Being Mary Jane: Me, Myself, and I, NOT We, Our, & Us

being-mary-jane-screening-nyc-bet-3This blog post came to be after reading a comment left on Gabrielle Union’s Instagram page (gabunion) regarding her new movie/ show, Being Mary Jane.

The comment read:

Unfortunate depiction of any black woman—not our story, we will continue to reject these negative images and redefine what it means to be a beautiful, black, EMPOWERED, woman. Not whatever this character attempts to show. Carry on…

Sometimes, the words, our, we, and us, are not always the best words to use. Why? Well, because our, we, and us should not be used in an opinion. Your opinion is your opinion, not ours, not we, and definitely not us. Being Mary Jane is not supposed to represent THE black woman, but A black woman.  Out of all the millions of black women in the world, one movie or show is not supposed to teach the rest of the world what being a black woman is. It only shows what some black women are going through.

Being Mary Jane may not be your story, but it is someone else’s.  The images portrayed in Being Mary Jane were not always about the glamorous side of life (although Mary Jane did have a nice house and wardrobe!) or the happy times. The images portrayed were about real issues that some black women are going through, not all. Some black women can relate to this show because they have and are experiencing these emotions, they have lived through these situations of being the caretaker for their family, unknowingly the other woman, trying to have a voice in their career and so on.

While I have not been in all the situations depicted in the movie, I have been in enough to know that there are some elements of the movie/show which in my opinion, depicts this black woman (as in me, myself, and I).  I am proud of the movie and it will stay saved on my DVR until I manually erase it (which will probably be never). I also look forward to the series.

Carry On…

Virtual Book Tour Stop #9: Guest Blogging @ Wise Words

Today, join me and other fellow readers and authors in a discussion on good and bad book reviews. In a post, entitled “Book Reviews: The Good and the Bad Apples,” I discuss one of the good and bad sides of being an author. Simply click the banner to visit the site! Also, remember to enter the giveaway for a free autographed copy of The Ace of Diamonds!


My Thoughts As A New Author & What I Think Now!

The purpose of this blog is just to give a heads up to aspiring authors! Keep writing and keep working towards your goal!

Once my book is published, I’m going to hit it big!
While there are some authors who publish their first novel and hit it big, the majority of authors are nowhere near the level where they would like to be. Success takes a lot of grind and a lot of behind the scenes work that hardly anyone sees (or if they see it, it’s only a portion). Though it may seem that some authors put out a novel and hit it big, there was probably a whole lot of hard work that we didn’t see that contributed to their success.

Maintaining a website, Facebook and Twitter account will ensure that everyone knows about my work.
It is only a start. I can name about five people right now who have a Facebook account, but do not check it. There are also individuals who do not have internet access or have never even heard of Facebook and don’t dare mention Twitter! How do they find out about my work? This is where book signings and word of mouth comes in. Though I did not have a lot of book signings in the past because I couldn’t financially afford to travel or pay the fees, I have now discovered a more economical outlet that will allow me to reach more people beyond social media and help get my book out there (stay tuned for details!)

With an independent publisher, I will receive 15% in royalties based off the retail price of my book.
This thought was absolutely ludicrous. The royalty that is received is a small percentage of the amount that is left over after the print charge of the book is deducted and after the distribution channel takes their cut. For example, if a book is priced at $15, has a print charge of $6.12, Amazon along with other distributors may get a cut of 2.30, which will leave, 6.58. The author may receive 15% of that, which is .98. The rest goes to the publisher. If you only sell 34 books a month then you’ve made 33.32. The life of the rich and famous, right? As an independent author, I have received more in royalties for The Ace of Diamonds (AOD)  then I made last year for Diamonds in the Rough and Diamonds are Forever.

Book Festivals are probably affordable and if I save, I will be able to attend them.
This thought was a result of not doing proper research. The most affordable book festival I have discovered thus far is the one I am attending in April, hosted by Butterfly Editorial and the African American Author’s Expo. I wanted to attend For Sisters Only in Charlotte; however, the cost of a table is $500. I wanted to attend the SC Book Festival; however the cost of a table is $310. I heard that the Decatur Book Festival is one of the festivals that has the best sales so when I got the vendor information, I was ecstatic until I saw that the price of a table is $465. This is just the table fees. This does not include hotel, food, gas, marketing materials, or the books I have to pre-purchase to sell. I am not aware of everyone’s financial situation, but I cannot afford this. Even if I save, I will not have enough money to attend all of these festivals. The money is just not there. If you do have the money and want to donate it, comment or send me an email, lol. For right now, I am trying another approach.

