Conversations Magazine, March/April 2024

Conversations Magazine, March/April 2024

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Popular Song By Cash Money Inspires New Anthem To Encourage Reading

(Wednesday, December 29, 2010) When Shadow Play Entertainment President Cyrus Webb began looking for a theme song to promote its literacy campaign for 2011, he didn't have to go any further than two of his friends that shared his passion for encouraging reading: Herschel Dixon of Louisville, KY and Chris Ervin aka Dj Down South of Raleigh, MS.

"As a father, Herschel has made books a large part of his daughters' lives," says Webb, 35. "He came to me with the idea to rewrite Cash Money's popular song "Get Your Roll On" to promote reading among young people as part of our Hip Hop and Books Campaign. It made perfect sense, and from there we got together and wrote the song. The only thing left to do was get someone to record it."

Choosing Dj Down South was a no-brainer for Webb. "Down South had been a part of our Hip Hop and Books literacy campaign since I co-founded it in 2008 with Platinum-selling recording artist and bestselling author Corey "C-Murder" Miller in 2008," says Webb. "He saw what we were trying to do, and the rest is history."

The song "Get Your Read On" will be used as the theme for not just the Hip Hop and Books campaign but Webb's entire initiative to encourage reading among all age groups and backgrounds. "We have to do whatever it takes to get people enjoying books again," says Webb. "This song is just one part of my plan to do that in 2011. I am already working on a video for Youtube featuring the song, and we are gathering an impressive body of influential individuals together to promote reading's importance as well."

Celebrities that have already joined the campaign include actress/director/author Cherie Johnson (Punky Brewster/Family Matters), actor/author/recording artist Tray Chaney (HBO's The Wire), Vanessa and Angela Simmons (Pastry), recording artists Fizz and Booz and many more.

"Get Your Read On" is available for free download at Webb hopes that people will share the song and use it as a catalyst to make books a part of their daily lives.

For more information about Shadow Play Entertainment's literacy campaign, visit, or contact Cyrus Webb at or 601.896.5616.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Recording Artist Carlito' Santino': Rapping Truth While Repping Mississippi

by Cyrus Webb

For recording artist Carlos Sims aka Carlito' Santino' (formerly Jokah da General), life has come full circle. The Mississippi native is seeing his hard work pay off in a big way, and that is helping him in fulfulling some of his goals in life.

It seemed inevitable that music would be a big part of his life as an adult. "I knew I wanted to be a performer at a young age," says the 29 year old native of Jackson, Mississippi. "I would be watching Michael Jackson on tv. He was preforming the song "Rock With You", and I said then that performing was what I wanted to do. I grew up listening to music. My mom played alot of music at family gathering, and I couldn't help but start dancing to it. It spoke to me."

Carlito' has gone from dancing to singing and evenutally rapping, not giving up one for the other--but allowing them to co-exist within him.

What surprises him the most about the music he creates? "The fact that I have been able to find audiences of all ages, including what are considered older people," he says. "My music is diverse, and that has been true of my listeners as well. It's the power of the music and how it speaks to the person that makes them listen."

Coming from a state that is known for great talent, Carlito' does find it frustrating that independent recording artists like himself are not always supported by their hometown, whether in events that are going on or even on the radio. "It seems that other states work more together, like in New York and Georgia. I feel like this: even if you don't like each other personally, you should want to support the talent because it's homegrown. We as artists dictate a lot of things in our community. For us not to work together and show unity can bring division into the city, and that's not good."

Since he brought up division, I couldn't let the opportunity pass to ask Carlito about how he balances the business side of the music industry and his responsibility to be a positive influence. "It's kinda hard to balance the two," he responded, "but the important thing for me is being honest. I speak reality rap. Some reality is good, some is not. I do, however, make positive songs and give real messages in my music as well. You better believe that when I open my mouth to speak, there is a always a lesson to be learned by what I say."

For Carlito' Santino', the future seems bright. He is currently working on a solo project, but he is also involved in his group Jack Squad. Carlito' is also a member of the Shadow Play Entertainment family and supports its literacy campaign Hip Hop and Books which gets music lovers involved in reading (see

For more information, Carlito' can be reached by email at or at 769.251.3308. Download Jack Squad's single "Welcome 2 Da Jack" free here:

Monday, December 27, 2010

Author M. Beatryce Shaw: Using Childhood Pain To Teach Lessons Of A Lifetime

by Cyrus Webb for Conversations Magazine

When it comes to discussing sensitive issues such as race and disabilities with children, parents and educators are sometimes at a loss as to where to begin. Fortunately for them and all of us we have authors like M. Beatryce Shaw*. The native of Chattanooga, TN has used her own painful experiences of discrimination as a child to craft what has become know as the Brown Rose Series.

Now residing in Florence, SC, Shaw is seeing her own love of words inspire readers of all ages, passing on important lessons of acceptance and tolerance along the way.

In this interview she discusses her beginnings as a writer, the strength she gained from her mother and even shares her advice for others who want to enter the world of publishing. 

Beatryce, thank you for talking with Conversations. When did you realize that writing was something you were interested in?
I think communicating with others was my first desire and writing afforded that opportunity.  Mind you, this was long before the advanced technological age in which we now live.

Were you a big reader growing up?
Yes, in school that I absolutely loved attending and through collecting Classic Comics.  There were no libraries or Bookmobiles accessible and my mother, despite commendable efforts to provide as a single parent, couldn't afford to purchase new books.

A lot of authors seem to write about their own experiences. How much of what you have seen and gone through has landed in a book?
Everything in the Brown Rose Series, there are two more for completion,  is the product of an unfortunate incident I experienced in the fourth grade.  As painful as it was, I'm really thankful to be able to write and hopefully pass a message of tolerance and respect to future readers.

Beatryce, writing can sometimes be seen as the easy part of the literary world. Marketing can be a totally different experience. How have you balanced the role of writing and promoting yourself?
Ummmm, I'm not really sure I am balanced because writing is a pleasure without parallel.  I realize the greater reason I write is to share, so marketing is vital.  Fortunately, I enjoy meeting and speaking with people of all ages, but the joy of writing has no real comparison. 

Children's books are something I always enjoyed as a child. Why did you decide to write for children as opposed to targeting adults?
I was often asked during pioneering entrepreneurial days how I weathered racial and gender storms to attain success.  When I traced the mental and physical challenges of my past, the answer was within that defining incident in grade school that could have easily crippled me as a productive individual for my entire life.  A strong, determined, though illiterate mother taught me to believe in myself and adhere to principles and ethics that withstand adversity. 

What last-minute advice you would give to aspiring writers that are reading this interview?
It depends on their reason for writing.  I own a publishing company...Schooner Publications, Inc.  and people seek information on writing a book.  I always tell them that writing for pleasure versus writing for profit should be their first consideration.  I write solely to send a message of tolerance and respect.  There are wonderful technological advances for aspiring writers, but there aren't a lot of us who will become millionaires. 

