Category Archives: Black Voice Spot Light

Getting to Know Mary Monroe with Virginia Davis

Ruby Jean Upshaw is the youngest and seventh daughter of Reverend and Mrs. Upshaw.  Compared to other black children growing up in Shreveport, Louisiana in the 1940s, Ruby is immensely blessed. She lives in a nice home with two loving parents who cherish the ground she walks on, and will go to any limits to protect her. However, Ruby is bored with her monotonous, redundant life.  She has no friends, no boyfriend, and with all of her six older sisters married and living far away, she is extremely lonely. Tired of being governed by her parents’ strict rules and longing for friendship, Ruby slowly cultivates a friendship with Othello Cartier.

Othella, the daughter of a popular prostitute in Shreveport is already infamous for her “fast”, conniving, and thieving ways at the tender age of fourteen. Ruby cleverly goes behind her parents’ back and quickly gravitates towards Othella’s iniquitous lifestyle. Ruby remarkably falls victim to incessant beer drinking, partying, and sleeping with numerous men and boys, just like her new-found best friend Othella.  Once Ruby finally convinces her parents to let her befriend Othella she no longer has to socialize with her in secret, leaving nothing to stop the two rebellious girls from living on the wild side. Ruby continues to form sexual relationships with various men and immersing in outrageous secular activities.  Once Ruby finds out that she has accidentally gotten pregnant, fear becomes a tangible force in her life. Afraid of telling her stern parents about her pregnancy, Ruby successfully hides it from her family and Othella for nine months. When she gives birth to a healthy, beautiful baby girl at Othella’s birthday party, Othella and her mother quickly convince her to give it away.   They sway her to believe that keeping her beautiful daughter will result in hazardous consequences from her unsympathetic parents. Regretfully, Ruby decides to give away the one thing that filled a gaping void in her chest, her daughter. This life altering event introduces Ruby to a tangible depression that begins to affect every aspect of her life.  

 Once Ruby and Othella get bored with living with their monotonous families and having scandalous affairs, they decide to travel to New Orleans with only their suitcases and a few dollars, with hopes of finding husbands who will rescue them from their mischievous lifestyles.  With minimal cash and no stable place to stay, Ruby and Othella are forced to resort to prostitution and manipulating men as a way of life.  After years of selling their bodies, and living unhappily, the two young girls finally marry their dream- men. However, Ruby is never completely happy, for nothing ever makes up for, or replaces the detrimental loss of her, alienated daughter.

 

My Review, Five Stars *****

 

 I enjoyed reading this hilarious prequel to one of my FAVORITE novels, the classic page-turner “The Upper Room,” that I have read three times! I was elated to read about the background and poignant past of the infamous Mama Ruby, whose scandalous and humorous behavior kept me on edge, and in shock from beginning to end. I love this novel for it kept me guessing, laughing, and I even shed a few tears. I have always been an avid reader and huge fan of the remarkable, best-selling author Mary Monroe, who has written The God Series, “Gonna Lay My Burdens Down”, “Red Light Wives”, “In Sheep’s Clothing”, and many other works.

 

Get to know Mary Monroe

1. What or who inspired you to write The Upper Room?

I grew up around people like some of the characters in The Upper Room.  They were very entertaining and I always knew that I’d write a story about them some day.  I got the kidnapping idea from an old Audrey Hepburn/Burt Lancaster movie (The Unforgiven) about an Indian baby that a white family abducted and raised.

 

2. Is the infamous Mama Ruby a character with traits similar to someone familiar to you, or is she a concoction of many people and situations?

Mama Ruby is a composite of my mother, my aunt Berniece, and my cousin Florence (all deceased). 

Like Mama Ruby, all three of these women drank tons of beer, did outrageous things, and controlled almost everybody and everything in their lives.

 

3. Why did you decide to write a prequel to The Upper Room?

A lot of my readers wanted to know more about Mama Ruby’s background, especially her youth.  But the main thing people wanted to know was the reason she so desperate to have a daughter of her own. 

 

4. What is next for Mama Ruby and is it possible that The Upper Room will be another series for you?

The yet-to-titled sequel to The Upper Room is in the works and will be released in 2013.  Mama Ruby will be featured in it in several flashbacks, but the main story will be about the kidnapped girl, Maureen, finding out at the age of thirty-six that Mama Ruby kidnapped her.  And, the baby girl that Mama Ruby gave birth to during her teens will be a major character in this book.  It will be third and last part of the series.

5. Do you have a favorite character out of all your novels? If so, why are they your favorite character? My favorite character is Mama Ruby.  She is everything I like in a fictional villain: entertaining, bigger than life, humorous, fearless, resourceful, lovable at times and loyal to her loved ones (unless you cross her…).

6. When first writing “God Don’t Like Ugly” did you intend for it to be a series? If not, what compelled you to continue writing Annette’s and Rhoda’s story?

I didn’t intend to write a series.  “God Don’t Like Ugly” started out as a movie project for actress Robin Givens.  She wanted to produce and star in it (as Rhoda) but things didn’t work out.  I rewrote the story as a novel and it became an immediate success.  A lot of readers wanted to read more about Annette and Rhoda so I wrote “God STILL Don’t Like Ugly.”  To make a long story short, so many readers wanted to read even more about these characters so I kept their story going.  However, the sixth and final book in the series, “God Don’t Make No Mistakes” will be released June 1, 2012 and believe me, it will be full of surprises!

7. Do you have any other passions besides writing?

I love to travel, shop, watch movies, and eat out.  However, my biggest passion is reading.  Not only do I enjoy reading, it provides the creative nourishment I need to stay focused on my own work.  I read two newspapers every day, all of the weekly tabloids, the leading women’s magazines, and I try to read at least two to three books a week.  Even though my schedule is extremely tight, I find time to read like when I’m on a long flight, stuck in traffic, or stuck in a long line at the bank. 

8. When did you first discover your talent? How long did it take you to realize that you wanted to be an author after finding your passion?

I was born with an overactive imagination and the people around me were very colorful.  I started making up stories about them when I was around three or four.  I used to tell stories to my playmates while working in the fields in Alabama and Ohio.  By the time I was seven I realized I didn’t want to end up picking beans and doing other menial labor like so many of the people I knew.  I wanted to grow up and do something fun and exciting!  I couldn’t sing, dance, or act so writing was the only “fun” profession for me to choose from.

9. Your novels tend to be vastly humorous. Is writing humor something that takes practice (for you) or does it just come naturally for you?

I don’t set out to write humorous things in my books.  I just write about what I know and some of my own personal experiences.  A lot of those experiences just happen to be funny.

10. Have you thought about exploring other avenues of writing (screenwriting, playwriting, etc…) ?

I have written screenplays, stage plays, TV sitcoms, a few essays, and even a humor book.  But I’ve only been fortunate enough to get contracts for my novels so far.  My goal is to continue writing novels but I do hope to make a name for myself in Hollywood someday too.

11. What advice would you give to an aspiring writer who may be facing immense writer’s block and/or fear of failing in the literary world?

I’ve never experienced writer’s block but I can write a book about failure!  My first novel collected fifty-five rejection slips but once I began to look at rejections as “detours” I didn’t get too discouraged.  Other authors have told me that when they get writer’s block they take a break and study the market to see what is selling and go from there.  I think one reason I don’t have to worry about writer’s block is because I base all of my stories on personal experiences, headline news stories, and even dreams.  And failure is only another detour on the road to success.  I got depressed every time I received a rejection letter or if one of my projects failed but that motivated me to try harder with each new project.

 

12. Typically, how long would you say it takes you to finish a novel?

I usually take four to six months to complete a novel, but I wrote The Upper Room in six weeks.  I always work froma detailed outline so that saves a lot of time.  I do at least four drafts before I send it to my publisher.

13.  Are there any authors/writers/poets who relentlessly inspire you?

I love James Baldwin, James Patterson, Ernest Gaines, Stephen King, Toni Morrison, and Jackie Collins.

14. What is next for Ms, Mary Monroe?

I have a new contract to do three more new books and I know that one of them will be “Romeo and Juliet” type story.  I have so many ideas in my head sometimes I don’t know what to choose from! 

 

15. What does a “day off” consist of in your world?

Now that I no longer have to go to a dreaded day job, every day is like a “day off” for me.  However, I write something every single day, either several chapters or just a sentence or two.   But on a real day off, I spend several hours at the mall or the beach, or just lying on the couch watching movies or reading.

 

Mary Monroe can be contacted on twitter @Marymonroebooks

By: Virginia Davis

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The Situation Room With Michelle Cuttino

Here’s the situation… Don’t you hate it when you pick up an Urban Fiction Novel from the newest self-proclaimed “highly-anticipated Author/Authoress” and before you can make it out of the first chapter you’re hit with typos, grammatical errors, and a mish-mash of editorial no-nos? Let’s face it, just because a person knows how to tell stories, doesn’t necessarily make them a great Storyteller.  Perhaps the integrity of self-published Urban Fiction is being compromised since anyone with a thought and a computer can publish 20 E-books or 200 POD books a day and call themselves a published author. With that being said, what’s the fate of self-published Urban Fiction as a whole?

AAMBC’s The Situation Room (TSR) catches up with the bestselling author, Noire, to talk about urban fiction, the self-publishing industry and what’s next for the Queen of Urban Erotica.

TSR: So, you just released the unprecedented Urban Serial Novel G-Spot 2 BETRAYAL: The 2nd Deadly Sin, which follows PRIDE: the 1st Deadly sin, and precedes Sins 3 thru 7: Greed, Envy, Lust, Trickery and Revenge respectively. What else can we expect from Noire?

NOIRE: Hi Michelle! Right now I’m giving my full attention to publishing, distributing, and marketing my serial novel, G-Spot 2: The Seven Deadly Sins. Next out the box for me is a hot novella in a collaborative novel with the bangin’ writer, Kiki Swinson, called, Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless. My story is called, “Puttin’ Shame in the Game” and it’s a sexy Urban Erotic Appetizer. After that, I have a series coming out with a major publisher and it’s gonna be a sweet and sexy urban erotic banger!

TSR: I know you originally weren’t even looking to publish, but since you’ve become so successful with your Urban Erotic Tales, did you ever contemplate self-publishing, or are you happy with a publishing house? Why?

NOIRE: That’s right I wasn’t looking to get published. I was happy writing stories just for myself, but fate had other plans for me. Over the past six years I’ve worn a lot of hats. From best-selling author, to editor-in-chief of a pioneering online magazine, to CEO of Noire Music Group, to a screenwriter with a film in the can, and now I proudly wear the hat of an independent publisher. Yes, I’m still happy to be with a major publisher, but I’m also grateful to have the freedom to publish some of my own work and to be more involved in learning this business from the bottom up. Not everybody can earn the confidence of a major house and run a successful publishing business at the same time, and I’m blessed to have the best of both worlds.

TSR: What’s different about the publishing game now opposed to how it was when you published your first novel, G-Spot?

 

NOIRE: Just about everything is different! The game has definitely changed and I’m the type who believes change is good. There’s nothing wrong with shaking things up. I get bored easily so I think old methods and strategies need to be replaced with new ideas and a fresh focus every now and then. I’ve had critics tell me that I need to keep publishing and writing the same way I was doing it six years ago, which is complete craziness. Nothing today is the same as when I first got published, and that’s a good thing. I’m creative and I always think way outside the box. The market drives a lot of changes in every business, and lately, ordinary readers have had a big impact on the way the publishing world operates.

When I was first published it was still a closed circle when it came to getting a book on the shelves. Vanity houses and self-publishers were still seen as substandard for a lot of reasons, and unless a major house gave you the nod and the green light, a writer had to either keep sitting on their eggs or find other ways of making them hatch. Authors of today are cutting out the middlemen and making things happen for themselves, and why shouldn’t they? It’s their creativity, their grind, and their hustle. I applaud it.

TSR: How do you feel about the concept of self-publishing in general?

NOIRE: I think the concept of self-publishing is a cool option. It gives new writers an opportunity to bring their ideas to the market and it gives readers choices they didn’t have in the past. I’m thrilled when I check out a good book written by an author who stepped up and did her own thing and manifested her own destiny. If aspiring writers today sat around and waited for a major house to come calling they’d be waiting a real long time.

That answers the theory behind your question, but as for self-publishing in practice? Yeah, I’ve heard all the talk about how everybody in the world wants to be a writer today, and how self-published authors, especially in street lit and urban fiction, are throwing the game out of order. But that’s life for you. I’m not the type to throw shit on anybody’s shine. I’ve had too much shit thrown on mine. Ultimately, it will be the reader who decides which books make it and which books fail to launch. And no, not everybody is going to have a decent or quality product, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have the right to bring their shitty product to the market. If it sells, cool. If it doesn’t they can take it as a lesson learned.

TSR: Do you think that every self-published “author” is legitimate? Or do you think the title should be limited to a certain list of requirements that those professing to be “authors” should possess?

NOIRE: Sure there are some “authors” out there who put out books that are considered trash, and hell yeah, it’s obvious that a lot of people can’t write and are just throwing random words down and then hawking e-book sales, but should publishing be regulated?

Who in the world can we even trust to regulate all this? The corrupt booksellers who trash authors for self-publishing e-books and cutting them out of the profit margin? The “professional” reviewers who don’t even read the books they review, then get on facebook and tell their friends not to review certain books because they don’t like the author? The other reviewers who destroy their credibility by going along with such bullshit? The bloggers and publicists and media hounds that clique up and do the same thing? Sorry, but I don’t trust some of these types to regulate a damn thing. They’re not ethical enough to live up to the standards of their own professions, let alone to decide which authors should be considered legitimate. I’ve never been down with their cliques, so if it was up to some of them they would have “regulated” me out of this business right after G-Spot came out, but my loyal readers kept me in the game.

So, while I’d like to see higher quality books in the market, I just don’t have enough faith in the industry’s integrity to give ALL authors the fair shake that they deserve. So I’m happy that today it’s the book-buying readers who get to decide who is legitimate, and that’s the way it should be. Not the publicists, not the so-called professional book reviewers, not the literary bloggers, or the magazine editors. The self-publishing craze has practically eliminated all of that crazy interference between the reader and the author. Let writers write and readers read. Everybody in the middle needs to concentrate on regulating themselves.

You asked about requirements for authors? Of course any profession should have a set of minimum requirements that its members should meet, but publishing in a free market nixes all that. The only requirement an author needs today is a fan base that likes the type of books he’s putting out. One reader’s trash is another reader’s treasure. I know this is really painful for some people in this game to accept, especially authors who have worked hard to study and honor this craft and put out quality books, and who love this literary game from the heart. It can be a harsh blow when you see a book that is unedited, has no plot, and is clearly substandard receiving glowing reviews and selling off the charts, but you just gotta respect that the world is changing, and in a free market readers with dollars are the only real regulators.  

TSR: How do you feel about Urban Fiction that has been published, but not edited?

NOIRE: I think any fiction that hasn’t been edited is a big problem whether it’s urban fiction or any other genre. Authors who put out unedited work usually have a substandard mindset, but if a reader is willing to pay good money in a bad recession for that kind of book, what does that tell you? Some of these books have so many grammatical and other errors that they’re almost unreadable. This is a sure sign of an amateur writer. A professional writer is going to value his readers enough to give them their money’s worth, and that means, in part, investing in a good editor. That’s just common business sense.

TSR: Do you think that authors should be able to release their material “as is,” or should there be restrictions as to what is being published?

NOIRE: Like I’ve said, even when I don’t like a book I’m not one for putting restrictions on other authors. I’ve had so many people in this literary game try to suppress my writing that I refuse to do that to someone else. I think those who see the world of literature as a make-a-quick-dollar scheme will eventually wash out. The vets, and those authors who have put it down hard and proven themselves in this game like Nikki Turner, Kiki Swinson, T. Styles, Tracy Brown, Ashley & JaQuavis, Treasure Blue, Mary B. Morrison, Vicki Stringer, Jamise L. Dames, Terri Woods, Erick Gray, Anna J., Thomas Long, K’wan, Carl Weber, and many, many others who consistently kick out high quality books year after year will remain favorites with their readers, and the new authors who are striving to get a leg up in the game will either prove themselves worthy and take their proper places on the throne, or fall off naturally.

TSR: Finally, what is your advice for aspiring authors?

NOIRE: I have 10 points of advice to aspiring authors:  

1. Study the craft. You can’t call yourself a professional writer if you give an amateur effort. Respect the written word enough to learn what it takes to construct a novel. It’s not all about the quick dollar. It’s about showing your talent and your passion and putting your name on a quality product.

2. Decide why you want to be in this business. What you want to get out of it, but what you want to give back to it too. Learn the meaning of reciprocity. Sometimes the more you give, the more you get back in return.

3. Identify your writing weaknesses and correct them before throwing a ‘for sale’ sign on your book. Make sure everything about your writing is above par. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and once you put your book out there, it’s out there!

4. Get with people who are willing to help you grow as a writer, but understand that this is a cutthroat business. If your stuff is good you are bound to attract haters and swine who will fear your competition. Expect it. Enough said.

5. Develop a thick skin because you’ll need it. Not everybody will like what you do or what you write, but that comes with the territory. Just like you take the good on the heart, take the not-so-good on the chin. That’s part of life. But at the same time don’t let detractors dictate your moves. Just because somebody doesn’t understand your genius doesn’t mean you’re not one. Sometimes critiques are used as tools to suffocate greatness. No matter what they say, keep doing you.

6. Stay out of the cliques. There are a lot of them out there and they’re very easy to spot. It’s great to have friends and alliances in this bizz, but cliques are designed to keep other writers down and out and it’s hard to respect that. Most people in the clicks don’t have love for you anyway, and good writers don’t need cliques. Dogs and sheep travel in herds and packs. Eagles soar on their own.

7. Stand up for yourself when necessary. Don’t bite at every little thing that irks you, but don’t believe that old punching bag hype either. Gone are the days when authors had to bend over and take a stiff one when someone in the industry went after them or attempted to squash their book sales. It’s a new day. Freedom of speech isn’t just for those who want to attack you anymore. If your name is being defamed you have the right to free speech too. Use it.

8. Demand excellence. Not just in yourself, but in everybody else in this industry as well. Whether it’s a publisher, an editor, a reviewer, or a publicist. If you’re expected to know this game inside out before putting out a book, then all the other power players should be expected to know it too.

9. Don’t expect other people to do your work for you. Contacting a successful author for advice is fine, but don’t throw down the “you made it big, now put me on,” line. Do your own research and put in your own work. Nobody should have to do for you what you are capable of doing for yourself. Ultimately, your writing is gonna have to stand on its own two feet.

10. Hustle hard, but don’t go grimy. There’s a protocol for everything we do. All hustle is not good hustle. Violating boundaries and stepping in yards uninvited is a sure way to turn people off. If you want to be successful then learn how to build relationships before you start sucking on somebody. There’s a right way to go about publicizing your book, but you have to bring your own heat. Work hard! Don’t be afraid to put some ass in it and grind baby, grind!

