What better month to get the show on the road, than one that we were named after?! That's right, half of the character duo, June, was named specifically after this month and for good reason, but in order to find that out, you'll have to read the novel, Mello & June and see if you can figure out the significance of her name and Mello's. Just something to ponder, in case you haven't read it and wondered?!
Now, on to our favorite time of the month--yep you already know--It's AAMBC time and boy do we have quite a lovely selection and an array of genres for you this week! Is it just us, or can you actually believe we are six months into the reading year my fellow book lovers? OMG, where the hell has the time gone? By now, many of you should be at least halfway through your reading challenges, if not almost to the finish line, and if you aren't halfway, you better get your reading butt in gear and get going. Because, as you know, we'll be having this conversation again in another six months and we'll be singing Fa, La, La, La, La, La, La--Laaah, and saying have a prosperous Happy New Year! So if you aren't reading what you committed to read for the 2014 year, we really have no idea just what the heck it is you are doing, but let's get to it and stay focused! There are millions upon millions of books to choose from and there's something for everyone, including the most pickiest of readers. In other words, No Excuses!
Ok, so we've given you our best attempt at a pep talk, so let's get down to business! Have you done your finger exercises? Make sure those pointers and thumbs are ready to hit the download buttons. Or hey, you old school readers, make sure your arms are ready to cuddle a book. Everybody's good? That's great, grab your favorite drink, prop up your feet, and relax. Here we go. . .
When most people look into a mirror, what they see is unsatisfactory-an image tainted by societies dictates of how we are supposed to look. We were made in the image of God, so why do we waste time and energy remaking ourselves to please others? Scripture has declared that we were wonderfully and fearfully made, but we would rather conform to society’s image rather than be transformed into the image that God wants us to be. In the process, many of us lose ourselves and become someone we do not recognize. The decision is yours-to lead a happy and productive life, or spend useless hours trying to be what you perceive will be popular with others. This thought-provoking book will have you asking yourself, Who I Be.
Words can hurt. If I am physically hurt, a person may be able to see the visible scars, but emotional scars are invisible, showing up only in our behaviors and attitudes. We will never know all that another personhas suffered. Some of the things that have caused emotional pain for us are so degrading in deeds and words that we do not want anyone else to know. Nevertheless, even though, we do not want others to know that we suffer inward pain, agony, mistrust, fear, intimidation,
guilt, and low self-esteem, we are unable to escape it. Many times it has been buried in our subconscious, but it comes to the forefront, and we try to mask the hurt. If only another person could pull back the mask on someone else, they probably would be horrified at what was beneath.
GET TO KNOW ANNIE CLARA BROWN
My name is Annie Clara Brown. I am from Alexander City, Alabama and currently reside in Sylacauga, Alabama. I am passionate about serving my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and my church (Joyful Noise AOH Church of God) in Sylacauga, Alabama) where I serve as a licensed minister and secretary . I am definitely family oriented and enjoy spending quality time with my children, grandchildren and great-grand child.
My professional skills and areas of expertise include providing emotional support and grief support to patients and their families. My professional title is Medical Social Worker at Lakeside Hospice, Inc. in Pell City Alabama, where one of my qualifications is individualized psycho-social care for each family. I received my Masters in Social Work from the University of Alabama with a Concentration in children, adolescents, and families. My interests include working with veterans who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) as well as being an avid reading. I recently joined the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) became certified to teach Family to Family.
What was it that inspired you to write this book?
The book was inspired from an innate desire to help others to accept themselves and not fall prey to trying to conform to society’s norms.
What is it that you would like for readers to get out of your book?
I want people of all ages to become comfortable with whom God created them to be. We were created in His (God) image and were wonderfully and fearfully made; however, so many people suffer from poor self-images because they cannot measure up to what society depicts as the norm. Please do not spend your life existing because you believe that you do not measure up by society’s standards/norms. Learn to love yourself for who God created you to be and live before your time to die.
What has been your most rewarding experience since being published?
I have had people to say that the book has really helped them to change the way they think about themselves.
What has been your most challenging experience since your book was published?
