The Books That Inspired Me to Be a Writer

Monday, July 20, 2020

When I look back at my elementary school years, some of my fondest memories were the days when the teacher received that box in the mail from the Weekly Reader Book Club. She’d open it in front of the class and distribute what we had ordered weeks before. It was like having Christmas and my birthday rolled together month after month. I’d bring my books home and binge on Nancy…

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Interviewing One of My Main Characters

Monday, July 13, 2020

This week’s topic is “The Manuscript in the Drawer.” But I have no manuscript in the drawer. The Talking Drum was my first manuscript, and thank goodness I got it published. For this week’s blog post I am interviewing one of my characters. Sydney was in my head for such a long time and is finally on the printed page. She’s been itching for an interview since The Talking Drum’s…

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Blooper Reel: Is it “Duke”? “The Duke”? or “Sir Duke”?

Monday, July 6, 2020

Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington, composer, pianist, and jazz orchestra leader, plays a pivotal role in the life of Omar Bassari, one of my main characters in The Talking Drum. Omar is a drummer growing up in a small village in Senegal. He’s been training to become a master drummer under his father Ibrahim’s direction. One day, in the mid-1960s, Ibrahim pulls him aside to tell him of an important event…

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Interview (and Book Giveaway) with Nicole Mabry, author of Past This Point

Saturday, July 4, 2020

It is my pleasure to welcome Nicole Mabry to the Debutante Ball today! Nicole and I have met virtually through our Debut Authors of Color group. PAST THIS POINT, an apocalyptic women’s fiction thriller, tells the story of one woman and her dog fighting to survive during a deadly virus outbreak that renders New York City a ghost town. About Nicole Nicole Mabry grew up in Northern California but has lived in…

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A Deleted Scene from The Talking Drum

Monday, June 29, 2020

I deleted so many scenes from The Talking Drum over the years in which I was revising it that I had a hard time choosing which one to feature in this blog. I finally settled on a scene in which my character Sydney, who co-owns The Talking Drum Bookstore and Cultural Center with her husband, is desperate to unload a set of encyclopedias her husband purchased. She doesn’t think anyone…

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A Favorite Book from my Childhood

Monday, June 22, 2020

One of my favorite childhood books is From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg. The prologue is a letter from Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, addressed “To my lawyer, Saxonberg”, accompanied by a drawing of her writing at her office desk. It serves as the cover letter for the 162-page narrative, and provides background for changes to her last will and testament. Twelve-year-old Claudia Kincaid decides to…

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Read The Talking Drum by Lisa Braxton

Friday, June 12, 2020

It’s Lisa Braxton’s turn! She’s supported and cheerled and organized the rest of us Debs since August, and now her debut, THE TALKING DRUM, which takes place in 1970s Boston, is finally out in the world. I read it last weekend, and I think it’s absolutely essential. Here’s why you should read THE TALKING DRUM if you’re a writer: Lisa’s prose is spare and unsentimental. She lets the characters’ actions…

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I loved The Talking Drum.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Are people for their cities, or are cities for their people? Is this a question you think about a lot? Lisa Braxton has. I grew up in upstate New York, near Albany, where the grand and massive towers of the Empire State Plaza loom over the South End of the city. As an 80’s child, I took it for granted that the plaza had always been there. When you’re a…

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Press Release – 2020 Debutante Lisa Braxton Makes Her Launch into the Literary World

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

For Immediate Release: June 9, 2020­­­—Drum roll please!! It’s launch week for me, Debutante Lisa Braxton. I am the fourth of five Debs to step out onto the ballroom floor!  The Talking Drum hits shelves today. The Talking Drum is about three couples in the 1970s and how they’re affected when an urban redevelopment project takes over an immigrant neighborhood for gentrification. The fictional city of Bellport, Massachusetts, is in…

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Drum roll please!! It’s launch week for me, Deb Lisa Braxton

Monday, June 8, 2020

3…2…1…Liftoff! It’s hard to believe but The Talking Drum has finally launched. My debut novel, the one I’ve been wanting to write since I was 6 years old, is finally out in the world. I have heard from friends and colleagues that the orders they placed through Amazon.com have arrived. Orders placed through Barnes and Noble are on their way. People who placed orders weeks ago with my publisher, Inanna…

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