The BackList

This is a retired blog. For the new and improved BackList blog, please visit!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Interview with Danyel Smith

Mediabistro has an interview with Danyel Smith about her reprised role as EIC of Vibe.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Literary Program on Black Family Channel

Hmm, wonder if we would see something like this on BET?

Media Contact: Lisa MorganPhone Number: 404-808-9409E-Mail Address: lmorgan@...



Nov. 2006 - National - Tony Rose, Publisher and CEO of Amber Communications Group, Inc. (ACGI) the nation’s largest African American publisher of self-help books and celebrity bios, and Rosette M. Union, President, of Cine Seven Entertainment recently announced the launch of Literary Living on Black Family Channel.

Literary Living hosted by best-selling author Heather Covington, airs every Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. (EST). The show targets an exclusive audience, the African American book buying market. The half-hour program will take viewers on a journey through the offices and streets of New York City; will introduce some of today’s greatest publishers, authors, writers and poets including: Haki Madhabuti; W. Paul Coates; George C. Fraser; Wade and Cheryl Hudson; Kassahun Checole; Terrie Williams; Barbara Reynolds; Jewel Parker Rhodes; Melvin Van Pebbles; Ruby Dee; Wendy Williams; Hill Harper and Tavis Smiley. The series give viewers a complete African American literary experience to include exclusive newsworthy events and interviews. Literary Living has joined a spectrum of other popular programs currently airing during Black Family Channel’s weekly prime-time block: Robert Townsend’s Partners in Crime: The Next Generation hosted by comedian Corey “Zoo” Miller; Playhouse 22, a drama series and Spoken a show featuring new spoken word artists hosted by author and poet Jessica Care Moore.

Tony Rose, Creator and Executive Producer of Literary Living is recognized as the nation’s first African-American book publisher to successfully publish commercial/pop/self-help book titles to the African-American consumer. Rose stated, “We want to give a national platform to African American publishers and authors who have, for years, worked hard to bring us the best information and the best stories - both fiction and non-fiction. By partnering with the Black Family Channel, along with our great cast and crew, we will be able to introduce many of our country’s book publishing professionals into every African American household within the scope of the network’s programming reach.”

Rosette Union, Producer/Writer of Literary Living is an adjunct Professor at The New York Institute of Technology, Graduate School Communications Arts Department, teaching film and TV production courses. She is the President of Cine Seven Entertainment, which she co-partner's with her sister Maude Middleton, CEO, to produce independent films, documentaries and commercials.

About Black Family ChannelBlack Family Channel is America’s only minority owned and operated cable network committed to providing responsible programming for the entire family. Our mission is to entertain, inform and empower communities with family programming that is original, real, authentic and relevant. BFC is currently viewed in over 16 million households; including all of the top 25 African-American TV markets and 49 of the top 50 DMA TV markets. For more information about Black Family Channel visit

For advertising/sales and commercial production, please contact: Literary Living Television Productions, Monty Bowens, sales Director at 480-650-9898. To book appearances on Literary Living, please contact: Literary Living Television Productions, Rosette M. Union, Executive Producer at 212-252-3900
Media Contact: Tony Rose, Executive Producer. Literary Living Television Productions
Phone Number: 480-650-9898.

Akashic readings around NYC: Amiri Baraka, Colin Channer, and K.E. Silva

Thursday, October 26, 7pm,
Colin Channer reads from his story in "Iron Balloons" (called "a tour de force" by the New York Times) and K.E. Silva reads from her debut novel, "A Simple Distance." Bluestockings Bookstore (172 Allen St., MANHATTAN), post-reading reception with Jamaican Red Stripe beer for all.

Wednesday, November 1, 7-9pm,
Legendary writer/activist Amiri Baraka and award-winning Nigerian novelist Chris Abani come together for a reading and discussion moderated by Colin Channer, at Medgar Evers College (Founders Auditorium, 1500 Bedford Ave., Crown Heights, BROOKLYN). This will be the first public event in support of Baraka's new short story collection, "Tales of the Out & the Gone" (Akashic, 2007), and advance copies of the book, along with Abani's new novella, "Becoming Abigail," will be available for sale.

