Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Authors & Me

Me and author Jewell Parker Rhodes at the
Detroit Public Library (Douglass Branch) on 2-25-2009.

E. Lynn Harris and I at Borders Books in Dearborn, Michigan on
8-12-2008 picture taken by fellow bibliophile Roberta Thornton

Me & Bernice McFadden aka Geneva Holliday at a book signing
at the Detroit Main Library on 3-1-2006

The following are other authors in which I took pictures of or with, but are unable to transfer from my phone camera.

  • Me & Mary Monroe on a Book tour for "Deliver Us from Evil" at a book signing. Picture taken 9-8-2007 with friend Roberta Thornton.
  • Pearl Cleage at Shrine of the Black MaDonna Bookstore in Detroit on 3-4-2006
  • Kimberla Lawson Roby Promoting "Changing Faces" at Borders in Dearborn on January 26, 2006

Others Authors I've Met include: Rosalyn McMillan, Terry McMillan, Eric Jerome Dickey, Van Whitfield, Tina McElroy Ansa, J. California Cooper, Bebe Moore Campbell, Virginia DeBerry & Donna Grant, Connie Briscoe, Evelyn Coleman, Benilde Little, Diane McKinney-Whetstone, Denise Nicholas, Omar Tyree, Rev Run aka Simmons & Family, Rita Coburn Whack

Thursday, November 06, 2008

God Bless America!

Congratulations to our New President!

Barack Obama

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Isaac Lee Hayes, Jr.

August 20, 1942 – August 10, 2008

An American soul and funk singer-songwriter,
musician, record producer, arranger, composer, and actor.


According to Hayes' official Web site,
the music icon was set to play himself in a musical comedy
starring comedian Bernie Mac, who died Saturday (August 9th)


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Bernard Jeffrey McCullough
"Bernie Mac"
October 5, 1957 - August 9, 2008
You will be missed!
Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes will appear in a movie together -- "Soul Men".
They play singers who reunite after 20 years to do a concert
at New York's Apollo Theatre.
Costarring Samuel L. Jackson,
it opens in November.

Monday, July 14, 2008

African American Black Hawk Test Pilot

This is my cousin by marriage, but she was a regal person. I got to know a little bit about her from the family reunions we had in San Antonio, TX.

Jennifer Yevette Robinson
Born in Trinidad, West Indies on April 10, 1955, Died June 30, 2008 and resided in Boerne, TX.

Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery

Jennifer Yevette Robinson, age 53, passed away June 30, 2008.

She was born April 10, 1955, in Trinidad, West Indies, the youngest of three girls, to the late Vivian Arthur and Neutres Vena Wilson.

Jennifer came to the U.S. in 1969 to reside in New York with her sister, Maudrilla and graduated from George W. Wingate High School, Flatbush, NY. She went on to receive a business degree from Siena College, Albany, NY, where she also became an Army ROTC cadet member of the Mohawk Battalion.

After graduation, Jennifer entered active duty and her illustrious military career covered two overseas tours in Germany and Korea. Jennifer had the distinction of being the second black female test pilot for Black Hawks in the Army.

Jennifer received her commission through Siena College, Albany, New York, Army Reserved Officers Training Corps in 1980. She was commissioned as a second Lieutenant in the Transportation Corps. She attended the Transportation Officer's Basic Course in 1980.

In 1981, she qualified to attend the Army's Rotary-wing Aviator school, aircraft maintenance officer repairer technical course at Fort Rucker, Alabama. Upon graduating from the Flight school, she was selected to attend the Transportation Officer's Advance Course. Her next adventure was off to Fort Bragg, North Caroline assigned to 18th Airborne Corps.

After three years of flying numerous missions to include support of the Special Forces School and delivering and transporting recondition UH-1H Huey and OH-58 from Corpus Christi Army Depot back to Fort Bragg, the army assigned her to 2nd Infantry Division, Korea. After a one year tour in Korea, she requested and received an inter-theater transfer to Germany.

