Why is it so hard for Black women to find Mr. Right? Is the concept of marriage becoming outdated? "Take Ten" with Shampriest Bevel below and find out:
1) Is your book just another "man-hating" manual? -- Terrence T., Washington, D.C.
The book is absolutely not another “man-hating” manual. The book is really not about men. It’s about women. It puts the spotlight on situations that women are willing to endure when they expect a marriage proposal. It reminds readers that it is not acceptable to disregard your personal values because you “want” to be married. The book finds its strength in giving the woman back her self-identity. It is a manual about how women can make themselves a priority in their search for love. I could never write a “man-hating” manual because I love “good” men. People begin to worry when they think their own story is about to be told. If you are ready for a tall glass of honesty, this book will quench your thirst.
2) Have you decided to marry yourself? -- Jerrica W., Richmond
Yes, I have decided to marry myself. I haven’t gone through the same route as the main character, Talia. My process was more of an emotional transition. I learned that waiting is exhausting and frustrating. At the end of the day I had to ask myself, “What are you really waiting for”? I had to make that decision in order to move on. Whenever a woman makes a promise to keep herself first, while eliminating predictable drama and loving who she really is…she has decided to marry herself.
3) If there were a musical instrument that personified your literary voice, what would it be? -- Kristina P., Raleigh
The first instrument that comes to mind is a violin. I’d like to describe my literary voice and the violin as confidently classy with bold undertones and soothing seduction. It could be considered to be bassy or demure, it just depends on who’s the listener.
4) Be honest: you're really Talia, right? -- Shante D., Philadelphia
In a sense, I am. Every woman who has ever been cheated on while expecting a relationship to progress, is Talia. She’s definitely a fictional character many will be able to relate to. I’m happy people think I am Talia because that means that I have made her story believable. If people don’t believe your characters, then they won’t finish or even worse start reading your book.
5) What do you do in your spare time? -- Tony J., Charlotte
I am a cinema queen. Other than writing poetry, one of my favorite things to do is watch a good movie. I love a movie date, but I’d rather sit at home rent a movie, order some pizza, and throw on a cozy blanket.
6) Do you think the whole concept of marriage is becoming outdated? -- Paulita C., Wilmington
I do believe the value of marriage is becoming outdated. When I was a little girl, I remember thinking that one day I would have a husband just like my great-grand father. He was so giving, honest, supportive, and loving. He and my nana went almost everywhere together. Granted it was before social media and cell phones, but they didn’t seem to keep any secrets from one another. They always seemed to have a bond that was so genuine. I just don’t see that anymore. I’m not saying that it doesn’t exist, it’s just rare. I have seen and heard so many things, I’m left wondering. Things become outdated or out of style when either it’s overused or not used at all. I don’t think this generation has enough good examples of the strength in marriage. Let’s just say that marriage is not quite extinct but endangered.
7) Would you ever consider becoming a professional speaker, addressing women's issues? -- Angela S., Atlanta
Absolutely, I’d love to speak on women’s issues. If nothing else, I’m an expert on being a woman and dealing with life’s challenges. I’ve learned things about myself that I don’t mind sharing. I believe I’ve gone through some things in life because it was a lesson that is going to help someone else. As a woman, I know we all have a power inside that is unveiled every time we are challenged to be something or someone more.
8) Who's your secret "author crush"? -- Chris E., Newark
I have an author crush on Dwayne S. Joseph. He has mastered the woman’s voice in his books. His characters are never over exaggerated. He gives you just enough to want to read more. It is so hard for me to stop reading his books. I hate when the book ends because I always want to read more. His control of characters and transitions between chapters is what first attracted me.
9) Do Black women have more trouble finding the right man than other races? -- Vivian T., Dallas
In my opinion, Black women are on, what seems like, mission impossible to meet Mr. Right. Culturally, Black women have been raised to be strong, independent, and bold. Those are three qualities that are feared. Most Black women are no nonsense and believe in consequences for inappropriate behavior. Many men would rather do their thing, not be questioned, and return back home. We, as Black women, set high standards because we believe we have set and met that same standard.
10) Do you ever plan to stop writing and do something else? If so, what? -- Nicole V., Baltimore
I have been writing since I was seven years old. Writing will always be a major part of my life. I may change what I write about, but I’ll never stop writing. Even if I own a publishing company, I’ll still have my own literary work in progress. Writing is my passion and being a published author has always been my dream.