Tuesday, November 03, 2015

It's The Holidays. Add Books to the List.

Hey friends. Been a minute. I'm still here. Basically, been in a doctoral program studying Educational Leadership for Social Justice at Loyola Marymount University. Fun stuff. Busy stuff!

With the holidays coming, I wanted to send a short plug for books as holiday gifts. And mine -- Play It Forward, Right Side of the Wrong Bed, and Down For Whatever -- showcased on my Amazon Author Page -- will be perfect romance and social justice novels for your friends. More info on my official website www.FrederickLSmith.com.

Also adding some book club and small speaking engagements here and there. Skype and FaceTime are awesome ways to set up events with your groups. Let me know.

Till next time...

Saturday, June 27, 2015

L.A.s Brotha Fest -- Wine & Words -- on Sunday, July 5, 2015.

I'll be one of the guest authors at L.A.'s Brotha Fest event -- Wine & Words, a celebration of Black LGBT Literature -- on Sunday, July 5, 3 - 6 pm, at the Carl Bean House, 2146 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90018.  Learn more about additional Brotha Fest events at www.BrothaFest.com. 

I'll be speaking about and reading from my latest novel, Play It Forward, which came out earlier this year.  

The story explores when the worlds of a community activist and a pro basketball player collide, little do they know that their dirty little secrets can lead to a public scandal and an unexpected love affair. The story focuses on Queer People of Color in L.A., and the reviews so far have been very positive.

I’d love to schedule a book club, book reading, or Skype event with you & your organization in the coming weeks and months. 

To read an excerpt of Play It Forward, you can visit my website: www.FrederickLSmith.com, or the publisher’s website: http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/9781626392359B.html

The book is available as a paperback or e-Reader on all online retailers and bookstores.

Thanks for your time and consideration. Have a nice day!

Friday, April 10, 2015

BlaqOUT Conference. UC Riverside. 4/10 and 4/11/2015.

So excited to be part of the annual BlaqOUT Conference at UC Riverside. It starts today, Friday, 4/10, and continues all day Saturday, 4/11.

The conference focuses on issues important to those at the identity intersections of being Black and Queer.

I'm presenting a creative writing and memoir writing workshop at the conference about getting Black Queer identities on the page. I'm all about creating space for more writers, more stories, more scholarship about Black Queer identities. Our society needs the work by Black Queer artists!

There's still some room to attend, if you're in the L.A./SoCali area this weekend. Hopefully, see you there!

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Toni Morrison. "I Know How To Write Forever..."

I'm super excited for Toni Morrison's new novel, God Help the Child, coming out April 21, 2015.

Here's a nice preview reading and interview with Toni Morrison from the NY Times: I Know How To  Write Forever.

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!

Monday, January 12, 2015

L.A. Writers Conference at Mount Saint Mary's University. Saturday, 3/14/15.

If you're a writer and in the L.A. area, you should consider attending the L.A. Writers Conference at Mount Saint Mary's University on Saturday, 3/14/15.

Keynote speaker will be Nikki Giovanni. Wonderful panels and speakers throughout the day.

I'll be co-leading a workshop on LGBT Fiction with my Bold Strokes Book label mate, Rebekah Weatherspoon in the afternoon at the conference.

Looking forward to the day at Mount Saint Mary's University in L.A.!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Basic. On Fleek. Columbusing. And Rekt.

2014 brought us lots of new words, with origins in QPOC (queer people of color) worlds. Strange Fruit podcast explores in a recent episode: Yasssss! 2014 Words of the Year On Fleek. Great listen!

Friday, January 09, 2015

Podcasts for QPOCs -- Queer People of Color

So I've found a couple of podcasts recently that I'm so totally in love with. And I think you should be, too. Both I call podcasts for, by, about Queer People of Color, Queer Millennials of Color.

In alphabetical order:

Strange Fruit  explores pop culture and news about the Black gay community, with strong academic roots.

2 Guys and a Girl explores pop culture and news too,  about the Black gay community, with strong personal and entertainment roots.

Both are excellent, on-point, perfect for Queer Millennials of Color... so get into them!

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Empire on Fox. Looks good!

I am sooooo looking forward to the new TV show Empire, which debuts on Wednesday, 1/7/15 on Fox Network. Big family drama, hip-hop, the music industry. And a cute, talented gay son... yes!

