Thursday, July 14, 2005



I DID MY final 3 Chicago Drop-bys today at 2 Barnes & Noble's & one Border's. I had called Border's last week to tell them I was coming & they told me they didn't have any copies, after I had seen them displayed in “New Fiction” two weeks ago. So I'm thinking, I guess they sold. But I decided to stop in the store anyway since I was in the neighborhood just to make sure & sure enough, there were two copies of my book on the shelf. I asked the guy to check the computer & he found 2 more. I told him how I had called last week & someone told me that there were no copies but I couldn't remember his name. I asked his name & when he said "Andy," it dawned on me that he was the same person I spoke to (!) I almost forgot I was a Christian. I then went to a far North Side Border’s (which wasn’t on my daysheet) to edit my 2nd book (in Lincolnwood) & there, in African American literature, was Choose Me on the shelf. That was a pleasant surprise, though it was shelved improperly under the “S’s” so I moved it to a more prominent display on the side (next to Connie Briscoe & Eric Jerome Dickey).

JUST GOT THE updated daysheets regarding the Indianapolis trip to the Black Expo where I will be participating on a Fiction Authors’ Panel with four other Christian fiction authors (including Cheri Paris Edwards). I went on-line to check out their websites, read their bios/ excerpts. Only two had websites, none of them had excerpts, so I couldn't get a sense of their writing style. They're all self-published so it should be interesting. I'm looking forward to Indianapolis, but I'll be glad when it's over.

LAST NITE I saw Terry McMillan on Tavis Smiley--whoo, the girl was mad hot! She was just going on & on about how her ex risked her life, how she could be HIV positive, how she's more insulted than anything. She went on & on about how he is not going to get any of her money, how he's stupid & slick but prison is full of slick people. Every time Tavis Smiley tried to change the subject away from her ex, she would come right back around to it. She finally got around to talking about her new book The Interruption of Everything (they've run 1/2 million copies!). The only good thing she said was how women think being 50 is the beginning of the end when in actuality, it's like replaying your twenties, only you're in your 50s. Also, she said she doesn't like the label, "Black Chick-lit" because she doesn't like people to define her work (I don't either) & that she prefers to call it "dramedy," it's tragic, but there's humor in it.

I FEEL TM’s pain, as an author, and as an older woman. When I first heard about her younger man, I knew it wouldn't last, not only because of the age factor, but because of the circumstances surrounding their courtship. While the DL issue never entered my mind, I have always believed you just don't bring men you meet on vacation back home & marry them (especially from other countries; "What happens in Jamaica, stays in Jamaica--including the man"), just like you don't take men home from bars. Had she kept quiet, no one but her immediate friends/family would have been none the wiser. So yes, I feel sorry for her, too. Very sorry.

JUST RECENTLY AT my book signing in Detroit, I was inevitably asked the question, "How much of Eva (the female protag) is you?" I knew the gentleman who asked this question asked because I had read an excerpt of Eva's (who is Latina) stating that she had always been attracted to Black men. Also, Eva is a celibate woman who eventually becomes attracted to an African American man who makes her question her vow of celibacy. Since I had anticipated this question, I was ready with my answer. I replied that other than the fact that I had been married at age 19 and had two college-aged children before I was 40 (like Eva), the book was fiction. Whether that is true or not, HE will never know. He will never know whether I am or ever have been celibate, nor will he ever know if I truly am attracted to Black men. No one, not even my own family knows my inner thoughts or desires, even if they have witnessed SOME of my experiences. And that's the bottom line: you just got to know when to DENY, DENY, DENY. Writing, like life, without a little mystery, becomes mundane.

GREAT NEWS! NIGEL from Barbara's Bookstore at my old job called today. When he tried to order more copies from his distributor (Ingram), he was told they had no more copies, so he said he has to order them directly from Warner & would call me once they come in. WOO-HOO!! (I wonder how many copies were in stock at Ingram & what does this mean exactly?)

Love, Peace & Soul
Amor, Paz y Alma


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