R’s note: I spoke with Nakea and she informs me that she is not exclusively promoting Urban and Street lit. She promotes all works by African Americans. Sorry for the misinformation!
Buffy and I were guests at the ninth annual As the Page Turns holiday bash. A friend of ours, Nakea, is in the know about all things books, particularly all things street fiction and urban fiction*.She runs the Literary Consultant Group and is the Creator/Executive Producer of 3 Chicks On Lit a weekly podcast that features book reviews, authors and conversation about books.
Nakea passing out the swag
Last year we went and, only being newly reintroduced to the street lit genre, I wasn’t entirely sold on the idea of what I assumed were going to be self published tomes, full of plot holes spelling errors and some other literary hash pretending to be a book**. I was quite surprised, duly chastised even, when I met women who wrote great books, had a wonderful story to tell and knew their stuff.
This year trumped last year as we were introduced to five authors who made us laugh, inspired me and As the Page Turns Book Club/ 3 Chicks on Lit.
Victoria Christopher Murray
Victoria writes what would probably be classified as Christian fiction, She started out as a self publisher but soon found an agent. Her body of work features a character named Jasmine who seemed to be a crowd favorite.
I heard a blurb about her book on NPR and at the time was sick of books and stories about (what I thought) were victimized Black women. As she told WHY she wrote this book, I found myself wondering what is the real story behind the history that we think we know?
She laughingly shared that she has issues and writing was her therapy. She wanted to tell the story of a pivotal event her life: the literal on the street knock down drag out fight that marked the end of her parent’s marriage and decided to explore her life afterwards.
She writes erotica fiction. Now since she reminded me of my mom I am going to pass on picking up those titles. However her newest title, Lipstick Candy a book that speaks about child trafficking. She spoke about her experiences and just wanted all of us to be on the lookout for those lost souls, young women that we may snub but really need help.
Wahida (’cause we’re friends like that.***) was serving time, ten years or so in a federal prison (the same one as Martha Stewart). About a year in she called home to ask for money and was told by her family that they had no money. At the time her husband was in prison, her teen aged daughters were being raised by family and she needed to think of something quick to support her family. She worked in the library (Squee!) and would use the time she was there to start writing her book and came up with the first title of the Thugs series, the first book is Thugs and the Women Who Love Them.
She now owns her own publishing company and has at least one reader in my library gobbling up all of her books.
Despite a late start, the evening was enjoyable. I had some excellent conversations with some of the other ladies there, was (to quote my student worker) bussin’ it up with the authors and was impressed by the positive event.
I’ve two books to finish and then I’m jumping into Wench. I’m excited to read it and can’t wait to be as moved as every woman who read the book seemed to have been.
Check out the pictures from the event.
Dolen signing her book
Wahida and me
Panel with Allison and Wahida
(l-r) Tinesha, Dolen and Victoria
Dolen and me
*The thing that Vanessa has been advocating and educating me about for years!
** I realize I sound like such a snob. I WAS but have now seen another way.