While in Germany, where she got her first taste of command, she commanded an Aviation Maintenance Company. Her company's mission was to repair and maintain rotary aircraft for Fifth Corps. In addition to commanding her company, she was the only African-American female test pilot to certify that the aircraft was fixed and ready to be returned to the assigned unit.

After a three year tour of duty in Germany, she returned to the Army's Transportation School, Fort Eustis, VA., where she successfully developed and taught a 200 hour aviation logistics mid-level management training course. Jennifer's awards and declarations include: Meritorious Service Metal, Army Commendation Metal with second award. Army Achievement Metal with second award, National Defense Service Metal, Armed Forces Reserve Metal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon two tours, Army Superior Unit Award and the Army Aviator Badge.

Jennifer left the active army as a captain in 1992 after 12 years and 2 months of Honorable service. The day she left active duty she was promoted to the rank of major in the Army Reserves. Jennifer moved with her husband to San Antonio, where she joined the ranks of USAA and worked until her illness in 2007.

This was posted in the MySA.com (San Antonio Express News):

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Author Feature

Introducing Author and Playwright
Cheril N. Clarke

Cheril N. Clarke is a noted Author, Playwright and Producer. With 4 publications under her belt, a stage play and film version due out soon. Her fifth novel "Losing Control" (formerly titled
"Emergency Exit") is near completion.

A native of Toronto raised in Miami and now living in southern New Jersey, Cheril N. Clarke is the author of four novels,

Visit her website at: http://www.cherilnclarke.com/

Foundations: A Novel of New Beginnings (2001)
Different Trees from the Same Root (2003)
Intimate Chaos (2005)
Tainted Destiny (2006)

Intimate Chaos

She has been featured in:

Curve Magazine, the nation's best selling lesbian magazine

The Princeton Packet

Philadelphia Gay News (PGN)

    About.com, Out IN Jersey


    Burlington County Times




    Clik Magazine as well as

    Crain's New York Business newspaper, among others.

    Her opinion columns have been featured by the National Black Justice Coalition. Clarke has also published poems, short stories and reviews of hip-hop spoken word theater in various literary magazines. Her editorial work has appeared in About Magazine, Sistah2Sistah (ULOAH) online magazine, GayWired.com and on 247gay.com. Clarke was a keynote speaker at an African Asian Latina Lesbians United conference and has performed at events organized by African American Lesbians United for Societal Change. She is currently working on her fifth novel, Losing Control and the screenplay for "Intimate Chaos."

    Coming Soon.....

Friday, May 23, 2008

Featured Rutgers Univ. Graduate - Robin

I just returned from New York/Jersey City to attend my sister's graduation. It was a wonderful occasion and very proud to say the least. My sister from Colorado, mom, sister and niece from Texas, and myself from Michigan. Our father was there in spirit from heaven. We met a swell of interesting and kind people. Despite what is said about New Yorkers, we met some very kind and friendly people in the neighborhoods, in the subways and in restaurants.

My sisters is featured in the Rutgers University website - graduating with honors (magna cum laude) 3.7 GPA. Look out for her debut. She received a PA (Production Assistance) job just one day after graduation and unsure of a job. WOW!

Robin Laverne Wilson, Newark College of Arts and Sciences (Honors College), BA, Jersey City, N.J. and Converse, TX.
Ceremony: May 20, 2 p.m., New Jersey Performing Arts Center, One Center St., Newark

Robin Laverne Wilson still hasn’t decided what she wants to be when she grows up, but at least she’s narrowed down her choices. “I want to be an artist who handles business, vs. a business woman who is artistic. I want to produce media.” Robin, who describes herself as a “Texan by geography, a New Yorker by heart,” started college in 1991 back in Texas, trying her hand at a broad swath of majors and courses, including writing, photography, acting, film, journalism, and fine arts. She worked in a peace and justice center, marrying art and social justice, and also acted in commercials and training films.

Lured by the bright lights of the big city, she came to New York and at the recommendation of a relative, looked into Rutgers-Newark and liked what she saw. As an interdisciplinary major, she mixed media studies and management courses, interned at VH1, the New York Pops Symphony Orchestra, and New Line Cinema, and during a break from classes was an artist in residence at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center. Ever the activist, Robin has assisted on filming a documentary about homeless war veterans with Robert Greenwald of Brave New Films, director/producer of “Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price” and “Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism.” For her Honors College thesis project, Robin started a production company to create several film projects.

