October 2001 Issue

Vol. 1 No. 6

Guest Columnist: Brandon Massey

Article by Lee E. Meadows 

Books for Christmas

Poet's Place

Tech Tips

Literary Venues

Market News

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In The Community


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From the Publisher/Editor 
Wanda Elayne Moorman


Since the September edition of LitLine, tragedy struck the United States like never before.  Most, if not all of us, have suffered in one way or another.  Many of us lost loved ones with little or no time to say goodbye.  The majority of us never expected the events of September 11th to occur.  Having said all of that, we at LitLine (Reverend Cornelius R. Wheeler, Lee Meadows, Lisa Cross, Adam Wilson and I), would like to extend our heartfelt sympathy and prayers to the victims, their families and friends.  In a sense we are all victims. 

I am particularly touched by the tragedy because it wasn’t long before the World Trade Center (WTC) disaster that I was having lunch at Windows On The World, the fabulous restaurant on the 107th floor.  I met a friend in New York one beautiful, sunny Friday for business.  He had never been to the WTC or Windows On The World, so I thought it would be nice to dine there for lunch.  I initially chose a table away from the windows, as my friend doesn’t like heights.  However, my friend quickly asked the maitre d’ to seat us at a window table where we could enjoy the panoramic view of lower Manhattan.   More...

Why Should You Care About Writing A Good Book
When What You Really Want Is A Book Deal?

Brandon Massey

I see it all the time at writers' conferences.

A throng of new writers huddled in a corner, discussing how they heard that So-and-So Author just signed a six-figure deal with Major NY Publisher, or secured representation with Top Dog Literary Agency, or how Such-and-Such Famous Writer landed a seven-figure contract and only flies first-class and drinks Cristal champagne for breakfast.

Don't get me wrong.  Understanding the publishing business is key.  It's good to have the scoop on publishers, editors, agents, and fellow writers.

But if you're just getting started as a writer, you don't need to worry about that stuff.  

I meet a bunch of people who aspire to the writer's life.  Most of the time, they want to know who my agent is, how much money I made self-publishing, and how did I ever get a deal with a large publisher.

Rare is the person who asks: How do I write a good book?  How can I learn how to plot a novel?  What instructional guides should they read?

It's a shame, because those are the questions that new writers need to ask of every experienced writer that they meet. Yes, it's an exciting time to be a writer.  Self-publishing a book is inexpensive.   Several major publishers have launched divisions to publish books written by African-Americans.  More...

Rev. Cornelius R. Wheeler
Co-Pastor, Vermont Avenue Baptist Church
Washington, DC




Reverend Wheeler's Spiritual Space column will return in the November edition of LitLine!





Professional (Police Procedural)

Lee E. Meadows

The first example of the ‘professionally’ trained investigator of color is offered in J.E. Bruce’s Black Sleuth where the reader meets Sadipe Okukenu, an educated, scholarly, articulate African who can speak several languages. Sadipe is recruited to become a member of an international investigative agency where his background and training allow him to move easily through the social order of the day. He is the first male character of color that is a complete departure from the stereotyped depictions common to many mainstream authors of that time. Rudolph Fisher’s other equally important ‘professional’ in the celebrated novel The Conjure Man Dies introduces African-American Homicide Detective Perry Dart as the first model for a character cast in the role of a law enforcement officer. Fisher positions Dart as a professional officer with a strong social conscious, keenly aware of his rather unique role as NYPD’s first African-American Homicide detective.

The next iteration of the model isn’t seen until 1958 when Chester Himes premiered Harlem Homicide detectives Coffin Ed Johnson and Gravedigger Jones in the novel A Rage In Harlem. It is not the Harlem Renaissance that Perry Dart and Dr. John Archer found comfortable and intriguing, but a Harlem Revolution that guide the activities of Coffin Ed Johnson and Gravedigger Jones.   More...

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Book Reviews: Beginning next month, LitLine will begin a new feature for book reviews.  We will feature individual book reviews by our readers.  If you would like to submit a book review to LitLine, please submit your review to the publisher/editor at wem777@worldnet.att.net by the 15th day of each month.  The book review for next month is "What You Owe Me" by Bebe Moore Campbell.

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