Thursday, April 15, 2010
Brown Girl of the Week: Trisha R. Thomas
Earlier this year I asked if you guys would like to read about fabulous women doing great things in a new column called, Brown Girl of the Week, and you all responded with a resounding "YES." For the first installment, I had the pleasure of catching up with Trisha R. Thomas, a celebrated writer who has authored over 10 books and is most known for her popular best-selling "Nappily" series.
In bookstores May 25th!
Check out our Q&A:
BGG: What can your fans of the "Nappily" expect from your new book, "Un-Nappily In Love"?
Trisha: Venus and Jake are together. That's the first and most important thing. I get that question more than any, will Jake and Venus stay together? Now more than ever it's crunch time. Jake is a celebrity from his rap background and in "Un-Nappily In Love" he's living his dream as an actor. He stars in a movie with the new 'It Girl' Sirena Lassiter, who also happens to share a past with Jake that will come to light. I'm hoping fans of the series will love this ending more than all the others.
BGG: Congratulations on your first novel, "Nappily Ever After," being adapted into a Universal Pictures movie starring Halle Berry! Did you ever think that any of your books would be brought to the big screen?
Trisha: I never envisioned my book being made into a film. All I wanted was someone to read it and get what I was saying, someone to co-sign and say, 'yeah, that's the truth ain't it.' But to hear a resounding, "hell yeah, that's the truth!"made me smile, and cry at the same time.
BGG: At what age did you know that you wanted to become a professional writer?
Trisha: Probably at age six or seven. When I could read, I knew I wanted to write.
BGG: What do you do to get back on track when you have a case of Writer's Block?
Trisha: I love this question. I'm not afraid of Writer's Block. I believe in its power to make you a better writer. My philosophy is this: When you hit the brick wall and you can't go around it, or over it, you need to back it up so you can see it from a distance. The brick wall means, you've gone as far as you can go and it's not leading in the right direction. Put the story in reverse, make a U-turn and go to the place that made you smile, made you confident. Start over right at that point. Writing requires more re-writing than most people realize. There's nothing wrong with starting from a fresh perspective.
BGG: Do you create your characters based on a mix of people who you know personally or are they based solely from your imagination?
Trisha: The characters from Nappily Ever After were very close to my mind and heart. I penned it with my past and a dash of imagination. Now I write completely from imagination with a dash of my past.
BGG: What's your favorite book? Why?
Trisha: My all time favorite book for the longest was "A Ship Made Of Paper," by Scott Spencer. I must've read it three or four times. I love the way he writes putting you right in the story. Contemporary writers have a bad reputation as being too aloof with feelings, descriptions, and overall presumption. And it's true. Most contemporary writers expect you to know what the street, buildings, sky, everything should look like. A lot of fill-in-the-blank-here. But what if your book actually made it to 2050? Wouldn't you want someone to know what it felt like in 2000, 2010, 2020? It's important to capture the depth of your time period whether it's now or written for a story in the 1800's.
BGG: What advice would you give to an unpublished author who is struggling to get a book deal with one of the popular publishing houses?
Trisha: I'd say, focus on the writing first and the publishing later. Get a full story written which is about 75,000 words. Have it read by as many people who you can find, and get their feedback. If there's a consistent theme or question unanswered, rewrite and answer those questions. When all that is done, you're ready to start submitting to agents and publishers. You can also go to press independently. Being with a big publishing house doesn't create a bestseller. I know many authors who had great success as self-published writers and then signed with large publishers, only to be disappointed with dismal results. i think a good story will sell regardless of who's doing the publishing. I love a good story with characters who you can root for. Write and be that character who succeeds in the end. Nothing can stop you when you have that attitude of finishing the race no matter what.
Have you read any of Trisha's books? If you've read her debut novel, "Nappily Ever After", are you looking forward to seeing the movie adaptation? Be sure to check out BGG in the coming weeks for your chance to win a copy of her latest book, "Un-Nappily in Love."