Yves Brown McClain: Literary Fierceness

Posts Tagged ‘African-American fiction’

This book would make a great movie…

Posted by Dahlia on August 5, 2011

Taking a popular book and turning it into a movie or tv show happens all the time, sometimes with great success, sometimes not. I can mention the obvious Twilight and Harry Potter series. Then there’s I Am Number Four, The Nanny Diaries, Rizolli & Isles, Lipstick Jungle, Sex & The City (a good example of book to TV show to Movie ) – It even happens to books written by African-Americans and/or featuring predominantly African-American characters. Precious, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Waiting to Exhale made it to the big screen. Disappearing Acts was on HBO. Zane’s The Sex Chronicles got a series on Cinemax. Steve Harvey’s book Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man is filming as we speak. Helena Andrews, who penned Bitch is The New Black just got a movie deal for her book optioned by none other than the super-fab Shonda Rhimes. And yes, the screenplay will be written by Helena.
I don’t know of a writer who doesn’t play Fantasy Casting Director with their books, wondering if their novel, memoir, or self-help book has what it takes to grace either the silver or small screen. We’ve imagined who would play who in the movie version of our book. What can I say, writers dream big. I’d like to suggest a few books, both fiction and non-fiction that would make good movies or TV series.
Flyy Girl — Talk about 80s nostalgia! It’s hard to come by a black woman who didn’t love Omar Tyree’s coming of age novel about a girl in the hip-hop era. Even he knows it should be a movie; the follow up to Flyy Girl, For the Love of Money is about Flyy Girl becoming a movie.
The Strawberry Letter: Real Talk, Real Advice, Because Bitterness Isn’t Sexy — I envision Shirley Strawberry’s compilation of letters from people seeking relationship advice that have become very popular on The Steve Harvey Morning Show becoming somewhat of an ensemble movie, like Valentine’s Day or He’s Just Not That Into You (also started as a book) where the characters don’t all interact with each other, but they’re all connected. I can only imagine the drama, comedy, and hijinks a well-written screenplay played awesome actors could create.
Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm at Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide to Dating, Mating, and Fighting Crime — Written by Damon Young and Panama Jackson, the title alone to this dating and relationship book has me envisioning movie trailers and promo posters. Again, another ensemble cast is in order.
Scenes From a Sistah, Getting to The Good Part, Tastes Like Chicken — this series of books by Lolita Files featuring best friends Misty Fine and Reesy Snowden can easily be the replacement to the void left behind by Girlfriends.(see Gotta Have Girlfriends). However, this show would need to make its home on either HBO or Showtime. Network TV and basic cable won’t do this show justice.
Casting The First Stone — Love, Honor, and Betray — Kimberla Lawson Roby’s eight-book (to date) series of stories centered around Rev. Curtis Black could be the perfect hour-long drama series. Lies, greed, sex, scandals, cheating, gossip, power struggles, scheming, money, love, and church. Whoo! I’d tune in every week. Hey, Brothers and Sisters just got cancelled…10pm every Sunday is appropriate AND perfect.
Those are just my thoughts, and I know there are more out there that I haven’t thought of. So, now it’s your turn. What book do you see making an excellent movie or tv show? If you think a book is better suited for television, what station would you put it on and why?

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Posted in Books, Marketing & Promoting, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Gotta have Girlfriends

Posted by Dahlia on August 1, 2011

I’ve got a ton of associates, just as many colleagues, and people I know that I think are generally good folks. Friends, specifically female ones, I can count on one hand. I’m talking about those real, true girlfriends that always has your back and will ride with you no matter what. Some you’ve been friends with since diapers. Some you met somewhere along the course of growing up, either in the sandbox, first day of school, sitting next to you in homeroom. Others you met in college. You sat behind her during freshman orientation. Perhaps she was the roommate that didn’t set your suite on fire (yes, this happened to me). Maybe you met her during that dreadful summer internship at XYZ Corporation the summer before junior year. Still, there are some you don’t connect with until your adult years, be it at work, church, the beauty salon, a networking event, et cetera.
I believe that the “girlfriend” relationship – that close bond with another female is a very significant one. A key relationship in life. True, some women don’t want to be bothered with female friends. Why? Because some women can get overly emotional, sometimes petty, and in some instances just flat out nasty. Just watch any reality show with a predominantly female cast. And in order to avoid the foolishness and dramatics, it can be easier just to have platonic male friends. But, still for most of us, we need girlfriends. That relationship is as important as the romantic one or the family one.
Think of the TV shows that celebrate and embrace the Girlfriend relationship: Girlfriends, Sex & The City, Single Ladies, Desperate Housewives, Laverne & Shirley, Kate & Allie (yeah, I went in the Way Back Machine for those last two). Or the books with strong female friendships, such as Misty & Reesy from Lolita Files’s Scenes From a Sistah, Getting to The Good Part, and Tastes Like Chicken. Or Savannah, Bernadine, Gloria, and Robin — the women from Terry McMillan’s Waiting To Exhale & Getting to Happy. Those are just a few examples of fictional girlfriends. And for the most part, those relationships are pretty solid, just like real-life friendships.