It has been very challenging to find the right niche to get people to purchase the book.
In hindsight, would you publish this book if you knew that it would take so much time to get it to the right audience?
Yes, I would definitely publish it again. The reason I wrote it in the first place was to help others and I still want to do that. I cannot make any one purchase the book but I am reassured that I tried to reach out to those who are hurting.
How do you interact with your readers?
I use social media to interact with my readers, mostly, but I attend events promoting authors regularly.
What valuable lessons have you learned since writing your first book?
One important lesson that I have learned has been that it takes much patience to stay in the race because there are so many authors out there. Another lesson has been to keep my focus and strive to be the best author that is within my abilities and know that even with the best abilities every book written will not be a best seller.
Find the Author and the Book:
BOOKS MAKE YOUR MIND BLOSSOM!
Not quite a memoir, but including personal internal issues, the writer chooses to use several animated short stories to describe the different phases of the Black Woman’s life. Thoughts of a Twenty Something Year Old “The Very Essence of Me” is the first book included in a series written from the perspective of well…a twenty something year old black woman. From toxic relationships with both insignificant others and parents, to identity crisis’ and motherhood, each fictional story is written to provoke thoughts of careful self evaluation within each reader. Like life in general, some of the stories and commentary are given remedies from both spiritual and practical aspects, and some are simply left opened ended thus creating a shock effect; but all are tied together with a single touch of advice in between each passage from an anonymous “Wise Woman” as titled who possesses a motherly (or grandmother to younger ladies) type of spirit.
Excerpt from Book:
A Wise Woman once told me, “Baby, don’t be a fool. One decision can lead to a lifetime of pain.” He Said He Would Change.
A cold rainy night engulfs a beautiful glowing woman whose belly is swollen full of a little boy and right eye closed with pain. She frantically limps towards a small cozy looking house with its porch light on in hopes of finding a safe haven from the man who helped create the child she now carries. Her knocking is not in vain resulting in a wrinkled chestnut brown woman answering the door and ushering her into the safety of her living room. The nurturing widow of many years wraps the young woman’s wet bare feet in an electric blanket and tries to calm her in order to find out her circumstance but tears and wailing is all that could be produced. While shivers and shakes control the movement of her body, the battered woman recites over and over, “He said he would change.”
Ten months prior to this devastating night, the sweet-natured receptionist had made a decision to let her one weakness filter back into her life. Instead of heading to her sister’s advice and ignoring every love letter that her then imprisoned ex boyfriend sent, she chose to embrace and believe the never ending poetry and promises. Thoughts of their prior experiences, the nights of beatings and days of stalking, were simply just pushed to the back of her memory. The seductive yet sweet lines of his handwriting were too good to let pass. Convincing and deceiving all in the same, each letter led a trail to her tender heart which was ready to receive her changed lover. Within the next few weeks her newly changed beau was released from prison and instantly set up a home within her one bedroom apartment. He said he would change, and for the first month he did just that. The once abusive thug became a sensitive romantic man ready to build a life and family with his eye on the prize of fulfillment. Life for the couple was lived in perfect harmony and a month thereafter the news of a new addition was discovered via a home pregnancy test. He was ecstatic; she was overjoyed, they were together in bliss and wedding plans immediately followed.
Things suddenly took a sharp turn as soon as morning sickness set in for the newly impregnated bride-to be. Her fiancé’ began to express his dislikes in everything from how she cooked to the way she made the bed. Character assassination from his end to hers soon then transformed into outright blows to her face and swift kicks to her growing tummy. Weeks grew into months with night after night of alcohol driven abuse until one stormy evening when she began to scheme her escape route. As soon as his fist met the side of her face for the second time that night, she swiftly withdrew her grandfather’s switchblade which he had taught her to maneuver with precision as a teenager, from her bra and connected the sharpest end to his neck. Leaving him bleeding on the bedroom floor, she fled without shoes, a purse, or even a jacket to protect her from the bitter winter temperature. The faster she ran the faster the thoughts and regrets raced through her head. Never did she ever suspect that her honest life would turn out in this mess, she was a preachers kid. Why didn’t she listen to her sister and do what her heart knew was right? How could she be so foolish? Would her child have to be raised without her do to a possible capital murder charge? The pain numbs her mind as the unfamiliar but kind old woman escorts her into her home out of the rain as she whispers, “He said he would change.”
