Conversations Magazine, March/April 2024

Conversations Magazine, March/April 2024

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Conversations Magazine Introduces It's March/April Issue Featuring Women Changing the World

Conversations Media Group is excited to announce that it's March/April 2014 issue of Conversations Magazine will feature its 25 Women Changing the World.

"There are so many amazing women doing great things," says Cyrus Webb, President of CMG and Editor-In-Chief of the publication. "This is our opportunity to give them some much-needed attention and praise."

The issue, which releases Fri. March 14th, features Leeza Gibbons, Gloria Gaynor, Jackie Collins, Wahida Clark, Iyanla Vanzant, Dafna Michaelson Jenet, Iris Bolling, Francine Weinberg, author Kelly Stone and more.

Order the single issue for only $6.99, shipping included by clicking the button below.

To find out more information about Conversations Magazine visit

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Devon Franklin: Living A Life Produced By Faith (2014)

by Cyrus Webb

It's been almost two years now since I turned on the television one particular Sunday morning for Super Soul Sunday on the Oprah Winfrey Network and became engrossed in Oprah's conversation with Devon Franklin. The two were discussing his book Produced by Faith and before the segment was over I was online ordering the book and digesting the tips.

The premise of the conversation on OWN as well as in the book was all about direction and who we chose to take our lead from. What a timely discussion for us to have today as there are so many things that try to control your life and monopolize your time. In the book Produced by Faith Franklin discusses the importance of looking at your life as a movie with our Heavenly Father being the greatest Director of all. Will we choose to listen or will we allow our egos to keep us from heeding the direction He gives?

This was a conversation I knew I wanted to have with Franklin, but I knew because of his schedule it might be almost impossible.

Thankfully I was wrong.

We were able to connect and the discussion that followed was not just inspiring but what I knew others needed to hear.

When I asked Devon about the response to the book and the way it was connecting with the hearts and minds of the world, Devon told me this:  "It's been powerful. By being vocal about who I am and owning who God created me to be has contributed to my success in entertainment and guided me as I chart my own course in this business. I've learned and been able to share that when you put God first everything else will fall into place."

In the book we are able to see how Devon got to this place of not just being fearless in his faith but how it has been rewarded. "Part of it came out of necessity," he told me when referring to the courage he was able to display. "When something doesn't feel right it's very hard for me to do it." When it came to assignments that made him unhappy and unfulfilled he says he recognized where the feeling was coming from. "I wasn't being my true self and operating in the confidence that God had given me."

So what Devon do to get on track? He did a self-examination. "Out of necessity I had to figure out how can I begin to start to like who I really am," he says. "Every time I tried to do my job as someone else it didn't work. I realized I had to do it the way I was built to do it. There is a danger when we feel like we have to emulate how someone else operates. You can't be successful if you are just emulating someone else. You have to find your own way of doing something."

How do we know that Devon's perspective of his life and his dedication to his faith have worked? Consider the facts. He currently serves as Senior Vice President of Production for Columbia Tristar Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment, making him one of the youngest individuals in that position in the industry. He recently oversaw the remakes Sparkle, starring the late Whitney Houston in her last on screen role, and The Karate Kid, starring Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith.

Since the release of Produced By Faith Franklin has been more out-front, sharing what has worked for him. "Knowing that I'm created for a these moments when I'm coming from behind the scenes I bring with me the knowledge I have taken in," he says. When looking at the success of his entertainment career and even the attention the book has gotten he keeps things in their proper perspective.

"All these things that are happening to me or not about me," Devon says. "It's really about God's time and God's will and knowing there are people that need to be reached." By keeping his eye on the bigger picture, he has managed to keep his focus. "When you get lost you lose sight of what originally motivated you in the first place," he explained. "It's always keeping purpose number 1. It's about reaching people and being a servant. Long as I can keep that front and center it continually helps me in making decisions. All of us have to make decisions that are rooted in purpose and what God wants you to do."

One of Devon's quotes is this: "To get where you want to go, you’ve first got to become the person God wants you to be.” This takes effort but it is definitely worth the work involved.