So, in celebration of the BFF, below is my little list of reasons why you need at least one Girlfriend in your life:
1. She’ll tell you those shoes are kick-ass and you need to buy them. Like now. Raht now. Same goes for that Coach bag.
2. She’ll cheer you on when that idea/dream/aspiration you’ve been pursuing makes you want to not just throw in the towel, but throw the damn thing out.
3. She’ll help you escape when dude with the ecru-hued teeth and breath from the pits of Hell gets all up in your personal space.
4. She understands that your manager is Satan’s mistress.
5. She’ll let you cry, vent, whine, whatever. You don’t have to “suck it up” with her.
6. She shows up at your house with the vodka, martini mix, and shaker when that date/day at work/ relationship has gone totally and completely wrong.
7. She holds your hair when you’ve overdone it on the vodka and martini mix.
8. So, Beaches, Steel Magnolias, AND A League of Their Own are on TV? Not only is she game, she’s bringing the cheesecake.
9. She thinks it is completely normal to eat an entire half-sheet of birthday cake by yourself. Matter of fact, she’ll grab a fork and take half.
10. Despite what that family member said about your lack of direction/husband/children/career, she always thinks you rock.

These are just a few reasons. I know there are more. What are your reasons that girlfriends are important? Why is the girlfriend in your life so important? What is it about her that makes you say that she’s more than a friend, she’s your sister?

Posted in Relationships | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Change the Game

Posted by Dahlia on July 28, 2011

Lately, I have been thinking of ways to expand my platform to get more readers. Like I mentioned before, I love the writers who follow me. Great relationships have been formed because of it, and while I know writers read, I really wanted to reach out to that reader that I’m writing for. And the majority of my posts haven’t been for the reader.

I subscribe to Kristen Lamb’s blog and get her updates in my email. For those who don’t know who this fabulous lady is, she is considered a social media expert. She has written a book titled We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and it’s all about platform building to attract a following of you guessed it, readers. Not even halfway (I was at about 22%) through her book, I saw that my strategy was wrong and I needed an overhaul of my blog. Simply put, with the imminent publication of my novella with a full novel to follow, I’ve got to change my game. However, I don’t want to lose the writers that have hopped on this journey with me. Supporting each other is
still important to me. At the same time, books generally don’t sell themselves,
especially if you’re going the independent route like I am. So, I’ve got to
reach my target audience and change the way I’ve been approaching social
networking.

So, here are the changes that I’m going to incorporate. **drumroll, please and thank you**

1. Blog title change

You may have already noticed this. I feel the new title is more inclusive of
not only this writing process but the content relevant to my genre and my style
of writing.

2. More frequent updates

No, I’m not going back to daily. I’m a writer who blogs, not a blogger who writes. I am pushing for three days a week. I want to dedicate my Wednesdays to my writer followers that have been hanging out with me since February. And since I like alliteration like that, Writer Wednesday is for you! Smooches!  :X

3. More reader friendly content

I write fiction. Specifically women’s fiction. Even more specifically chick-lit (and the occasional drama). My characters are predominantly African-American. So, my niche is African-American Chick Lit. So, I need to talk about things related to what someone reading African-American Chick Lit would read in a book: relationships (not just the romantic ones but the ones between parents and children, siblings, etc.), love, friendships, fashion, socializing, and maybe a little bit of drinking. Also included in this would be interviews from authors similar to me, book reviews of books in the same genre, etc.

4. A slight Twitter change

My original twitter handle was already ok. It was @ycbmcclain, but I felt
it was better to use my full professional name. It’s a part of branding. Unfortunately
@yvesbrownmcclain was too long, so I settled for @yvesbmcclain

I would HIGHLY recommend Kristen’s book to any writer trying to navigate the internet and all these social networking sites to engage readers. It can get overwhelming and time-consuming. The tips just make good common sense and can help you from spamming away your network. This is only the beginning of the revamp of my platform and I am very excited. You can get either the print or the electronic version. It’s so worth the investment in yourself, your brand, and your product.

Posted in Announcements, Marketing & Promoting, Publishing, Purpose, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »