So on Saturday I participated in the Leimert Park Book Fair. Fun, hot, and fabulous event. I was so happy that thousands turned out for the first of many events like this in the neighborhood.
I'm just always amazed at the number of aspiring authors and self-published authors out there hustling their goods. There were 100+ tables of people with books I'd never heard of, and probably wouldn't have if it weren't for an event like the Leimert Park Book Fair.
Makes me feel so lucky that my journey to publication by a major publisher was fast, easy, painless. Because there are folks writing and selling their works who are trying to make it to an agent's desk, let alone a publisher. That's why I always try to listen and help when I can. Because there's no harm in sharing information, tips, contacts, or advice. And I know I can be dropped like that too.
Anyway, most of the day went smoothly. But there are exceptions :-)
There was a little "controversy" so-to-speak, when I was on the radio (L.A. Speaks Out/Jacquie Stephens) and talked about how the issues of black gays and lesbians are often ignored and invisible when we talk about the struggles of the black community... and that black LGBT is just as important when talking about those community struggles. One man tried to rush the stage, in anger, when I mentioned black LGBT community.
Then, that afternoon, right before the panel I was on, another man asked the panel facilitator, Dr. Mel Donalson, if when talking about black masculinities in literature we were going to take the stand that "homosexuality" is okay in the black community. Mel, who is very secure in himself, said if that topic came up, that yes, the panelists were of the opinion that black LGBT issues are an important and valuable part of the dialogue. The man stormed out, said black LGBT folks are not part of HIS black community. So sad.
Anyway, great weekend. Met the fabulous Victoria Rowell (The Women Who Raised Me) and others.
No more major book events in L.A. until the West Hollywood Book Fair in September. I will be participating there too.