Read all about it: Stefanie Newell’s The Buzz

The Buzz
Stefanie Newell Jenkins has exactly what most women are seeking – a good looking devoted boyfriend, a flourishing business and a beautiful little girl. But what people don’t know is how she mixed hard work and deception to maintain the celebrity lifestyle she tries to emulate.
Endless taunts by classmates for wearing hand me downs echoes in her mind and motivates Ebony to provide for herself and her daughter. But at what cost?
She dreams big and refuses to be content with what would be considered a fulfilling life for most. Things are going great for Ebony until she suspects her up and coming rapper boyfriend Buzz could be dating the newest R&B phenomenon Arika.
Ebony’s obsession with celebrity gossip and dislike of all things popular in the media fuels her hatred for Arika and sends her on an all out Internet mission to ruin Arika’s blossoming career. As she’s swept up in exposing Arika’s flaws and maintaining her faux celebrity lifestyle, Ebony uncovers some skeletons of her own. This novel shows that attaining fame and riches is not always what it’s cracked up to be!
Stefanie Newell is the author of two books: The Buzz and the non-fiction Marketing and Publicity for the Author. Born and raised in Chicago, IL, she gathered valuable experience and business skills that contributes to her success as CEO of Write One Publications, Inc.
Her debut novel, The Buzz, has been described as a humorous yet introspective look at the entertainment industry and its allure. The idea for The Buzz came while Newell was freelance writing for Unrated Magazine and her entertainment blog The Music Hot Spot. After observing the entertainment industry and lurking on various message boards and blogs over the years, Stefanie put pen to paper and brought to life the gossipping, Internet diva Ebony Jenkins. 
Published by her company Write One Publications, Inc., The Buzz has created a buzz amongst book readers and fans of celebrity gossip. Newell has been featured by media outlets such as Rolling Out,, and the Chicago Fox television show Raw TV.’s company also published the self-help book Pull Your Pants Up and be a man! by author Bernice Harris. Actor Malik Yoba (New York Undercover, Girlfriends, Why Did I Get Married?) dispenses practical knowledge and wisdom in the riveting foreword. The self-help book geared towards young men between the ages of thirteen and eighteen provides a nine-step approach to a goal-oriented life. Pull Your Pants Up was featured at the Father and Son’s Madison Square Garden event last year.
While promoting the book, there became a demand by parents of boys and girls for Newell to speak with students at schools and youth organisations. The Youth Empowerment Workshop was born. Newell is currently working on her second novel, Rules of the Game.

Interview with Stefanie Newell

What came first your publishing company or your book?
The book came first. I had absolutely no intention on starting a publishing company. In fact, I told my family that I was so not the type to market my own book. A few months later, after doing a ton of research and learning whether I was signed to a major publishing house or if I chose to self publish, marketing for the most part would be my responsibility, I had a change of heart. I chose to not only publish my own book, but form a publishing company. It’s quite interesting how things turned out when I think about it…

Who’s involved in the company? Are you open for submissions? What kind of work do you take?

I have a team of people who help with the back-end stuff like editing, graphic design, etc. But the day to day things like managing the blog, Twitter and Facebook are handled by me. I currently have one person signed to my company, author Bernice Harris, but I’m not currently taking submissions. The submissions page on my website has all of the submission requirements and your readers can check to see when I will be accepting submissions again.

This is your debut (published) novel, but is it your first novel you have actually written? Any ms under the bed?
I started a manuscript I believe it was around 1996 and I don’t have a clue where it is. However, the key word is started. It was only a few pages so I really consider The Buzz to be my first manuscript.

How does it compare with books in that genre/what makes it different?
The Buzz is focused around the entertainment industry and follows the lives of three people all searching for “buzz.” Each chapter is written from their different perspectives. I take the readers into the mind of a celebrity, someone trying to become a celebrity and someone who despises celebrities.

The main character is a young lady named Ebony who by all accounts has it all. She has a successful career and a great boyfriend but she’s an Internet addict who’s obsessed with celebrities. While she is obsessed with celebrities she despises them too. So a chance encounter with an up and coming singer provides Ebony the perfect opportunity to ruin the singer’s career by spreading a vicious Internet rumor. The moment the book opens you are smack dab in the middle of Ebony’s Internet drama.

So what makes my book different?
 I would say the use of the Internet and including modern technology in the story and the fact that each of their characters are able to tell the story from their own perspectives. I freelanced for many years in the entertainment industry prior to writing The Buzz and my experience is definitely reflected in the book.

What audience is the book intended?
It is definitely geared towards adults but here’s something interesting… I originally thought the demographic for my book would be women between the ages of 18 and 35 because of the subject matter. But I have had men and readers 35 all the way up to their 70’s tell me they loved my book and have recommended it to people they know. This really shocked me, but I am so happy to know it has been well received by such a vast audience.

