Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The (un)Glamorous Life

Let me begin by saying I love my life. I love being a full-time author. I love writing stories that people want to read. And I love, love, love talking to people about my characters as if they were real.

Now that that’s out of the way….

People look at me and the fact that I’ve achieved a small level of success, and some think, ‘Wow, I want that.’ What they don’t see is the ‘unglamorous’ part of being a full-time writer – the early morning flights, the traveling from city to city, the leaving your family to spend quiet evenings alone in hotel after hotel (okay, maybe that’s not so bad), the list goes on. I remember one time I was doing a signing in Ohio with Victoria Christopher Murray and we raced from our event, to the airport, changed clothes in the airport bathroom and barely made our flight. We joked about how “unglamorous” that was and said this was the part people sometimes forgot about the literary industry.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. I almost didn’t write this blog because I don’t want to seem ungrateful. I know there are hundreds of people who would love to have “my problems,” but as I prepare to head out of town for another literary event and miss yet another special event for my daughter (its homecoming and she’s doing her first halftime dance), I’m reminded that what I do comes at a cost. So while I love traveling, sometimes it’s bittersweet. And it’s just one of the bittersweet parts of our business. Some others include: those who think I do well because my publisher pushes me. Granted, I think I have one of the best publishers in the business, they are behind me 100% because I worked like a Hebrew slave – EVEN WHEN THEY WEREN’T. Back when they just printed the book and said, “here you go,” I worked my tail off and eventually, they saw how hard I was working and got behind me.

Then, there are the people who look at me (and other writers) and think my success came overnight. It didn’t. Just ask my husband who would look at those boxes of self-published books in our garage and go, “I’m trying to believe in your dream, but tell me again how we’re going to move these books.”

Or people will tell me, “I’m going to quit my job and write full-time, too” without realizing I didn’t quit until my SEVENTH book and with a sound game plan.

So yes, being a full-time author is a beautiful thing. But it’s not a task to be taken lightly. There is hard work, sweat, tears and even frustration. Still, when all is said and done, the good far outweighs the good and in fact, it’s that unglamorous part that makes you appreciate glamorous parts even more!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Introduction...

What's up, Everyone?

Thanks so much for dropping by my blog. At first, I was hesitant to do a blog...after all, any of my Facebook friends will tell you I put almost all my business on Facebook (my mother now prefaces everything she tells me with "I better not see this on Facebook!"). But I know my audience expands far past Facebook, so blogging seemed like a natural progression. Be forewarned, I'll be talking about everything - from books to babies, life to love, and everything in between. I know some of you who come through may be true-blue fans. Others may just have stumbled across my site through a search engine. Some may just want to drop in from time to time. And a few may just come through to be nosey:-). But whatever your reasoning, I'm glad you're here!

So, sit back, relax and enjoy...a little piece of my mind...

Where do I begin....I guess with the question I get asked almost every day...when is the movie coming out?

I wish I knew!

Hollywood is different beast. When I got the call in 2007 from Rev. Juanita Bynum that she wanted my permission to take my book to Hollywood, all I could think was, Do you want me to drive you? Very long story short, she took the book to someone who got a production company on board and the next thing I know, I was having conversations about becoming "the female Tyler Perry." We were well into casting, the script, we even had the title soundtrack. As Executive Producer, I was to be on set during filming. So, a couple of days before shooting, I was packed and ready to go! Truthfully, I was shocked because I was on the fast track to the screen. Then everything came to a screeching halt. There was one delay after another, after another. The option expired and my hopes were dashed. Enter one of my favorite actresses, Regina King. Midway through the project, she had signed on to make her directorial debut and after all the delays, remained committed to the film. Through the company she has with her sister, Royal Ties Productions, she decided to forge ahead. You know how they say God does everything for a reason, well all my frustrating delays were so that we could get here to today - with a talented director, a dedicated producer and a wonderful screenplay. And in a rare opportunity - me, the author - involved every step of the way.

So right now, the movie is still on and forging ahead. We are in the pre-production stage and hopefully, prayerfully, soon, we can move forward with no more delays. If all goes as planned, we'll be in theaters in the spring of 2011. Wish I could give you more but that's all I can share for now:-). But I will tell you, I'm learning sooo much about the movie business and if this movie never gets finished, the information I've garnered is a blessing in and of itself.

Of course, I'll keep you posted on the movie's progress on my new blog. I'm confident that we'll get this movie finished and I'll make my acting debut (Usually, authors just get cameos, but I'm trying to get some dialogue so a casting agent can see me and discover that I'd be PERFECT to play opposite Denzel in his next movie....what, a sistah can't dream???)