Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Strange Fruit. NPR Show.

Hey friends... Did a fun radio interview last week with the wonderfully talented journalists/scholars at the Strange Fruit show, from the Louisville, KY NPR affiliate WFPL. We talked Play It Forward, writing, career/academic goals, etc...

But listen for yourself... Find the interview here.

Strange Fruit focuses on issues important to Black LGBT communities, through a scholarly and pop culture lens. It's one of my new favorite shows to listen to. I hope it becomes yours, too.

Dear Teen Me. A Letter to My Teenage Self.

Hey friends. Check out a really fun guest column I did for the Dear Teen Me site: A Letter to Teenage Frederick Smith. You'll enjoy it... and the columns from other authors speaking to their teenage selves.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Pasadena Library Author Fair. Sat., 2/21/15.

Another upcoming reading/signing event. This time at the Pasadena Public Library Author Fair, taking place Saturday, 2/21/15, 10 am - 2 pm.

I'll be tabling/selling/signing books most of the time, but will have a 10 minute time slot to read from Play It Forward. My reading time is at 1 pm. So, I hope it you stop by the event, you'll be there especially for my 1 pm reading!

And then stay (or come early) and buy some books from some wonderful writers from the San Gabriel Valley! The event itself should be very fun for readers, writers, and people who love books.

UC San Diego readings. Friday, 2/20/15.

Hola. Hope everyone's doing well. 

I'll be heading down to San Diego to the UC San Diego campus on Friday, February 20, 2015. Doing a series of readings and conversations at the UCSD Cross Cultural Center and LGBT Resource Center.

Info here for the CCC event. Info here for the LGBT Resource Center event.

If you have friends down there or on the campus, please send them over. We'll have copies of Play It Forward available and I'll be signing and talking about the themes of the novel, Black Queer community issues, Queer People of Color topics, etc...

Take care!

Monday, February 02, 2015

Creating Conscious Characters, Social Justice, and Fiction Writing

After I tell people that I write “cheesy gay romance novels,” and then clarify that they’re more like “vitamin-stuffed desserts,” those comments often open the door to a conversation about what I’m really saying about my novels.

The fact is I write about characters who experience, think, and talk about life – and all the social issues that are happening in the world – all in the midst of pursuing love, romance, relationships, and success.

Read the rest of this blog entry on the World of Diversity Fiction site.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Day Before Your Book Comes Out

I have a new book coming out tomorrow, Tuesday, 1/20/15

Play It Forward is my third novel and will be published by Bold Strokes Books. My third novel. Sometimes it's weird to say it, write it, know it, believe it. It's been a while since my first two novels -- Down For Whatever and Right Side of the Wrong Bed, published by Kensington Books -- so it's been equally as long having this "day before publication" feeling.

These used to be childhood dreams -- writing to be read, writing for an audience, potentially; or adding something to pop culture, to the world of books, to communities who have little representation in literature, etc... -- and for a childhood dream to come true is kinda amazing. I'm grateful. Grateful. GRATEFUL. Because I know not many have this opportunity to fulfill a dream.

So what's the day before like? I can't describe it. I'm excited, yes. I'm nervous, yes. I want it to be liked, yes. I know some will dislike it, yes. I hope that there are more likes than dislikes. Yes, I care about likes and dislikes -- many writers and artists do (we're sensitive about our sh&t, as Erykah Badu tells us in the preamble to her song, Tyrone) -- but I'm not consumed or obsessed about it. I'm confident and know I exist and have a life with or without published books with my name on them.

People around me are more excited on the surface than me. I mean super excited and super supportive. Almost like they want "success" for me more than they think I want for myself. I'm grounded, though. And realistic. Books, I often joke, are on the low end of the entertainment industry totem pole. And if you're from an underrepresented community and an author, you're even lower. No shade, just truth. There's not a lot of media or coverage. No one throws large red carpet events for book debuts. Entertainment Tonight isn't sitting outside the coffeehouse you go to in the morning.

But all social commentary aside, the day before a book release feels like any other day, but with a little bonus feeling. Your book is about to be birthed into the world. You hope it will be received with the  love, care, creativity, thought, and compassion you put into preparing it for the world. You want to tell everyone, and The Universe, thank you!