Wednesday, May 31, 2006


My first wake-up call that I was growing older was in Florida. I was in Saratoga, doing a play, Having Our Say, ( and already feeling old because of it--those wrinkles I was painting on my face every night had begun grooves all upside my face--I no longer had to look for the lines!)--Well, anyway, I was sitting in Denny's and they asked if I wanted the senior breakfast? I was too shocked at first. I thought, I look like I'm 65! Oh, I've got to stop doing this damn play--immediately. I was living the part--oh no! Well, turns out you only have to be 55 in Florida to qualify as a senior citizen and they have quite a few senior citizens all over Florida.
Sad to say, I qualified as a senior in Florida, so I munched on my senior breakfast--glad for a deal!
I'm having a birthday soon, June 11th--let us all bow our heads and mourn another year's passing. Don't even ask how old I am.
News on the writing front. I still haven't finished my third book! But I got reviewed by a writing student, no less, and was sent a review. Ha! My writing was deemed "literary fiction" and the author thought teens should be assigned my book, especially as it has wonderful discussion questions in the back of the book. He described it as a combination of "Ralph Ellison, Quentin Tarantino, and Elmore Leonard writing a novel in the voice of Samuel L. Jackson." Now, I ask you, does that make a person's day or not!

The reality is, my publisher and others want to categorize it as urban fiction--which, to some minds, is one step up from the trash heap. One mystery reviewer looked at the cover and flipped through it, noting some "rough language" and, swear to God, in her review wrote, "I must apologize to the author,"--she had decided, pre-read, it was not her cup of tea. After, of course, she said she loved it, but then, not everyone would read a book after that initial judgment. And it's funny, too, because I just read a book by Laura Lippman that, I think, has many of the same elements as my books, but of course, she's not considered an "urban writer." Makes you go, hmmm....
By the way, if any of you are in New York June 28th, I'm moderating a panel of female mystery writers, different styles and genres, in the Word for Word series in Bryant Park at noon. Laura Lippman, Cynthia Blair, Sandra Scoppetone and Carol Goodman. The lil' tete-a-tete is being sponsored by Sisters in Crime, NY-Tri-State Chapter. Hope to see some of you there. Oh, and I'll be in Brooklyn, June 15th at Barnes and Noble on Court Street, 7 pm.
Oh, and I have to give a big smackeroo to John Hanson from Texas, host of Black America Radio, who re-ran a radio interview of me --'cuz some people looked me up from Tennessee. If one can't physically visit places to meet and greet fans and potential readers, it's good that there are people like John Hanson who spread the word with his excellent programming.


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