Tag Archive | African American authors

Be Among the First…

…to view my new book cover!

WBI Anthology Ecover 2013

I am blessed to be one of seven African-American women to be featured in “Voices from the Block:  A Legacy of African-American Literature.” I have two short stories in this compilation book. One short story is titled “Between 2:00 AM and 4:00 AM,” and it chronicles the life lessons a mother imparts to her daughter. The other is titled “Six,” and it is about a young boy forced to grow up fast during segregation.

The book goes on sale March 15, 2014 at Amazon (print and ebook), Barnes & Noble (ebook – Nook), and Kobo (international ebook). Don’t worry! I’ll remind you once the date draws nearer. In the meantime, enjoy the cover.

Black Literary Facts – 2014

Another February has come and with its arrival another opportunity to meet more Black writers and receive an introduction (or maybe re-introduction) to their works. Some of these writers I have met; others I have not. But, all impressed me with their talent and/or successes. I hope you enjoy reading about these impressive writers and that you’ll be inspired to read some or all of their works. Enjoy Black History Month and Black Literary Facts!

Leslie Esdaile Banks – With more than 60 works to her credit, Banks is best known for her Vampire Huntress Legend series and her romance novels.

Eleanor Taylor Bland – As a mystery novelist, Bland’s focus was to “give voice to those normally without a voice.” Marti MacAlister is the heroine in her eleven-book MacAlister detective series.

Charles W. Chesnutt – Author and essayist, Chestnutt wrote novels and short stories dealing with race and social identity during the post Civil War.

Donald Crews – A two-time Caldecott Honor winner, Crews authored the children’s books Freight Train and Truck.

Eric Jerome Dickey – This New York Times bestselling author has penned over twenty novels that feature strong female characters in lead roles.

Percival Everett – He is a poet, novelist and short story writer as well as the recipient of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, Believer Book Award, the PEN and numerous other awards.

Sharon G. Flake – This writer is a Publisher’s Weekly favorite. She is a young adult literary writer whose goal is to give hope, foster beliefs and encourage dreams.

Ernest Gaines – A National Endowment for the Arts recipient, Gaines has had several of his novels adapted to film, the most popular being The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and A Lesson Before Dying.

Marita Golden – Author of 14 works of fiction and nonfiction, she has received the Black Caucus of the American Library Association Honor Award and the Literary Award for Fiction for After.

Eloise Greenfield began writing children’s book because “far too few books told the truth about African-American people.” Her writings reflect her seriousness in telling the truth of her people.

Francis Ray – Romance novelist and short story writer who penned more than 50 books. She was an award winning, bestselling writer as well as the creator of a foundation to help victims of domestic abuse.

bell hooksAin’t I a Woman? is the title of this author’s work which greatly influenced contemporary feminist thought. She has also written literature for young people.

Elliott Eli Jackson – This author, poet and speaker writes nonfiction books, blogs and essays on spirituality and healing. He is a frequent speaker at conferences.

Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is a Harvard professor and the author of 16 books. In addition, he is affiliated with The Root, a daily online magazine.

Jesse C. Jackson – A young adult novelist whose stories focused on minorities forced to integrate a white environment is best known for Call Me Charley and Tessie.

Etheridge Knight – This poet wrote multiple books of poetry during the time of the Black Arts Movement. He was engaged with such notables as Amiri Baraka, Haki Madhubuti, and Sonia Sanchez.

Alain Locke – A Rhodes Scholarship winner, Locke’s writings and focus was on African and African American literature and writers. He wrote The New Negro, which is a classic.

John Marrant – In 1785, his pamphlet, A Narrative of the Lord’s Wonderful Dealings with John Marrant, a Black, was published and was so popular it was reprinted many times.

Brandon Massey – This award winning author of horror and suspense has published novels and short story collections. His works also appear in anthologies.

Richard Bruce Nugent – A popular figure during the Harlem Renaissance, his novel Gentleman Jigger was published in 2008, 70 years after it was written.

ZZ PackerDrinking Coffee Elsewhere was this author’s international bestseller. She has published frequently in The New Yorker and Granta.

