Friday, April 27, 2007

On the road again...

Hi all,

I'm heading off to Madison, Wisconsin. My alter ego is giving a lecture. It should be interesting. I had to give an interview for pre-publicity and every thing. And even though he mis-quotes me when I talk about hip-hop being the culture that rap music come out of, it's still a pretty cool interview. He even asked me about my romance writing and if I I felt conflicted about writing romance as a feminist. Check out the interview and what I said in response to that here. So any way, of course I still need to pack and print out my paper and check my power point.... If any of you are in the area, check it out the lecture. Here's the information:

Sankofa: Hip-Hop Culture, Literacy, and Youth Empowerment Project
English PhD student Eric Pritchard uses a study of hip-hop culture to help young people of color develop skills of critical and creative writing so as to become more expressive about cultural and ethnic complexity in Madison.

Sankofa: Hip Hop, Gender and Youth Empowerment Project Symposium

Saturday, April 28, 2007
11:30 AM - 3:30 PM
6191 HC White Hall, UW-Madison
600 N. Park Street

Keynote: Gwendolyn Pough, Professor of Women's Studies and Writing at Syracuse University

Women, Rap and Hip Hop Feminism
2:00 PM

See you when I get back!

Much love and peace,


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Attention! Attention?

I'm Blogging in Black today. Here's a snippet of what I said....

Attention! Attention?

My alter ego had the opportunity on Tuesday to be on MSNBC. With all the hoopla surrounding the Don Imus situation and Russell Simmons’s recent request that the n-word, b-word and h-words all be bleeped out consistently by the music industry, it seems that the media wants to talk to the Women’s Studies professor who wrote a book on women, hip-hop, feminism and the public sphere. I’ll be doing a radio interview later on today. And although it was set up far in advance of all the hoopla, I’ll be giving a lecture at a Wisconsin university later this week. For the most part, I’m used to giving lectures. I’m also pretty used to giving interviews to newspapers, magazines and even radio shows. The television spot however, had me nervous the entire morning and it made me think about how much I really hate attention.

I’m pretty certain that I’m not the only writer who would much rather let her words speak for her and could do without being in front of the camera. Even though people give me the serious side-eye when I say I’m shy, I am. I’m not painfully shy by any means. I can talk in front of people. And I can even be funny and witty and… well you get the idea… But if given a choice to either be the center of attention or play the background and coast the sidelines, I would more than likely choose the sidelines. I just don’t like attention...

You can read the rest over at Blogging in Black. Please stop by and check it out. Also check out all the other wonderful posts. Lots of excellent writers are offering wonderful pearls of wisdom over there.

  • Blogging in Black

  • See ya over there...


    Monday, April 23, 2007

    Black Butterfly Review for Sweet Sensation!

    The Black Butterfly Review for SWEET SENSATION is in. They give it 5 Stars! Here's some of what they said:

    "Ms. Bolton's debut novel I'M GONNA MAKE YOU LOVE ME is the launch pad for her most incredible love story in SWEET SENSATION...

    SWEET SENSATION is a mesmerizing story that seems to develop and take on a life of its own right before your eyes...

    I could go all day telling you about this story. It is highly recommended for oodles of reasons. It is a sensational love story, the sex is off the hook HOT and the layout of the story is just awesome. On a side note, I must state that I did not necessary agree with Sweet Dee's decision to keep her daughter from her father, but I understand that fear will have you do many things. In the context of this story, it served as a wonderful foundation to bringing this family and this love story full circle allowing something that we all need at one time or another: Closure. " ~ Eleanor Shields for Black Butterfly Review

    Thursday, April 19, 2007

    "Where Have All the Deejays Gone?"