Friday, October 27, 7:30pm, Colin Channer reads from his story in "Iron Balloons" and K.E. Silva reads from her debut novel, "A Simple Distance." Barnes & Noble-Park Slope (267 Seventh Ave., BROOKLYN).

PW Story about Karen Thomas's new role at Warner Books

Here's the link to a PW story I wrote about Karen Thomas's new role at Warner Books. She's been a busy woman acquiring some high profile books including the sequel to Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Interview with me on Black Ink

Shout out to Maranda who interviewed me for her wonderful literary blog, Black Ink. I'm always interviewing others for BackList, but it's nice to be on the interviewee side.

Check out Maranda on Blogging in Black as well.

Good stuff over at Blogging in Black

There are some great posts by an array of writers and publishing folks over at Blogging in Black. If you haven't checked it out, I urge you to.

I'm a guest columnist and posted my first entry about writers educating themselves about the publishing industry.

Today, Erica Simone Turnipseed, author of Hunger and A Love Noire discusses connecting with readers through her writing.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Great article about Coop

Great article about coop on my new favorite blog. All those front tables at Barnes & Noble are paid placements...wonder where your marketing budget dollars go? Probably here.

Is this okay?

PW reported that author Myla Goldberg, substantially rewrote her novel, Wickett’s Remedy when it was released in paperback:

"Because of the unusual format of Wickett’s Remedy (side notes appear
in the margins of many pages), it had to be re-typeset for the paperback, which
gave Goldberg the rare opportunity to substantially rewrite parts of the novel."

I've heard of correcting errors on new editions, etc but not rewriting parts of the book. Then I started to wonder, is that right? What if more authors started to rewrite parts of their book? I mean I'm sure plenty of authors would, but something about it seems wrong. According to PW, Goldberg revised and developed certain scenes and threads of the novel. The article goes on to say:

"But Wilson and Goldberg denied the revisions as a tactic to sell more
books; in an interview with, she said, “I feel terrible for
hardcover readers. They’re your most loyal readers, and here I am penalizing
them. The last thing I want to do is make hardcover readers feel like suckers.
It’s not a gimmick to sell more books!”

New issue of Mosaic and New Editor

The new issue of Mosaic is available. It includes my interview with Marlon James, author of the acclaimed, John Crow's Devil. Mosaic is one of the longest-running literary magazines dedicated to writers of color. We must continue supporting it!

In news, Ron has elected me as a new editor of Mosaic. Can I tell you how thrilled I am? I remember how bad I wanted to write for Mosaic. Ron's magazine and website inspired me to start BackList. From his editorial note, he wrote:

"Felicia Pride will be responsible forthe editorial direction and assignments
for Mosaic. I know she’ll do an excellent job and Mosaic will continue to grow
under her leadership."

Also Ron posted an update about the future of the magazine:

Seeing our option narrow as a print publication and broaden as a digital one
we've decided to make Mosaic available free -- soon to be available for
download. We're currently working out the digital kinks. Current issues should
be available in October. We will continue to print issues for literary
institutions. More soon to come.

3 Ladies

Mondella Jones has a glamour shot of her, Karen Thomas, and myself at the Capital Book Fest.

We look fly...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

writer's block

Writer's block: a topic that lately i've been incredibly fascinated by. Here's an interesting article from NYT that I found reading blogs/procrastinating. It comes from this cool blog I just stumbled upon. Isn't it amazing the things you find when you're off task?

Barack Obama's new book

The NYT reviews Barack Obama's new book. I really need to read it.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

kenji jasper's blog

if you haven't read any of kenji jasper's fiction (Dark, Dakota Grand, Seeking Salamanca Mitchell), put him on the top of your list. i'm always interested in what shape hiphop will take in writing and I feel like kenji's a perfect example of writing with a hiphop sensibility. i won't call him a hiphop writer. people don't seem to like that term. He's also written a nonfiction book which I'll have to check out.

but i just stumbled upon his blog. he's got some great insights (not just the joy but the struggles too) into the life of a writer. Since yall know I'm one now.

powerhouse. now this is a publishing house

So on Monday, I trekked down to Dumbo, Brooklyn. Really I trekked. I mean train, plane, bus, automobile. I still don't know exactly were I was.

