Sunday, July 5, 2015
Reading has been a favorite hobby of mine for as long as I can remember. Nothing in the world can compare to reading a damn good book. At least for me, nothing compares. I remember being in grade school and getting my own library card, all just to check out and read a new book. I had developed a love for reading and I even had my own library of books after the librarian convinced me to join RIF (Reading is Fundamental), program that allowed you to be rewarded with a new book every week. My mother never had to fight with me to read, and she never had to wander where I was. I was either in the library or in my room somewhere reading a book. Reading was then and still is my very favorite thing to do. I also remember that although I loved Judy Blume (Are You there God, It's Me Margaret, and Wifey and Beverly Clearly (Ramona Series), I yearned for the day there would be African-American authors that would tell my story or at least stories that I could relate to. Don't get me wrong, as a child, Judy Blume and Beverly Clearly were the truth for me. I had no real experiences other than being raised by a single parent, and living in the ghetto, I just wanted to read a book by an African American writer and see where the author would take me. I knew then that I wanted to have a career that involved some sort of story telling. Either it would be a anchorwoman or some sort of writer. As the years have passed by, I have started writing a manuscript that is still not complete, but I have come across some amazing writers that every time I pick up one of their books, I am simply amazed. I think I am more happy as an adult to read books than when I was a child and it simply because there are way more African-American authors now that I could have ever conjured up in my mind. The first African-American writer I read was Terry McMillian's Waiting to Exhale and I remember having to go and find her other books, Mama and Disappearing Acts. I remember thinking boy my people have arrived. It seemed to me at one time in my earlier years that African-Americans were denied or were not good enough to be in a creative field or there was some kind of belief that we didn't read. After reading Terry McMillian I remember even reading some of E Lynn Harris' books like Just As I am and Invisible Life. I remember reading a bio or something on E Lynn Harris where he was saying that someone was critiquing his work and to bring Basil to life , he E Lynn Harris had to become that character, if I am not mistaken. When reading I often wonder how many authors have used this advice. Somewhere down the line I got hooked on what I like to say, the hood drama soapbox. I can't remember who was the first hood book I read, but they haven't disappointed me yet. I even have a co-worker that swore she only read Stephen King like books begging to bring her my hood drama books when I finish reading them. I don't know who I like the most, but I can never pass up a book by Nisa Santiago, my BFF in my head, or Brandie Williams, Ashley and JaQuavis, or even Kim K. I mean there are so many, I think they all do a fantastic job in bringing their stories to life. I can identify with them and not because I lived the kind of lives they write about, but I grew up in the environment and I still live in the environment that they are writing about and I see this is not only something that they made up. No, I know they are not any of their biographies but the hit the nail right on the head and its that much believable. I have so many of the street drama books, I can open my own library. As I continue to work on my own work, I just want to say thank you for paving the way to some of my favorite authors: Terry McMillan, Rosalyn McMillan, Nisa Santiago, Kim K, Ashley and JaQuavis, Terri Woods, Nikki Turner, Keisha Ervin, Kiki Swinson, Danielle Santiago, Tonya Ridley, Erica Hilton, Noire, Azarel, J Tremble, Miss KP and Michael Baisden. All of you guys have kept reading as my favorite pastime and all of you have provided that inspiration and drive to keep on writing my manuscript. I hope one day my name be on someone's list as their favorite author.