Gordon Parks – Best known as the most important black photographer of our time, he is also the first African American to write and direct a Hollywood feature film, The Learning Tree based on his novel.

Alvin F. Poussaint – This author has written several nonfiction books on parenting, crime and other contemporary issues. In addition, he has an impressive list of articles on the same topics.

Willis Richardson – A playwright during the ’20s and ’30s, Richardson is considered a leader in the Negro Theatre movement. His plays were performed around the country and received countless awards.

Carl Hancock Rux – He is an award-winning poet, playwright, novelist, essayist and recording artist. His work, A City Reimagined: Voices of 9/11 in Poetry and Performance is a tribute to 9/11.

Ishmael Reed – A poet, essayist and novelist, he is best known for Mumbo Jumbo and Flight to Canada. Two of his books were nominated for the National Book Awards and other prizes.

Brenda Jackson – This USA Today and New York Times bestselling romance author has penned more than 100 novels and has more than three million books in print.

Angela Davis – Author of Women, Race, and Class and Are Prisons Obsolete?, Davis is best known for her work in social, civil and women’s rights.

May Miller – Her poem, Blazing Accusation is well known and was written after the 1963 bombing in Birmingham. She is also the award-winning playwright of The Bog Guide and Within the Shadows.

In Memory of “Sweet” Francis Ray

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On Tuesday, July 2, Dallas-based romance author Francis Ray passed away. I was shocked when I heard the news and saddened. Even now (several days later) as I’m typing this I still can’t believe she’s gone. Yet even in the midst of my disbelief and gloom, I am still able to smile because of the beautiful memories that are exploding in my head. I was blessed to hang out with Francis for many years and it’s the times and experiences that we shared that reside front and center now.

Francis and I met in the early 1990s. She was already a member of North Texas Romance Writers of America when I stumbled upon and joined the group. From our first meeting, we clicked. Maybe because we were the only two black members at the time. Maybe because we both loved writing and reading. Or maybe because we shared a strong commitment to write about black people in love. Regardless, we clicked and I was privileged to watch (from the front row) her writing career coast, accelerate, then skyrocket.

I remember her writing career started with short stories for women’s and confessional magazines. Her stories featured white characters. Then, she moved into full-length novels with black characters. I remember her disappointment when a white editor told her she would buy her novel if she changed the characters to white. Francis said no and a few years later sold that same book, and yes, the characters remained black. I remember her excitement when she learned one of her novels would be turned into a movie. I attended the movie screening and if I was walking on cloud nine that night then she was floating in heaven. I also recall her being so emotionally impacted by a story she wrote on domestic violence that she started a fund to financially support women (and men) who desired an escape from abuse.

By the time God called her home, Francis had churned out an amazing 54 “sweet” romance novels. Sweet romances are defined as those that feature heroines with high moral values and limited life/sexual experiences. Sweet romances are usually light on sub plots but heavy on the main plot, that of boy and girl meet, fall in love, and live happily ever after. Francis was the queen of sweet romances and readers couldn’t get enough of them. Thousands of fans worldwide devoured her books, planting her solidly on both the New York Times and USA Today best seller lists. Not bad for a school nurse from the small town of Richland/Corsicana (Texas).

In recent years, I didn’t get to see or talk to Francis much. Our paths diverged but the memories haven’t and for that I am grateful. Thank you, dear Francis for the sweet memories. May you rest in sweet love.

Finally!

Hallelujah!

Finally, finally, the print version of my book, Fuller’s Curse is now available.

Yeah! Hand claps! Yippee! Woo-Hoo!

Please visit one of the following etailers or bookstores (physical) to purchase your copy:

Barnes and Noble
Books A Million
Amazon
IndieBound

My book is priced for every budget and autographs are free! Just come see me at one (or more) of the book signings or appearances listed on the “What’s New?” page on my web site (AnnFields.com) and I’ll be happy to sign your print book. I hope to see you soon and thank you for your interest in my writings.

Love and light to all!

PS: Keep a lookout for the future announcement stating when the Nook, iPad, Sony Reader and Smashwords versions of Fuller’s Curse will be available. Fingers crossed for the end of July!