About the Author: 

Noire is the Queen of Urban Erotica and the #1 National bestselling author of G-Spot, Candy Licker, Thug-A-Licious, Thong on Fire, Baby Brother (w/50 Cent), Hood, Hittin’ the Bricks, Unzipped, Maneater (w/Mary B. Morrison), Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless (w/Kiki Swinson), editor of From the Streets to the Sheets, and publisher of the first urban erotic serial novel G-Spot 2: The Seven Deadly Sins. Noire’s “Little Black Books” consist of Pride, Betrayal, Greed, Envy, Lust, Trickery, and Revenge, and can be ordered at www.noirestore.com. She can be reached at www.facebook.com/noireblack.

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The Role Model better known as Monique S. Hall

Monique S. Hall, the author. It has been a journey to get to this point. However, I’ve discovered your book Two Tears in a Bucket, was written in the 1990s. Tell us, why publish it now?

 It took some time for me to come to grips with the story. The novel is fiction but it had so much revlance to my life. In addition, I never really pictured being a publisher or writing books. So after experiencing some situations by making poor choices that caused me to go to prison, I realized that I needed to print the book as a platform for change and reform. It was my hope that it may touch someone’s life and steer him or her in the right direction.

You have held many titles before coming to this point of being a published author. Tell us what else have you achieved that you are most proud of?

 My newest title “ Beauty and Beyond Role Model” by Sophisticates Black Hair Magazine is my most proudest achievement because it shows even after experiencing the death of a loved one and spiraling out of control, You can still over come. I think that the title “ role model” touches me. I am well educated and even when I was incarcerated, I held my head high. I knew that my circumstance was not my situation. But, this was a humbling experience that showed even through my mess—I was still accepted because I stood on principles and belief that anyone can change for the better.

Two Teas in a Bucket, is based on real events. How are you able to express the story in a way most will understand?

 The story is loosely based on what happened to me while attending college. What I did was use first person voice fro a character perspective. This way he reader knew exactly what the character was thinking

You were recently given a full page spread in Sophisticated Black Hair Magazine, exposing yourself to millions. What does this feature mean to you and how do you plan to capitalize on it?

 I am really not trying to capitalize on it financially as in book sells, although since its publication (in one week I have received letters from prisons that touched me.  Naturally there is an increase in book sales. I plan on using it to motivate me to help others. I have a really kind spirit. On the outside, I may seem tough as nails, but in all actuality I am a softy. I think that I will use it to get more motivational speaking engagements and also to try to show more woman experiencing issues that you can make it, “ Hey look at me.” I am not perfect. I have been through some things, but I made it therefore; so can you.”

You are currently working with National Bestselling author Nikki Turner; tell us of future projects we can look forward to?

 I was blessed to meet Nikki in 2009 at the BEA. Instantly she and I became good friends. At the time, I was pushing my project Two Tears In a Bucket, Jimmy Dasaint’s projects “ What Every Woman Wants” and “ Black Scarface” of which I edited, The Real Rick Ross biography, which was a group effort by myself and several authors, and Kwame Teague’s project “ Thug Politics” and Dynasty which I edited in the early stages before it went to a publisher.

Nikki told me I was doing too much and I need to reflect on me. I will never forget her “ jewels” she dropped on me. I was still dealing with pending legal issues and my book was getting great reviews but…. I wasn’t complete.

She allowed me to deal with my issues and she gave me an opportunity to be one of the featured authors on her Anthology, Nikki Turner Presents:  Street Chronicles 3, A Woman’s Work. But most importantly Nikki has been a real friend.

I have about two titles a month coming out in eBook format, print, or both, starting in October. In addition, “Stacks on Deck”, which is an introduction of my character, Stacks, with Nikki’s anthology will give a dirty south perspective of my work. I felt I needed to tell his story. I am sure you all will love Stacks and his leading lady T, a.k.a. Miss G- Stacks. It was really fun writing it because I could relate to the story. My cover will feature the Rapper TI’s DJ-MLK. I am so excited.

In addition I am putting out Part 2 of Two Tears Ina a Bucket Jan 2011. I have 16 new authors slated for 2011-2012. There is some great good writing material coming from the Mobettaa Publishing Camp.

You hold the title of CEO of Mobettaa Publishing, what can we expect from this brand?

 You can expect good stories with revalence and morals. I want my brand to have the spunk that will take me to the next level.   We had that in the beginning with Terri Woods, Triple Crown, and Life Changing Books. Now, I don’t want to take away from them, I want to add to the reader choice. We are putting out great work at Mobettaa Publishing. I want to create a fan base with my readers that will make them know that what Mobettaa Publishing puts out is official. So everyday I am working hard on my craft to make sure we have great material.

As a woman, when people hear your name, what do you want them to know and remember about you?

  I want them to know that I am a confident woman with many hats and many achievements, but they did not come without sacrifice. I want them to know that with GOD anything is possible. I didn’t come from the hood, but I write urban lit. I also write non-fiction books, Christian fiction, and articles for magazines. I guess I want them to think of me as versatile. But most importantly I want them to remember that I am a work in the making, I am not perfect, but I strive for perfection. I have my faults and impurities like anyone else. Yet, one thing I really want them to know about me is that I was am a woman who goes after her dreams and I try to seize the moment. Always remember if you fall you must get back up and try it again. My motto is simple “ If you can look up, you can get up.” So, when they look at me I want them to realize that I took my bitter lemons and trial and tribulations and made lemonade. If I can do it, so can you.

 The Book:

Meet Nikki, a beautiful, intelligent, and savvy college student who seems to have everything going for her……. except for a meaningful loving relationship. After experiencing the break-up of her former college sweetheart Daryl, she swears all off men. That is until she meets and falls in love with Ivory. Ivory is a street hustler who has secrets and hidden agendas of his own. He is undeniably in love with Nikki and realizes that in order to have a meaningful life with her he will have to walk away from the game and start off a new-fresh life. Walking away may not be as easy as he thinks. The stakes are high in the underworld of hustling and drug dealing; there are no real winners or losers. Things start to take a turn for the worse when Nikki s God-brother Maine enters her life after he starts off selling drugs underneath Ivory s cartel. Treachery, unfaithfulness, and possibly even murder stand in the way of Nikki and Ivory s happiness. A drug deal gone bad causes them to face certain consequences that may completely change their life forever. Two Tears In A Bucket is an urban lit story that focuses on love, betrayal, tough choices, and the consequences of street life. Nikki and Ivory are left to face the reality of life in the game there are no friends or any rules. What will happen when Nikki a once good girl turns bad?

