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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Summer Recess, Sort Of

Forgive the silence! After a non-stop year of promoting Powder Necklace, I've taken the summer off, sort of.


A few weeks ago, I joined some Ghanaian friends on a panel for Brotherhood SisterSol, an amazing organization that supports local black and Latino youth aged 8-21 with everything from after school programming to college prep. The group is taking the kids to Ghana and wanted the panel to share our experiences and give the kids ideas on what to expect. The young men and women had some great questions for us, one of them being: "If Ghana is so great, why are y'all here?" Touché. LOL. Our consensus answer was we've become too spoiled by America's creature comforts to deal with erratic utility services, regular blackouts, dirt roads, etc.

I've also been grinding on my second book, which is helping me understand a lot more about Ghana. Covering Ghanaian history from '62 to the present-day, I'm getting a crash-course in Ghanaian history, Ghanaian-American relations, the charismatic movement, and more. I've had a breakthrough with my writing process on this project! I've mentioned before that my discipline issues had been getting the better of me, thanks to my Basketball Wives/ Keeping Up with the Kardashians addictions, and my recent fixation with the Casey Anthony case and Jaycee Dugard's gripping interviews. BUT the bus has changed everything for me! I discovered a bus near my house that drops me off right by my job and now I spend an hour each morning writing on it. I've been leaving the house earlier than normal so I can continue writing in the library or park before work.

I'm also hard at work organizing a really cool end-of-summer literary event with two fellow authors. I'll tell you more about it as the date approaches.

In between, I've been doing interviews trying to keep the book out there. Check out my recent Q&A in Essence!!!! It's always been a dream of mine to be featured in Essence so please forgive the multiple exclamations.

Tomorrow, I'm doing an interview at 10P on WKCR. Please tune in!

And stick with me into September. I'm super-psyched to be reading at the OrphanAID Africa Benefit on September 15th. In Powder Necklace, there's a character named Enyo who is a maid in the home because her family couldn't afford to keep her. OrphanAID Africa, founded in Ghana by former Vogue stylist and author Lisa Lovatt-Smith, works to protect vulnerable kids by raising funds for families, offering job training services, and more. If you're New York-based, please RSVP. Damon Dash is co-hosting the party if that matters to you (does to me! would be cool to meet him.), and good people will be in the house for an even better cause.