Why is Robin so attracted to such a broad range of highly creative fields? She likens herself to a dragonfly, the creature she considers her spirit guide, noting the dragonfly is “non-linear – it darts all over. And it is very assertive at going after what it wants.”

Monday, March 10, 2008

Double Take: Copy Kat Book Cover Designs

I discovered a strange coincedence, book covers that are similar or using the same artwork. Is it that there are just so many books and not enough unique ideas? Like the old school music remixed with the new music today. Is it better to have one attention getting cover idea recycled continuously than have a hideous cover? I tend to think that similar book covers will lead me to believe that i've already read or brought the book. In my quest for answers to these questions, I discovered that recycled covers may not be an author's issue, but a publishers issue. The art is stock and publishers have no idea that another publishing company may have used the same artwork. Is it innocent coincedence or great minds thinking alike? Simon & Schuster seems to be the biggest abuser according to these few books.

Omar Tyree's What They Want (Simon & Schuster, 2006). Loving his life of carefree travel and insecure women, male model Terrance Mitchell experiences profound guilt when his insensitivity induces a young woman's instability, an event that prompts him to rethink his priorities. Tyree is a 2001 NAACP Image Award-winning author of Boss Lady.

The Apostles (One World/Strivers Row, 2004) run Chicago’s streets. Their leader, “Solemn Shawn” Terson, is the most revered–and feared–man in town. Because of his past exploits, the Apostles have a loyalty among its members that has reached mythic proportions. Y. Blak Moore is a poet, social worker, and former gang member who grew up in the Chicago housing projects. He is also the author of Triple Take. Moore has three children and lives in Chicago.

This is the cover to a blues album (2001). "The Love Doctor" is former radio personality Lewis Clark moved to Illinois and became involved in the music industry through radio as a disc jockey in Illinois. With his DJ name being the Blues Doctor for some two decades, Lewis would often perform at various gospel events, playing tunes but also occasionally performing them as well. In 1997, the Blues Doctor changed his name to the Love Doctor. Surprising hit album reached #47 on Billboard's R & B Albums chart on the strength of his runaway smash "Slow Roll It", which immortalized another way to do the horizontal bop.

Chocolate Sangria by Tracy Price-Thompson (Villard, 2003) is a fast-paced, suspenseful, and unpredictable, it explores the hearts of two lovers who get caught in a great cultural divide, and the trials they face when black love and Hispanic love spill across racial boundaries. A Brooklyn, New York native and retired Army Engineer Officer, Tracy is an Alpha Delta Mu honor society graduate from Rutgers University, as well as a Ralph Bunche graduate fellow who holds degrees in Business Administration and Social Work. Tracy lives in Hawaii with her husband and several of their six children.

In The Other Man (Blue Note Press, 2006) worlds collide when Freedom must choose between her conservative lifestyle with Vance, and her dangerously illicit, bad-girl sexcapades with Boney—before someone chooses for her—all set in the backdrop of Memphis, Tennessee, a southern city rich with Blues, Black History, and relevance to African-Americans. The Other Man was inspired by The Jennifer Wilbanks Story, the runaway bride who duped authorities into thinking she was kidnapped in order to escape the pressures of a wedding only two days away. Aside from writing novels and the start-up of Blue Note Press, Marlon is currently studying screenwriting and independent filmmaking. He resides as a bachelor in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Satisfied With Nothin' (Simon & Schuster, 1996) the novel is about a young African American male, Jamie Ray Griffin's experience is set in rural 1970s Louisiana who excels at football in high school and college and dreams of playing the sport professionally. His dreams are cut short, however, after he suffers a knee injury. Ernest Hill is a native of Oak Grove, Louisiana. He wrote Satisfied with Nothin’ in 1992, while studying history at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