Thanks again for sharing your story with us. How can our readers find out more information about you?
My website or I'm available for appearances to schools, libraries, churches, special interest groups, etc. or e-mail

*     M. Beatryce Shaw was recently a guest on Conversations LIVE Radio. Listen to her interview at

Fashion Designer/Stylist Gail Ambeau: Living In Faithfulness,With Purpose Everyday

by Cyrus Webb

(Monday, December 27, 2010) For Toledo, OH native Gail Ambeau, 2010 has been an exciting journey on the path of achieving her dreams. Everything the fashion designer/stylist/radio show host touched over the past 12 months has seemed to succeed, taking her to fashion week events, hosting her own weekly fashion segment and even having her designs featured on a recording artist's cd cover! As Shadow Play Entertainment is celebrating 2011 as a year of new beginnings, Ambeau is celebrating her newest adventure: being accepted into the Master of Fine Arts Graduate Program!

"I am so excited to be accepted into the graduate program at Academy of Art," says Ambeau. "It has taken me a while to get here, but I don't think I would have made it before now."

The MFA fashion masters degree curriculum refines and focuses the fashion graduate school candidate's individual vision. MFA candidates are prepared to launch themselves into the industry upon graduating. It is the only school invited to participate in Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week in Bryant Park. The Academy of Art University has showcased graduate collections during fashion week since 2005. The Academy of Art University has one of the top fashion schools in the nation, with the most famous show in the industry.

"My past experiences have gotten me to this point," says Ambeau. I mean really...I've been out of school for 21 years. I had to sell myself. I mean really prove to them that I was worthy of being a part of their graduate program. I was sweating bullets trying to pull everything together."

The hard work paid off for the self-taught designer that has now worked with Grammy winners, nationally recogized models and had her work featured from coast to coast. In evaluating her work, her portfolio reviews stated: "Gail’s work to date is impressive in a dramatic sense and we are excited to see her explore The World of Fashion at the Academy of Art University. Her three dimensional skills appear to have a keen sense and knowledge of the body".

Gail, who now lives in Jackson, MS, will be attending school from home via the internet. "The online aspect of their program was very appealing to me," she says. "It will allow me to pursue my dreams and goals, while maintaining stability for my family. I am enthusiastic about the knowledge that I will gain through the Master of Fine Arts in Fashion program, as well as the hands on experiences that I can apply to Ambeau’s Art and Fashion."

As many are making their New Year's Resolutions, Gail has this piece of advice for anyone who thinks they can't achieve their goals and live their dreams: "All I can say is it's never too late. I am living in faithfulness on the edge of excitement on purpose everyday!"

To find out more about Gail Ambeau and her company, visit

Mississippi Native Encourages Others To "Take Time To Read"

(Monday, December 27, 2010) Though a lover of books all of his life, 35 year old Mississippi native Cyrus Webb didn't realize the true importance of words until his adult years. "For me reading was a means of escape and a way to learn about the world," he says. "Today I realize that in many cases it can be the deciding factor between success and failure."

Because of this, in 2006 Webb began what has become the United States largest co-ed reading group, Conversations Book Club. Over the past four years it has hosted literary events across the country, creating spin-offs that embrace sports and music lovers. To date Conversations Book Club has hosted free events featuring 93 authors in Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee and Georgia. "We are all about encouraging reading," says Webb. "Since that is our aim, we have to be all things to all people to get them involved."

Since Mississippi still ranks at the top of the list when it comes to illiteracy, Webb feels obligated to focus his main literary efforts at home. His organization Shadow Play Entertainment recently announced its theme for 2011 as "A Year Of New Beginnings". Though this applies to various areas in life, for Webb, helping others to fall in love with books is at the top of his list of priorities.

On Thursday, December 30, 2010, Webb will be visiting two libraries sharing his organizations message for the New Year and giving out free books for all ages to help others get started reading as soon as possible. From 10-12p.m., he will be at the Pearl Public Library (2416 Old Brandon Rd * Pearl, MS) and from 1-3p.m., he will be at the Margaret Walker Alexander Library (2525 Robinson St. * Jackson, MS). The books have been donated by Shadow Play Entertainment, Great Little Books, LLC and author Jackie Carpenter.

Webb also encourages individuals to visit his webpage and sign the pledge committing to reading in 2011.

For more information about events scheduled by Conversations Book Club around the United States, visit Cyrus Webb can be reached at or 601.896.5616. His website is

Monday, December 20, 2010

Minister Patricia A. Thomas: Sharing Faith, Hope In A Time Of Need

by Cyrus Webb for

During this usual festive time of year, many people are finding themselves overwhelmed with the cares of the day and their own mounting problems. It is because of this, that people like Minister Patricia A. Thomas balances her gifts as an author and youth advocate with teaching the truth from God's Word along with giving them something they can use in their time of need as well.

The Arcadia, Louisiana native currently lives in Columbus, Ohio where she has been sharing the message of her book GOD REVEALS A MYSTERY and allowing herself to be used to give an inspiration to those who need it. Just days before Christmas, she shared with me the importance of her faith, how she encourages those she meets and why it is so important that we search God's Word for the truth. Thomas also told me about her New Year's Resolution for 2011 and how it is something all of us might want to consider committing to.

Here is our conversation:

Patricia, thank you for taking some time to talk with us. You're the author of  GOD REVEALS A MYSTERY!, and we'll talk about that in a minute. First, I want to talk about your faith and its role in your life. When did you realize that you were called to do something great?
Cyrus, first I would like to thank you for this wonderful opportunity to interview me again. Now to answer your question- I believe that we all have been called to be great in regards to serving each other- the way that God would want us to serve. The Holy Bible says, "faith without works is dead."  I have seen several tangible and visible signs and wonders from God that has allowed me to boldly do and say what I believe. And, I am aware that because God has given me a lot, he expects a lot from me, because the Bible says "to whom much is given, much is required." 

 2010 has been a rough year for a lot of people. Whether it's the economy, dealing with family and relationship issues or just the struggles of day-to-day living. As a minister, how do you encourage people to keep going when they don't see any hope?

God wants us all to know that He is in control and at times, God allows storms to come in our lives to teach us that valuable lesson. With that being said, I encourage people, in this country, to stay prayerful, focused and content on how much more they have than others in many parts of the world. God wants us to be thankful for what He has done for us and to still praise Him in spite of our temporary challenging situations.


 You are a person who has to give of yourself so much through your ministry. What keeps you motivated?

The main motivating force for me is to see the smiles on people's faces that God has used me to touch, especially our priceless youth.


 Your book, GOD REVEALS A MYSTERY!,  discusses a range of topics, including evolution, the role of the Devil in the world as well as the real identity of dinosaurs. None of these are easy issues to tackle. Tell our readers how the book came about.

