Thursday, September 27, 2012

She's Baaa-aaack! Chatting with Omegia Keeys - Single, Black, and Government Owned (VBTC Book Tour)

Welcome back Omegia! We’re so happy to be celebrating your newest release, Single, Black, and Government Owned, with you! Congratulations!

Omegia will be giving you a chance to win an e-copy of her book, so be sure to enter using the Rafflecopter below. Now....Let's just dive in and chat!

BK:  What can readers expect from SBAGO?
OK: Readers can expect to see a lot more emotion from me. I exposed them to the inner thoughts of the mind of Omegia. For those who’ve read my erotic novels I think it will give them a sense of why I chose to write those first.

BK:  Is this a continuation from Rise and Fall of a Track Star, or just another aspect of your life?
OK: This is the continuation. I pick right up from where I left off in Rise and Fall of a Track Star. I split up the memoirs because there was a change in my life which made them two different stories. I didn’t realize it when I first wrote them but the first part is great for the YA audiences and the second dives deeper into adult issues. 

BK:  Rise and Fall of a Track Star was a very emotional process, what was the writing process for SBAGO like?
OK: SBAGO was gut wrenching because it brought me up to the present and I ended the book so close to where I was at that moment in time. It was what I call ‘the man in the mirror’ moment. The good, the bad, and the what the heck was I thinking was staring me smack dab in the face and I had to tell the truth no matter what because everything in there could be verified by someone else. There was one instance I went back and forth over would I in include it or not up until the day I sent the book off for publishing. I wrote it, lined it out, unlined it, then I decided I needed to show it or the reader would miss a big catalyst for change within me. From the response it was the right thing to do. 

In case you missed my live interview with Omegia for Rise and Fall of a Track Star, check it out.
Listen to internet radio with Bk Walker on Blog Talk Radio

BK:  What do you hope readers will take away from your Memoirs?
OK: I want my readers to know that no matter what side of the coin they’re on they have a choice in their outcome of their life. If you go around hurting people in time it will come back on you and if you go around being angry you’ll miss the life in front of you. No one can control things that happen to them but we can control how we react to it. 

BK:  You’ve also written other books in the Adult and Young Adult Genre, what did you find was the hardest part switching to your own life writing from these other genres?
OK: The hardest part was admitting I did things wrong in my life and not some fictional character. But, it allowed me to show how I began writing the other novels. 

BK:  Also a Publicist and Publishing Liason, tell us a little bit about your roles in these, and what you offer…How can someone hire you for your services?
OK: As a publicist I help market authors from those with a first book to those under big name publishers. I bring an out of the box thinking style with selling books by setting up signings/events, getting books in libraries, and school systems. I had one client laugh at me because I set up a signing along with a Passion Party. Well, her book was erotic, so it fit. It worked because she sold the case of books she took to the event. I don’t believe in limitations—otherwise I would have given up a long time ago.
For those who self-publish I also know the publishing aspect backwards and forwards so I can help edit, format, and complete other areas. I can be reached on my contact form via

BK:  Now for a little fun. One place you’d love to visit if you could.
OK: Alaska. I’m determined to see the northern lights. 

Aren't the lights just gorgeous???

BK:  One surprising fact readers would be most shocked to know about you.
OK:  I actually was a lingerie model during a small phase of my life. 

BK:  If you were stranded on an island, what are 3 things you would want to have with you.
OK: Water, Food, pen and pad set (I’d have to tell about my crazy adventure before I went insane lol)

BK:  One person you would have stranded with you and why.
OK: My middle son. He motivates me in so many ways

BK:  Favorite writing must-haves.
OK: PC, power, and the screaming voice in my head. I’ve written while during officer training for the Army so it doesn’t take much. 

BK:  Please tell us where readers can connect with you.
OK: FB under Author Omegia Keeys, Twitter: okeeys

BK:  Where can readers purchase your books?
OK: Almost everywhere books are sold in print and ebook to include, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Diesel, Kobo and this link to Amazon:

BK:  Any upcoming releases or events you’d like to share?
OK:  I mentioned out of the box thinking so I’m hosting the Launch of MeMe’s Passionate Playhouse on Oct. 2nd, and I’ll be accepting my Gold Award for Single, Black, and Government Owned, as well as a speaker for Readers Favorite at the Miami International Book Festival in November, and speaker for the One Karma Publishing banquet in December. 
Next year I’ll be releasing the Soldier’s in Heat Collection. It’s back to the steamy stuff for me for a while. 

Thank you so much for chatting today Omegia! As always, it’s been so much fun. Best of luck in the future!

Thank you for having me and for always helping authors. 