GET TO KNOW TAHNEE JONES
Tahnee Jones was born and raised in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma until the age of eleven when her family relocated to Dallas, TX. Her passion for writing has lingered since the tender age of seven years old when she first decided to write poetry and songs, following in the footsteps of her father. Throughout her childhood she was praised by teachers for her literary work but never entered an actually contest until her sophomore year in high school where she won a bronze medal for her poetry in the NAACP ACT-SO competition. In the same competition the next school year, she again was rewarded a bronze medal for her poetry. After encountering some life altering experiences for the worse at the age of seventeen, writing was put on the backburner until she decided to pursue a rap career two years later.
The harsh lyrics she wrote from her heart began to take negative effects on her personality as she transformed into someone even her own mother could no longer recognize. Just a few months into her new career, upon finding out she was with child, Ms. Jones knew a decision had to be made between being a stable mother for her child, or continuing in a reckless lifestyle. She chose her child, then shortly after chose to live completely for God leaving everything in her past behind. Just a year after being committed to salvation she was recruited to be a columnist for an internet magazine geared towards Christian teens and continued to contribute until the magazine discontinued. She also worked as a monthly columnist for B.L.O.G. (Beautiful Ladies of Grace) Magazine, her column “Dating for the Cause” focused on being able to maintain integrity while courting in a Christian relationship. Currently Ms. Jones is a contributing writer for Beautifully Said Magazine as well as a monthly columnist for Mane Dame Magazine which is based out of Dallas, TX. She also serves as Chief of Editorials over the Agape World Harvest International organization as well as organizes several women’s events under the umbrella of Greater Victory Love Outreach Ministries also known as VLOM. Her time now is devoted being on her post as a youth minister, public speaking, writing novels, and remaining the best mother she can be to her daughter. Inspired by first and foremost the Holy Spirit, she also attributes her inspiration to being a young single mother coming out of the secular world having to stand flat footed for righteousness.
What are your favorite topics to write about?
My favorite topics to write about would be dealing with emotional issues as a woman because I went through so much in my late teens and early twenties mentally. I always aim to impact women by sharing the wisdom that was given to me by my spiritual leader and God Himself so that they may be able to overcome as well!
So you freelance; why do you enjoy writing for different magazines?
I absolutely LOVE writing for different magazine because it gives me the opportunity to impart what I stand for to different audiences. I have been told that I have a gift of being very personable and relatable with my articles and that’s my goal.
How did Thoughts of a 20 Something Year Old come about?
Thoughts of a 20 Something Year Old basically started as a blog called “The Essence of Me” in which I developed short stories and posted thoughts in the form of narratives. The purpose of the blog was to provoke black women in thought concerning decisions they may be facing as well as developing an appreciation for being a black woman. One day after a few months I just decided to take it all the way and develop sequels, prequels, and some even “three-quels” as I call them along with extra commentary to help give remedies to the problems in question.
What can we look forward to in terms of the sequel and other projects connected with this book?
I’m actually working on the sequel to my book as of right now and aim to have it released by early 2015. Basically, this next book will be from a more mature perspective because I’m older and know how to better handling things. The things I basically whined about in this book with be conquered with a positive mindset in the next. Also, I plan on doing spin-offs of a few stories in “The Essence of Me” which would give the reader the WHOLE background leading up to the dramatic event that takes place in the short story.
So who exactly is the “Wise Woman” as stated so many times throughout the book?
The “Wise Woman” in the book is designed to relate to the reader as any older grand-motherly type figure they might have had in their lives no matter if she was blood related or not. Personally mine is my godmother who is an old church mother (but young in spirit!) who has walked a life of faith and has an unbelievable testimony herself. Most of the quotes are actually the quotes which came from her mouth to my ears many days throughout my twenty-something life. I truly thank God for her!