Twisted (K Mass Paper, 2006) is a chilling collection of stories certain to send them spiraling into a dark realm of imagination where the once-familiar becomes menacingly twisted: A man driving home from a Halloween costume party suddenly comes face to face with an evil that's all too real. An elderly woman, obsessed with obituaries, finds herself intimately connected with the dead in the most unlikely of ways. A lifelong racist is plunged into his ultimate nightmare. An unfaithful husband discovers to his horror that his attractive new neighbor has the wickedest kind od seduction in mind for him. From a Gold Pen Award-winner and a master storyteller. Massey was born in Waukegan, Illinois, but grew up in Zion, a suburb north of Chicago. He currently resides with his wife near Atlanta, GA and is working on new novels and other projects.

In Crabs in a Barrel (Agate, 2006) author Byron Harmon uses this Gilligan's Island meets Survivor set-up to create a story that airs out the truth about how black people feel about themselves, each other, and most everyone else in this breakout novel sure to bring him even greater commercial and critical success. Byron Harmon is the author of two earlier novels, All The Women I've Loved (Pocket, 2002) and Mistakes Men Make (Pocket, 2005). He is the executive producer for the WCBS TV Early Morning News in New York City.

Tastes Like Chicken (Simon & Schuster, 2004) is Lolita Files's much anticipated continuing story of the lives of Misty Fine and Reesy Snowden, the dynamic heroines of the bestselling novels Scenes from a Sistah and Getting to the Good Part. With steamy thrills and disastrous infidelities, Lolita's latest is a tale of two women who find themselves poised at life's crossroads with everything to lose but their friendship. Misty and Reesy share outrageous misadventures in Hollywood and Los Angeles when Reesy elects to pursue her dreams of stardom, a quest that is complicated by her would-be devoted boyfriend, Dandre. Files is the former National Communications Director for KinderCare Learning Centers. She lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and is the author of five bestselling novels.

In Unburnable (Amistad, 2006) a riveting narrative of family, betrayal, vengeance, and murder, Lillian Baptiste is willed back to her island home of Dominica to finally settle her past. Haunted by scandal and secrets, and with the help of Teddy, the man she refused to love, she will find a way to heal. Marie-Elena John is a former Africa development specialist. She and her husband and two children divide their time between Washington, D.C., and Antigua. This is her first novel.

The suspense novel Fatal Justice (Kensington, 2005) by Faye Snowden is a sequel to The Savior (Kensington, 2004) and more Richard T. Marvel mysteries will follow. After Dr. Kendra Hamilton watches her mother's murder go without a conviction, Kendra takes the law into her own hands and returns to the mean streets of Dunhill County to bring the killer to justice. Faye Snowden lives in Modesto, California with her family. Fatal Justice is her third novel.

Subtle Secrets by Wanda Thomas (Genesis Press, 2007)

A Love Story by Denene Millner and Nick Chiles (E P Dutton, 2004)
Topaz by Beverly Jenkins (Avon Books, Reprint 2007)

Soulmates: An Illustrated Guide to Black Love, Sex, and Romance by Eric V. Copage (Plume, 2001)

Friday, February 01, 2008

Book Trailers

On a screen near you ...

A book trailer is a video advertisement for a book which employs techniques similar to those of movie trailers. Complete with actors, cinematography and voice-overs, it's the closest the book industry has come to a movie-style preview of a new title. They are circulated on television and online in most common digital video formats.

The first Book Trailer played publicly was at a book convention in Shreveport, LA in 2003. Though Book Trailers were being made as early as 2002, the term caught on in 2005 when user-generated online video upload sites became more popular. Sites such as MySpace, YouTube and iFilm allowed for the videos to be viewed by the public, creating a market for this promotional tool.

Reaching out to the Internet's more than one billion users is one of the best ways to easily and inexpensively promote your book to your target audience instead of the usual press release or book tours. Creating a book video, also known as a book trailer, book teaser, book short, or book presenter to attract a broader, Internet-savvy reading audience.

There are numerous sites devoted to authors and books, which offer great opportunities for author promotion, such as: Book Marketing Network, MyShelf, and AuthorsDen.

Submitting a Book Trailer to the right site can attract potential readers.