About Omegia:

Entrepreneur, Best Selling Author, Publishing Liaison, and Motivational Speaker are just a few of the makings of O. Keeys (Omegia). After serving two terms in the military Omegia went on to apply her strategic planning to the publishing industry. She has garnered numerous awards and praise to include the Scribe Award for the National Black Book Festival, guest speaker for The Miami International Book Festival, and ranking in Conversations Magazine top 100 books of 2010 and 2011. In between book touring Omegia spends her time dedicated to helping her fellow authors. She has over 20 years in the publishing industry in which she started out as a teen working in her mother’s book store. Omegia has many published books to include (Adult) Passionate, Playmates,, Can You Keep a Secret? and Erotic Moments: Love, Lust, and Desire, (Memoir) Rise and Fall of a Track Start and Single, Black, and Government Owned, (Young Adult) The Baby Girl and Unloved, and (Self Help) The Not So Common Sense Guide for Authors.

Author Links:

Link to Author’s Tour Page – O. Keeys

Single, Black, and Government Owned is the explosive follow up to O. Keeys's critically acclaimed memoir, Rise and Fall of a Track Star. After walking away from a rising track career Omegia joins the military and leaves her son at home with her family.
For nearly thirteen years she balances being a single parent, dating, and her commitment to Uncle Sam. Single, Black, and Government Owned is an up close and personal view into the life of a woman overcoming the challenges of being a victim of sexual assault. This memoir takes you on an emotional roller coaster ride and will leave you feeling liberated.

Genre: Memoir
Release Date: May 9, 2012
Publisher: Passionate Writer Publishing
Purchase Link:  Amazon