But I went for a Women in hiphop panel that was part of a "No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn" exhibit held at the newly unveiled Powerhouse Arena.

The space is dope. Very Brooklyn, artsy, unfinished, but finished.

The panel featured legendary women in hiphop such as Martha Cooper, Joan Morgan, Janette Beckman and Lady Pink. As well as artists Toofly and Maya Azucena. All though it was hard as hell to hear in there, the panel was great for many reasons. It showed the different art forms of hiphop: music, writing, painting, grafitti writing, photography, etc. It also cosigned for me that hiphop is so much bigger than MTV and BET. Sometimes you need that reminder even though you know it.

It's funny because after the panel, I read Lonnae O'Neal Parker's Washington Post editorial about giving up on hiphop. And while I echo the same sentiments about the commercial side of RAP MUSIC (had to put that in caps for emphasis), her editorial focuses strictly on the music. Like that's all hiphop is.

During the panel they showed clips of an upcoming documentary of female breakers around the world called We B*Girlz (by Martha Cooper and Nika Kramer). And you see all these girls of all different colors who say things like "breaking saved my life," and you remember that hiphop is a lifesaver to so many. We can't give up on hiphop because its the language/perception/perspective/lifestyle of our young people. We can turn off the radio, yes. We can challenge the media images, yes. And as discussed during the panel, we can show our young people the positive aspects of hiphop. But give up? Nope.

Okay enough ranting, back to my original point.

I've read about Powerhouse in PW. I remember reading a story about this publisher opening a gallery/performing space and how dope I thought that was. Makes so much sense that a arts/photography publisher to do that.

But they don't stop there. The No Sleep Til Brooklyn exhibit was four days of events put on in conjunction with other media/organizations such as Black Girls Rock, Vh1, and Wax Poetics.

Then Powerhouse published a magazine to accompany the exhibit, which is beautifully done and which they sold for 10.00. Contributors to the magazine including folks like Jamel Shabazz, Patti Astor, Henry Chalfant. And of course they sold books onsite.

They are my new favorite publisher. Talk about synergy (marketing people love that word). Not only are they branding themselves, they are also reaching out to communities and creating events that people actually want to attend.

Upcoming exhibits at the space, which all coincide with a particular book they've published, include "Disco Years", "That 70s Show", and "Warhol is Dead".

And people are wondering about creative ways to promote's more than promoting books, you have to promote the lifestyle as well. What's the big picture?

Just like rap music is part of a much, much bigger picture.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Capital Book Fest

Has it really been 7 days since my last blog entry? Geez. Time flies.

Saturday, I attended the second annual Capital Book Fest. It is co-produced by Kwame Alexander. I met Kwame through BackList. He wrote a controversial piece for the site a couple of years ago. Kwame had some strong opinions about the state of black literature, but don't get it twisted, he's not one of those that just talks without action.

The Capital Book Fest is a great literary event that supports literary arts in P.G. County. Panels were hosted inside the Borders store as well as on the parking lot. I thought the Borders connection was very smart. Self-published authors had an opportunity to exhibit and sell books as well.

I was on a panel that discussed black publishing. My fellow panelists included Marita Golden, Jonathan Luckett, and Christopher Chambers.

I have to be honest, I was very excited to hear Ms. Golden was going to be on the panel, because I've wanted to meet her for quite some time. We were finally able to connect and she's just as smart, warm, and committed as I knew she would be.

I thought we had a good panel. We discussed the publishing industry, tips for writers, publishing horror stories, and ways we can increase literacy in the community. People afterwards told us that they got something from it. That was good to hear because sometimes panels fall flat.