Debuting her first captivating novel titled, Two Tears In A Bucket, Monique S. Hall burst through with a fascinating story about a good girl turned bad. Two Tears In A Bucket, is the first of a three part series titled, ‘The Mo’Bettaa Collection”, that fictionalizes the life accounts of this inspiring author. Monique utilizes her writing skills to create novels that compel to men and women in all walks of life. Her raw approach and delivery make her writing realistic and memorable. Monique’s characters come to life from the pages and can easily be related to.

 
Monique’s creative abilities extends beyond writing urban literature. She hosts a talk/hip hop radio show on WXYB Tampa Bay 1520 AM, along with working as editor of the Hawkeye newspaper. Monique is also a featured columnist in Street Elements Magazine; and, can be found serenading the crowds with her soulful voice through inspirational music. Recently, Monique interviewed BET’s American Gangster, Freeway Ricky Ross on her show; and, has teamed up with urban literature’s finest to form the “Fabulous Four” .  The other team members of the group include, Jimmy DaSaint, Kwame Teague and Freeway Ricky Ross.  They will still continue to operate their individual company’s for promotion purposesas well as to show unity in urban literature genre. This formulation is a stellar award winning to team. Their overall objective is to promote and sell great books to uplift and increase the population of readership.

Monique S Hall was born in Detroit, Michigan August 11, 1972.  As a child Monique was exposed to a well balanced lifestyle. She was reared in church with a strong Christian background. Her supportive parents recognized early that she was a “gifted child”. Monique, a truly talented young woman, utilized her athletic abilities to receive a full scholarship to Paine College,her Alma mater.  In addition to her pursuing the title of the hottest up and coming author, Monique is working on a professional music career. She is considered a triple threat and seriously multi-talented.

“Stand up in the paint and be accountable for your mistakes and move on. Life is truly what you make it” says author/Philanthropist/singer/entrepreneur. “If life gives you lemons then make some good lemonade. My motto in life is simple— Be accountable for you own actions. Don’t wallow in self pity. Be concerned with being the best person you can be, and use the gifts God has given you to bless others. The rest will take care of itself.”
To contact Monique S. Hall please e-mail her at www.mobettaapublishing@yahoo.com or to place an order of her Debut Novel “Two Tears In A Bucket” at www.mobettaapublishing.net.
For media inquiries, contact Sherina Joyner, public relations director of Mo’Bettaa Publishing, at mobettaapublishing@yahoo.com or (205)566-2572.

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From Justin’s Point of View

What do you believe initially comes to mind when a fan hears your name, Justin Amen Floyd?

A:When people hear my name I want them to first and foremost thinkabout a strong black man that overcame a life full of adversity, trials andtribulations to make something out of himself and his life. Secondly I wantthem to think of books that pushed the envelope and described the life that somany people of my generation lived through!

The name Amen helps definewho you are, explain to us how you obtained the name?

A: I did a lot of reading while I was incarcerated and still do. Oneof the subjects that always intrigued me was religion, so I studied it. The nameAMEN is an ancient Egyptian name that I discovered along my studies,(amen-hotep and amen-ra were the most prominent). Anyway one of my closefriends began to call me Amen, jokingly, but after he was viciously murderedthe name stuck. So now it’s a way to remember my friend, and pay homage to myancestors at the same time!

As an adolescent your lifewas unfortunately filled with poverty, domestic violence, as well as you wereincarcerated at a young age; reflecting back now how does this effect who youare today?

A: I think this goes without saying… As human beings theenvironments we are exposed to as children directly influence who we become asadults. But no, I don’t use my past as a crutch or excuse for all the badthings that have happened to me in my life. Instead I let my past motivate meand propel me onto a greater future!

After a lengthy termincarcerated you received an associate’s degree from ASA Institute and wouldeventually go on to write your debut novel, Anything For Profit, what was yourmotivation to achieve such success?

A: Well I actually wrote “ANYTHING 4 PROFIT” while I was stillincarcerated in solitary confinement. Then once I was released I enrolled inschool to obtain my associates degree in Bus./Acct. While in school I submittedmy book to different publishing companies. Caroline McGill, the owner ofSynergy Publications gave me a shot and published my novel. It has gone on tobecome a fan favorite and a 5* debut novel that vividly depicts the life that Iand so many others like myself led and in many circumstances still continue tolive.

You have found a way toexpress yourself through music often times creating lyric’s and rhymes. Howdoes this help your writing and do you plan to do more with music?

A: I just have a love for words and actually I wanted to be arapper before I ever even thought about writing a novel. In my opinion it’s allexpression and art and I love to express myself through both mediums. With thatbeing said, I hope to release a mixtape soon in order to reach a broader basewith my story.

What has helped you becomesuccessful as an author and what do you see yourself doing as far as writing inthe future?

A: The most important thing that has helped me become successfulauthor is the fact that I believe that God has truly given me a gift. I believein myself and in that gift and I know I haven’t lived through the things I’velived through to achieve anything but greatness! As for the future, I plan onbecoming an author that writes great books in many different genres! I don’t seeany limits nor any ceilings when I look up towards the future!

Today’s book world has anoverflow of fiction writers. Now that you are preparing to release your secondnovel what are you doing to make sure you stay relevant?

A: I refuse to conform to what everybody else is writing about sotherefore I keep my ideas fresh and on the cutting edge. I never want readersto be able to predict where my story is going. Id rather them sit back and justenjoy the ride I create.

After witnessing andexperiences many negatives situations and abuse what would you express to youthtoday to help them avoid the mistakes and issues you have experienced?

A: Well I definitely wouldn’t preach to them or try to come at themlike I have all the answers. What I would do is tell them about the real lifesituations that I survived that so many others didn’t. I’d let them know thatthere are other things to aspire to be besides an athlete or entertainer. And Iwant to eventually be a mentor to these youth so they can see somebody who camefrom their environment who actually made it; Despite the adversity.

How did you overcomediversity, imprisonment, and near death experiences to being a publishedauthor? Faith… in God, and in myself.