PSS: Again, my hearty thanks to everyone who has supported me past and present. Words really are inadequate at a time like this when true supporters make themselves known. I love and appreciate you all.

Today is THE Day!

WOW!

I can’t believe April 23rd is really here. I started this publishing journey a year ago and back then 4/23/13 seemed so far off. Now, it’s really here and that means Fuller’s Curse is really here.

My story of accidental deaths, curses, good and evil is now available on Amazon. You can purchase the book for your Kindle, computer or SmartPhone at the low introductory price of $4.99 (limited time).

For those of you who prefer the feel of a physical book in your hands (like me), the print version of Fuller’s Curse will be available in late May. Check back here (www.AnnFields.com) for the actual release date, but I’m shooting for May 23.

And finally, for those of you who refuse to contribute to Amazon taking over the world but prefer ebooks, you will have the option of purchasing your ebook copy of Fuller’s Curse from Kobo, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Apple, and other e-tailers by the end of July.

Publishing Schedule:
April 23 – ebook (Amazon) – $4.99
May 23 – print copy – $14.99
July 23 – ebook (Kobo, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Apple and other e-tailers) – $4.99 (introductory price)

Book Release Party:
Some of you have been asking about a book release/launch party and I’m happy to tell you plans are underway. I don’t have the exact date yet because the party will be held in conjunction with the release of the print version of Fuller’s Curse. But I can tell you that the book release party will be a party in the fullest sense of the word with giveaways, fun, party pics, displays and more. Check my web site regularly as information will be posted and updated here. I can also tell you that the setting for the party…it will blow your mind! I promise.

Discover Authors Giveaway:
For those of you who entered the Discover Authors drawing for a free book–hold off on purchasing your copy. You may be the winner! Check your email this evening for the official results.

In Gratitude:
Thanks to everyone who has supported me throughout this journey. Publishing is not easy. Writing is not easy. But both are made more enjoyable when the author is in the midst of caring family, friends and associates. God bless you and enjoy Fuller’s Curse.

Women’s History Month – Simone’s Influence

Simone da Costa
Simone da Costa
Creative Writer, Author, and Journalist

When Ann first asked me to be a part of an initiative she was concocting, a big smile swept across my face and lingered there for several seconds. Little did she know that I was elated at the thought of being considered for her project, an undertaking to recognize women writers as it is Women’s History Month in America.

There are a few great women writers who have helped influence my writing style, ones such as Mary Monroe, Philippa Gregory and Jane Austen, but mostly American novelist, editor and professor, Chloe Anthony Wofford who goes by the pen name of Toni Morrison.

I first came across Ms. Morrison’s epic work, The Bluest Eye let’s say in my late high school years, long ago. My first thought was wow, such rich detail of her characters and the brazen realism so meticulously ironed out. I speculate that Ms. Morrison purposely did not want to leave anything out. She had a story to tell and she would be damned if she did not tell it the way she saw fitting and she did just that.

With reading just a few words from her books she held my gaze, captured my eyes, moving from side–to-side, scurrying to get to the next page while my willing fingers worked in partnership with my eyes that somehow said to them, “Hurry, turn the page.” Her off-putting words commanded my attention; I became defenseless and I had to read on. I kept reading, though at times I might have tried to stop. Unaware of the grasp her words had, that her words had already won me over, I did not even know it until my scampering eyes told my willing fingers again to, “Hurry, turn the page” until I finished the book.

As a young writer, I am always growing and learning, and over the years I have come into my own style of inscription in that I believe in not only creating a good story for entertainment or amusement purposes, but also to unmask its true essence and make it believable. Whether it is fiction, non-fiction, romance or literature, I want to create and capture a world like no other.

Ms. Morrison has helped to shape my writing style because she has an innate boldness to stylistically write without fear, a fearlessness that surpasses all writing boundaries and communication barriers that some writers may be too weak or too afraid to try. Ms. Morrison has said, “I am sometimes frightened of what I write, but I can’t look away. I will not look away. That’s the one place where I’m going to, you know, make eye contact. It’s a free place for me. It’s not always safe, but that’s the one place where all my little vulnerabilities, and cowardice, cannot come to the surface.” http://www.empirezine.com. So, you see, if the stroke of Ms. Morrison’s pen can inscribe with such spirit, I one day hope to be able to do the same, of course in my own way.

