Wednesday, January 20, 2016

#OscarsSoWhite: or Why I Started Hot MAMA

Hey, Y'all :)

It's been a while since I posted here, mostly because of the holidays. I tend to fall down the rabbit hole of distraction and disorganization when I'm on 24 hour kid duty for long periods of time, LOL. Well school is back in and I'm getting back to work.
By now, I'm sure you're aware of the upcoming 2016 Oscars, and the controversy surrounding the slate of nominees. I heard "Jenna" from Radar Online this morning on the my local radio station. She referred to the nominees as "heavily white."
That's a cute way to say it, Jenna.

Driving my car down the freeway, I LOL'ed, y'all. That is like saying, "Boy, that snow drift over there is heavily white." Or, "Did you notice how heavily white that bowl of rice is?"
The Oscar nominations (at least for on-screen talent) this year are not "heavily while." They are COMPLETELY white.

Having cleared that up, let's move on.

I'm not here to debate whether the Oscars are ignoring or marginalizing the work of people of color in Hollywood; I think we all know the truth on that. But hearing so much about this in the media, including the whole boycott thing, and the video by Jada Pinkett-Smith, and the response by the still embittered Janet Hubert (petty much?), made me think about why I started Hot MAMA in the first place.

When I started Hot MAMA back in 2012, I wanted to accomplish several things, including cross promotion and raising the profile of authors of color from my geographic region. But the most important mission of Hot MAMA is SISTERHOOD. Camaraderie, cooperative effort, and a safe place for us. As women of color in the publishing industry, we face pretty much the same uphill battle as people of color in Hollywood do, when it comes to having our talents recognized, acknowledged, and celebrated.
We are working HARD, y'all. 

At the heart of Hot MAMA is the same mission I see being carried out by Rebekah Weatherspoon with her WOCinRomance accounts on Twitter/Tumblr, by the brilliant ladies behind Girl Have You Read and Romance Novels in Color, by Wayne Jordan and his staff and Romance in Color, and by KM Jackson with her #WeNeedDiverseRomance campaign. We simply want our work to be read and respected, just as our mainstream counterparts have enjoyed and come to expect. Part of that is in forming groups, and another part of it is in bringing attention to the work we do. I, for one, am proud to be a part of such a vibrant, intelligent and accomplished community of women of color.

If you're boycotting the Oscars, or just not watching because you never watch anyway, I hope you'll fill the time with a great book written by an author of color instead.

Until Next Time,

 Fall Into Romance 2016 Registration

Be sure to register for my Disney event, coming up this October. Join the party as we celebrate Black romance with some of your favorite authors. (Click the image to go to the registration page.)

Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy New Year!

Hi, kittens!

Happy New Year! Can you believe one year is down and we're starting a new one? As always, the start of the new year makes people reflective, including me. So when I think of the past year, I think about all the great things that have happened. For one, I've had several releases.

Slave to Love available in ebook and print through Phaze Books.

Is This Love? available in ebook and print through Phaze Books. 

And "Learning the Hard Way" available in ebook through All Romance eBooks.
Under my real name, Crystal B. Bright, I released my first book in more than ten years. The Look of Love is the first book in the Mama's Boys series and is available in ebook and print through Lyrical Press.

 Book 2, Forget Me Not, will be out February 2016 in ebook and print from Lyrical Press. Talk about starting off the year right!

And book 3, Head Over Heels, will be out August 2016 in ebook and print from Lyrical Press. My year is already starting off right.
It feels so good to be productive again. If I want to keep on that path, I have to set goals for myself. I'll need to make a writing schedule and keep to it. So I'm cutting this post short. I'll get with you all next month to talk about Forget Me Not.

Stay sexy,