Thursday, December 22, 2005
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Letter To Santa
Author MJ Rose has been posting letters from authors, agents, editors, and other publishing industry folks, to Book Biz Santa on her blog, Buzz, Balls & Hype. So, I decided I'd write my own letter.
Dear Book Biz Santa,
I've been a good girl this year. I'm really grateful for all of the readers, reviewers, websites, book clubs, book sellers, and libraries who've picked up copies of my book. I'm especially grateful that the people who didn't liked the book haven't completely trashed it. Hopefully, I haven't whined too much about the sometimes infuriating ways of publishing world, though I know I've had my moments. But there are still some things I would love for Christmas. Here is my list.
1. For mystery novels to have the same huge following as erotica and street lit.
2. For book stores to shelve all authors according to genre no matter what their race.
3. For reviewers, and media in general, to stop hyping the same books and look for authors who aren't on the bestselling radar.
4. For publishers to realize that black people aren't the only ones who read books by black authors.
5. For paperback books to get the same review attention and respect as hardcovers.
See, Santa. I haven't asked for too much. Now, if you can also toss in a silver Mini Cooper, an amethyst and diamond ring by Judith Ripka, and round trip tickets to Paris, I'll be good to go!
Monday, December 05, 2005
Fifteen writing facts about me
Here goes. We'll see if I can make fifteen.
1. I don't think I like to write. I'm like others I've heard about. I like to finish.
2. Earliest inkling I had writing talent? Poetry. In third or fourth grade I didn't memorize a poem as I was supposed to have, so in desperation to do the assignment, I wrote a poem. The teacher was impressed, and I had to keep that up all year. Some of the poems were doozies, too.
3. In junior high I was famous (infamous) for parodies and little ditties I wrote to the tune of some popular songs.
4. I took journalism courses in high school.
5. In college I was forced to write a play. The teacher was going to fail me because I hadn't turned it in, nor presented it in class. I was petrified. Another classmate squealed that I had done the assignment but had cold feet about the presentation. Finally, I presented it and did a reading for the class. It was chosen as a "best" One-Act and shelved in the school's library.
6. I spent most of my adult life as an actor and became adept at analyzing stories, screenplays, scripts. I used those skills to direct plays and I also assisted new playwrights in honing and evolving their work.
7. I taught school as well and wrote plays tailored to my students.
8. After recognizing I was being used less as an actor because of my age and the availability of parts for an African-American female actors, I turned back to my first "inklings" and decided to pursue writing as an alternate career. My intention was to write screeenplays. Well, I couldn't find a program that didn't necessitate me attending classes, and I couldn't do that because I often did regional theatre which kept me traveling. I finally found a writing program, a genre focused one, and I thought, well, I'll learn to write--period-- become a skillful writer, and I'll be able to transfer those skills into the writing of screenplays. (Hey, this story is getting too long. It should be numbers, 8,9, 10.) Well, I got into novel writing and am totally blase about writing screenplays now. (Besides, I didn't want to be one of the trillion people in Hollywood with a script under their arm trying to sell it!)
11. Before I graduated with a master's in writing, I had an agent and a two-book deal.
12. Guess what, I got my book optioned for film as well. See, all roads lead to nirvana.
13. I'm writing in third person for the first time and diddling with suspense and writing away from my established series' character. (I consider myself a newbie author, so I haven't tried everything yet, so some forms are new to me.) I've used some of the characters I previously established, however, and this story is told from a different perspective, not Amos Brown's.
14. No. I don't plan to write short stories. I don't really like them much and don't go out of my way to read them.
15. Alternate forms of writing I plan to get under my belt? A play, naturally. And though nobody's asked me to adapt my own book into a screenplay, I may do it anyway, for the practice and see what happens. There, fifteen. And the story of my life. Part I.
Gammy L. Singer
Tag. . .I'm It!
I've been tagged by one of my favorite authors, Nichelle Tramble, to list 15 facts about my reading/writing habits. Don't know if I can come up with 15. But here goes.
1. In high school my mother and I would get into huge arguments because I'd rather read Harlequin romances than do any of my homework. Kinda ironic seeing as I'm now writing for their new line.
2. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe is my favorite book.
3. I still read children's books. My favorites right now are Harry Potter and the Lemony Snicket books.
4. If I weren't writing mysteries I'd write horror or supernatural suspense.
5. I once overheard a high school classmate of mine telling someone they felt sorry for me because I always had my nose in a book and I must not have anything better to do. LOL! I'd say it payed off rather well for me.
6. I used to love to read aloud to my classmates in kindergarden. Wish I could be that fearless five year old again.
7. I knew I wanted to write when my high school English teacher Mr. Wilson read a short story of mine aloud in class.
8. I work in a library and usually always return my books late.
9. I wanted to be a journalist but didn't have the qualifications to be accepted into my college's journalism school. It's all Harlequin's fault ; )!
10. I love guys who read and I'm not talking about just the sports page either.
I'm tagging my fellow Crime Sistahs Gammy and Pamela. You guys are it!
Friday, December 02, 2005
Yesterday was the official launch of Harlequin's new African-American line of books called, Kimani Press. Those of you who may have heard about Harlequin's acquisition of my publisher, BET Books, will know that Kimani Press is the new home of authors who write for Arabesque, Sepia, and New Spirit. The Harlequin website now has a page up for Kimani Press complete with message boards for readers and authors to interact. I was a little worried about the whole Harlequin sale when I first heard about it. But now I'm thinking this will be a good thing. Things seem to be moving right along. They're already doing so with the new webpage and message boards, which are being hosted by Arabesque author Wayne Jordan. For some unknown reason, BET didn't really utilize their website to promote all BET Books. They had the Arabesque and some New Spirit books listed but not the Sepia titles. I was beyond baffled by that. You can even purchase books from the Kimani website, which I don't think you could do on BET's website. Oh, well. It's the dawn of a new day. Let's hope it's a good one.
Those of you looking for an inexpensive gift to give someone for the holidays, or if you just like good music, may want to order this new live CD by John Legend. I may be a little biased, since he's from my hometown, but this guy is extremely talented. You'd be hard pressed to find a person in good ole Springfield, Ohio who isn't really proud of him.