Book Festivals are where people come to buy books. I’m guaranteed to sell out!
The only time I’ve sold out at a book event was at my book release party. When I went to a book fair in ATL, I sold 1 book, which was purchased by another author. When I attended the SC Book Festival, I sold 1 book as well throughout the entire 2 day event. However, when I attended the CLT Literary Festival, I sold 4 books out of the 6 that I brought. Of course, these are only examples and do not reflect every book event I attended. It also does not reflect an author’s success as a whole. My point is; do not fool yourself into thinking that you are going to sell out like I did. If you do, great, but if you don’t, at least you put your book out there!

One author suggested that authors who are not selling at events should look to see what other authors are doing that is selling. Out of every event I attended, with the exception of my book release party, I have been with other authors who ARE selling, but are doing the same thing I am- sitting there, greeting customers, being friendly, and talking about their books. There is nothing extra or special that they are doing that I am not. Some readers you win over, some you don’t.

Paying for interviews guarantees me a spot versus sending an email requesting for a free interview.
I thought this only because when I was sending emails requesting for a free interview or to participate in a blog series, the majority of the time, I would never get a response back. However, with the interviews I paid for, I got a quick response. I thought this to be true until recently when I paid for an interview and never received a word back from the host. I sent two follow-up emails, no response. I called the customer service number for the business and discovered that the number was disconnected. I have since filed a claim with PayPal regarding the issue and am hoping to receive some sort of response by the end of the month. Now, I believe that nothing is guaranteed.

If I send a request for a book review, I should get a response in 24-48 hours.
While this would be nice, it could take a week or two before a response is given. In one night, I sent emails to 10 book reviewers seeking reviews for my book, AOD. The next day, I received responses from 2. In a week, I had received responses from 3 more and maybe one more within the following week. What I’ve learned is that this is all a numbers game. If I want 20 book clubs or sites to review my book then I probably need to contact 60. Of course, this takes a lot of time and research, but it can be done throughout the year until I reach my goal.

I don’t care about sales; I only want to put a book out there for people to read.
Well, guess what, if the book isn’t selling then people aren’t reading (or they’re reading someone else’s copy). Now, I honestly believe that no one should let sales stop them from writing. If you let sales stop you from writing then you’re going to lose the readers who have supported you. Sometimes, we are so busy giving light to the negative that we forget about the positive. Keep your head up, keep writing, and keep being productive. At the end of the day, you will be happy just knowing that you did your best!

The Ace of Diamonds is currently available in ebook on the Kindle/ Nook and in paperback. Please visit,, and to order a copy.

Chilli blogs on SEX on the FIRST date…

this is straight from

You can have chemistry. You can have a connection. But it doesn’t mean you’re supposed to have sex. People get it all mixed up. You can look at an ocean and it’s the clearest water in the world, or it looks like it’s shallow, but if you can’t swim, don’t jump in it!

A lot of times, people can look at women and say she’s a ho, but to me I’m like, well the guy slept with her too. What does that make him? I look at a guy who would sleep with a chick on the first date the same way I would look at the woman. I’ve never had sex on the first date. I’m not into labeling people, but I definitely think those are issues that a person has. I don’t know if it’s the need to feel like somebody’s loving you… Whatever it is, it’s an issue.

I don’t think you should give away your goods and when I say goods, just you as a person to someone that you don’t know. Test the waters, be careful, take your time with things, ease into it and then see. Nine times out of 10, if you spend enough time with somebody and if you hold that part back, you probably will find something that you don’t want to deal with about them and you’re like, “You know what, I’m good.”

But when you have sex too soon, it brings on this connection that makes you feel like you have to deal with that person and you stick it out for some reason because of those feelings. It brings on premature feelings that aren’t even real. You become attached, especially women.

It won’t kill you to wait. I’m definitely not promoting fornication. It would be great if everybody could wait until they got married. The world would be a better place.