The Dr. Will Show Podcast

J Elle (@AuthorJ_Elle) - How To Become A Published Author

Episode Summary

On this episode, I Zoom in J Elle and we chat about her book, Wings of Ebony and how educators can become published author. Jessica McGehee, writing as J.Elle, is an African-American writer and active advocate for marginalized voices in both publishing and her community. As the founder of Your Story Is Your Power, a creative writing camp for #POC teens, she mentors teens on the craft of writing and the importance of sharing stories from their perspective. Jess’ most recent novel, Wings of Ebony, was pitched in #DVPit, an online contest that showcases stories from marginalized voices to publishing professionals. Her pitch received 200+ likes and retweets as well as, submission requests from multiple literary agents and 10+ editors at large publishing houses, indicating her story resonated with the market. Jess queried and eagerly accepted literary representation by Natalie Lakosil, veteran YA fantasy agent with Bradford Literary Agency. Wings of Ebony is book one in a young adult fantasy duology about a black teen from a 1- parent home in a drug-infested neighborhood that learns she’s half human, half-goddess. When she discovers racist gods flooding her block with violence and crime, she must tap into her Ghazani-god heritage to unlock magic to destroy them. Jess wrote this story because of a “lack of black heroines from urban settings in YA fantasy.” She said, “I want kids from where I grew up to see their lives and issues they face in the fantasy section of the bookstore.” Wings of Ebony was pitched as The Hate U Give meets Wonder Woman with a heavy dash of fantasy. For details on when and where Wings of Ebony will be published, please subscribe to her ‘Be Notified’ email list. Jess’s passion for empowering youth transcends her writing. She spent time mentoring students from low socioeconomic statuses to elevate their voices as a middle school creative writing teacher with KIPP. She also busies her time between writing by supporting fellow aspiring writers of color with complimentary manuscript critiques and mentorship through the querying process. Jess has a Bachelors in Journalism and a Masters in Educational Administration with an emphasis on curriculum development. Both influence her writing process, as well as shape her approach to mentoring future generations of writers. Jess is from Houston, Texas and loves southern food as much as she loves her 3 children. Transplanted to the west coast by her husband’s nomadic naval aviator career, she owns and operates a wedding photography business and online photography learning institute where she teaches creative entrepreneurs how to brand and market their businesses. Fun fact--Jess recently won a Barnes & Noble Story & Recipe contest. The story and cookie recipe will be sold in B&N cafes in stores nationwide throughout the 2019 Holiday season.

Episode Notes

On this episode, I Zoom in J Elle and we chat about her book, Wings of Ebony and how educators can become published author.

Jessica McGehee, writing as J.Elle, is an African-American writer and active advocate for marginalized voices in both publishing and her community. As the founder of Your Story Is Your Power, a creative writing camp for #POC teens, she mentors teens on the craft of writing and the importance of sharing stories from their perspective.

Jess’ most recent novel, Wings of Ebony, was pitched in #DVPit, an online contest that showcases stories from marginalized voices to publishing professionals. Her pitch received 200+ likes and retweets as well as, submission requests from multiple literary agents and 10+ editors at large publishing houses, indicating her story resonated with the market. Jess queried and eagerly accepted literary representation by Natalie Lakosil, veteran YA fantasy agent with Bradford Literary Agency.

Wings of Ebony is book one in a young adult fantasy duology about a black teen from a 1- parent home in a drug-infested neighborhood that learns she’s half human, half-goddess. When she discovers racist gods flooding her block with violence and crime, she must tap into her Ghazani-god heritage to unlock magic to destroy them.

Jess wrote this story because of a “lack of black heroines from urban settings in YA fantasy.” She said, “I want kids from where I grew up to see their lives and issues they face in the fantasy section of the bookstore.”
Wings of Ebony was pitched as The Hate U Give meets Wonder Woman with a heavy dash of fantasy. For details on when and where Wings of Ebony will be published, please subscribe to her ‘Be Notified’ email list.
Jess’s passion for empowering youth transcends her writing. She spent time mentoring students from low socioeconomic statuses to elevate their voices as a middle school creative writing teacher with KIPP. She also busies her time between writing by supporting fellow aspiring writers of color with complimentary manuscript critiques and mentorship through the querying process.

Jess has a Bachelors in Journalism and a Masters in Educational Administration with an emphasis on curriculum development. Both influence her writing process, as well as shape her approach to mentoring future generations of writers. Jess is from Houston, Texas and loves southern food as much as she loves her 3 children. Transplanted to the west coast by her husband’s nomadic naval aviator career, she owns and operates a wedding photography business and online photography learning institute where she teaches creative entrepreneurs how to brand and market their businesses. Fun fact--Jess recently won a Barnes & Noble Story & Recipe contest. The story and cookie recipe will be sold in B&N cafes in stores nationwide throughout the 2019 Holiday season.