My one-of-a-kind book came about by God's divine intervention with Him showing me in small puzzle pieces what Apostle John meant when he wrote in Revelation 12:9, that "the dragon, is the serpent of old, is the devil, or Satan". My true book is growing and will continue to grow. God has given me a great gift of VISION to not only tell of who the crafty devil or serpent is and the true origin of demons/evil spirits, but how the dinosaur hoax has allowed the Evolution Theory to grow, which is being taught to our youth in public schools, who are our most vulnerable and impressionable. Since I have written this book, I know that God has told many people and there are books and documentaries/films out there now, but most, if not all of them don't have the curse of the serpent or dragon that occurred during the time of the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3:14.  The fossils left behind belong to the dragons' or serpents' and they aren't extinct, but live amongst us today and we commonly called them snakes. Like people, animals also have DNA and once the testing is done on the fossils of the serpent and the spine of the cursed dragon- it will be concrete scientific evidence that they are the same.


 What has surprised you the most about the response to the book, namely what you reveal about dinosaurs?

The biggest surprise to me is when people read the book, watch my book video presentation, read my press release, or hear me lecture about it, most can understand this great mystery of what REALLY happened to the dinosaurs! It's amazing to see the power of God move with this revelation knowledge that must continue to be told to people until God accomplishes what He wants to fulfill.


  Patricia, there are a lot of people that feel as though one of the problems with education today is that God is being kept out of the schools. What are your thoughts about that, and how do you feel about a discussion of faith being encouraged in the public school system?

Cyrus, that is a great question and God's answer to that is He wants to be back in the public school system. Many times, God has allowed people to make their own decisions and choices, because of the free will that He has given to us. However, with that we all fall short and it teaches us lessons of how God needs to direct our paths for us to not fail by using His holy word as the foundation. This is one of those situations where some made the wrong decision and we have paid a costly price for it- with our children being lied to about who they are and not the truth about them being created in God's wonderful image.


 What do you hope people take away from the book, and what would you like to see it brought to life as a documentary or on the big screen?

It is my hope, prayer, and expectation that I will be able to do a documentary or a movie; however, the main target for me now is to stay on my course to see God remove The Evolution Theory from public schools, which will inevitably have to be presented to The Supreme Court for them to overturn their previous misguided ruling.


 Going back to what a lot of people are dealing with right now, any advice you have for individuals who feel helpless right now because of their current situations in life?

Cyrus, I would encourage them to get close to God and remain close even when things are going well. God is watching how we handle our trials,  tribulations, and "good days". Victory is always on the horizon, but God wants us to appreciate Him before and after the victory or breakthrough that He will give to us.  Some soon forget His love and how He brings us through and God doesn't have a problem with reminding us.


People around this time of the year begin making New Year's Resolutions. What about you, and if you do, what's yours for 2011?

My New Year's Resolutions are to continue to "walk by faith and not by sight" and to be bold with doing God's will with treating people with love, dignity, and respect. With these ways, God will honor my obedience and I will continue to see His power manifested in what I am doing for His glory, purpose, and plan.


Thank you for your time, Patricia. How can our readers find out more information about you and your book?

Cyrus, thank you again for this great opportunity to interview me. I can be reached at:  and  My unique book is available on thousands of websites, including Amazon.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

(Dec. 19-30, 2010) Coming Up On Conversations LIVE Radio

For Conversations LIVE, 2010 has been its most successful year since it began in 2003, with over 450 guests already sharing their stories, projects and motivations and hundreds of thousands tuning in to listen. Show creator and host Cyrus Webb has been humbled by the response, and is already making plans for a 2011 roster that is sure to be just as successful and beneficial. In the meantime, there are still two weeks of great conversations ahead in this year, culminating in the last show fo 2010 called "The Year That Was 2010" on Thurs. December 30, 2010.

Below is the upcoming schedule. The shows can be heard live online at or by listening at 1.347.426.3645. Guests are encouraged to call into the switchboard (1.347.426.3645) a few min. early to ensure they are connected before their segment begins.

* SUNDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2010 @ 10:30a.m. est (9:30a.m. cst/7:30a.m. pt) --- "Inspirational Conversations" with Cyrus Webb and Mary E. Gilder

* SUNDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2010 @ 7p.m. est (6p.m. cst/4p.m. pt) --- Cyrus Webb Presents "A Tribute To V. C. Andrews"

* MONDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2010 @ 1p.m. est (12p.m. cst/10a.m. pt) --- At the top of the hour Cyrus Webb welcomes author Karen Schutte to Conversations LIVE to discuss her new book. Then at 30 min. past the hour, Webb talks with author Richard Hine.

* MONDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2010 @ 8p.m. est (7p.m. cst/5p.m. pt) --- At the top of the hour, Cyrus Webb talks with author Xi Xu. At 20 min. past the hour, resident chef Bruce Tretter will present this week's "Quick and Easy Cooking Tip". Then at 30 min. past the hour, Webb welcomes back author Rick Spann. Finally, at 45 min. past the hour, Webb welcomes back recording artist Dashawn to the show to discuss his news and introduce his single "Can You Handle It?".

* TUESDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2010 @ 1p.m. est (12p.m. cst/10a.m. pt) --- At the top of the hour, Cyrus Webb welcomes back author/entrepreneur David Siteman Garland to Conversations LIVE to discuss his new book SMARTER, FASTER,CHEAPER. Then at 30 min. past the hour, Webb talks with recording artist J. Prophet about his musical journey.

* TUESDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2010 @ 8p.m. est (7p.m. cst/5p.m. pt) --- At the top of the hour, Cyrus Webb talks with author Thomas Strawser about his book SPIRITUAL ENGINEERING. The at 30 min. past the hour, Webb talks with spoken word artist Desmond Spann.

* WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2010 @ 1p.m. est (12p.m. cst/10a.m pt) --- At the top of the hour, Cyrus Webb talks with author Tim Ostermeyer. Then at 30 min. past the hour, Webb talks with author Derek Blount.

* WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2010 @ 8p.m. est (7p.m. cst/5p.m. pt) --- Host Cyrus Webb talks with author Garry White about his book MY QUEST TO BE A SINGLE DAD and the challenges single men have when it comes to adopting.

* (Dec. 23-26, 2010) Conversations LIVE Radio will be off the air. Happy Holidays!

* MONDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2010 @ 1p.m. est (12p.m. cst/10a.m. pt) --- Cyrus Webb welcomes author Aggie Villanueva to Conversations to discuss not just her life as an author but how she is helping other authors to fulfill their dreams.

* MONDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2010 @ 8p.m. est (7p.m. cst/5p.m. pt) --- At the top of the hour, host Cyrus Webb welcomes author TC Mattison to discuss her amazing new novel. Then at 30 min. past the hour, Webb welcomes back Charles Clark of and Brotha Live Radio to discuss what's next for him.

* TUESDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2010 @ 1p.m. est(12p.m.cst/ --- Cyrus Webb welcomes author Mike Cassidy to discuss his new book on bullying and how he hopes parents and educators can use it to address the issue. Then at 30 min. past the hour, Webb talks with author Dankwart Koehler.

* TUESDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2010 @ 8p.m. est(7p.m. cst/5p.m. pt) --- At the top of the hour, Cyrus Webb talks with author Maxx Kilbourne. Then at 30 min. past the hour, Webb talks with author Roy Glenn about his amazing career and his new book.

* WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2010 @ 1p.m. est(12p.m. cst/10a.m. pt) --- At the top of the hour, Cyrus Webb welcomes back Wilson Mesa to discuss his newest endeavor. Then at 30 min. past the hour, Webb talks with author Susan Violante and Irene Watson to discuss how they are helping others to live their literary dreams.

* THURSDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2010 @ 8p.m. est (7p.m. cst/5p.m. pt) --- Join Cyrus Webb and special guest co-hosts for a special TWO HOUR EVENT: "The Year That Was 2010". Look for a discussion of the biggest news and entertainment stories of the year with confirmed guests including author/speaker Tony Gaskins, Jr., recording artist Sterling8 and more!

Thank you for making Conversations LIVE one of the most popular shows on! Our show is also heard on the radio dial in select cities in the South and replayed on Baton Rouge's

Missed any of the live shows? Catch the free podcasts at Additional information about shows and exclusive interviews can be found at Are you interested in being a guest or advertising with Conversations LIVE in 2011? Contact Cyrus Webb today at or 601.896.5616.

Monday, December 6, 2010

PROFILE: Recording artist Mario Perdue aka Big Pap

by Cyrus Webb

For over a decade Mississippi resident Mario Perdue (aka Big Pap Da Trap) has been active using his musical skills to make a difference in the Magnolia State and beyond. Beginning with street team work for Platnium Promotion, he showed his ability to work with others and to support the dreams of those who shared his love for music.

Over his career he has worked with various groups, recording an album called FAMILY TIEZ with Next of Kindredz in 2002, being a part of shows with major artists Lil Boosie, P.N.C., Hot Boy Ronald and others.

He started DMH (Dirty Muzik House Ent.) wth a friend, getting involved in the business side of the music game and went on in 2007 to form his record lable D.I.G. M.E. (Dis Is Good Music Entertainment) in 2007. Since that time he has focused not only on the careers of his artists, but given back to the community as well. .

In 2006 he hosted the Youth "State of Emergency" Bash in Jackson, MS and performed for the Stop the Teen Violence Benefit the same year.
He has also been featured in Da Capitol City Summer Jam in 2009 and taken his message of following your dreams into the classrooms with Shadow Play Entertainment in 2010.

Throughout it all, Big Pap has remained true to himself, knowing that in the end, that is the only thing that will keep him relevant in the ever-changing industry. In the new year, you can expect him to continue pursuing his love of music, growing his company and trying to make Mississippi a more respected place.

For more information, contact Big Pap at, 601.720.5171 or Friend him on Facebook at

Sunday, December 5, 2010

(Dec. 5-10, 2010) This Week on Conversations LIVE Radio

(Dec. 5-10, 2010) In 2010 over 400 guests have made Conversations LIVE Radio with Cyrus Webb THE place to share their books, music, careers and personal stories. During the week of December 5-10, 2010 Webb is pleased to announce that another great roster of individuals is ready to join in the conversation with you---each just as exciting as the next.

To listen to the shows live online simply visit or listen via the switchboard at 1.347.426.3645. Guests are encouraged to call into the switchboard at least 3-5 min. early to ensure they are all set for their interview.

Here is this week's schedule:

* SUNDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2010 @ 7p.m. est (6p.m. cst/4p.m. pt) --- Authors E. N. Joy and T. R. Pearson on Conversations LIVE Radio
At the top of the hour, Cyrus Webb welcomes author E. N. Joy back to Conversations LIVE to discuss her amazing literary journey, followed at 30 min. past the hour with a discussion with author T. R. Pearson about his new book.

* MONDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2010 @ 1p.m. est (12p.m. cst/10a.m. pt) --- Author Wayne Caldwell and Recording Artist Patrice Wilsonon Conversations LIVE Radio
Cyrus Webb welcomes author Wayne Caldwell to Conversations LIVE at the top of the hour. At 30min. past the hour, Webb talks with recording artist Patrice Wilson.

* MONDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2010 @ 8p.m. est (7p.m. cst/5p.m. pt) --- Authors Okeyo Jumal and Michelle Izmaylov on Conversations LIVE Radio
At the top of the hour, Cyrus Webb talks with author Okeyo Jumal about his book SPIRITUAL SHACKLES. Then at 30 min. past the hour, Webb talks with author Michelle Izmaylov about her success.

* TUESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2010 @ 1p.m. est (12p.m. cst/ --- Kathy Kinney aka Mrs. P on Conversations LIVE Radio
Cyrus Webb welcomes back actress Kathy Kinney to Conversations LIVE to talk about her love of books, becoming Mrs. P and her new book!

* TUESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2010 @ 8:30p.m. est (7:30p.m. cst/5:30p.m. pt) --- Recording Artist K. Drew on Conversations LIVE Radio
Cyrus Webb talks with recording artist K. Drew on Conversations LIVE about his love of music and introduces his new single.

* WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2010 --- No live shows scheduled

* THURSDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2010 @ 1p.m. est (12p.m. cst/10a.m. pt) --- Authors Linda Pace Samuel and Deborah Duda on Conversations LIVE
At the top of the hour, Cyrus Webb welcomes author Linda Pace Samuel to discuss the writing of her debut novel. Then at 30 min. past the hour, Webb talks with author Deborah Duda.

* FRIDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2010 @ 8p.m. est (7p.m. cst/5p.m. pt) --- Authors Liliana Badd and A. P. Stephens on Conversations LIVE
At the top of the hour, Cyrus Webb talks with author Liliana Badd about her beginnings as a writer and her book EXIT. Then at 30 min. past the hours, Webb welcomes back author A. P. Stephens to discuss his love of fantasy and his new book.

Missed any of the live shows? Catch them all at You can also find out more information about upcoming shows and guests at

Interested in being a guest or advertising on Conversations LIVE or Contact Cyrus Webb at or 601.214.0286.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

POEM: "Responsibility 101" by Cyrus Webb


She was a woman living in her own world,
Having trained for her role since she was a little girl
And didn’t care what she had to do to get it.
Her life has always been seen as incredible.
The manner in which she lives and conducts herself is impeccable.
There is none like her, and she knows it.
People envied what she represented, and she exploited it.
Money doesn’t define the kind of woman she has become.
She used her influence to diffuse the myth that coming from nothing and becoming something couldn’t happen.
It could, if you only believed in what you wanted to achieve.
In her spare time she would find enjoyment in spending it with girls and boys in after school programs,
Sharing with them tips on how to come to grips with their lot in life and still make a difference.
Many looked up to her for strength and she gave them that.
But the fact still remained that there was another side to her that few had seen.

Remember she was a woman living in her own world,
Having trained for her role since she was a little girl,
And didn’t care what she had to do to get it.
With all the good she did it seemed not to rid her of the vices that had become a part of her life.
You see, she had a thing for bad boys.
It was nothing serious, just something to play with, like a toy.
And then she would leave it where she found it,
Not wanting to seem too attached.

They didn’t have to be handsome or even rich,
Her perfect fit was someone rough and even untamed.
It was a game. She didn’t want them to have any part of her world.