How long did it take you to write it, and how many drafts?
The Buzz took me two years to write. I was working a full-time job, blogging, freelancing, being a mom and so much more. So I wrote when I was able to and I didn’t put any real pressure on myself until the end, when I got really close to finishing. After two drafts, it was complete.

Have you dabbled with other genres?
I have. Fiction definitely feels like the genre I was meant to write. It allows me to use my imagination and I believe that’s where my strong point is. At the same time, I’ve always been the person who shares what I’ve learned. So I recently released a non-fiction eBook Marketing and Publicity for the author. I also run a blog which chronicles my life as a writer and I provide tips and advice for aspiring and established writers.

Do you have a favourite scene in the book?

Yes, actually I do. My book is very plot driven, so once the characters have been fully introduced the story is really fast paced and full of action and drama. There is a scene in the book where two of the characters meet up and confront each other over a dispute and what happens is shocking. I have had many people tell me that this was one of their favorite chapters. It definitely was one of my favorites to write.

Are you agented?
No, not at this time.

Are you a full time writer?

I am proud to say writing and running my publishing company is my full-time job. It has taken me many years to get this point, but it feels like home. *laughs*

What are you working on now?
Well, I guess technically, book three because I just released an eBook Marketing and Publicity for the Author. But Rules of the Game is fiction and I am half way through the first draft. It’s a coming of age story about a young lady who thinks she has life all figured out. She doesn’t like the rules that her family provides for her, so she moves out and tries to make it on her own, without the help of her family, and boy is she in for a rude awakening.
Do you have a critique partner or an editor?
My editor usually reads the first draft and includes her critiques. I then review her critiques and make any changes I agree with and then submit the second draft for another edit.

Do you handle your own marketing? And what sort of things have you been doing to promote yourself/book?

Yes, I definitely do. I think its important to note that I market both online and offline. While I do focus most of my efforts on the Internet, I also market offline because having a local fan base is just as important. When I first released my book, I was doing book signings in different cities to get my name out there. Now that some time has passed, I don’t do as many book signings, but I continue to seek publicity through different media channels. I solicit local and online book clubs for book reviews. I do blog tours and of course I use social media daily.

Marketing And Publicity For The Author (eBook)Tell us a little about your ebook, Marketing and Publicity for the Author.
I am very proud of this eBook because it was totally unexpected and born out of need. In June, I was asked to do a workshop entitled Marketing and Publicity for the new author at a college here in Chicago and it was very well received. I decided that I wanted to offer the workshop online as a webinar so that writers in other cities could benefit from the information I was sharing. After a while I started receiving emails from people asking if it was available in any other format and I decided to instead offer the webinar as an eBook and that’s how the idea came about.

Marketing and Publicity for the author chronicles my early days as a published author and journals my successes and my challenges. It’s concise, yet packed full of marketing and publicity tips that will assist writers on their journey. I share how I used the tips learned from my many years freelancing in the music industry to gain publicity for my debut novel The Buzz: When celebrity gossip goes wrong… as well as the steps I took to create a “buzz” around my book. This eBook is for every writer, no matter where they are in their process. Haven’t started your manuscript? This book is definitely for you. If your book is self-published, traditionally published, fiction, or non-fiction, this book is for you! And the tips are executable the day you read it!

How many rejections have you experienced in the past?
I really didn’t have an opportunity to experience any rejections. Soon after sending off a few letters to agents, I made the decision to publish The Buzz myself and form my own publishing company. So the process that most writers go through in the beginning I didn’t experience.

Any message for the struggling writer?
How much time do you have? *laughs* The reason why I wrote the eBook Marketing and Publicity for the author was to share all of what I have learned since publishing my novel. I had so many people share with me in private their marketing challenges, yet no one was talking openly about them. My eBook discusses those challenges and provides solutions for them.

Because self publishing has opened the door for so many writers, we are now seeing an influx of writers. And I think sometimes, it makes it appear as if it is easy to write the book, publish the book, and lastly create a fan base to market to. When in reality there is a lot of hard work and long hours that go into it.

I want writers to know that you should begin marketing when your book is just an idea. I want writers to know that the second most challenging part will be the marketing. And if you want your book to be a success, whether you are signed to a traditional publishing house or you choose to publish the book yourself, you need to completely understand the marketing component.

Where can my readers find your books or more information about you?
I blog daily on I encourage writers or those who want to learn what goes on in the life of a writer to check out my blog, to comment and become a part of my community. If you are interested in my eBook Marketing and Publicity for the author, my novel The Buzz or my author’s book Pull Your Pants Up and be a man, please visit my website

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