The Bluest Eye
A Novel by Toni Morrison

Black History Month Featuring Black Literary Facts

Growing up in a town that had one black teacher on staff (and only for one year during my high school days), I recognized a deficit in my bank of African American literature and authors. So every year during Black History Month I try to expand my knowledge about black authors and/or black literary works, and every year I am amazed at the treasures I unearth. This year I’m sharing some of my newfound treasures with you. You may already be familiar with some of the titles, authors or facts and if so, great. Maybe you know of others you can share with me.

Black Literary Facts:
Octavia Butler, 1947 – 2006, was a pioneer in the sci-fi genre. She was one of few females and blacks who wrote in the genre. In 1995, she received the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, one of the coveted genius grants.

E. Lynn Harris was a groundbreaking author who died in 2009 but left an impressive literary mark. He virtually created a new genre–gay, black men in conflict and in loving relationships. His best known work is Invisible Life, 1991.

Dorothy West is recognized as one of the last surviving members of the Harlem Renaissance. She is best known for The Living Is Easy, 1948 and The Wedding, 1995.

Langston Hughes was a poet, playwright, editor and novelist. His most famous poem, The Negro Speaks of Rivers was written and published a year after he graduated from high school. His home in New York City has landmark status.

Christopher J. Perry founded the Philadelphia Tribune in 1884 and this newspaper continues to operate. He began writing articles at age 14 and promoted to editor before striking out on his own to start the Tribune.

Amiri Baraka served as Poet Laureate of New Jersey and founded the Black Arts Movement in Harlem in the 1960s. In addition to poems, he has written essays and dramas. He is the recipient of an Obie, NEA and Rockefeller grant.

Third World Press is the oldest and largest publisher of black thought and literature in the U.S. It was founded in 1967 by Haki R. Madhubuti, Johari Amini and Carolyn Rodgers.

Novelist Terry McMillan began her distinguished career as a Doubleday fiction contest winner. She won the American Book Award and is known for her books, Mama and Waiting to Exhale.

J. California Cooper began her writing career as a playwright. She turned her dramatic storytelling skills to fiction, publishing Homemade Love in 1986, a collection of stories which won her an American Book Award.

Zora Neale Hurston is known as the most prolific black woman writer of the first half of the 20th century. She is best known for Their Eyes Were Watching God and Dust Tracks on a Road.

Two-time Pulitzer winner August Wilson was a playwright. He is best known for The Pittsburgh Cycle, a series of plays covering ten decades.

Poet Sonia Sanchez was heavily involved with the Black Arts Movement. She is a Pew fellow and has authored more than 16 books.

James Baldwin, novelist, poet and essayist is best known for Go Tell It On The Mountain, which is considered an American classic. He often credited his stint as a preacher for turning him to writing.

Dr. Jewell Parker Rhodes is a multiple award winner for her novels and other works. Some of her honors include the American Book Award, PEN, and NEA.

NY Times Bestselling author Zane publishes and writes black erotica under Strebor Books. She has taken a taboo subject and turned it into a platform of freedom for millions.

Ntozake Shange, an Obie winner is best known for her choreopoem/play For Colored Girls. Her works speak to issues that impact not just black but all women.

James Weldon Johnson is best known as the composer of Lift Every Voice and Sing, the song which the NAACP dubbed the Negro National Hymn. He was also a journalist, poet and novelist.

Gorilla, My Love was Toni Cade Bambara’s most recognized work. Its collection of stories depicted blacks in non-stereotypical fashion. She also wrote essays and scripts.

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised is Gil Scott Heron’s oft quoted composition. His entire body of work influenced neo soul, hip hop, and spoken word.

U.S. National Book Award and Newbery Award recipient Virginia Hamilton was the author of 41 books in multiple genres. She won every major award for children’s books.