My life is a book. A book that if I actually took the time to write, you wouldn’t beable to put down, until after you had absorbed and digested every sentence,every single word. Page after page; chapter after chapter of tears, laughter,poverty, incarceration, anger, oppression, pain and change. Most importantly though is the change.
Any animal that doesn’t change and adapt to theirenvironment eventually becomes a casualty of that environment! That’s exactlywhat I was… an animal from Greenville S.C. (G-ville, what’s up!!) that preyedupon anything and anybody that would get me paid.
Eventually this mind state led me to a lifetime ofbeing incarcerated in one institution after another. First juvenile and then asI became more brazen and my crimes bolder and more reckless, the penitentiary.Sentenced to 10 years in one of the nastiest, most oppressive correctionalsystems in America for bank robbery I continued to unconsciously rebel againstthe system. Then I discovered the power of words and how when writing them Iwas allowed a brief reprieve from the stifling, oppressive, violent environmentin which I lived.
So I started writing. It became my escape, mysalvation. Learning that I had the ability to make people feel my words, mystories, let me know that I could be something else besides a career criminal.The talent to write allowed me the ability to change and also gave me anotheravenue to express my anger at a system that had stacked the deck against me andso many others like me from the very first day we came into existence.
My life is a book. Keep reading…and enjoy.

Find Justin at:

http://facebook.com/JustinAmenFloyd
www.twitter.com/JustinAmenFloyd

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Troy Johnson speaks on the creation of AALBC.com

Who is Troy Johnson before the creation of AALBC.com?

Ok you are going to stretch my memory now — that was 14 years ago.  I’m pretty much the same person, hopefully a little wiser having accomplished a few things and learned some tough lessons.  In 1997 I was a husband and father of two young daughters and a technology associate at a Wall Street investment bank called Bankers Trust.  I also had a sideline business, building websites for other small businesses.   It was also a period of self-examination, and trying to figure out what drives me and what makes me happy.

 Today my daughters are in college, I’ve been married over 20 years, AALBC.com has been my livelihood since the beginning of 2008, and I discovered I enjoy working for myself more than I could have ever imagined.

 Why create AALBC.com?

 AALBC.com was discovered as the result of an experiment.  I started it in an attempt to learn more about making money on the internet, so that I could better advise my clients.  I actually offered to revamp another bookseller’s website, for free, as part of this exercise.  The book seller declined my offer and I decided to create a new website.  That website ultimately became AALBC.com.

 What makes your mission for black writers unique?

 This is really a tougher question than it may seem on the surface.  Over the years I’ve been tracking a number of websites similar to AALBC.com (http://aalbc.it/bestbooksites).  While these sites have similarities, each brings a unique perspective and strength.  On a quantitative level, AALBC.com is the largest and most frequently visited site of its type on the World Wide Web.  We are also one of the oldest sites (as best I can tell, we are the 2nd oldest, continuously running site of our kind).

 Our primary mission includes;

  1. Promoting the diverse spectrum of literature by writers of African descent
  2. Satisfying readers’ book buying needs
  3. Serving as a resource and vehicle of expression for aspiring and established writers
  4. Introducing and making the literature, in point #1 more accessible to a broad spectrum of readers
  5. Providing a forum for the exchange of constructive opinions on this literature and Black culture
  6. Fostering an appreciation for reading.
  7. Providing a platform for advertisers to reach our target audience

 I think all of the above makes AALBC.com a very unique, entity well suited to support Black writers.

AALBC.com sponsors and promotes many events geared towards literature, how do you decided on what event to support?

I support events which have demonstrated some consistency over the long term and shares some aspect of AALBC.com’s mission.  Often I’ll support a brand new event, based upon my relationship with the organizer and their passion. 

Over time, if the support becomes reciprocal, these events become my favorites and I take a vested interest in their ongoing success.  Of course it is impossible to mention them all here, but some of the events I support include; The National Black Writers Conference, The National Black Book Festival, The Mosaic Literary Conference, The National Book Club Conference, The Harlem Book Fair, African Voices’ Cultural Circle Conference, and The Go On Girl! Annual Awards Weekend.

As the creator of AALBC.com you focus on more than books, what other elements do you showcase on the site?

Increasingly I’ve begun to focus on film.  Often there is a lot of overlap between books and movies; books are converted in to movies, actors write books, and documentaries often have companion books. A good film often introduces readers to books they will enjoy.  As a result, film has become an increasingly important aspect of AALBC.com.

The New York Times referred to AALBC.com as “the most successful online service that specializes in books for African Americans.”, hearing this, how did this make you feel?

Wow Tamika, I’d forgotten about that quote.  So I “Googled” it to find the original source article on the NY Times website.  The full quote is;

“There are some online services that specialize in books for blacks, in addition to the one operated by Black Expressions. The most successful is the African American Literature Book Club (www.aalbc.com), which was started in 1997 and now gets between 1 million and 1.3 million visits a month, said its founder, Troy Johnson.”

The quote was from an article was published on January 11, 2001, in The New York Times and was written by Martin Arnold (http://aalbc.it/bookclubs2001).  I provided a link to encourage your readers to read the entire article.  I find it fascinating to read this article 10 years later.  So much has changed, on so many levels, in the last 10 years!

What can we expect from AALBC.com in the near future?

You can expect that I will continue to do what I’ve been doing for the last 14 years: doing whatever I can to promote the diversity in the literature written by people of African descent to the widest audience possible and make a living out of it.

Tamika I’d like to thank you and the African Americans on the Move Book Club for this opportunity to share my story.

Peace

Troy Johnson
June 26, 2011

Troy Johnson is the founder and webmaster of the AALBC.com, LLC (The African American Literature Book Club). AALBC.com was launched in 1998 and is now the largest and most frequently visited web site dedicated to books by and about black people.

Johnson serves as a board member of the Literary Freedom Project.  He also has over 20 years of corporate experience in consulting, financial services, and the telecommunications industry.

Johnson holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Syracuse University, an MS from Polytechnic University, an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business and has completed Stanford University’s Publishing on the Web course. He lives with his family in Harlem, New York

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The rise of Pitbulls in a Skirt

Exclusive Interview with the creator of Cartel Publications and Pitbulls in a Skirt:

T. Styles, author, CEO, publisher, entrepreneur, visionary, and so much more. Tell us about your first step into the literary industry:

I first got into the literary game after writing a novel titled Rainbow Heart. It was a self-published novel and it showed me that there was something inside of me that screamed writer. Unlike a lot of my peers who always dreamed of writing, I never thought about it a day in my life prior to completing this book. Although I enjoyed books very much as a child, when I was older I stopped reading because I didn’t have the time and life got in the way. It wasn’t until I was told to journal as a means to relieve stress that I decided to take it a little more seriously. From that point on I searched the industry, found Triple Crown Publications and wrote two books for them at the same time. One called Mama’s Solider, later re-titled A Hustler’s Son by TCP, and then Black and Ugly. I wrote them in two weeks at the same time.

