I Have Heard it All Before
“That Can’t Happen.”
A first book lands a 5-major-publisher auction? Ebony Magazine Author of the Month? An Oprah Show invite? A Leonard Pitts feature article? A call from Ms. Cicely Tyson that last 2-hours? A man writing an epic novel about a 12-year-old pregnant girl? A black man writing a novel about white folk? Really?
In the mid 90s, when five (5) of the world’s largest publishers competed in an auction for my first novel, “I Never Played Catch With My Father,” I was told such things never happen—and not for black authors, especially black males.
A Visit With Ebony Magazine’s Lerone Bennet
“Why Can’t A Black Man Write About White Folks?”
In 1995, I met with famed Ebony Magazine Editor, Lerone Bennett, Jr. and he learned of the national controversy surrounding the fact my first novel had a white main character. He decided to feature me and I Never Played catch With My Father in their June 1995 Edition’s Author of The Month.’ Of course, that was beyond possibilities.
I Never Played Catch With My Father
A Texas-born, billionaire baby-boomer’s life-long love of baseball shapes his adulthood. However, his enormous success fails to erase memories of a childhood missing a ‘heart and soul’ relationship with a father now near death. In an effort to finally close the “broken circle,” he leaves his beloved New York and catches “the last train home.”
Leonard Pitts of the Miami Herald
In the midst of the controversy, I received a call from noted Journalist, Leonard Pitts who penned a stirring article, entitled: “Why Can’t A Black Man Write About White Folks?” (https://bit.ly/38uv2dr)
An Oprah Invitation
When the controversy surrounding I Never Played Catch With My Father led to an Oprah Invitation for her show, “Who’s Black Enough?” I was surprised when told by my publicist of the offer to appear. It took me all of 2-nano-seconds to say, yes!
A Man Can’t Write Like That About Women,
Especially about a 12-year-old pregnant girl, and spanning 30 years
The Call from Ms. Cicely Tyson
The facts? He can, I did. ‘A Family Gathering’ is just such an epic story. After reading the 512-page hardcover book, I received a call—set up by Ms. Tyson’s assistant and my Publicist, Nancy Eddy of Novato, CA. This was an -out-of-body experience that led to a personal friendship. We spoke for 2-hours.
During the conversation, she said: “I have not been so moved by a book, since reading Alex’s [Haley]. when the film is made, I am claiming the role of Aunt Rose.” It pains me that she never got the chance to do so. I treasure our friendship—always will.
How Can a Man, Especially a Black Man write an old-fashioned Love Story with a white, 21st Century White Woman, and two white 1955-era, star-crossed lovers?
Half Moon, Full Heart
When I wrote this love story, many say is the best pure loves-tory (not a Romance novel) written in more than 50-years— their words, not mine.
A horror story centered around the zombie-invaded lives of two young New England boys, circa. 1988.
The Drammen Code.
A CIA spy-thriller set in Drammen and Oslo, Norway.
The Answer to All The Above
Simple. I am human. I am blessed to be able to think outside my own person, to invisibly enter spaces where I would, otherwise likely be denied entry. When all is said and done, my imagination knows no limits.
I’ll stop here, despite there being so much more to say.