When it comes to his book and his message Devon says that his hope and prayer is that as you're looking at your life as a movie and God as the director it will give perspective. This means that we won't think the bad time we are going through are all there is to life. "The danger is that we think the scene we are in is permanent when in fact it is temporary," he says. "In that permanent perception we make decisions that can alter the direction of our story. All of us have practical things we can do to move from one scene in our lives to the next. We just have to trust that God knows our story from beginning to end."

For more information about Devon Franklin's book Produced by Faith and the work he is doing to help you live the life that is meant to be yours, visit You can also stay in contact with Devon on Twitter at

Jackie Collins: Taking Readers on a 'Power Trip' with New Release

by Cyrus Webb

She is one of the most beloved and talked about authors over the past 20 years, and there is no sign of her slowing down any time soon. With over 500 million copies of her books sold to date, Jackie Collins has become synonymous with engaging stories, sizzling story lines and characters that are talked about long after readers finish her books. 

I discovered her myself while in High School, and for the past 2 decades I have been one of those eager fans that have devoured everything she has published. As I was preparing earlier this year for our anniversary issue of the magazine I knew that I wanted Ms. Collins to be involved. Imagine my surprise and excitement when I got a reply to my email to Ann-Marie of Get Red PR about setting up the interview--  and it was everything I hoped it would be and more. 

Her new book, The Power Trip, was published on Tues. February 12th and instantly joined her others in becoming a runaway bestseller. Ever gracious and open about her literary journey, during our conversation Jackie Collins shared not just her own experiences but gave some great advice for those who are looking for the key to living life with purpose and passion. 

"I have the greatest fans, the greatest readers. I'm on Twitter (@JackieJCollins), and they talk with me about the characters and the books they love. It has been great interacting with them. 
"I think I write for everybody. All ages, all colors, all sexual orientations. There's something for everyone in all of my books. I am a true storyteller. That was the gift I was given, to tell stories. My main thrust has always been to write strong women, strong positive women. I think my readers love the women I create. Success (for me) is hearing back from the fans, hearing back from people who love my characters."

"I think I realized it when I was a kid. I started writing in school and selling my stories to my school mates. I knew then I had a gift of making up a story. I read so much then, spent my leisure time reading books."

"I was expelled from school at 15. At that point you're kind of in limbo, wondering what you're going to do with your life. I wanted to be a writer. My parents said you can't be a writer, you need to go to college. You need to get degrees. When someone says to me you can't do something that's when I say to myself 'Oh yes I can.' I decided to follow the dream, and the dream was to write books. Turns out, people don’t buy books because you went to college. The Power Trip is my 29th book. I'm really proud of what I've accomplished."

"I write what I want to write. I don't plan my books.  I sit down with the characters and they take me on this wild trip. When I was writing The Power Trip I had the best time with the characters. There are so many diverse groups."

One of the issues that Jackie's book The Power Trip mentions is how issues of race still rear their head regardless of how much a person achieves. "My brother is married to a beautiful black woman," she told me. "I understand racial tensions that can take place. If I can write about it and change people's minds I am very happy to do that."

Her decision to "self-publish" some of her most popular books as kindle reads made news around the world, birthing over 120,000 stories about the decision. When asked about it, this is what Jackie shared about the move and the response from her fans. "All my books are on e-books in other countries, but a lot were not in America. I decided to do it myself, starting with Bitch, The Love Killers and Chances (Since then both Lucky and Lady Boss have been added to the list). I have gotten amazing reactions from my fans. They love it, and for me the experience has been very freeing."

I shared with Jackie that though I know people like the immediacy of e-books, I still love the physical copies. She mirrored my sentiment. "I want to have a book in my hand," she told me. "I have a Kindle and iPad, but I don't like reading that way. It is the new thing. I think real book lovers will still buy books, but some like the convenience of having them on Kindle which is why I am making them available to them."

"I have a particular message for women. Whether it's making cupcakes, writing books, singing or writing songs, you have got to have something for yourself, something that's yours. Everybody's got to have a passion in life. that's what makes life so exciting."

Jackie Collins will forever remain one of those authors whose work withstands the test of time. Why? Because everything she writes comes from the heart.

Collins new book CONFESSIONS OF A WILD CHILD is due out in early 2014. Stay in touch with Jackie and her upcoming projects on her website She also has a Facebook fan page and can be found on Twitter at The Power Trip is available at bookstores and online retailers everywhere.