The aim being to keep them in their place. She didn’t even have to know their full names.
They would do things she would never discuss.
Some of them unprotected, just for the excitement or the rush.
Then afterwards she would find herself in tears, plagued by disgust.
One day, though, her perfect health gave way to aches and pains.
The strength she had relied on for years began to wane.
And her doctor confirmed the suspicions of her mind.
With all the wisdom she had acquired it was ignorance when feeding her desires that would be her downfall.
She had conducted her public life so meticulously,
Never thing that the carelessness of her private life could bring HIV.
But that became her reality.
A woman who lived in her own world,
Having trained for her role since she was a little girl.
Now educated in a new course called Responsibility 101.

Monday, November 29, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: "Rico the Seagull, Making the Best out of a Mess" by April Mahoney

In 2010 the United States experienced its largest oil spill disaster in our nation's history, and though the oil is no longer flowing into the gulf, the people in the region will be dealing with the after effects for quite some time. When such things happen, it's hard sometimes to put in perspective for children what is going on, and how it affects not just the people but the animals as well.

In author April Mahoney's book RICO THE SEAGULL, MAKING THE BEST OUT OF A MESS, we are able to get a bird's eye view (pun intended) as to how manmade events bring change to all living things. Told in the voice of a young seagull, the reader is able to take in the story, the sadness and joy, and relate it to a child's level so they can appreciate what the moral of the story is.

Now, the book is great for young people, but don't think it should be limited to them. The message is one that adults should pay close attention to as well. We are all in this world together, no matter where we live, what we do or who we are. It is all of our responsibility to make sure that we are looking after one another and that we are mindful of the consequences of our actions.

Rico's journey in life could very easily be any of our journey. I'm sure it is the writer's hope that we all learn to appreciate that fact before it's too late.

NOTE: RICO THE SEAGULL, MAKING THE BEST OUT OF A MESS was chosen as one of Conversations' Top 100 Books of 2010. To see the entire listing, go to

Singing Superstar Abraham McDonald Talks Success, Luther Vandross Tribute In New Interview With Conversations LIVE

(Monday, November 29, 2010) Though 2010 is quickly coming to an end, there seems to be no end in sight to the opportunities and successes of singing superstar Abraham McDonald. In an interview on Sunday, November 28, 2010 with Cyrus Webb on Conversations LIVE he talked about the past year and what has been the highlights for him so far. At the top of list? Seeing his mother's smile.

McDonald told Webb that he was actually calling in for the interview from the video shoot for his Christmas single "I'm Giving You My Heart For Christmas" in which his mother and other family members are involved.

When asked what advice he would give to others who had a dream they wanted to follow, Abraham answered: "Get up... You only have to do 1% of this thing. Your Source will take care of the other 99%. If heavy-listing is alot for you at 1%, it's not going to happen for you... You have to begin to think yourself forward. Ask yourself 'What should I do today?' Each day is an opportunity to do something towards your dream."

Before the interview ended, Abraham told Webb that one of the things his fans should be looking out for in 2011 is a tribute for Luther Vandross he has done for TV One with Niecy Nash.

To hear the entire interview visit this link: . To stay abreast of other events with Abraham McDonald, go to

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The December 2010 Issue Of Conversations Magazine Is Now Available

Cyrus Webb, Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Conversations Magazine, is pleased to announce that the December 2010 issue is now available. The magazine which began in April 2006 is back with more content, amazing contributors and a wider distribution.

"This is truly a labor of love for all of us," says Webb, 35. "The Conversations Magazine of today is so much more than what I started with four years ago, but its evolution is a gift that I think everyone will appreciate."

p.3 "Another Year To Get It Right" (Mary E. Gilder)
p.6 "Our Interview with author Nancy Taylor Rosenberg" (Cyrus Webb)
p.9 FEATURE: Actress/author/Entrepreneur Cherie Johnson (Cyrus Webb)
p.11 "Andrew Neiderman, Our Author of theYear 2010-2011" (Cyrus Webb)
p.14 Meet Chef Bruce Tretter of "Quick and Easy Cooking" on Conversations LIVE
p.15 "Our Interview with author Mikki Zimmerman" (Cyrus Webb)
p.17 "Our Conversation with author Michael Dillon Scott (Cyrus Webb)
p.19 Excerpt From "Burdens Do A Body Good" (Michele Howe)
p.20 "Monique's Success Inspire Up-and-Coming Designer To Dream Big" (Cyrus Webb)
p.21 Herschel D's Top 10 Earning Athletes of 2010
p.21 Stan da Man's Top 10 Recording Artists of 2010
p.22 Conversations' Top 100 Books of 2010
p.25 25 Recording Artists To Watch In 2011
p.26 BOOK REVIEW: "I Know What I Am and I Am Not What You Call Me" (Cyrus Webb)
P.26 DRIVEN: Supermodel Miquel Perdomo (Cyrus Webb)
p.28 AUTHENTIC: Bringing A Unique Sound and Flavor To Hip Hip (Cyrus Webb)
p.29 "New Endeavor by Tray Chaney Proves He's A JACK OF ALL TRAYS" (Cyrus Webb)
p.30 NICOYE BANKS: Living His Dream Everyday (Cyrus Webb)
p.32 PROFILE: Recording Artist Lora Pascarella (Cyrus Webb)
p.32 BOOK REVIEW: "New From The Inside Out" by Kim Vazquez (Cyrus Webb)

To get your copy of the December 2010 issue today for only $6.99 (shipping included), visit You can also sign up for the 1 year (12-issue subscription for the low price of $24.99!

Beginning December 1, 2010 the December issue will be available for download as a pdf for only $3.50 at For more information about the magazine and how you can be involved, contact Cyrus Webb at or call Stanley Clark at 1.773.315.9286.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Three Literary Voices Come Together To Promote Reading In Mississippi

(Saturday, November 20, 2010) Mississippi may be seen as having one of the highest illiteracy rates in the country, but that is being chipped away each and every day by organizations like Conversations Book Club.

Under the leadership of Founder/President Cyrus Webb, Conversations Book Club began in Jackson, MS with only three members at the Medgar Evers Library in November 2006 but is now undesputedly the largest co-ed book club in the country with chapters in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and meetings in Tennessee. Now four years young, Conversations is continuing its mission of providing something for everyone.

On Saturday, November 20th, Webb hosted authors Joseph Henderson (I DON'T WANT TO DIE ALL ALONE), Diane Hassan (ANGELS AMONG US...EVEN IN IRAQ) and Tommie Watkins, Jr. (LIVING OUT LOUD) in events for the National Day of Reading in the cities of Jackson and Pearl in Mississippi.

The day began with "Breakfast with Books" where patrons at the Medgar Evers Library in Jackson, MS were treated with refreshments and an opportunity to socialize with the authors.
Stanley Clark, President of For The People Productions, joined the event as well. Being one of the founding members of Conversations, he shared his appreciation for the authors coming together to promote reading.