What would you like your readers to come away with?
The one expectancy that I have for my readers is that they be able to personally relate to at least a few of the characters in one way or another. I desire that many root issues that cause us to stumble in our minds as young women be exposed and dealt with so that we be free!
Can we get a sneak peek of a few topics we will reading about specifically? A few topics featured are of course broken relationships with a man, eating disorders, premature sex, depression as a young mother, and much more!
Find the Author:
Facebook: Author Tahnee Jones
Linkedin: Author Tahnee Jones
Buy the Book:
NCM Publishing Website:
Barnes and Noble:
READING KEEPS YOUR MIND RIGHT!
As a motivational health and fitness expert, Tamara Jackson is all too familiar with the emotional, psychological and physical challenges associated with weight loss and developing a healthy lifestyle. Tamara has taken to the Internet to challenge and change alarming statistics. Tamara seeks to motivate, educate and inspire women to reclaim their health and their lives.
Having reached the point but later suffered a relapse – this book is for you too. I’ve been where you are and I can help.
265 Point is part biography, part education, part inspiration and motivation. I’ve done my best to assemble the elements necessary for you to succeed.
You will Learn:
Why traditional dieting doesn’t work.
How to find and keep your motivation.
The real reason you keep sabotaging yourself.
How to handle unsupportive family and friends.
Practical ways to silence “the voice” that seeks to protect you but really sets you up for failure, every time.
Simple steps you can take now to salvage your future through the power of choice.
How to stop short-circuiting your progress with unrealistic expectations and unhealthy comparisons.
Easy ways to identify better food choices when eating out.
Why exercise alone is not enough to get and keep you fit and fly.
How to reprogram your brain to see the best in you rather than the worst in you.
What really drives your sense of dignity and your self-confidence (hint: it’s not what you think).
How to enjoy your favorite foods without interfering with your goals using my 80/20 plan.
GET TO KNOW TAMARA JACKSON
Tamara Jackson is a motivational health and fitness expert who has taken to the Internet to change the alarming statistic that four out of five African American women are overweight or obese. All too familiar with the emotional, psychological and physical challenges associated with developing a healthy lifestyle, Tamara seeks to motivate, educate, and inspire women to take the steps necessary to reclaim their health and their lives. Tamara is a Certified Group Exercise Instructor through the American College of Sports Medicine and has authored the book “265Point” to provide “on point” practical guidance to those that are ready to ditch dieting and get fit for good. She is convinced that that anyone can change with the appropriate tools, systems, and support. Tamara appeared on the demonstration floor of The Dr. Oz show with fitness guru and Insanity® creator Shaun T. in February of 2012. Her weight loss success story is currently being showcased in the top-selling Hip Hop Abs® infomercial. When not writing, coaching, working out or leading a class, Tamara can be found hanging out with family and friends, volunteering, or cuddled up with a book. She’s also a huge fan of roller coasters, whitewater rafting and zip lining. A banking professional of 15 years, Tamara holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Virginia Tech and a Master’s Degree from the University of Florida.
‘265 Point’, interesting title, what does it mean?
265 represents my highest weight. I was slim growing up, but in my mid-twenties I was under a lot of emotional stress and turned to food for comfort. Before I knew it, I ballooned to 265 pounds. I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror but I didn’t know how to change it so I remained at that weight for over 6 years. The Point is a place, but not one you would find on a typical street map. It is a location on the continuum of change where you’ve moved past just thinking about change and wanting to change and are now ready to act.
What’s the guiding principle of ’265 Point’?
Success is an inside job. In order to achieve the look you desire on the outside, you have to address what is going on in the inside, specifically what’s going on in your head. Everything we do (or don’t do) originates with a thought. If you just start thinking the right things, you can change your body and ultimately your life.
What one or two secrets will people be most surprised to read in the book?