This is Single, Black, and Government Owned

What the heck was I thinking? I stood in front of a brown brick building with about fifty other people, both male and female, being screamed at. We were lined up in four rows with ten in each column. I was in the second row, midway down and an arm’s length away from the each of the four other people surrounding me.
“Drop your bags! Pick them up! Hold them with your arms straight out!” one of the drill instructors yelled.
Dressed in their battle dress uniform (BDU’s) and Smokey the Bear hats, they swarmed us. Something about those hats made them more intimidating. For me, it was because it blocked their eyes, but for those who got the one-on-one attention of the drill instructors, it was something more. The fear could be seen on their faces whenever a drill instructor approached them. One guy with long, blond hair received special treatment with the hat. The drill instructor stood so close as he spoke to the boy, the brim of the hat smacked the boy in the forehead on every other word. By the time the drill instructor was finished, the poor guy had a red indention on his forehead.
“You rainbows are a bunch of freaking idiots! You just couldn't follow directions, could you? The Airman manual clearly said pack two changes of clothes,” another drill instructor added.
I found out later they called us rainbows because it was day one of Basic Training and we hadn't been issued our uniforms yet. The group of us standing together in formation with different colored clothing made us look like one big rainbow.
With my arms out straight and parallel on both sides of my body, I fought desperately to hold up my bags in my hands. My arms were just beginning to feel the burn and from all my years of watching military movies, I knew this was only the beginning. I held back tears as I reflected on what had gotten me to this point.
I was done, defeated. I had just walked away from my one true love—track. Running had been the one thing in my life that was consistent and then it was turned into a vice used by others to put me down. How dare I leave my son with my mother and step out into the world to better myself? How dare I dream to be something different than what I had grown up seeing around me? I was supposed to be like all the others who have a baby as a teen, drop out of school, get on welfare, and let all of my dreams fall to the wayside.
Well, I was determined not to live that life, so I took the scholarship offered to me and went to college. There I excelled academically and in track, but mentally, I was fading fast. The hard, protective shell I had put around myself no longer held the negativity at bay. The shame from my childhood was catching up with me. The more races I won, the worse I felt. Why would anyone like me deserve something good? Who was I to achieve any of the accomplishments I had? If I was so special, then why did something so horrible happen to me? Those thoughts were why I left my love and walked away.
A lonely month dragged by and I began to realize the gravity of the situation I found myself in. It was way worse than the one I had left. I was living in a rundown apartment on the east side of Indianapolis without scholarship money to help pay my bills. The money I made working in the shipping and receiving department of a warehouse only provided enough so I could pay for the daycare in order to get to the crappy job in the first place. I reluctantly picked up a part time job at Walmart so we wouldn’t starve.
Once a week when I left the house, I set off a bomb to keep the roaches at bay. I had discovered the unwanted guests on a trip to the kitchen in the middle of the night during my first week there. When I complained to the rental office, I was handed roach motels. No way was I going to house those things. I wanted them gone, not stuck to the inside of a box in my kitchen.
Thus began my roach bombing campaign. I’d have my son stand in the hallway, I’d set off the bomb, and then run out the apartment. The roaches would disappear for a week and then return. Living in an apartment provided them an escape. They would leave and come back once the coast was clear.
I tried pleading with my neighbors to bomb their apartment along with me, but they blew me off. One day I took matters into my own hands. I saw an open window, popped the top on an extra bomb I had and threw it in. Cursing and screams spilled out into the stairwell. I picked my son up and ran to the car before they came outside and saw who the culprit was. My fear of being caught subsided as I made my way to work. It was gone by the time I got a phone call later that afternoon informing me I had not been hired for yet another job.
After going to more interviews and hearing the same thing over and over—You're a smart kid, but you have no experience—I was beginning to realize it had been a wasted effort for me to have busted my behind trying to erase the stigma of being a dumb jock. My grade point average meant nothing to Corporate America. Neither did my blank diploma. Oh, I had finished college, but somehow Indiana State University claimed I owed money. I was on a full-ride scholarship, but arguing with the Controller’s Office landed me nowhere, so I gave up.
I knew I finished and that was all that mattered. I had completed the American Dream. Go to college and you would land a good job, right? I had yet to see the good job, and from the look of contempt on the last person I had interviewed with, I knew I wasn’t going to find it any time soon.
I made a decision to go down to the military recruiting center, join the Armed Services, and get the experience I was lacking. I did not want to be a welfare recipient and at the pace I was going, I was bound to end up there sooner or later. I chose the Air Force after remembering a conversation with my dad from childhood. He had retired from the Navy and always said he didn’t want his daughter on a boat with all those men and only men with nothing else to do in life should join the Marines. My choices were narrowed down to Air Force or the Army.
Coughing in the phone, I faked an illness to my supervisor and called in sick to my dead-end job. Afterward, I headed over to the recruiting center.
A large man in a tan uniform stood outside the building as I approached.
“Where you going with that funny looking hair?” He stared me down, making my five-foot-five-inch frame feel less than two inches tall.
I had been in a hair show a few days prior, and my hair was burgundy and in an up-do with two chopsticks sticking out of it. Nothing that I would have ever worn had it not been for doing my friend a favor and filling in for one of her no show clients. I wanted to say something smart back, but the look in his eye told me better. Instead, I glanced at the sign behind him and let out a sigh of relief. It read, “Marines.” I was looking for the Air Force or Army office. I sidestepped my heckler and continued to the door beside him.
The sign read “Army” but no one was inside. I continued to the next door, which read “Air Force,” and poked my head in. A man in a blue uniform glance up from his desk, and his gaze immediately went to my hair.
“It was for a hair show. I normally don't wear it like this and the color is weave,” I quickly muttered. I felt like an idiot.
“No problem. What can I do for you?”
“I want to sign up.”
“Just like that?”
“Yes. I just finished college and now I can’t find a decent job. I need to have experience.”
“College, huh?” He smiled. “You have your diploma?”
“No, but I finished and my overall GPA was a 3.89.”
He flashed those pearly whites at me like he had just won the lottery. After introducing himself to me as Technical Sergeant Harvey, he quickly went through his spiel and gave me the practice ASVAP test, a test everyone had to take before joining. He looked at my score and said I could pick any job I wanted, as he slid me a book with all the jobs the Air Force offered.
I read over a few and picked Intelligence Analyst. The job sounded cool, sort of like a spy. Technical Sergeant Harvey had me fill out some more information and a form to take my real test and physical exam the next week. What he neglected to tell me was I’d have to get naked and let some cruddy old doctor look at my female genitalia, walk like a duck in my bra and panties, and pee in a cup with someone staring me down. It was more humiliating than the first day of gym in junior high, but I survived.
I waited until almost two weeks were left until my ship out date before I told my mother what I had done. She wasn’t too happy about it. In fact, she loudly voiced her opinion. Her “What?” still rings in my ears to this day. She had a conference with my oldest sister, Lette. In the end, they agreed to keep my four-year-old son as long as I signed over temporary guardianship to my sister. I was hesitant, but saw no other way.
And that is how I ended up there with my arms held up like an idiot. I think they had it timed just right for us to lower them before they ripped out our sockets. After that, they shuttled us around like cattle up into our barracks on the third floor, females on one side and males on the other. Metal doors kept us separated and someone always had to stand guard to allow entry. No males, unless they were our drill instructors. They even had a sign on the wall in case you forgot.

September 23 - Introduction at VBT Cafe' Blog
September 25 - Guest Blogging at Cindy Vine's Blog
September 27 - Interviewed at BK Walker Books Etc.
October 1 - Guest Blogging at Cafe' Creations
October 3 - Guest Blogging at AZ Publishing Services
October 5 - Fun Facts & Recipe at Writing Innovations E-zine
October 8 - The Book Connoisseur 
October 10 - Interviewed at MK McClintock's Blog
October 12 - Guest Blogging at Lori's Reading Corner
October 16 - Guest Blogging at A Book Lover's Library
October 18 - Reviewed at Turning The Pages