Kudos to all those involved in the planning and execution of the Capital Book Fest!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Anita Diggs is blogging

Author and editor Anita Diggs is blogging. Check her out.

Windows Live Book Search

Not sure how this will really work:

Get your titles in front of millions of Windows Live users FREE with Windows Live Book Search
Windows Live Book Search is Microsoft's forthcoming online search service for book content.

To submit your titles simply upload them in digital format or send us printed books, and control the amount of content displayed.

Link your commerce-enabled Web site to our pages so that users can easily purchase your titles. And connect with millions of Windows Live Search users who are looking for content like yours.

It's easy and it's FREE!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Blogging in Black

Big up to Monica Jackson and Dakota Knight. They've started a collective blog for black authors and literary professionals called Blogging in Black. Check it out and support their effort.

I'll be a guest columnist on October 22nd.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Black Ink is Back!

Literary blog Black Ink has been on hiatus for most of the summer. As of today, we are up and running again, this time with two new authors/contributors, Kevan Cameron and Craig Baird, both of whom will be posting entries from the west coast in British Columbia. You can expect much more consistent literary news, and we'll eventually be publishing criticisms, reviews and the like in the months to come.Tell all your moms, boys, girls, birds and pimps that we're back! (Like birds and pimps ever read blogs.)

Crazy Email

I've gotten my share of nonsensical emails, but this one takes the cake, thus I decided to put it o blast. Let me know if I'm the only one that's confused.

From: "The Onyxx" (he doesn't state who he is. Of course not.)

You mention Asha Bandele, and excuse her misconduct, particularly in regards to
that "husband" of hers on death row who killed a man. I'm going to have call you
a dumb bitch because you deserve that title. Asha Bandele met this man while
volunteering for a prison poetry project and had conjugal visits with him that
resulted in a child. You can't talk trash about any black man particularly after
this sick spectacle that you showcase on your website excusing the death of
another human being because this dumb broad Asha Bandele wanted to get
laid.....and to think I actually read your literary newsletter. Now I know you
are full of bs. If you're going to allow some dumb ignorant broad like her speak
in your newsletter, you might as well as let any black writer speak include Luke
from 2 Live Crew. Heard he has an interesting book out! Let's not be hypocrites!

So here's my response:

First, if you are going to call me a Bitch I would think you would at least have
the courage to say who you are. But I'm not mad. It's obvious that you have a
lot of misguided anger. Trust, I know your kind. So much so that I won't bother
trying to help you understand that you don't know what the hell you're talking
about and that your attempt at emailing me nonsense is futile. Perhaps
you get off on sending anonymous, nonsensical emails.

you've got issues and too much time on your hands. And unfortunately for you,
I'm not the one that you need to contact about them. Go read a book. Hey go read
asha's book (you'll learn that she married the man you speak of). If you
have time, and I'm sure you do, go read The Autobiography of Malcolm
X. This book may give you some insight into prison, forgiveness, and
second chances.

While you're at it, expand your vocabulary.
Learn to express yourself without calling a black woman a bitch. Do
something productive instead of sending me an email calling another
black woman a silly broad. Because honestly, whatever point you are trying
to make is null and void just from the simplistic nature of your
name-calling. That's what children resort to when they are angry.

But I'm sure this entire email will go right over your head. You
don't want to discuss, you want to be angry and hateful. I, on the other hand,
have too much work to do in the world.

Peace be with you. And don't contact me again.

And for those that like a good soap opera. "The Onyxx" responds with:

Practice what you preach. She married the man while he was in prison on
death row dumb ass. It's obvious that you come from a broken home and have some
misguided issues that you place on any black man criticizing you. You really
need to have a heart to heart talk with your mother who caused you to make poor

The reason you contacted me is because that's what you
are. I hit close to home and you had to respond to validate it. Peace be with
you. Don't contact me. You sound desparate.


Desperate for what, I'm not sure. And I'm sure he couldn't explain it to me if he tried. He was criticizing me? Oh I thought he was just calling me out my name.