At the end of the event, author Diane Hassan donated a copy of her book to the library, presenting it to librarian Shirley Simmons.

The next stop was the Pearl Public Library in Pearl, MS. There authors Hassan and Watkins shared information about their books and talked about their individual experiences.

There Hassan donated a book as well, presenting it to the supervisor on duty.

Finally it was on to Appetizers Restaurant in Pearl, MS where the authors talked about their day and shared their plans for the new year.

To date Conversations Book Club has scheduled events for 93 authors since it began in November 2006, with many more already planned for the upcoming months. To stay in touch with Cyrus Webb and the Conversations literary movement, visit or contact Webb at or 601.214.0286.

If you are interested in more information about the authors, you can find it below:

Joseph Henderson ---
Dr. Diane Hassan ---
Tommie Watkins, Jr. ---

Thursday, November 18, 2010

(Sat. Nov. 20, 2010) Mississippi Prepares To Rumble With Books

In 2009 ABC News reported that over 30 million Americans ages 16 and up were unable to read or write well. This proves what many have said for some time: Illiteracy is an epidemic that is spreading daily, claiming victims of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds.

Co-ed reading group Conversations Book Club in Mississippi is using this opportunity to encourage reading and discussion by hosting a full day of events centered around the power of books. On Saturday, November 20, 2010, book club President Cyrus Webb welcomes Joseph Henderson (author of I DON'T WANT TO DIE ALL ALONE), Dr. Diane Hassan (author of ANGELS AMONG US...EVEN IN IRAQ) and Tommie Watkins, Jr. (author of LIVING OUT LOUD) to activities in Hinds and Rankin County. Here is the schedule:

* 10-11:30a.m., "Breakfast with Books" at Medgar Evers Library (4215 Medgar Evers Blvd * Jackson, MS) featuring authors Dr. Diane Hassan, Joseph Henderson and Tommie Watkins, Jr.
* 1-3p.m., Meet & Greet at Pearl Public Library (2416 Old Brandon Road * Pearl, MS) featuring authors Dr. Diane Hassan and Tommie Watkins, Jr.
* 6-7:30p.m., Meet & Greet at Appetizers (3000 Hwy 80 E * Pearl, MS) featuring authors Dr. Diane Hassan and Tommie Watkins, Jr.

Since November 2006, Conversations Book Club has hosted over 90 authors in events in the magnolia state to showcase the importance of reading. Those in the Central Mississippi area are encouraged to join in these free events and meet some exciting authors in the process.

All events are free and open to the public, and all authors will have books on hand. For more information, contact Cyrus Webb at or 601.896.5616.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

(November 19-30, 2010) Coming Up On Conversations LIVE Radio

After almost three weeks off the radio, Conversations LIVE show host Cyrus Webb returns with more exciting topics, incredible guests and new music heading into the holiday season.

Listen to the show live at or via the studio line at 1.347.426.3645. Missed the live shows or want to catch up? Simply go to

* Sunday, November 21, 2010 @ 10:30a.m. est (9:30a.m. est/7:30a.m. pt) --- Hosts Cyrus Webb and author Mary E. Gilder bring you a new edition of "Inspirational Conversations", featuring Mary's Motivational Message and Webb's book suggestion for the week.

* Sunday, November 21, 2010 @ 7p.m. est (6p.m. cst/4p.m. pt) --- At the top of the hour, Cyrus Webb talks with author Antonio Damasio. At 15 min. past the hour, author Linda Jenkins discusses her new book, followed by author Robert Brown (at 30 min. past the hour) and finally at 45 min. past the hour, author Barbara Worton joins the conversation.

* Monday, November 22, 2010 @ 1p.m. est (12p.m. cst/10a.m. pt) --- Host Cyrus Webb welcomes author Kristina Kilbourne at the top of the hour to talk about her new book. Then at 30 min. past the hour recording artist Tony Addison joins the conversation to discuss his new music.

* Monday, November 22, 2010 @ 8p.m. est (7p.m. cst/5p.m. pt) --- Host Cyrus Webb brings you a special discussion designed for authors who are looking to make their mark in the world as we go into the new year! Join guests Susan Violante and Irene Watson as they talk about their own careers and how they can help you along your journey.

* Tuesday, November 23, 2010 @ 1p.m. est (12p.m. cst/10a.m. pt) --- Host Cyrus Webb talks with Dr. Forte about her new book at the top of the hour, followed at 30 min. past the hour with a conversation with author Will Friedwald. Finally at 45 min. past the hour, Webb welcomes back author John Feinstein to discuss his new book for young readers.

* Tuesday, November 23, 2010 @ 8p.m. est (7p.m. cst/5p.m. pt) --- Host Cyrus Webb welcomes back author Nancy M. Sellers to discuss her new book. Then at 30 min. past the hour author R. Oliver joins the conversation.

* Wednnesday, November 24, 2010 @ 1p.m. est (12p.m. cst/10a.m. Pt) --- Host Cyrus Webb welcomes back author Phil Simon to talk about his new book. Then at 30 min. past the hour, author Buster Olney makes his debut on the program to talk about his new book.

* Wednesday, November 24, 2010 @ 8p.m. est (7p.m. cst/5p.m. pt) --- Host Cyrus Webb talks with Teresa Rybolt about how she is using social networking to make a difference. Then at 15 min. past the hour, Webb welcomes back author/journalist Sasha Abrhamsky to talk about his book INSIDE OBAMA'S BRAIN, this year's mid-term results and what he expects to happen politically in the new year.

* NOTICE: Conversations LIVE Radio is off the air Thursday, November 25th and Friday, November 26th, resuming on Sunday, November 28, 2010.

* Sunday, November 28, 2010 @ 10:30a.m. est (9:30a.m. est/7:30a.m. pt) --- Join Cyrus Webb and author Mary E. Gilder for Inspirational Conversations. Start your week off with music of inspiration, Mary's motivational message and Webb book suggestion for the upcoming week.

* Sunday, November 28, 2010 @ 7p.m. est (6p.m. cst/4p.m. pt) --- At the top of the hour, host Cyrus Webb welcomes back Island Def Jam recording artist Abraham McDonald to discuss his year, being named Conversations' Recording Artist of 2010 and to debut his new Christmas single "Giving You My Heart For Christmas". Then at 30 min. past the hour, Webb talks with recording artist Mordecai about his style, being named one of Conversations' Recording Artists To Watch In 2011 and what's next for him.

* Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 1p.m. est (12p.m. cst/10a.m. pt) --- Host Cyrus Webb talks with author Daniel Walls about his new book.

* Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 1p.m. est (12p.m. cst/10a.m. pt) --- At the top of the hour host Cyrus Webb talks with author Dorothy Guyton about what led her to writing and her new projects. At 30 min. past the hour, Webb talks with author M. Beatryce Shaw about her writing children's books with important lessons for all of us.

* Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 1p.m. est (12p.m. cst/10a.m. pt) --- At the top of the hour host Cyrus Webb welcomes recording artist Anitra Brockman to the show to talk about her love of song and debut new music. Then at 30 min. past the hour, Webb talks with author Christopher Price about his newest read.

* Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 8p.m. est (7p.m. cst/5p.m. pt) --- At the top of the hour, host Cyrus Webb talks with author Kenn Bivins about what led him to write his new book PIOUS. Then at 30 min. past the hour, Webb talks with author Cherie Hodges about her writing career and her newest book.

Remember that all shows by Conversations LIVE are available as free podcasts by going to There you can find all of our shows since 2008!

To contact Cyrus Webb about being a guest, advertising on the radio show or the radion show website, email him at or 601.896.5616. Stay abreast with his other activities by visiting his personal website at

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Andrew Neiderman: Conversations' Author of the Year, 2010-11

by Cyrus Webb for Conversations Magazine (

He's a man that has lived the life that authors all over the world of every genre would love to enjoy. International bestselling author Andrew Neiderman was born in Brooklyn. His family moved to the Catskills of New York when he was an infant. Today, Neiderman claims he has been a writer all his life. He recalls being popular in the kindergarten during story hour. While in the 8th grade, he published his first poem in the Young Poet's Magazine. He is a graduate of State University of Albany where he was co-editor of the literary magazine and a creator of Suppression, an underground newspaper. 

He went on to become a teacher at the high school from which he graduated. Neiderman published 18 novels while teaching there. He taught English at Fallsburg High School for 23 years before leaving to pursue a career as a novelist and screenwriter. As a teacher, he served as department chairman, faculty president, county teachers association president, director of dramatics and wrestling coach.

Eight years after Neiderman moved to Palm Springs, he published his most famous novel to date, "The Devil's Advocate." Aside from the fact that "The Devil's Advocate" is a film classic featuring Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron, Neiderman has over 100 million books in print and has been published in 95 countries. By that time in 1997, Neiderman had already published more than 60 novels, some under his own name and some as the ghostwriter for the best-selling V.C. Andrews novel series.

A true testament to the power of Andrew Neiderman is the fact that he has been able to keep his own success while being a part of the great franchise that has come from the V. C. Andrews phenomenon. I was in junior high school when I was first introduced to her novel FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC, and since that time over twenty years ago, I have been a fan of the dark gothic tales that seems to always reveal more of myself to me through each book.

At the time of her death in 1986, V. C. Andrews had over twenty four-million books in print and her estate was worth more than eight million dollars. Yet even death could not stop her stories from being told. Perhaps her writing career was cut short, but her legacy and stories never will be. Therefore, from now until the time her novels stop making its readers gasp, laugh, and/or cry, she will always remain unforgettable in the eyes of her fans. The newest book under the V. C. Andrews franchise, DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS <is already creating a buzz around the world.

By the writing of this article, I have interviewed this incredible author 4 times for Conversations LIVE Radio*, and each time it is like catching up with an old friend. He has always been kind, generous with his time as well as humbled by all that he has accomplished. In 2010, Neiderman celebrated the release of his 100th book, showing his staying power in an industry that has changed dramatically since he first entered the literary scene.

Here he talks about that career and more as we celebrate him being Conversations' Author of the Year 2010-11.

Andrew, thank you for taking out the time to talk with Conversations. You have provided a literary voice for years to different generations through your books. What do you feel accounts for your longevity and your appeal with readers?
I have always believed that the key to a good reader is the development of characters. Characters drive your stories. In my case I always begin with a what if question. For example, in NIGHT HOWL, I asked the question what if scientists were transplanting human brain cells into animals to see if they could improved intelligence and they did so with a German shepherd and that German shepherd got free and into population? The What if is there but now we need a character to drive the story and in this case, I chose a naturalist, a woodsman who is hired to track the dog and discovers quickly that it is a changed animal. He's angry science has created this creature, but he is likewise intrigued so he continues the pursuit. Stories, character and some edge or angle that will interest the reader is why I think my stories work well.

If you were asked, how would you define your style?
I began as a poet first so I always think about metaphor and love to write in a style that enables the reader to visualize, even if it is about feelings and thoughts. I am keen on the story moving along so I try to keep everything in the novel somehow related or key to the characters and the plot…no drifting…I always spend time on people, characters so the reader can see, hear the speaker. Worse thing is to overwrite.

One of the things that stands out to me about your career is how you have been able to appeal not just to those who read your books, but also those who watch your stories that are adapted into television movies and features films? Do you think it is important to your success to use every medium at your disposal?
In my particular case I taught film study for 20 years and I'm aware of the importance of visualization. My books lend themselves to other medium because of that and in today's competitive market, it is very good to have the opportunity to drive not only publication but sales with your variety of approaches. Nothing illustrates that as well as my novel, THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE. The movie opened thousands of readers to my books.

When did you know that it was going to be a writing career that gave you the satisfaction in life that you wanted?
I was actually telling stories in Kindergarten. I knew early on that writing was for me. I loved the written word and I have taken on every possible writing assignment to be involved with it. I have written speeches for candidates, advertising copy, historical information, one-act plays, poems and short stories. I published my first poem when I was in the 8th grade and never looked back. To me, writing is who I am and not what I do.

Was your family receptive of your decisions in the beginning? Tell us about the beginning stages of your writing career?
I had a very supportive family. I grew up with my maternal grandmother from Hungary living with us and she spent hours and hours telling me stories about the Old Country and gypsies and the like. I had an aunt who typed up all my written works for me and I had parents that were very encouraging. My father was a great storyteller as well. I attended Hunter college in the Bronx first and wrote for their literary magazine and then transferred to the State University of New York in Albany and became the editor of the literary magazine. While there, I established, with another student, an underground paper for poetry and short, short stories as well. I then went into teaching and published my first novel in 1971, SISTERS(Stein and Day, Pocketbooks, Inc) and I was off to a writing career that now has 86 published novels and books and one collection of one-act plays attributed to it, as well as two made screenplays.

I think we all have defining moments in our lives where we see that the path we are on is going to work or not. When did you see things lining up the way you wanted them to professionally?
My career began with SISTERS, but it wasn't until the publication of PIN that I knew I was headed for bigger things. PIN was a major best selling thriller for Pocketbooks and eventually a feature film. That began my pursuit with more ambition and vigor.
It resulted in a multi-book contract and then eventually, another with Putnam-Berkley.

Has there been a time, Andrew, when you look at the other books that are coming out in your genre and feel the need to compete in order to stay relevant? How have you remained true to who you are as an author?
You don't compete in the sense of an athlete, but you keep up with what is selling and you study what it is that makes other authors and their works successful. You can't change who you are, but you grow and develop and hone your skill and talent along the way. A major author with whom I had lunch one day told me he was jealous of me because one of my novels had become a studio blockbuster…The Devil's Advocate, which cost 67 million to make. He had never a major budget movie, but he was making ten times what I was. Still, that shows how people envy the guy next door and sometimes lose the way doing so. Write true stories, only stories that you have a passion to write, and you'll succeed, for yourself at least.

