Because of my day job (yes, I have a day job…lol) I don’t get to travel much to promote my literary efforts or attend book events. Recently I had the pleasure of traveling from Garner, NC, a suburb of Raleigh, to my beloved hometown of Memphis, TN, to participate in a book discussion with The Ladies of Flavor Book Club (http://ladiesofflavor.com/).
We met to discuss my short story “Like Father, Like Son” in specific and The Soul of a Man in general. (“Like Father, Like Son” is a featured short story in The Soul of a Man: The Triumph of My Soul Anthology, winner of 2009 Best Short Stories/Best Anthology at the African-American Literary Awards Show)
To say I was excited was an understatement. Here I was, about to go back home and meet up with a book club co-founded by a high school friend, Marchieta Taylor. (Shout out to Central High School aka “The High School”, Class of ’93!) My mother, her boyfriend and my little brother were going with me, and they were almost excited as was.
The book discussion was held at Firebirds Wood Fired Grill (http://www.firebirdsrockymountaingrill.com) My entourage and I were fashionably late. Just kidding, my flight got me in right around the time they started. When we got there, we were greeted by a beautiful group of women. No fake smiles, no fake attitudes…a real family and friends vibe. You can’t beat that.
Marchieta moderated the discussion based on the questions she prepared and shared with me and the book club beforehand. Let me tell you, I thoroughly enjoyed their realistic take on The Soul of a Man Anthology and my short story. I mean, it was no-holds-barred, yet far from rude. You know how we do…
We talked about a lot of things. We covered a lot from personal feelings and perspectives to the editing of The Soul of a Man. I was great. I really enjoyed their discussion of “Like Father, Like Son”, but not for the obvious reasons. Sure I wrote it, but I’m not egotistical like that.
I was intrigued by the things they got from my characters that I didn’t notice in writing the story. I didn’t agree with every single thing said, but I didn’t have to. To tell you the truth, I didn’t agree with everything my characters said and did. That’s real life…
In addition to being in the presence of a great group of women who take reading seriously, my family was there to experience that with me. If you could have seen my mother, you would know exactly what I’m saying. I mean, she was smiling from ear to ear the whole time. That’s precious. Anybody who loves their mother would understand that.
I was also happy to hear that being there with The Ladies of Flavor Book Club inspired my brother Anthony Pinkney and my mother’s boyfriend Michael Johnson to join a book club for the fellowship and discussion. They might not do it, but the spark was enough for me.
If you want to have your book get an honest appraisal and if you want to meet a fabulous group of women, please check out the Ladies of Flavor Book Club. Now, don’t just try to drop your books off and let that be it. Actually go out there and meet up with them, if you can, when they discuss the book. You will not be sorry.
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