    Hi All,

    Thanks for all the love and feedback on my poetry as I celebrated National Poetry month by sharing a little. I really appreciate it! You would think a writer would be used to sharing and putting herself out there. But I guess I'll never really get used to it. Anyway, my alter-ego is off to give a lecture in NYC and I'll be away for a minute. But I thought I'd share one last poem before I headed off to the airport. This is one that Deidre, the heroine from SWEET SENSATION actually performs in the novel. It's titled, "Where Have All the Deejays Gone?" And it's a sort of funny scene in the book because the hero, Flex, used to be a deejay and now he's a big time producer and label owner. Anyway, he's in the audience when she performs the poem and she has no idea that he's there... I guess you'd have to read the book to realize why this is funny... So, before I go into detail and give away spoilers, I'll just leave you with this poem. :-)

    "Where Have All the Deejays Gone?"
    with a special shout out to those not mentioned by name
    (RIP Jam Master Jay)

    Not to be on some ole nostalgic tip
    but where have all the deejays gone?
    Back in the day you couldn't be a fly emcee unless your deejay was a nice as you
    Nowadays you can't be a platinum selling artist
    without a track from a super producer
    And I'm not making a value statement
    it is what it is
    all I wanna know is where have all the deejays gone?
    because back in the day
    the right deejay could break an emcee off
    something proper
    like slowing down the beat
    or bringing in a dope scratch
    just when the emcee is about to
    break it down
    switching records like only a
    true mix master
    a real beat blaster
    where have all the deejays gone?
    I'm not longing for some yesterday long forgotten
    though sometimes I do get a little misty eyed
    for the days when you knew what deejay went with what crew
    you know like
    Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
    Run DMC and Jam Master Jay
    Sweet Tee and Jazzy Joyce
    Gangstar and Premier
    Pete Rock and CL Smooth
    Salt-N-Pepa and Spinderella
    Marley Marl and Dimples Dee
    and then Roxanne Shante
    and then MC Shan
    Tribe Called Quest and Ali Shaheed Muhammad
    DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
    Scott La Rock and KRS-One
    and I won't even get started on the commercialization of the mix tape
    because I know by now you have got to be feeling me
    I'm just asking
    where have all the deejays gone?
    because you know wherever they are
    there has got to be a fly ass party going on

    Thanks for reading my poetry y'all.

    much love and peace,


    Monday, April 16, 2007

    "Side Step"

    Side Step

    I remember being eleven and doing steps in front
    of the four-story tenement we called home
    sophisticated lady—you know that’s me
    spelling Mississippi
    and saying ooo-chie-wally-wally
    long before nas and the bravehearts made it a hook
    I remember older black women looking at us
    and shaking their heads as we battled the girls around the corner
    to see who could pop that coochie and twist like this
    I remember pumping with all my might
    and not really knowing what I was pumping
    but most of all
    I remember what it felt like to be with my girls
    as we each took our turn in the circle
    giving off more attitude than anyone under fifteen had a right to
    and knowing that we were the baddest girls out there
    because we deemed it so
    we said things little girls shouldn’t even know
    but when I remember how we were when outside
    and what it was like to be one with them
    and how later we’d jump double-dutch
    or skate around the block
    I think of how innocent we all were even as we chanted
    “my man made me do it, he really, really, really . . . got on down”
    slapping our hands and stomping our feet in unison
    we must have felt invincible
    and all of our steps occurred in the dawn
    before we learned that black women’s sexuality
    should be concealed
    lest it be used against her in the court of public opinion
    itself steeped in legacies and histories of lies
    when I remember what it felt like to be so free
    from cloaked and hidden sexualities
    it amazes me that girlhood games gave it to me
    and I hold on to it now as I smile at kim, foxy, trina, and khai
    maybe they took the side step and remembered what we all forgot
    I wonder if I can reclaim some of that innocent
    yet brazen and brave little black girl back

    Wednesday, April 11, 2007

    "Not Another Stereotype"

    I don't want it all
    but you just can't take some
    you have to take the good and the bad
    So, you can't be a strong black woman without
    being an emasculating, castrating, domineering,
    matriarch, man-hating bitch
    No matter how you choose, you lose
    you can't claim the rhythm or the funk or the
    basketball dunk
    without being the coon, fool, better off in
    slavery, yes sir, no mam, i'se don't know sir, low
    end of the bell curve n-----
    one stereotype feeds another
    and there's no such thing as a positive without
    a negative to balance it out
    So, what is this all about?
    I was simply saying...
    I don't want it all...