The book is chocked full of nuggets, so it’s tough to choose just two. But I think the “Formula for Success” section in chapter 8 will surprise many people. There are millions of people out there that are seriously trying to lose weight and get in shape but haven’t been successful because they have bad or insufficient information. That was one of my biggest problems. I was doing some of the right things but all of my hard work was being cancelled out by a few sabotaging behaviors. I also think that the concept “freedom meals” and an “80/20 rule” in chapter 15 will be a standout for most readers. People are often shocked to hear that I believe there is a place for ice cream, cookies, etc. in our diets, but I have found that demonizing foods always backfires on you.
What is the biggest misconception about losing weight?
There is a laundry list but I would say the biggest is what I call “magic pill syndrome”. It is the perception that the solution to all of your problems is external – a certain diet, supplement, cleanse, or exercise routine – and when you find it, magically all of your problems are solved. I talk to people all the time who are searching, as if they are a captain on a treasure hunt – if they can just find the golden treasure! They go from one thing to the next – from diet pills to fasts, from fasts to cleanses, from cleanses to Paleo, from Paleo to carb cutting – and the outcome is always the same. There are few things more demoralizing than losing weight, getting compliments from everyone you know on how great you look, and then slowly but surely seeing the weight return…and then some.
You’re very transparent in the book. Was that hard for you?
I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that it was! What many people don’t realize is that our present is a product of our past. The heartache and pain we experience often gets internalized and turns into emotional baggage that we carry with us everywhere we go. That baggage influences our mindset and results in poor decisions. It was extremely tough to go to cemetery section of my mind and dig up that coffin full of painful memories, but it was important to me to keep it real with this book. I wanted people to be able to see themselves in the pages and finally see what is holding them back. Once you really understand what’s stopping you, massive change is possible.
There are tons of weight loss books out there, why should readers choose yours?
Well, first let me say ‘265 Point’ is not for everyone. If you’re looking for a roadmap to losing 30 pounds in 30 days, my book is not for you. But if you’re really and truly serious about losing the weight – this time for good – then ‘265 Point” is exactly what you’ve been looking for. I am a certified fitness professional but I’m not some out of touch trainer that just tells you to eat right and exercise. If it were that simple, we wouldn’t have a health crisis in this country! You should choose ‘265 Point’ because it’s written by a person who’s been where you are, understands your pain, and knows the way out. ‘265 Point’ is the blueprint that will get you from where you are to where you want to be – you just have to take the first step.
Now that you have penned your first book, what’s next for you? Do you plan to keep writing?
Absolutely! I have more books in me and I write almost daily. A lot of my writing ends up in my blog at www.265point.com or in my newsletters, motivational texts, and social media posts. I have found that constant reinforcement of the right thoughts is key to keeping my clients “on point”. I plan to write another book in the next year or two, but right now my focus is helping as many people as I can create their own success story using ‘265 Point’ and our Online Fitness Membership Programs. People are often surprised to learn that they can get amazing results just by connecting with me by phone or Skype on a weekly basis. It may seem far-fetched, but the testimonials on my website prove that it works! I also enjoy getting out there and spreading a message of hope at women’s group meetings and conferences. So many people have given up and just need a change in perspective. Once your perspective changes, what you believe is possible changes. And once what you believe is possible changes, you are positioned not just to survive, but to thrive. All of a sudden anything is possible. That is my mission – to convince anyone who will listen that no matter how many times you’ve failed, it IS possible to live your dreams and lead a happier, healthier life. You just have to believe.
TAMARA'S ONLINE FITNESS PROGRAM:
To purchase Tamara Jackson’s book, ‘265 Point’ or learn more about her online fitness program, visit her website at www.265point.com.
Find the Author/Purchase the Book:
Author & Fitness Website: http://www.265point.com
Tamara Jackson’s Media Kit: http://www.265point.com/media-kit.php
What’s Your Point Blog: http://www.265point.com/whats-your-point-blog.php
265 Point “Online Fitness Membership” Promotional
Good Reads Author Profile:
EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS WITH WORDS!
He was easily marked by the color of his skin.
Falsely accused of murder in the Jim Crow south, Porter Hurst flees to the north with his newborn son to begin a new life. He hopes to escape the oppression that has ruled his life and build a better life for his son, Ben.
He believed that skin color was as translucent as the soul.
