Saturday, August 16, 2014

Spreading the Love: "Where is the Love" by Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway

So...back in June, I had lunch with one of the smartest and sweetest couples I know - Tammie & Andrew - in downtown Portland. I met Tammie through my local writing club. At that time she was the webmaster for the club's website and an aspiring author. Now she is the book review tour-de-force behind Night Owl Reviews (NOR). It was during our yummy lunch, that Tammie asked me if I would like to cover the diversity desk for NOR's free monthly e-magazine.

I'll be honest and admit that prior to her asking, I really hadn't entertained the notion of becoming a book reviewer. However, once I picked myself up off the floor, thought about it, and asked a few questions, I felt the gears in my brain start to churn with ideas.

You see, the world is full of untold stories and firsthand accounts that remain unspoken. As I continue my journey towards publication, I've crossed paths with several like minded authors from all walks of life and cultures. Here was my opportunity to shine a spotlight, even if it's a small one, on some of their amazing stories. In addition, here was my opportunity to connect with readers interested in these stories, too.

Without further ado, here is the debut of my new column: The Melting Pot.

The subtitle is "Stories with Diversity and Multiculturalism." Just so we're clear, the word 'stories' is key to that phrase. The authors of these stories will not always be from a minority population, however the vast majority of books that feature minority leads are written by minority authors. In this column, I will also explore cultures, countries, and locations we don't often see in commercial fiction.

I'm an avid reader of several genres. I'm particularly fond of unusual mashups or fresh takes on standard totems. My first column features a Latin twist on ghost stories. My September post will feature a Russian aesthetic applied to young adult paranormal and the romance thriller genres.  And I will most certainly cover Chinese, Native American and African-American stories before the end of the year.

In the end it is my goal to showcase a wide variety of books that feature a broad spectrum of characters. It's just my way of trying to spread a little love and highlight all the flavors the world has to offer.

"Where is the Love" By Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway

Boy, this song brings back many childhood memories. I was truly blessed to grow up in a house full of love, laughter, and music. If I made a mix tape of songs from my childhood, Stevie Wonder, Isaac Hayes, The Hair Soundtrack, Dionne Warwick, Motown, and Roberta Flack would dominate the list of songs. (Throw in a few of Moms Mabley's jokes and my young year's soundtrack would be complete.)

Given the events of this week in Ferguson, MO, I felt this song was somehow very appropriate. My hope is that as more people and authors stand up to tell their stories, we see more empathy, sympathy, and action towards equality.

"Where is the love? Where is the love?..."

Check out my new column in NOR's free e-magazine each month!


  1. That is such a cute "Melting Pot' logo. I can't wait to read your monthly NOR Column.

    1. Thanks Jessie! I'm loving this whole logo design thing! Hugs!