Effective January 2014, the Blog-Zine is cosed to new posts and is going dark. The blog and its archives will stay "up," though, so please feel free to peruse the archives and discover all of the great books, authors, articles, and other features that have joined me here over the years. Thanks to all who helped make my Blog-Zine adventure a raging success! Read on!

08 July, 2008

Judging A Book By Its Cover - "I see," said the blind man.


[Let me preface this post by apologizing if I've unintentionally offended any persons who are sight-impaired. Strictly metaphorical, I assure you.]

Alright, folks. Here we go now, okay? The lovely graphic you see to your left, right, centered, or wherever it is in this post, is not only aesthetically appealing on many levels, it is also the cover for my next release, entitled, "Where There's Smoke." In January 2009 this title will hit the market (upside the head, as I say on my MySpace Profile) and I can't wait. I believe in the characters, I love the dialogue and I'm curious to see how the story is received by readers. But before that happens, I want to hit on a couple of points that I find very interesting and I'm hoping you will, too.

First thing being, I come home from work one day, feet hurting from the stilettos I'm rocking and everything, and there's this box on my porch. I'm like, "Whoa, what's this?" Cause I could've sworn MetroStyle told me to STOP calling them, so I know I haven't ordered anything recently. I bring the box in the house and open it and it's, like, stacks and stacks of book covers for "Where There's Smoke." I had to call a fellow author and ask, "What do I do with these?" After they stopped laughing, I was told that I should use them for promo. Duh...

Anywho, I sit down and take a good look at the cover and then I think, "Well, I guess the guy in the front, the one with the suckable lips, is Isaiah (one of the main characters), and the guy in the back, the one with the hoodrat sex appeal, is aptly named "Hood" (one of the trouble-making secondary characters). Admittedly, I had been expecting to see a combination of all three main characters, but what I got is definitely do-able.

The thing is this, though. A while back I received an email from a fellow author who had recently finished reading my first book, Running from Mercy, and really enjoyed the experience. However, she might not have had the chance to visit the quaint little town of Mercy, Georgia had she followed her first mind and not bought her ticket. You see, she had automatically assumed that Running from Mercy was Street-lit or Urban Fiction, which is not a genre she generally reads. So I'm glad she didn't follow her first mind, because I don't write in the Urban Fiction/Street-lit genre.

The other thing is, how many readers have I potentially missed out on hearing from, because of visual misconceptions? I think I would be surprised to discover exactly how many. So this is what I want to know... How many times have any of us taken one look at a person and decided we didn't like them based on what they looked like? Then discovered we were half in love with them, once we got to know them? How many of us have picked up a book because the cover suggested that it was going to be a good read? Or because the publishing company's name "ensured" a quality product? Then sat down to read said book and thought, "WTH?" Like the time I foolishly volunteered to be a Brownie Troop Leader, because my daughter wanted to be a Brownie and none of the other parents stepped up. The very parents I had pinpointed as the ones who were going to be a pain in my ass come Girl Scout Cookie money collection time, were the ones who paid in full, down to the last dime. And the ones whom I thought were going to come across with the money they owed were the ones who bought themselves nice little used cars (one of the boxy, old school Maximas from back in the day) and claimed they had been robbed during a family fish fry the Friday before. Or who just never bothered to show up again. Didn't I feel a little silly? Needless to say, I hurried up and learned my lesson and got the heck out of that mess.

Said all that to say, it's like that with me and mine. And, yes, this is going to be another one of my loooong posts. So go on and get you something to drink, smoke or eat, and settle in with me for a minute, m'kay?

Now don't get me wrong. For the most part, when you think you're picking up an Urban Fiction/Street-lit title, based on what the cover suggests or the author's general categorization, you are. No doubt about it. But when you pick up a title with my name on it, you're not. Not really, anyway. "Where There's Smoke" is a bit more grittier than Running from Mercy, with its southern, Georgia Peach charm, but it's a far cry from what you think you expect.

So my tagline for "Where There's Smoke" is: "Slightly Urban Fiction for the Contemporary Crowd."

That being said, I dare you to step outside your comfort zone and find out for yourself what I already know, which is: Things aren't always what they seem. I want to thank my fellow sista-author for taking a chance on me and copping a copy of Running from Mercy and I also want to issue a challenge to you good folks. Can you do the same?

All this talk about Urban/Street lit gets me to thinking about the genre as a whole, so I think I'm going to close out this post and start another one on the topic.

Stay tuned, folks. This ain't over...

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