Twelve years later, tragedy touches Porter’s life again, when Ben is killed, sparking a race riot that engulfs an entire city. Porter seeks retribution against his son’s killers and soon finds himself on the run from the law once again.
Humanity is colorblind.
Samuel Hunter was changed forever the night he was confronted by Porter Hurst. His beliefs were shaken to the core and he embarked on a journey of self-discovery that would change his life.
The madness of race.
Porter Hurst is finally brought to justice and faces the death penalty. Samuel Hunter is still haunted by his demons from his part in Ben’s death. Until the day they are both held at the mercyof a madman with a bomb. Feel the Fire is a cautionary tale of the many facets of racism and its changing faces.
“Shut up.” Porter raised the gun to eye level, ensuring that Stanley knew where his death was going to come from. “I don’t know whether to beat the shit out of you or blow your brains out.” He moved toward Stanley. “Sit your ass down. In that there chair,” Porter indicated the chair by the table. Stanley didn’t move, staring at the gun. “Sit!”
Stanley collapsed into the chair. “What?” he sputtered, trying to gather himself. “Why are you doing this?” Porter didn’t reply. He pulled the other chair to him, turned it around and straddled it cowboy style, never taking his eyes off Stanley. He sat a few feet away from him, his mouth set in an angry line, the darkness of the night casting light on his face in strange shadows; his eyes were dark empty hollows that glared at the youngster sitting in front of him. When he spoke, his voice was deep, guttural, the depth of his pain hidden beneath his intent.
Stanley is a monster. A killer. The devil that killed Ben.
“You know,” Porter said. “I been sitting around all night wondering what it is that makes you do the things you do. The thing that makes you tick. What, in your mind, makes you do the things you do.” He waggled his finger at Stanley. “I’m going to ask you a question. I’m only going to ask you this once so you only get one chance to get it right. Why did you kill that little boy today?”
“I didn’t kill anybody…”
Porter lunged forward and smashed Stanley in the face with the barrel of the gun. A flash of blood sprayed outward, his head slammed back against the wall and he slumped to the floor with his hands covering his face while he cried in pain. Pain blurred his vision but he heard Porter’s voice through the haze. “Shut up! Shut up all that crying big man. Because if anybody hears you and comes up those stairs, I’m gonna put a hole in your neck. A big one.” Porter waited as Stanley got quiet. “Now. Next time you lie… I kill you.” Porter let his words hang in the air for a moment, waiting for Stanley to grasp the finality of the situation. “Now sit up! Put your ass in that chair before I fuck you up! Sit up!” Stanley struggled to bring himself upright, eyes alight with fear; a terror that Porter intended to use to obtain some measure of truth and, failing that, maybe some sliver of understanding. That was something that Porter really needed. It was suddenly important that he know why. Why he was destined to having his heart ripped out. Why was his love more cursed than others. Why? Some deep down part of him needed a reason. As if stoning his son could be justified, as if there could be an explanation that would ease his mind. Then maybe Porter could bring his soul to the point of coping with the loss of his son and with the evil that he was about to extract from this kid who took his life. “I can’t even begin to tell you what it means to me… what it means to you, for us both to be honest here. It’s the only chance you have right now. So don’t lie, you cold blooded fuck? Okay?”
Stanley nodded his head in agreement.
“Okay?” Porter jabbed him in the chest with the gun. Stanley nodded harder. “Okay,” Porter said. “Now tell me, why did you kill that little boy today?”
Stanley rocked in the chair, trying to staunch the flow of blood that was streaming down his face. The liquid was hot and sticky. His mind raced, seeking an escape. He looked over at the tree house window and thought that he might be able to jump out if the moment presented itself. He looked toward the door but realized he would never make it. The man with the gun was directly in front of him with his finger on the trigger.
“I don’t know,” Stanley said.