    Monday, April 09, 2007


    Since April is National Poetry Month and the heroine of my latest novel, SWEET SENSATION, is a poet, I thought I'd share some of Deidre "Sweet Dee" James's poetry with you for the rest of this month. ;-) If you hate it, that's okay. She's not real. (I might go somewhere and cry though... But don't worry about that...) The first poem, I'd like to share is titled "Word." And she actually performs it in the novel.


    When I first heard
    brothers on the block saying word
    I got excited
    I sensed we would be getting our power back again
    There is power in the word
    the strength of NOMMO
    was going to take us home

    But when I tell you of this new coming strength
    all you can say is

    I try to get you excited
    I tell you about the Griots
    the storytellers of the motherland
    telling history in ceremonial detail
    I told you about the power of slaves and ex-colored men
    using the word to tell their narratives
    to illustrate incidents in their lives
    to punch holes in that peculiar institution

    And all you can say is word?

    In the 70s the word was spoken and Black was beautiful again
    We’d lost the knowledge
    of our beauty for so long
    And all it needed was to be spoken into existence
    We spoke it and there was power
    Black Power

    I tell you this and you, awed by history I suppose, simply say, word. . .

    I mean the word is supposed to be more powerful than that
    The word is supposed to take us back
    The word and the drum they are with us again
    We have the word in rap
    and the drum in the boom-bap
    But no one seems to be using them in the way they were meant
    to be used
    They don’t uplift, inspire, or even engage

    And I complain to you and all you can mutter is word.

    I know that you know that word is bond
    Word is life
    In the beginning was the word
    God spoke it and created day and night
    “In the Beginning was the word
    the word was with God
    and the word was God
    He was with God in the beginning”
    There is power in the word

    And don’t look at me or even fix your mouth to say word, but
    Be word enact word
    Be word enact word
    Be word enact. . .

    Friday, April 06, 2007

    Easter Weekend

    Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! If you're celebrating Easter, don't load up on too much of that good food on Easter Sunday. And don't steal all the good chocolate from the kiddies' Easter baskets. Even if you aren't celebrating Easter, I want everyone to have a great weekend. I'll catch you on Monday!

    much love and peace


    Thursday, April 05, 2007


    Hi all,

    The RAWSISTAZ review is in for SWEET SENSATION. They gave it 4.5 Stars! So that means I have my second RAWSISTAZ Favorite. I'm so geeked. Here's a blurb from the review:

    "I highly commend Gwyneth Bolton for creating a wonderful tale that shatters the stereotypes surrounding the hip hop generation.  Despite the fact that SWEET SENSATION follows the general rules for romance, it is a unique story that offers a few surprises.  The hero and heroine are multi-dimensional, quirky, and imaginative and the supporting characters add depth and texture to the story.  I enjoyed that there were numerous positive male characters, the social commentary, and the fact that the story highlighted the human side of hip hop artists.  SWEET SENSATION is likely to appeal to a broad audience of readers.  Fans of traditional romance will enjoy it." ~ Reviewed by Stacey Seay of The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers

    But you can read the entire review here:


  • much love and peace,


    Sunday, April 01, 2007

    April Interview with Shelia Goss

    GB: Hi Shelia! Thanks so much for visiting my blog and doing an interview. What drew you to the romance genre? Were you a reader of romance novels before you started to write them?

    SG: I've been reading romance novels since high school. My aunt was an avid reader of the Harlequin romances and she was the person who introduced me to my first romance novels written by AA authors. Between the both of us, we have a nice romance book collection.

    GB: Hmmm... I'd like to see that collection... So, I noticed that you have some experience with self-publishing. What was that like? What are the significant differences between taking the self-publishing route and going with a publisher? Would you consider self-publishing again in the future?

    SG: I learned a lot about publishing during the time I was self-published. Publishing is definitely a business no matter if you're self-published or with a major. There are several differences between the two. As a self-publisher, you're responsible for everything and I do mean everything. As an author with a publisher, you primarily concentrate on writing and marketing your book and your publisher takes care of the rest. To answer your last question, I really can't answer it; but for right now, being with a publisher works for me.

    GB: You are an Essence Magazine and Black Expressions Book Club Bestselling author. Congratulations on those amazing achievements. You know that me and just about everyone else who reads this blog want to know how you did it. Any secrets of bestselling success you want to share?

