Happy Friday to all y’all, and OMG lookit this AWESOME in the house with us today!
I’m super-stoked because we have writer, scholar, and BLF Press founder S. Andrea Allen with us today to tell us about the forthcoming release of the anthology Lez Talk: A Collection of Black Lesbian Short Fiction which she co-edited with Lauren Cherelle.
I had the pleasure of receiving an advanced reader copy (ARC) of Return to Arms in exchange for a review. I’m glad I got a chance to read this book. Sheree L. Greeris an amazing author who doesn’t shy away from hard discussions or difficult topics. Her debut novel Let the Lover Betouched on alcoholism and self destruction, the delicate nature of relationships we have with others and ourselves.
Return to Arms is no different. The very difficult topic of racial injustice, black people being killed on a daily basis is a reality we as a community are being forced to deal with with every breath we take. The media would have you believe that only black men are being targeted. But black women, black children, and black members of the queer community are also being targeted. The author makes sure you acknowledge this.
This book will have you seeing, if you don’t already, the areas where belonging to more than just one group (black and female, black and queer, black, female, and queer) complicates the struggle for equality, visibility, justice, and humanity.
But this book will also show you, encourage you, to persist in that pursuit of justice, equality, and visibility. We must persist. Because that is the only way racial injustice, racism, misogyny, homophobia, and hatred will be stopped.
RTA carries the weight of not just being good fiction, but of being a text people will look at as proof that work is being done, and that there is so much more that needs to happen.
Return to Arms does double duty presenting us with a burgeoning romance as well. The main characters Folami and Toya, come together at a crucial point in both their lives. Both trying to navigate who they are and how they can exist in a world that seems to hate them. At times they are frustrating as a couple, but what relationship is perfect?
This book is full of tension and real life moments that get under your skin no matter the color- getting pulled over by the police, standing up for what’s right, acknowledging the true self, or just existing as a brown/black skinned person.
There were several times when I had to put the book down to breath. I imagine the author had to as well. I’m disappointed that the ending is so appropriate. I don’t know that it could end any other way. I hope you’ll read Return to Arms so you understand just what I mean by that.
Have you listened to Lez Talk Books Radio? Every other Tuesday Stephanie Allen, founder and publisher of BLF Press, and Lauren Cherelle of Resolute Publishing chat with Black women writers about their work.
Some of their guests have been Claudia Moss, Sheree L. Greer, Paula D. Ashe, and Fiona Zedde to name a few.
The show is always entertaining, informative, and just fun. Hearing what the authors on the show have to say is such an act of community.
I’m extremely excited for this coming Tuesday, February 16th’s episode because yours truly, K.A. Smith, will be in the hot seat talking with Stephanie and Lauren about writing, the upcoming Lez Talk Anthology, and answering their questions.
I had every intention of having a post up before noon today. Here it is 2:30pm. Better late than never. Let me show you the reason I’m just now hopping onto the computer:
That would be my messy ass desk! Sheesh! There was no way I could get anything done with all of that going on. So I took it upon myself to tidy up, and get right! I know better than to pile junk on my desk (sacred space), but this week got away from me. Wanna see the magic after I cleaned it all up and put things (somewhat) in their place? Of course you do.
Ta-Da! Phew! Makes me feel much better to have my workspace back and mostly functional. I also knocked out a load of laundry, took dog boy out, made a bit of breakfast, downed a pot of coffee, cleaned off my alter, and finished writing a review for Let the Lover Be (more on that next post).
I should probably work on clearing some of those post-it notes from the wall next, eh?
Wow! The response to the free download of Ladies Only over the weekend was huge! 100+ downloads of the six story collection. 🙂
If you’re so inclined and have a moment, leave a review on amazon or goodreads and let me know what you think.
I want to do more free/promo/giveaway type things in the future and more often. I’m still figuring out the best way to go about doing that.
Lately I can’t stand to sit at the computer to pre-write, so I’m doing it all old school, pen & paper. It’s working. I’ve always enjoyed scribbling thoughts down on paper, drawing arrows up and down to a connecting thought. It’s much easier for me to stay focused that way too. At the computer the internet-twitter, facebook, cat videos, and online shopping are all huge distractions for me. But the downside is that I have to sit down at the computer later and type it all up.
I’m working on a piece longer than my usual type of story called Kandi . It’s in the rough, rough, rough stages. Haha! With this story I’m trying to do something a little different and challenge myself.