When creating the Cartel Publications, what was the vision for it and why establish it?

The Cartel Publications was created when my publisher and I had a disagreement about my worth. I had some concerns after she changed some details of a contract we signed. She told me at that time that if I believed in myself so much I needed to put my own money where my mouth was. Till this day that was the best piece of advice anybody has ever given me. It makes so much sense. You can’t control another person’s company, be it fair or unfair you can’t even get some folks to abide by the guidelines of their contracts. But you can bank on yourself and if you are resilient enough, you can carve out your own patterns in life. I’ve done that many times over and I’m so glad that I am too proud to beg, borrow or steal from another. I knew if I wanted in this game, I had to come in knocking down doors. In terms of the vision, our focus has always been to operate the Cartel like a record company. Everything about us from our website to our books speaks record label. We believe in entertaining visually and mentally which is why we launched Cartel Urban Cinema. People love our style and I still believe no one on the shelves has swagger like us!

What has now become a ground breaking series; tell us how Pit Bulls in a Skirt originated?

Pitbulls In A Skirt was originally titled The Promise of A Hustler. I had written it when I was still under contract with another publisher and couldn’t put it out under my own name. In fact I had written over ten books during this waiting period. They couldn’t publish them as quickly as I could write them, so when it was time to launch The Cartel we didn’t have to seek out authors right away. We had two books, Shyt List and The Promise of A Hustler already ready to go. The only problem was one of the books name. Since there are so many books called the Hustler this and that, I hated the title and wanted to change it before we did anything. I talked to my business partner who is the best in the fucking business might I add. Let me tell you that without her things would not have run so smoothly. Anyway, I told her I wanted to name the book Pitbulls In A Skirt and she hated that title! I had to make a presidential decision and till this day it was one of the smartest titles and the smartest moves because it’s so catchy.

Pit Bulls in a Skirt the movie will make its premiere in the summer of 2011, why bring this story to film?

I like this story for several reasons. Primarily the bond the four black women have with each other. So often men will say bros before hoes but in this series, it’s the other way around. Sisters before misters. LOL! I know it’s corny but hey I tried! Anyway I have always loved their bond and wanted to see it on the big screen. It’s important that we see that black women can maintain lifelong relationships even in a hood movie where fighting, stealing and lying on each other runs rampant.

What will make your first film stand out from the rest?

I think it will speak to women everywhere and the fact that we used actors who are so close to the actual characters will be refreshing. I think it’ll come across well on the screen. Outside of that, I don’t know that there are a lot of women holding down drug operation films out there right now. And even if it is the women aren’t as fly and as pretty as our girls are. I just love how they look together and after awhile, you believe them as drug bosses.

What is next for Cartel Cinema and Cartel Publications?

We are making CEO’s now. So there will be authors coming from under our umbrella, who will have publishing houses under the Cartel. We are excited about this power move for 2012. If I eat, we all eat. So we gonna be getting this money together.

With a goal to become one of urban fictions finest novelists and publishers, National Best Selling author T. Styles who has penned over ten novels including, Black and Ugly, A Hustler’s Son, Raunchy, The Face That Launched A Thousand Bullets and the urban runaway Shyt List series, pours her soul into writing. When T. Styles is not creating, she is running her award winning publishing house, The Cartel Publications and her movie production company Cartel Urban Cinema. Born in Southeast Washington, D.C, she does a supreme job of weaving tales depicting urban life.

She credits her creativity to God, growing up in the streets of Washington D.C. and the thousands of DVDs she has in her collection. Although writing is her love, she is certainly multi-talented. Having worked as a Certified Massage Therapist, Model and Public Speaker for major companies/organizations such as The Office of the US Supreme Court, Marriot, Carefirst Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Eduserc, she has discovered that her true passions are writing, publishing and movie production.

In addition to writing for major companies like, Triple Crown Publications, Kensington, and her own company The Cartel Publications, T spends her time speaking honestly about the issues she’s experienced with the law as a juvenile to steer others toward a more fulfilling life.

She has been featured on, The Urban Book Source.com, as one of the Most Underrated Authors, Don Diva Magazine, Urban-Reviews.com, Washington City Paper, the Baltimore Sun and Essence Magazine.

After escaping death at her own child’s hands, you’d think Harmony Phillips would change. Instead she feels resentful believing her kids took the life from her she felt she deserved. In a bed in Concord Manor, she is nursed back to health by those she wrote off. And while her mind hatches all kinds of revengeful mental and physical plans, she doesn’t look into the eyes of one of her kids. Had she looked long and hard, she would have seen that she had nourished a mind so evil that it would make her own schemes seem saintly. Mad’s only mission in life is to show the world what kind of a person the woman who gave birth to her is. To makes matters worse, she has taken a liking to her father Kali, and that’s when all hell breaks loose. The last part of this trilogy Raunchy 3: Jayden’s Passion follows this novel.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Filmmaker Booker T. Mattison speaks on his journey

  1. You adapted Zora Neale Hurston’s classic story, “The Gilded Six Bits”, for film which was aired on Showtime. Tell us how this project was created?

Although “The Gilded Six Bits” features Chad Coleman (“The Wire”), T’keyah Keymah (“That’s So Raven,” “Cosby,” “In Living Color”), Wendell Pierce (“Treme”, “The Wire,” “Ray”) and Novella Nelson (“The Antwone Fisher Story”), it was actually my graduate thesis film at NYU. As for how I chose the story, I had decided when I was in undergrad at Norfolk State that I wanted to make Hurston’s story into a film because though it was set in 1933, the focus of the story wasn’t racism. That was refreshing. Granted, racism was a major issue in the 30s, but African Americans still loved, worked hard and enjoyed life during that time as well. “The Gilded Six Bits” is special because it’s a love story that shows an aspect of black life rarely seen in literature from that period. And because period pieces, black period pieces in particular, are box office kryptonite, I knew that I had to make the movie in film school because no studio would touch a project like that. So I wrote the script and went after the actors that I felt would do the best job of bringing the characters to life. Fortunately, they all committed to the project. Ironically, I’m currently Executive Producing “Bama and Fred” which stars Novella Nelson (and Ted Lange who played Isaac in “The Love Boat”), and I first met Novella when I was directing “The Gilded Six Bits.” “Bama and Fred” will be finished this summer.

2.     You are a filmmaker, author, visionary, and professor, as well as many other titles. What to you is your most challenging role?

