Getting to Wear the Pearls is Worth It

Monday, May 25, 2020

One of the best decisions I made when I began my journey to publication for The Talking Drum was applying for a spot as a debutante. I had been following the Debutante Ball Blog for more than a year and marked my calendar so that I wouldn’t miss the application window. I was ecstatic when I got the email that I had been chosen as one of the five Debs….


Drum roll please!! It’s launch week for Yodassa Williams

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

It’s finally time! Yodassa Williams is the next of this year’s Debs to step out onto the ballroom floor!  The Goddess Twins launches for publication today, May 19th. Foreword Reviews calls the book “an impressive, commanding novel about black girl magic,” and “an emotive and powerful feminist novel that inspires the innate goddess in every girl.” Kirkus Reviews says, “Continuous revelations keep the optimistic tale humming, and the cast is…


Summer Vacation Reading in the Midst of a Pandemic

Monday, May 18, 2020

Because of the times we’re facing, many of us will have more room in our schedules for reading this summer than we normally do. Stay-at-home orders, social distancing requirements, and the financial hit many of us are weathering because of COVID-19 will mean that stay-cations will be more common than activity-crammed vacations. When people think of summer reading choices, beach reads—fun, light novels filled with adventure, drama, and romance that…


The Writer’s Education—MFA versus NYC

Monday, May 11, 2020

In a widely read essay entitled “MFA vs NYC,” bestselling novelist Chad Harbach (The Art of Fielding) argued that the American literary scene has split into two cultures: New York publishing versus university MFA programs. His book brings together established writers, MFA professors and students, and New York editors, publicists, and agents to talk about these overlapping worlds, and the ways writers make (or fail to make) a living within…


What Is The Right Age to Begin Writing a Novel?

Monday, May 4, 2020

When I was in my late 20s, I considered enrolling at The American University in Washington, D.C. to earn an MFA in Creative Writing. I was torn between getting a degree that would help me write my debut novel and a master of science degree that would help me jump start a career as a television journalist. Ultimately, I decided to enroll at Northwestern University to help me launch my…


Hidden Secrets in The Talking Drum

Monday, April 27, 2020

I’ve hidden a few secrets in The Talking Drum that close family members and friends will probably be able to identify. The character, Percy, a Vietnam veteran, owns a German shepherd named Bridgette. Percy is never seen without his dog and the two are regulars in the community. Coincidentally, or not so coincidentally, growing up we had a German shepherd in my household named Bridget. She was very protective of…


My Favorite Independent Bookstore is a Booklover’s Paradise

Monday, April 20, 2020

I met up with Santa Claus in the fiction section of R J Julia Booksellers in Madison, Connecticut. This was a few years’ back, the weekend of Thanksgiving and I was on my way home to Massachusetts after visiting my parents in Bridgeport. My timing was perfect because Ol’ St. Nick was making his rounds to find out who among us bibliophiles had been naughty or nice. He regaled us…


I Got My First Lesson about Book Publishing-When I was 8

Monday, April 13, 2020

I was around 8 years old when I first learned of the financial realities of writing. I was a voracious reader at the time—as I still am—and looked up from whatever book I was immersed in—most likely a Nancy Drew mystery, or a volume from the Bobbsey Twins or Hollister Family series—and announced to my mother, “When I grow up, I want to be a novelist.” My mother gave me…


Debutante Amy Klein Makes Her Launch into the Literary World

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Drum roll please!! It’s launch week for Debutante Amy Klein. Amy steps out onto the ballroom floor with The Trying Game: Get Through Fertility Treatment and Get Pregnant Without Losing Your Mind, which hit shelves this week. From the author of “Fertility Diary” for the New York Times Motherlode blog comes a reassuring, no-nonsense guide to both the emotional and practical process of trying to get pregnant, written with the…


The Story That Inspired The Talking Drum

Monday, April 6, 2020

I’m often asked what inspired my debut novel, The Talking Drum. I’ve drawn inspiration from a multitude of experiences and individuals, but much of the inspiration comes from my parents. Mom and Dad were part of The Great Migration of African Americans moving from The South in the middle of the last century to The North for better job opportunities and treatment. After my dad did his two years of…