I think most people over the past decade or so have really gotten to know you as the ghostwriter behind the legendary V. C. Andrews novels that were published after her death. How did that opportunity come about and were you concerned how it would affect the titles that came under your own name?
I had the same agent and editor at the time and stepped in when Virginia was unable to finish the novel she was doing. It is so different from my own style and stories that I had no worries about it disturbing what I was doing.

How did you prepare yourself for such a challenge as finishing work that had been read by so many and was so different from your own writing style?
I taught writing for 23 years and I was able to emulate another style because of that and my writing skills. I also made it a research paper in the sense that I studied and studied the other style. I enjoy all kinds of writing and love the challenge.

Looking at the phenomenon that is V. C. Andrews, what do you think is the attraction to her titles after all of these years?
Many, many writers have tried to imitate V.C. Andrews. They have not succeeded because there is a magic formula. V.C. Andrews captures the hearts of young people especially because the works address their needs, thoughts and fantasies. But the style and the stories are characterized by elements of so many genres it's difficult to copy. It's like trying to cook your grandmother's special stuffed cabbage. She had the same ingredients but mixed them in her own special way that no one else had or has and so it remains one of a kind. It's this mixture, this addressing real issues and problems and putting them in the V.C. Characters and settings that makes it lasting.

Since it was discovered that you were the writer that the family of V. C. Andrews was working closely with, what has been some of the reactions?
Most have been very positive and supportive because they want the stories to continue and love the style. There are a great many envious people who want you to fail. That comes with any endeavor, but for the most part, everyone is supportive.

Can you give our readers some advice when it comes to following their dreams and finding their path in life?
When I was a teacher, I directed school plays and after a particularly successful one, a student came up to me and asked me if she should be an actress. I said, "NO," and she nearly cried. "Why not?" she asked. "Because you asked the wrong question," I told her. "What is the right question?" she asked. "The right question," I said, "is Mr. Neiderman, I want to be an actress. What do I do next?" The point is so many people have talent but not the determination or the perseverance. You cannot reach your goals without it and that's why I often say, "It's 40 percent talent and 60 percent perseverance. Prepare for rejection and defeat but if it's in you to succeed, you will. Simple as that.

Thank you again for this unique opportunity, Andrew. How can our readers keep up with your activities that are coming up?
Visit .

(To hear Cyrus Webb's latest interview with Neiderman, click this link:
authors-andrew-neiderman-and-garrick-wade-on-conversations-live )

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

(Mon. Nov. 15th) Mississippi's Own Conversations Book Club Turns 4!

(Mon. November 15, 2010) Conversations Book Club Celebrates Its 4-Year Anniversary!

Since its debut on November 2006, Conversations Book Club let it be known that it was going to be a literary force to be reckoned with. Created by radio and tv show host Cyrus Webb of Brandon, Mississippi, the premise of the book club was simple: to get people talking about books.

"I wanted to start a book club that celebrated all kinds of books," says Webb, 35. "I'm not a one-dimensional reader. I like a little bit of everything. That is the kind of reading group I wanted to form: a place where men and women could come together and have a great time with books."

What started in Jackson, Mississippi with just 3 members has grown to over 100 members in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. Conversations Book Club has hosted more authors than any other reading group in the country--- over 90 to date--- and it is the largest co-ed book club in the United States, having been featured by media outlets such as the Chicago Tribune, Associated Press and Fox News. The group has hosted everyone from New York Times Bestsellers to up-and-coming authors who have self-published their work.

On Monday, November 15, 2010 Cyrus Webb invites the public to celebrate Conversations' 4 year anniversary at the Pearl Public Library (2416 Old Brandon Road) in Pearl, MS. <click the flyer below to enlarge>
The event begins at 6p.m., and will include free refreshments as well as information available about what Conversations is doing to encourage reading not just in Mississippi but around the world. Webb is also using the event as a way to officially launch the return of his magazine Conversations.

For more information about the event, contact Cyrus Webb at or 601.896.5616. You can also visit or

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

"Pasta with Lighter Alfredo Sauce" by Chef Bruce Tretter

Pasta with Lighter Alfredo Sauce

All right, here's an example of a richly flavorful, creamy, fat and calorie reduced alternative to Fettuccine Alfredo, Pasta with Lighter Alfredo Sauce, that uses evaporated milk instead of heavy cream (please see the last post for the incredible fat and calorie difference) and also adds a little garlic, shredded zucchini and an optional shot of balsamic vinegar for a fresh, zesty punch of flavor. I think this version of Alfredo Sauce tastes at least as good as the original version without leaving you in a fat-induced post meal, lead-weighted walking coma.

Here's a shot of the ingredients you'll need - they're all very simple.

And here's a quick photo outline showing how it all goes together. Just one thing to bear in mind:…

…if you're using coarsely grated Parmesan cheese like what you see in the pictures above, please don't get discouraged if you notice the cheese and zucchini lump together when you start stirring all the ingredients together. Just keep stirring for a good minute or two so that the evaporated milk and cheese blend together smoothly as shown in the lower right picture. For complete, uniquely easy to follow step-by-step picture book directions, just click any photo on this page.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Cyrus Webb Presents "Conversations 25 Recording Artists To Watch In 2011"

Since Cyrus Webb began hosting Conversations LIVE radio show in July 2003, music has been a large part of the show's success. Over the past seven years he has not only been able to bring nationally recognized names to his listeners but in many cases introduce them to individuals who were on the rise or even outside of the genres they were used to hearing.

As another first for Conversations Magazine, Cyrus Webb is recognizing recording artists that he has met in 2010 and that he feels the world will be hearing more from in 2011. They will also appear in the Dec. 2010/Jan. 2011 issue of Conversations Magazine. Here, in no particular, are "Conversations' 25 Recording Artists To Watch In 2011" (click the photo below to enlarge):

* Row 1 (l-r): Dem Raleigh Boyz (Hip Hop/Rap), Pryce (Hip Hop/Rap), S. Green (R&B/Soul), Kut Supreme (Hip Hop/Rap) and Mordecai (R&B/Soul).

* Row 2 (l-r): Young Dread (Hip Hop/Rap/Reggae), Corey Drumz (Hip Hop/Rap), Lora Pascarella (Rock/Easy Listening), Renaldo Price (R&B/Soul) and Big G (Hip Hop/Rap).

* Row 3 (l-r): Cheneta Jones (Gospel/Inspirational), Jay Five (Hip Hop/Rap), Eva Sabiniano (Gospel/Inspirational), Marcus Jennings (Gospel/Inspirational) and EsTee (Gospel/Inspirational).

* Row 4 (l-r): Kimistry (Hip hop/Rap), Chantal Ambroise (R&B/Soul), Hustle Boyz (Hip Hop/Rap), Lisa Bouchelle (Rock) and Lindsay Katt (Rock).

* Row 5 (l-r): Tomas Doncker (Soul/Easy Listening/Inspirational), Joel Simpson (R&B/Soul), Lexington Field(Rock/Blue Grass), Kinesis (Hip Hop/Rap) and Mad June (Rock).

Congratulations to all of the artists, and we look forward to seeing what you have in store for us in the new year.