charm from?Naleighna is all business. Maybe this is how the Woodson men are. I am revealing this because the word is going to get around, and don’t say you didn’t here this from Disilgold first. J.L. has what it takes to be an actor as well. Will he ever pursue acting? I don’t know. But, I just see a young Denzel Washington in the making.
I really didn’t think he was listening, but then he asked questions on how can he improve which is a sign of top author on the rise.
This was a very intense moment because I really felt like I was helping J.L., but then something funny happy. J.L. said,” I will be 18 in a few months and legal age, and will you kiss me when I make it one day?”
Okay, now I was like where is that Naleighna Kai, she better take J.L. back home. How daring and bold, but a promise is a promise.
I told J.L. that I would give him a big smacker if he made it one day and we departed. I hadn’t seen J.L. Woodson for a few years until the Harlem Book Fair. and there J.L. was all rained on from a small rainstorm at the event. His clothes were drenched. He looked just like a football quarterback, strong, tall, dark and handsome. The ladies began to swoon around him.
Then miraculously, Omar Tyree appeared and a lot of authors, plua a few celebs too like Mel Jackson.It is a fact, that Omar will take photos with authors he thinks has potential, but has a real grumpy demeanor. It’s kind of hard for Omar to share his reign, and why everyone loves the guy regardless and buys his books. We didn’t think he would agree with the photo, but he embraced his comrades for what is now a rare photo of a major Hollywood star, embracing a future producer and multi-million dollar NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER and New York Times Bestselling author, embracing a new up and coming author who afterwards became a NAACP IMAGE AWARD NOMINEE! Whew! Talk about good kharma.
It was one of those days. Everyone was soaking wet down to their underwear. It’s true. You can see this in the full photos which we will not release. That’s how badly it rained. I am a very smart dresser, so I had on a straw hat and black top so I wouldn’t fall prey to any faux pas pictures from media who are always out to get you.
Then, while noone was looking J.L. now 20 something asked, “Remember what you promised me?”
I could not resist and gave J.L. a big smack on what was supposed to be his cheek, but he turned his face full frontal and the media (paparazzi) caught the picture. You won’t believe this at all, but Naleighna Kai was standing right there to witness the entire scene. It could be like Cinderella and the evil stepmother looking over her kids Omar Tyree and Mel Jackson. And- I am the princess, but it rains at 12 noon and J.L. turns back into his soaked attire and runs away, but mama was not evilena at all. Naleighna just replied like a southern belle in high fashion couture, “What are you doing kissing my son?,” and I kid you not, she went back to styling her hair like a diva. Omar and Mel were just digging her style. Naleighna Kai is a fashinista with literary style.
Since that event, J.L. Woodson went on to become not only a NAACP IMAGE AWARD NOMINEE for Outstanding Teen Work, but Naleighna Kai went on to join the Strebor Books Inc. family under this pen name. This makes for the FIRST MOTHER & SON REIGN from DisilgoldSOUL Magazine to grace our pages, and I couldn’t be anymore prouder to support a wonderful family in due time. Naleighna Kai’s time has come. She can breathe now with a sigh of relief that hard work does pay off and yes, you can manage your son’s career and still manage to support your career to the top. It’s called sacrifice. Publishing other authors books may have been an overload, but she was great at it!
International sensation, Zane acquired a unique distribution deal that supports many authors like Naleighna Kai whose small press company is just getting started. She’s made a name for herself and you can expect more fine works from the Macro Publishing family.
We requested a candid interview with Nalieghna Kai as her pen name and as Lissa Woodson to further give readers an idea of the mind behind a literary powerhouse in the making.
Author: Naleighna Kai
Title: Every Woman Needs a Wife
Web site: www.naleighnakai.com
Disilgold: What can you tell the Disilgold community about yourself that will explain why Disilgold has sought you for a perSOULnalized interview?
Naleighna: Let’s see …. Heather Covington is everywhere the literary community congregates. She’s been an avid supporter of my son, J. L. Woodson, and finally I’ve had the opportunity to do the interview. I went from self-published author to Essence Bestseller and Black Expressions Bestseller. Several events that I’ve pulled together over the last few years have helped to support and promote other authors.
Disilgold: What is your latest book about?
