Tuesday, April 20, 2010


To Attica Locke, whose Black Water Rising is short-listed for the Orange Prize!

And to Victor LaValle who just won a Guggenheim fellowship!

Black Water Rising and Big Machine are both in paperback and are both excellent. Buy them!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

News & a give-away!

Glorious is in the current issue of O Magazine! Congrats Bernice!

Mari Walker's new one Not Quite What it Seems is out today. Happy Pub Day Mari!

Pearl Cleage's Till You Hear From Me comes out a week from today!

Tananarive Due is blogging at a new site about writing. Prospective writers check it out.

If you like connecting with authors online, Reads for Pleasure has a link to lots of black authors who are online.

Here's a great trailer for the YA fantasy The Marvelous World by Troy CLE.

And if you like fantasy, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin looks good!

This blog was shortlisted for the Author Blog Awards. Voting ends Thursday. Blog, Facebook or Tweet your friends to vote for me and leave me a comment here to let me know you did. I'll do a random drawing of commenters for an advance copy of Red Hats by Damon Wayans (who knew he was a novelist?) or From Cape Town with Love by Due, Steven Barnes & Blair Underwood!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Toni and Terry Solution

DeBerry and Grant often discuss what they call the Toni-Terry problem: Publishers who don't know what to do with an author who doesn't follow either Toni Morrison's or Terry McMillan's literary models.

I'd like to talk today about the Toni-Terry solution. How Morrison and McMillan support new black authors. Here is video of Morrison talking at the National Black Writers' Conference, which recently took place in Brooklyn (with thanks to Stafford Battle for the video), accepting a Lifetime Achievement Award and encouraging new writers. (For more, read Grace Ali's essay about what the conference meant to young writers.)

Terry McMillan has recently come online on Facebook and Twitter, where she shares writing tips with aspiring authors. She also uses her fame to spread the word about other writers, as she does in this article. She's also quick to send congratulatory notes or leave comments on other writers' Facebook pages if she likes their work. (Her sequel to Waiting to Exhale, Getting to Happy comes out in September!)

Brava and sincere gratitude to both! Would that more writers of their stature would support those who are coming behind them.

In other news....

Poetry Month
Looking for a little poetry to start your day? Try Sonia Sanchez' latest: Morning Haiku.

New and upcoming novels
Lots of good stuff coming soon. Including giveaways! I got a couple of advance readers copies that I will share. I feel a contest coming on. In the meantime, APOOO Book Club always keeps a good list of upcoming releases. Here's their spring/summer list.

Preston Allen has a new novel out called Jesus Boy. Booklist says, "Allen has created a consummate tragicomedy of African American family secrets and sorrows, and of faith under duress and wide open to interpretation. Perfect timing and crackling dialogue, as well as heartrending pain balanced by uproarious predicaments, make for a shout-hallelujah tale of transgression and grace, a gospel of lusty and everlasting love."

I know a lot of you like literary fiction, so don't sleep on this one!