Father and husband, without a doubt! All of the other titles that you listed compete with my first responsibility which is to my wife and four kids. I have to constantly balance staying ahead of the curve vocationally with loving my wife, and partnering with her to raise our children. It’s not always easy. My children don’t care that I have a deadline, they’d rather sit on daddy’s lap, or tell daddy a story, or have daddy come and look at the museum that they built in their bedroom. And my wife also wants to sit and talk without me pecking away on my laptop. She often jokes that my computer is “my other woman!” Nevertheless, I am a faithful husband with a strong marriage and wonderful kids. But I have to constantly work at it.

3.     Your first novel, Unsigned Hype was a substantial success for you, I hear you never strived to be an author, how did this book come about?

My literary agent Adrienne Ingrum had been approached by one of her friends in the business that was looking for a story that featured a teenaged black male protagonist, but that wasn’t overly saturated with sex, drugs and violence. And because all the other writers that Adrienne represented were women she asked me if I could do it. I was writing a screenplay at the time, but decided to give it a shot because the producers that were attached to the screenplay that I was writing were in Louisiana making “Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins.” Admittedly, I never would have chosen to write a story with a teenaged protagonist. But since that’s what Adrienne was looking for that’s what I came up with. And Baker Publishing Group gave me a two book contract when they bought the manuscript. That meant that a second book would have to be written. In retrospect, I see that writing novels is the best way for a writer and director of films to have greater control over their movies. Why? Because authors own the copyright to their stories and, in my case, the film and television rights as well. Contrast that with what happens when you sell an original screenplay to a studio – you sell away everything, copyright and all. So being an author/filmmaker, in my opinion, is the best to ensure that the stories that you write for one medium are faithfully translated into another medium.

4.    You have been nominated and given many accolades and awarded titles, which award and acknowledgments have meant the greatest to you?

There are two. The starred review in Publishers Weekly for Snitch was significant because that indicated that I could write an engaging novel a second time. That may sound odd, but because of all of the enthusiasm that my first novel Unsigned Hype generated I felt an intense amount of pressure to, at the very least, write something just as good. I wanted desperately to avoid the sophomore slump even as I set out to write something that was even better than Unsigned Hype. Being an author yourself, you know that it’s impossible to know if what you write is good until you release it into the world. We make art for public consumption. So when the review came down the pike I was able to breathe a sigh of relief because the people who responded favorably to Unsigned Hype would not be disappointed when Snitch was released. Following closely behind the PW starred review would be Unsigned Hype being recognized as “culturally responsible literature for young minds and hands” by the National Black Child Development Institute. That was a big one, because I have four kids of my own and I am deeply concerned about what youth, and even adults, are reading, watching and listening to. In my opinion, the overwhelming majority of media today is decidedly negative. So to receive that distinction in this climate is huge.

5.     What is your very next project about?

Actually I have two irons in the fire that are getting substantial amounts of heat. Producer Stephanie Allain Bray (“Hustle & Flow,” “Black Snake Moan” and the forthcoming “We the Peeples”) is attached to produce the film adaptation of Unsigned Hype and Snitch, which I will write and direct. I am writing the screenplays for both as we speak. That said, my next project is likely to be a film (or two) because both books have generated a considerable amount of interest.

6.     Booker T. Mattison, how do you feel the world views you?

A lofty concept indeed! I’m not convinced that I am on the world’s radar just yet! LOL! But to answer your question, those who are aware of my work probably view me as singular minded and dogged in my approach to creating art that clearly communicates my worldview. And my worldview is shaped by my belief that God exists, he interacts with human beings, and he has an opinion on everything. My protagonists are forced, through the intensification of carefully crafted complications in the plot, to at least acknowledge that fact even if they don’t accept it. But sometimes that struggle is misunderstood. One review of Unsigned Hype said that, “Tory’s Christian conversion was telegraphed from the beginning.” That was a surprising assessment because I haven’t yet written a story where a character has a Christian conversion. I would also say that those who personally know me would say that I’m helpful. I consider it my duty to sow into the vision of other people, and to freely share with others what I have learned. A wise man once said, “What do you have that you did not receive?” That’s the way I feel so I have no problem sharing knowledge, wisdom and understanding. At the end of the day everything good that has happened in my life is a gift. To suggest otherwise (no matter how hard I’ve worked) is the very definition of arrogance.

Booker T. Mattison is an author and filmmaker who wrote the screenplay for and directed the film adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston’s classic story “The Gilded Six Bits,” which aired on Showtime. It starred Chad Coleman (“The Wire”), T’keyah Keymah (“That’s So Raven,” “Cosby,” “In Living Color”), Wendell Pierce (“Treme”,”The Wire,” “Ray”) and Novella Nelson (“The Antwon Fisher Story”). The Hollywood Reporter said of the film that, “Mattison’s direction and feel for her characters match up to Hurston’s sterling piece of fiction. The short is full of atmosphere and strongly developed characters.” He has also written and directed music videos that aired on BET, MTV Europe and The Gospel Music Channel.
 
Mattison’s novel Snitch will be published May 1, 2011. Publishers Weekly said that, “Author and filmmaker Mattison’s sophomore outing reads like its ready for screen adaptation… Mattison has a superb ear and his skills keep on growing.” His debut novel Unsigned Hype was published in June 2009 and is in its third printing. Producer Stephanie Allain Bray (“Hustle and Flow,” “Black Snake Moan” and the forthcoming “We the Peeples”) is attached to produce the film adaptation of both books.
 
Mattison received his Master of Fine Arts in film from New York University where he trained under the tutelage of Spike Lee and Anna Strasberg, and was the teaching assistant of Bill Reilly. He received his Bachelor of Science in mass communication from Norfolk State University.
 
Mattison has taught Literary Criticism at the College of New Rochelle in New York, film production at Brooklyn College and Advanced Directing, Screenwritng and Directing Actors at Regent University in Virginia.

Newest Release

On the streets of Jersey City there is a simple code. You don’t talk to the cops. You don’t snitch. Period. But when young bus driver Andre Bolden witnesses a crime on his route, he is compelled to make a choice. If he keeps silent, he might lose his job and be gnawed by his conscience. If he snitches, he could lose his family—even his life.
This explosive story explores the clash between a working man and the code of the street. Gifted storyteller Booker T. Mattison has crafted a realistic tale full of tension and raw suspense yet infused with spiritual truth. Snitch rewrites the rule to mind your own business, peers into the hearts of those who seek revenge and redemption, and celebrates the ability of a community to triumph over violence and intimidation.

WATCH BOOKER’S AWARD WINNING TRAILER TO UNSIGNED HYPE

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