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."


B said...

I love the Nappily series! I read "Nappily Ever After" when I first went natural 5 years ago and fell in love with Venus. I didn't even know "Un-Nappily In Love" was out. Headed to the bookstore today!

Rebee said...

I've never heard of the Nappily Series. Thanks for enlightening me! I'll be sure that the series is the next on my list.

always4evamoi said...

i unfortunately never heard of this series but i love her answer for writer's block. thank you.

Phyllis Bourne said...

As always, great interview BGG! Looking forward to the new book and the movie.

yelena said...

great post!

Product Junkie Diva said...

GReat interview- I can't wait to both read the book adn see the film. Your interview is my first introduction to this author...thanks BGG

Anonymous said...

great interview! i love "nappily ever after"!!

Miss Mika said...

I recently bought "Nappily Ever After" and thoroughly enjoyed the book. What a great interview and congrats to her on her book becoming a film. I will definately go out and support it!

Kwana said...

Thanks for this wonderful interview. Great advice! I can't wait for the movie to come out.

K-Bear said...

Wow! I'm totally impressed and slightly jealous! ahahaha

Anonymous said...

I had never heard of it, but I just added to my shelfari! Thanks for putting me on!

DESIREE said...

I'm sad to say that I have seen the book series for some time and never picked it up. I just finished reading Nappily Ever After. I've dusted off my library card and can't wait to read the next book in the series, which hopefully will be returned to the library soon!! Looking forward to the movie and the new release coming in May!

Anonymous said...

I'm going to by the book today!

Stacy said...

Love the author and the series! Can't wait for the movie and the new book.

Redbonegirl97 said...

I guess I have the start if my reading list for the summer. Thanks!!!

Peace, Love and Chocolate

kbl said...

Cool...I will buy it!