Both Daytime Confidential and The Hollywood Reporter give Empire overwhelmingly positive reviews... and laud the show for paying homage to the epic, nighttime soap opera roots of shows like Dynasty, Dallas, etc...

Will you be watching Empire?

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Selma. The film. You must go see it.

I finally saw the film Selma yesterday. Here in L.A., one of the few cities it's screening in limited run -- L.A., NYC, ATL, and DC.

All I have to say is Selma is excellent. Brilliant. Breathtaking. Motivating. It is worthy of all the critical and awards-season praise it's getting.

It also makes you look at the U.S. South and places like Alabama with a side-eye. But hey, let me stay positive.

Selma, the film, is excellent. Selma Director Ava DuVernay deserves all awards and praise coming her way.

When it opens nationwide on January 9, 2015... you must go see it! That's all.

Friday, January 02, 2015

January 2015. National Journal Writing Month.

If you're like me, social media has killed your journal writing. Well, it has mine.

I've kept a journal, almost daily, from 9th grade up. Then, blogs, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and all other social media happened... and the daily journaling turned to once a week, then once a month, to more recently once or twice a year.

Such a shame. Bad Fred!

Well, have no fear. National Journal Writing Month is here! In an effort to get us back into channeling our inner thoughts back onto our own private, personal papers, January 2015 has been designated to help us all.

Journaling is great. It's cathartic. It's healing. It's creative. And, there's just something wonderful about the idea of leaving private, personal papers behind when we all transition one day.

Good news. I did a journal entry last night just before bed. Pen, paper, spiral notebook. Just like I used to do. Felt great. Here's to keeping the momentum going in 2015!

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Smart. Cultured. And Sexually Empowered. QPOCs in 2015.

I had fun thinking about and creating the "points of wisdom" for LADS, the fictional QPOC, Black Gay community organization in Los Angeles that Malcolm Martin Campbell runs in my latest novel Play It Forward on Bold Strokes Books

After re-reading the novel, I thought about my friends and students and thought... these steps to becoming a smart, culturally-empowered, and sexually-empowered young man could work for anyone. At least... something for us to think about within our QPOC, Black LGBT, Latino LGBT, Asian American Pacific Islander LGBT communities. What do you think? I'll write more about each "point of wisdom" in the coming month.

Here's the LADS rules to becoming smart, cultured, and sexually empowered QPOCs, an excerpt from page 17 of Play It Forward:

1.     LADS will learn to make smart and sexually-empowered decisions for their lives and health.

2.     LADS have the right to say no. No one is entitled to sex or a hook up, no matter what they gave to or bought for you.

3.     LADS respect that ‘No Means No,’ and never force, coerce, pressure someone into sex against their will.

4.     LADS have a right to ask and know his sexual health status, the right to insist on condoms at all times, and the responsibility to know and disclose your health status. (That doesn’t mean you’re dirty if you request or disclose this.)

5.     Just because he’s a top (and you are), or just because he’s a bottom (and you are) doesn’t mean you two can’t have a meaningful and long-term sexual or romantic relationship.

6.     LADS don’t have to give him your online passwords, account numbers, or a run-down of your schedule when you’re not with him. Possession does not equal love – it might equal crazy.

7.     Being smart, culturally-empowered and sexually-empowered LADS means knowing who you are, but refusing to be confined by that knowledge.

8.     LADS respect each other – sometimes we’re the only supporters we have.

9.     LADS support the brotherhood, and aren’t complicit in in tearing down the brotherhood by sleeping with, or getting involved with, men who are involved with someone else.

10.  Love yourself. Remember your Black, LGBT, and Black LGBT history and elders by building upon their legacy of struggle and excellence.

Here's my website, FrederickLSmith. Bring me to your campus, bookclub -- I'll Skype or FaceTime in, panel, or QPOC/LGBT organization!

New LGBT Books from Bold Strokes Books. January 2015.

If you're looking for a good LGBT, QPOC, Queer-focused book to start the year right, I suggest one of brand-new January 2015 releases, hot off the press, available exclusively at the Bold Strokes Books webstore RIGHT NOW almost three weeks ahead of shelf date! BSB January 2015 Newsletter here.

That also includes my new one, Play It Forward, which comes out in stores 1/20/15, but you can download/purchase for your e-Reader now! :-)

P.S. Happy New Year!