Naleighna: Every Woman Needs a Wife is the hilarious, but thought-provoking story of a wife who does the “unthinkable.” Strolling in on Vernon and his mistress one night, the wife, Brandi Spencer, insists that the new woman in his life come home and earn her keep the honest way — on her feet helping the wife clean the house, keep the children and pay the bills, instead of laying on her back servicing the husband.
Tanya Kaufman has had one shock too many — one minute she’s a fiancée, the next she finds out she’s been the mistress all along. When Tanya shows up during the surprise anniversary party to take Brandi up on her offer, the women seize the opportunity to teach Vernon that infidelity will no longer come at the expense of the women’s time, money, and happiness. Vernon fights back by launching a high-profile court battle that doesn’t have a thing to do with splitting the money, keeping the house, or visitation rights.
Had any married couple ever fought for custody of…the mistress?
Disilgold: Wow, now that is a plot! How long did it take you to complete your book?
Naleighna: Two months. I started in March 2005 and it was at the printer the first week in May. Book Expo America 2005 was my incentive. At the time, under my company, Macro Publishing Group, I was preparing my son and one other author for BEA. Then it hit me. I’m paying all this money to go to New York and I don’t have anything to show at the conference. I started writing in between working 9 to 5; editing two other books and getting things set to go at BEA, and it was a busy, busy, distracted time. But the book was done–in sections, sent to editors and proofreaders and then off to press. I didn’t read the book from cover to cover until Strebor Books (Zane) was set to print it for BEA 2006. When I finally got a chance to read it, I was like Damn, this is pretty good.
Disilgold: Remarkable. Sometimes deadlines are what you need to get works done. What were the happiest moments you have experienced while writing your latest book?
Naleighna: Getting it done. I decided to do this book at the last minute. Strange that I’d been writing for five years and it’s the book that I throw together at the last minute becomes the one that takes off.
Disilgold: Describe your writing style?
Naleighna: Humorous, thought-provoking, unique, heart felt.
Disilgold: Precisely. I couldn’t have said it better. How did you develop your writing style?
Naleighna: With so many Black women writing right now, our stories are a bit parallel. I decided that writing stories with a unique twist will be my niche.
Disilgold: Do you have a favorite author of all time or someone who inspired you to achieve your goals as a writer?
Naleighna: I don’t have just one. Octavia Butler, Mary B. Morrison, L. A. Banks, Zane.
Disilgold: Where do you see yourself as a writer ten years from now?
Naleighna: Owning a unique, literary based venue that promotes author friends and up-and-coming authors. Macro is now a literary agency focused on promotion and marketing.
Disilgold: What marketing tips can you provide to new authors?
Naleighna:Network, network, network. When your budget is low, choose events that have a high attendance rate: Book Expo America, Harlem Book Fair, Baltimore Book Fair, Printer’s Row Book Fair, etc. That way you’ll get more exposure for the amount of money you’re putting out. Also take advantage of those who do email marketing to a wide audience. Get a great publicist!
Disilgold: Yes, indeed. What other projects are you working on?
Naleighna: Open Door Marriage. The story of two women who decide since they haven’t been successful in relationships on their own, they want to find one man, train him and see if he’ll work for both of them. Followed by Was it Good For You, Too and Slaves of Heaven.
Disilgold: Whoa. I think the men will like that. Haha!What are your top ten favorite books right now?
Naleighna: Superwoman’s Child: Son of a Single Mother; Mind of My Mind, PatternMaster, Wild Seed, Survivor, Soul Mates Dissipate, When Somebody Loves You Back; Afterburn, Keeping it Real, Sista Got Game, The Vampire Huntress Legends, Sisters of APF…
Disilgold: When do you write and for how long?
Naleighna: Since I wear many hats, in order to get things done I sometimes I write in spells. When I’m in promotion/marketing mode I have a things to do list and when those are done; it’s back to writing. In December I finished the first draft of Slaves of Heaven; the second of Open Door Marriage, and the second of Was it Good for You Too? Rather than jump back in; I’m letting the books marinate and now my focus is on promoting and marketing my son’s book; my book to the Essence Stores, getting the tour events lined up and preparing for BEA. My goal is to have all the preliminary planning out of the way by the end of February; then it’s back to writing. I still carry my tablet with me everyday; but right now business calls.
Disilgold: Do you have a favorite location for writing?