    SG: I wish there was a magic formula, but there isn't. I look at those achievements as blessings from God. I can't help but give God the praise, because I've had a limited marketing budget. Fortunately for me, the word about my books spread because of the readers.

    GB: There is nothing like good old word of mouth! If you can start a buzz about your work you are on your way. Kudos to you for writing a book that folks couldn't stop talking about! Anyway, I noticed that you have a journalism background and have interviewed some pretty high-profile folk in the entertainment industry. Besides hoping that you won't laugh too hard at my little amateur interview techniques… I'd like to hear more about how you feel your training as a journalist enhanced your fiction writing?

    SG: A little about my history. Although I originally wanted to be a journalist, I went to college and got my engineering degree. I worked in corporate America for the majority of my adult life. Up until my dad's death, writing was a past-time. After he died, I decided that life was too short not to do what I wanted to do, so I decided to pursue it as a career. Between the workshops and courses, I stepped out on faith and pursued a career in writing. To me, non-fiction and fiction writing, although different are the same. With each, you are required to write a story. The only difference is one is true and the other is a figment of your imagination.

    GB: See... if I wasn't an amateur interviewer, I would have known that you had a background in Engineering and not Journalism. LOL. So... anyway... I really enjoyed MY INVISIBLE HUSBAND. I think the concept was original. And I really have to give you kudos for the way you worked it, girl. One thing I noticed is that, while it was definitely a romance novel, you played with the plot and upped the drama in a way that made it stand out from the typical romance novel. Without giving too much away, can you talk a little bit about why you wrote the novel the way you did?

    SG: I'm an avid reader so I wrote the type of book that I like to read. I wanted to place a comical spin on a somewhat annoying question asked to singles, "So when are you getting married?" Once I came up with the theme for the novel, I knew the number one question would be, how does the main character (Nicolette Montana) pull off a fake marriage? That's when the fun began. The characters made it easy to come up with the twists and turns because each had their own personality and had something to contribute to the story.

    GB: I haven't had a chance to read your latest release, ROSES ARE THORNS, VIOLETS ARE TRUE. But it's definitely on my to-be-read pile. Can you tell us a little bit about it? Just enough to tease us and make those of us who haven't purchased it yet run out and buy it.

    SG: Its sibling rivalry at its best. Rose Purdue is a movie star and feels the world is at her anchor. Her fans adore her, but her twin sister Violet knows that thorns are beneath all the glamour. Rose puts on her best performance as she attempts to redeem her reputation with the public after Violet gives a tell-all interview to the media. There's plenty of drama between the pages.

    GB: What's next on the horizon for you? Tell us a little bit about your upcoming projects and give us a sneak peek at some of the things you have in the works.

    SG: My next book is about an event planner, Paige C. Webb, who is an expert at organizing her clients events, but when it comes to the affairs of the heart--that's another story. At this point I don't know what the title will be, but it should either be out in the fall of this year or the beginning of next year. Paige also has an issue with commitment. I wanted to show that men aren't the only ones afraid of committing. The story is a romance and has comical scenes. I can't wait for it to be released. As soon as I get a confirmation on the title, I'll be sending out more information about it.

    Besides writing romance, I'm also writing in another genre and have a few things in the works; however right now I'm not able to go into details. I've contributed to a few anthologies, so just waiting to hear back about those. If any of your readers are looking for other contributors, feel free to contact me (smile).

    GB: What are you reading right now?

    SG: I just finished reading THE PERFECT SHOE by Kimberly Matthews and PERFECT FOR YOU by Sylvia Lett. Up next is POSTCARDS FROM LAST SUMMER by Roz Bailey and IRRESISTIBLE YOU by Francis Ray.

    GB: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers about the publishing business?

    SG: Develop a thick skin. Let rejection fuel your desire to succeed and last but not least, write. Write when you feel like it; write when you don't.

    GB: How can readers best contact you?

    SG: Readers can contact me via my website or

    Thanks Gwyneth. I appreciate you interviewing me for your blog.

    Anytime, Shelia! Thanks for stopping by!

    Well, that's all folks! Be sure to check out the authors coming in the following months:

    May – Michelle Buckley

    June – Delilah Dawson

    July - Patricia Sargeant

    August – Acvernon Menchan