“You don’t know? You. Don’t. Know?” Porter shot forward and pressed the gun squarely into Stanley’s ear. “Well, both of us can’t be in the dark. ‘Cause I sure as hell don’t know. I don’t know, but I’m trying to know. Trying to understand why you had to kill. Why you have to take a life. One of us got to know something and you know what? You better know it real quick.” Porter was so close that Stanley could smell his sweat. “Now tell me why you killed that little boy. But this time you better answer like it’s the last thing that you will ever say. Because it just might be.” Porter sat back in the chair and waited.
Stanley said nothing, his hopes for escape fading with each passing moment. He was trapped by a crazy nigger with a gun in a tree house. No one was coming to help him. No one could help him. He considered the man’s question. Searched his mind for an answer that could get him out of this situation but finally came to the conclusion that there was no right answer, no solution that would save him. This guy was angry. Past angry. He was raging. He didn’t care. Stanley knew it. It was unheard of for a Black to come into this neighborhood, it just didn’t happen. They know better than that! Yet here he was. So this man was deranged. There was no escape for Stanley. He came to that realization and calmly excepted it. Almost casually, he looked into Porter’s eyes… and Stanley shook hands with his fate.
“You want to know the truth,” he said. “The real truth? We were just having fun. Playing around. I mean, what could be more fun than seeing how many boo-berries you could hit with a rock.” Stanley saw Porter’s hand start to shake. “It’s not like that was the first spook we ever took a rock to. It’s what we call the natural order of things and the herd has to be thinned out. The smallest and the weakest are the first ones to go.” Porter said nothing. “My daddy always told me that spooks ain’t real anyway. So what does it matter?”
“Your daddy was right.” Porter felt a coldness creep up his spine. “Nothing matters.”
GET TO KNOW NANE QUARTAY
Nane Quartay was born in upstate New York. After a tour in the US Navy, he traveled extensively before returning to New York to begin writing his first novel, Feenin’. His titles include Come Get Some, Take Two And Pass, The Badness and soon to be released Feel The Fire. He now lives in the Washington, DC area.
1) What drove you to write this story?
I was born and raised in upstate New York but I spent a few years living in Georgia right after I graduated from high school. I was always exposed to diversity – both socially and personally – and I took that learned behavior to the south with me. There’s not much difference between de facto racism and Jim Crow when life is the barometer.
2) Are people trapped by racism?
In a very real sense, I think that most people are. The ones that I think are really clamped in the snare are the people who insist that they are colorblind. That they don’t see skin or its hue. They are the most dangerous, much like a trapped animal, because they will never see you for who you are. They will never be able to talk honestly and openly about race because they deny uniqueness in its ultimate form. One of the very qualities that makes you your unique self is the YOU that you bring to the table. (Crazy sentence but it says what I want it to say.)
3) There are a few other social issues you tackle in the telling of this story. Name a few and why you felt the need to speak on them?
I’ll name two: First there is a young man who comes face to face with his sexuality and struggles to find the courage to accept what he desires. His struggles were not only with himself but with society, his family and his friends. He has to chose between his sexual desires and his life… heavy emotional lifting for a teenager. Secondly, there is the racial battle among Black folks about the use of the ‘N’ word. The history of ‘nigger’ has had a more profound and resonant effect on Blacks than any other social injustice and I wanted to examine the issue from the viewpoints of two generations; the old and the young. The unanswered question: will it ever end.
4) Your writing style is unique. It falls between urban speak and literary poetry at times. How do you classify yourself as a writer? Do you have a specific genre?
I love fiction. And I love reading. When telling a story, I catch rhythms and flows that speak to the matter at hand, often breaking rules and oftentimes loving that too. Writing is fun and revealing. Honest and real. It can also release spirits and bare souls. So I’m still trying to find a genre but until then, the written word will suffice.
5) What do you like to read?
Anything that is well written. The best writers grab you with the first sentence and don’t let go until the last page. Those are the types of books Ilike.
6)What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Read a lot. Write a lot. And always believe in your talent. In the end, that is what brings you through.
7) Are you working on a new novel? What’s next for you?
I’m currently working on an erotic novel. Relationships and sex from a hungry man’s point of view. Can’t wait to see how that one ends!
Find the Author and the Book:
Feel The Fire
|Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer|
The Coolest Cats, Read!