Naleighna: I get the most writing done in the night club. Strange, I know, but it’s true. I write all of my books in long hand and something about having a great time and getting some chapters done always does well for me.
Disilgold: What method did you use to write or organize your book?
Naleighna: Actually, I picked up the Redline Method from my son. His goal in writing; no more than 7 pages, not less than 5. And he pulls it off!! I’m a wordy writer so I tried his method and it worked well for my last three books. I do a story flow (a chart which has a) viewpoint character b) location/setting c) action d) background and fill it out to the best of my ability; then I write what I feel. I may do chapters 1, 8, 13, 2, 35, etc. It’s not in order; but as long as I have the story flow; I know exactly where everything falls in place.
Disilgold:What three words best describe your writing style?
Naleighna: Lyrical at times; humorous and more of a storytelling vibe or movie scene being played out with words.
Disilgold: What other hobbies do you pursue when you aren’t writing ?
Naleighna: Marketing, Event Planning, Dancing.
Disilgold: Are there any hidden jewels or talents that you possess that many of your readers may not know?
Naleighna: Not that I can share without blushing.
Disilgold: I’m sorry. Strike that question. Your personal life is confidential at Disilgold, but you GO GIRL! Where can folks buy your latest book?
Naleighna: Borders, Barnes & Noble and Walmart.
Disilgold: What have been some of your toughest obstacles as a writer?
Naleighna: Knowing what battles are important to fight and when others/people are a total waste of time.
Disilgold: This section of our interview requires brief responses. Are you ready to” Get PerSOULnal” Interview?
Naleighna: I’m ready!
The “Get PerSOULnal” Interview
Disilgold: What time do you awake normally every morning?
Naleighna: I don’t write in the mornings unless it’s to answer emails. I’m too busy trying to scramble and get to my day job.
Disilgold: What early morning rituals have followed for many years?
Naleighna: Wake up early as hell; sleep; wake up again; then push the snooze button about 5 times.
Disilgold: What are your favorite foods to snack on while writing?
Naleighna: Jerk Chicken Wings, Harold’s Chicken Wings, Smoothies, an Amaretto Stone Sour and Bailey’s Cream.
Disilgold: Do you watch television or listen to the radio when you’re writing, and if so, what do you watch or listen too mostly?
Naleighna: It depends on where I am. I don’t write at home; I edit at home. Since everything is written on tablets, nine times out of ten I’m in a noisy environment. When I’m editing, though; I’ll have on the television–possibly the History Channel or something more humorous.
Disilgold: What is your favorite book of all time?
Naleighna: Science Fiction: Mind of My Mind by Octavia Butler.
Non-Fiction: The Writings of Florence Scovel Shinn
Disilgold: What is your favorite magazine of all time?
Naleighna: Science of Mind.
Disilgold: Do you have an exercise regimen to suggest for busy writers?
Naleighna: Exercise? What’s that? Are you cursing at me?
Disilgold: Hahaha! What is your everyday outfit?
Naleighna: Business casual.
Disilgold: What is your favorite motto?
Naleighna: It’s from Mary B. Morrison: “I’d rather die a failure, than to have lived and never known whether I would become a success.”
Disilgold: What is your favorite time to put your writing pen down and rest?
Naleighna: 4:00 a.m. (when the club closes!)
Disilgold: Have you traveled anywhere besides your hometown and if so, where?
Naleighna: New York, Hawaii, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Mexico; California, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, Florida, (shoot! I don’t remember all of the places. There’s a bunch more.)
Disilgold: It’s okay. Where is your dream vacation?
Naleighna: I’d like to do a world tour to all the places that won’t freeze my tail off.
Disilgold: What do you particularly like about the literary world today?
Naleighna: So many Black voices are being heard.
Disilgold: If you could leave one word of advice to people in general, what would it be?
Lissa: The obstacles you challenge today might be just above the feet that may have to carry you tomorrow. (Quote for school kids reading).
Naleighna: Actually the quote is “Be careful, the ass you kick today might be attached to the feet that will have to carry you tomorrow.” (THIS IS THE UNCUT VERSION FOR MEDIA AND GROWN FOLKS TO REFER TO.)
Reflections from Founder: A major star is born!We just received more good news about Lissa Woodson. Keep your eye on this DisilgoldSOUL!
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