After successful events in DC and Philly, I'm so excited that #winewithwriters came to Atlanta! Take a look at more pics from Saturday's sold-out event which featured author/creator of Wine With Writers, Nia Forrester, myself, and authors Tasha L. Harrison, DL White, Lily Java and Rae Lamar. The discussion--Identity & Individuality: The Movement Toward Issue-Based Black Women's Fiction— was moderated by author/Spelman professor Grace Octavia.
Photos by Mike Jordan
So #winewithwriters happened yesterday, and in addition to me saying "awesome" like, 100 times in the span of five minutes, we had a fabulous discussion. We talked publishing, diversity, black women, romance, love and more, and it was just incredibly dope.
Also, can I just say I love my fam? My mom, who is just the best as well as my husband and cousin... y'all rocky and I'm grateful for you.
Anyway, Wine With Writers was completely sold out (yay!) and it was an awesome good time. Here are five reasons why.
#1- Nia Forrester is one of the legit coolest people I know. Of course, Wine With Writers is the brainchild of Nia Forrester, who is not only one of the absolute best writers I know, indie or otherwise, but is just a super cool, super smart, super wonderful person. She has such a genuine spirit. I'm so happy that she created this platform for us to come together to drink and discuss books!
#2- Lily Java and Rae Lamar are the absolute best. As usual, it was great to connect in person with two of my absolute favorite people and my sister-authors, Rae Lamar and Lily Java. Y'all have no idea the amount of love, encouragement and just inspiration they speak to everyone who knows them. Not only are their words magic- they're just two of the kindest people I've met, and I'm happy to know them. I love y'all.
#3- DL White and Tasha L. Harrison are fantastic. It was a blast having the opportunity to talk and hang with the incredibly sweet, insightful DL White and also Tasha L. Harrison.
#4- Grace Octavia's dress. Um, so Grace was killing it yesterday. Just gorgeous. I'm so happy Grace (who I've known forever) and who is a fabulous writer/professor was gracious enough to take time out of her busy schedule to moderate what was an awesome discussion.
#5- Reading readers who read, support indie authors, and like wine. Seriously, readers rock. Thanks to all of the readers who came out to drink and hang with us-- you, as always, are beyond appreciated. You make me want to be better and I love you more than words could ever say. I can't wait for the next Wine With Writers!
Woo-hoo! I'm happy to announce that #WineWithWriters is completely sold out! You guys have no idea how excited I am for tomorrow! Since we are at capacity, we won't be selling any tickets at the door, unfortunately. But for those of you who RSVP'd, I'll see you tomorrow!
DL White's Brunch At Ruby's is one of the best indie debuts I've read. And that's saying a lot because y'all know the indie talent well runs deep. The book was emotional, smart, complex-- and just a great work from a great writer. I'm so excited that she'll be at #WineWithWriters on March 10. That's just one week away! You can still get tickets here--> winewithwriters.splashthat
Check out DL's #10Questions:
Excerpt from Leslie’s Curl & Dye:
He smiled, quietly laughing while his eyes surveyed the salon, starting at the reception desk, a plain old desk from Caine Brothers Wood Works. Then he took in the mismatched leather chairs that comprised the waiting area; the salon chairs with peeling vinyl patched with black tape and the shampoo bowl that was a refurbished and redesigned laundry sink.
To the naked, and maybe the more upscale eye, the Curl & Dye wasn't much to look at. But people came to the Curl & Dye for the atmosphere.
"I mean, with all due respect, Leslie..." KC shrugged and gestured toward the small salon. "You're not my competition."
That lofty, lightheaded feeling was zapped as quickly as it came. I felt like I landed face first on the pavement. There went my moment of attraction.
Tamera stood beside me, her arms crossed. "Look who decided to slum it over on the old side of Potter Lake."
"I’m not… slumming. I hadn't been over here since I moved back and— "
"And you decided to pop in and start some shit with us?"
KC's eyes narrowed and his brows formed "V" of irritation. The glare he gave Tamera gave me an uneasy feeling.
"Tam, why don't you close out the day for me? Pull the receipts and get the deposit ready." I led her to the front desk and pulled out the chair for her to sit.
As soon as she was settled, I grabbed KC's arm and guided him back out of the shop into the warm evening. I heard Tamera grumbling, not even under her breath, as she sat at the desk and began the daily closing ritual.
"What do you want?" I asked him, noticing the enormous black Escalade parked in front of the window. "We're about to close up."
He shrugged a shoulder, tossing his keys from one hand to the other. Back in college he used to do the same with a basketball. "I just... was around and— "
"Bullshit. You have no reason to be on this side of the lake except to be snooping around this shop. So... what? You wanted to gloat? To say some more shit about stealing my clients?"
"I'm not steal—" He heaved a deep sigh and shoved both hands into his pockets. "I felt bad. About earlier. You surprised me by showing up at the shop. I felt cornered and I get mouthy when I feel like that. Listen, I think we got off on the wrong foot— "
"No, I think the foot we got off on was right. You came out here and opened a business in direct competition with mine— "
"That was not my intent, Leslie. I keep telling you, I didn't know this shop was here."
"Well, now you do."
I paused, giving a wide-eyed stare at ruggedly bushy eyebrows, at long, undeservedly lush lashes, at almond shaped eyes, at full lips and well-edged goatee.
Damn, he was fine. Had always been fine but... damn, he was fine.
"Now I do," he acknowledged, with a head nod. "All I'm saying is that we should be able to co-exist."
I gestured toward the building that was The Curl & Dye, catching a glimpse of Evonne and Tamera standing in the middle of the shop watching us talk. I pulled him away from the window, toward the driver side door of his truck.
"It would be one thing if you were just a barbershop. Most of the men in this town do their own hair; they only come to me if they want something real nice. That cheap cut you offer is perfect for them."
He scoffed, but I ignored it. "We can't coexist because women are going to your shop instead of mine, for services I offer, my mother offered, my Grandy offered for years. Your shop could lose a customer or three and it wouldn't hit your bottom line. I need every client I can get. Your shop is some kind of..."
I shrugged, shaking my head. "Get rich quick scheme, it seems. Except you're already rich, so now you're just being greedy. The Curl & Dye is my bread and butter. It keeps me and my parents in food and electricity and Grandy in good care at Primose Gardens. It's about more than a cheap haircut."
“What do you want me to do, Leslie? Shut down my shop on some first dibs bullshit?”
I began to back away from him and his truck and his intoxicatingly sexy smelling cologne. It was making me heady and I was feeling all kinds of familiar feelings from being too close to him.
"I just want to run my shop, KC."
"And I want to run mine."
Leslie’s Curl & Dye Link- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075J6LQ8X