Friday, July 28, 2006

July 28, 2006: Just Wanted to Share...

This is me with my heroine from the blogosphere, Arianna Huffington. This was taken at 2006 BEA here in DC, after the luncheon that featured Huffington, Andrew Sullivan, Lynn Sherr, Frank Rich, and Pat Buchanan.

When I think even entertain the thought that blogs don't make a difference and wonder if anyone's reading mine, I remember of this lady and think, Damn, she's tall!!!

The 2006 BEA photos are coming shortly to my web site, I promise. And I also promise that there will be no monkeys flying out of anyone's ass. :-)


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

July 26, 2006: La donna e mobile

Don't worry: I won't make you look it up. It's from Verdi's opera, Rigoletto. It means "The woman is fickle." And, if you envision the publishing game as a woman, then she is the most fickle of the bunch.

Before you hear in the street, I will not be publishing any new work with Kensington-Dafina any time soon. The following is an excerpt from THE E-MAIL from my agent:

Kensington will not be offering for the option books.

Reason: The publisher did not feel the sales of the first two titles supported further investment.

The above means that the publisher chooses not to exercise their option for my third book.

I'm surprised that I'm discussing this in this blog. I am, by nature, a rather private person. But I do believe there's no benefit in keeping secrets. Everything that's done in the dark will eventually come into the light. Plus this industry is so incestuous. One person is an editor one place, then, give it a few years, and she or he has hopped over to another publishing house. Which, incidentally, is what happened with the Executive Editor of Dafina, who is moving on to greener pastures.

Of course, I was not pleased, at first, as you can well imagine. After all, being a published author has been my dream from since I was eleven and writing bad Mills and Boon knockoffs about inauthentic lives and characters. So, I was excited when I thought the search was over in 2003, and I signed my first book deal.

But hey, the one enduring thing we know about life is that it goes on. Kensington-Dafina will still be publishing Back to Life and What You Won't Do For Love, and I, personally, am proud of the numbers that the bulk of my efforts have generated. I also think about folks who I admire, who've had setbacks and have rebounded fabulously. Here's the list, which is not, by all means, comprehensive:

  • 1962: Decca Records passed on an offer to sign a group consisting of four young guys from Liverpool. These four men formed a group called The Beatles. Decca, incidentally, passed on the Yardbirds and Manfred Mann
  • Columbia Records let the recording contract of one Alicia J. Augello-Cook lapse. Ms. Augello-Cook, better known to us as Alicia Keys, went on to win countless awards and to sell millions of CDs worldwide.
  • 2001: Mariah Carey. Glitter. 'Nuff said. Flash ahead to 2006. The Emancipation of Mimi. Killer chart-topping success. Three Grammys.
  • 2003: After selling on 10,000 copies of each of his three previous books, Dan Brown dropped The DaVinci Code, which smashed publishing records like an Idaho potato.

I tell myself, from the examples from experience and from popular culture, that this is the ebb and flow of life. It certainly is not the end of my publishing career. Unlike just five years ago, there are so much more venues within which a writer can publish her fiction, which is very encouraging. I think of my colleague, Leslie Esdaile (L.A.) Banks, who is published simultaneously with FIVE major houses.

Plus, I have a base of all of you faithful fans out there who vibed with the socially conscious relationship fiction that I'm putting down. And I reiterate -- I am grateful to each and every one of you who put your cash on the barrel with gas at over $3.00 a gallon, movies over $10.00, and all other examples of the inflated cost of living in Dubya's America.

I thank God for you every day.

And now, as my agent is fond of saying: More to follow...

Monday, July 24, 2006

July 24, 2006: Working Through My Post-World Cup Blues

Hey, hey, hey!

I'm back. My how the time flies. Sorry, I've been something of a no-show. I don't know if this blogging is going to be a daily thing or a weekly thing. I sure didn't mean for it to be a three-monthly-thing. It just got nuts after April.

First, there was the preparation for and the actual Book Expo America, aka BEA. Four days of sheer madness. Plus side: I did meet some very interesting folks. I got a photo with Jennifer Weiner and Amy Sedaris, which made the conference for me. This being DC and all, I got to hear Barack Obama speak (content inspirational; delivery style, needs work. I know -- I was surprised too, especially after the Keynote!). I also met Arianna Huffington and Lynn Sher. And former Congresswoman from Colorado, Pat Schroeder, was walking around all regular. She even spoke in the African American Pavillion. Pat for President, y'all! I will post all of my photos on my website,

Not to hate, though, I really prefered last year's BEA in New York. I say this with the threat of potential risk to my person. Because folks from DC don't care too much for New Yorkers. It makes the Hatfields and McCoys look like Bobby and Whitney! While DC had all the political clout in their guests, New York had that showbiz flair. Particularly with the small touches. In New York, the coffee would never have been cold (Breakfast with Obama, Sedaris, John Updike, et al), or served without half-and-half (Lunch with Huffington, Sher, Pat Buchanan, Frank Rich, and Andrew Sullivan). Plus the NYC venues were classier. The Blackboard reception at Jazz at Lincoln Center beats stompin' at da club in terms of taste. Hate on me if you like; I call 'em like I see 'em.

Honey, then the World Cup started. I loved every minute of it! Especially those Adidas commercials, where the two boys picked their fantasy football team comprised of players past and present. I dug the commercials so much, I downloaded them from YouTube. Oh, like you didn't!

The West Indian pride was in full swell as Trinidad and Tobago handled themselves quite well in the first round, after everyone said they were going to be demolished in their first match with Sweden. To quote Dave Chappelle: "IN YO FACE!!!! IT BURNS, DON'T IT?!" And talk about six degrees of separation. The T&T goalie, the beautiful Shaka Hislop, used to date a friend of the family. Shaka, if you're not busy in front of the net in Dallas, holler at a sistah! Witcha fine self! Speaking of fine, all those fit, gorgeous twentysomethings boys; I was Queen Leer! My favorite was German midfielder David Odonkor! Delicious Man Cub! Although I couldn't quite get past the fact that the boy was born the year I started college. COLLEGE! Chaney and Devin, eight years' age difference: sexy. David and Wendy, seventeen years' age difference: a tad pervy! But he can stil order drinks at the club and not get proofed, okay?! Okay.

I thought France had the whole thing on lock. Until Zinedine Zidane speared Marco Materazzi and got red carded and ejected from the final match. Now, you just know Materazzi droped the sand-N-bomb, don't you (Zidane's of Algerian descent)? You don't get ejected from the biggest game of your life, because some asshole says, "Your mother wears combat boots!" I don't understand; must be a dick thing...

So, now I'm back with you... trying to stay cool in this sweltering heat. I'm letting the Muse chill out too before we get back to work.

I promise that this time, I won't leave you alone for so long...