The Coffee Will Make You Black Reading Group
On-line Chat with Author Van Whitfield
Chat Transcript

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Meet Van Whitfield
Van Whitfield

[vanw] for this discussion

Author: Something's Wrong With Your Scale
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On-Line Chat Transcript
with the
Coffee Will Make You Black Reading Group
August 4th 1999

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I'm fine how are you???

aalbc> What up everyone!

[Thumper6488] Littlex2: how are you doing

[Thumper6488] Hello Troy

MsToy: I'm fine

[MsToy] What has everyone been reading lately?

[MissMayazi] what's up

[Thumper6488] right now I'm reading Lady moses

[MissMayazi] the prisoner's wife

aalbc> I just finished Cold Mountain and SWWYS

aalbc> Can U believe it Thumper? (smile)

[MsToy] how was that book MissMayazi?

[Thumper6488] Troy: So you finally finished Cold Mountain. No, I can't believe it

[MissMayazi] it was good but

[MissMayazi] I think she has issues
[MsToy] I just finished Never Satisfied: How and Why Men Cheat

[Thumper6488] Is that fiction?

[MissMayazi] that was a good book

[Thumper6488] Littlex2: how are you doing?

[MsToy] I'll have to add the prisoner's wife to our book club list I read the highlights in Essence

[littlex2] i'm fine thumper. how u?

[Thumper6488] I'm doing very well

[MsToy] No that's not fiction but a wonderful read and EYEOPNER!!!!

[littlex2] hello everybody else too.

aalbc> Hello everyone should we start in with SWWYS?

[MsToy] Hi little

aalbc> Hopefuly Van will be with us in a few moments

[MsToy] OKAY

[Thumper6488] Let me sayup front that I was so glad to see some big people in a book

[MissMayazi] has anyone read men cry in the dark

aalbc> In a psotive light as well

[Thumper6488] I agree

[Thumper6488] I hated men cry in the dark

[MsToy] my book group is going to read that

[MissMayazi] really I heard it was good

[littlex2] i was glad to see van on the front of the washington post's style section a couple weeks ago.

[MsToy] I heard it was GOOD TOO

[Thumper6488] It's good that he's getting some exposure

[MsToy] I've read a lot about Van lately in Houston too

[littlex2] yes it was

[MissMayazi] yeah it is

[MsToy] I agree. I'm glad for them ALL

aalbc> Have you read van's memo on the discussion -- the brother is busy

[MsToy] yes he is BUSY

[littlex2] does that mean he won't be joining us?

aalbc> THANKS simply

aalbc> He should be here!

[MsToy] I sure hope NOT I'm ready

aalbc> Ready? Explain

[MsToy] Has anyone read his last book???

[littlex2] can i but in while we wait and ask if any of you has read my book, little x:growing up in the nation of islam?

[MissMayazi] I am reading it now

[MissMayazi] I am not as into it as i was the 2nd one

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[Thumper6488] Hello van

TO littlex2> I got your email I work across the street from the WTC

[MsToy] HI Van!!!!

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[littlex2] hi van!

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[MissMayazi] hi Van

[vanw] Hi

[Thumper6488] How's it going?

TO littlex2> Hello Van here is a question I must ask....

TO littlex2> I know you heard it before....

aalbc> Hello Van here is a question I must ask....

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aalbc> > I know you heard it before....

[vanw] HI Miss M - are u the one who said, "BR is a total waste of cash?"

[Thumper6488] Hello cms

[MsToy] Is everything set for the release of your book?

aalbc> How much of you is in Sonny?

[MissMayazi] not a waste

[vanw] very little of me is sonny

[MissMayazi] he's just a character ...kind of corky

[vanw] just like very little of me is shawn from br

aalbc> I read about the your hollywood accomplishments

[MsToy] our book club is looking forward to reading BR

[littlex2] van, tell us how much fun you're having with all this

[vanw] thanks - i leave out tomorow

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[vanw] it's very hard work - i don't know if i've had that much fun - everytime i turn around something else is due, but i wouldn't have it any

- other way

[Thumper6488] Are we going to get a sequel to Beepreless Remote in the future, or are you done with Shawn Wayne?

[littlex2] i know how hard you work and i'm very proud of your accomplishments

[MissMayazi] my sister's boyfriend lost weight b/c of SWWYC

[vanw] i'd love to be done with shawn, but folks want a sequel so it's on

[MsToy] when you wrote BR was it from personal experience?

[vanw] miss m - please tell him congrats - a friend called today and said she dropped 100 lbs 'cause of the book

TO vanw> Van Drop me your phone number when you get a chance via Private chat or email thanks I want to touch base after the chat.


[vanw] I wrote br because of a VERY BAD clind date!

[vanw] THAT'S blind date

[MissMayazi] I am on the phone with her now she's pleased

[MsToy] i know

[MissMayazi] where do your ideas come from

[MsToy] what motivates YOU?

[vanw] IDEAS - I'm a very regular guy who wants to write about evryday things

aalbc> Van, all the way up to the end I though Sonny was going to drop Kayla when he got into shape -- did your flirt with that idea at all

[vanw] motivation - God has hooked me up - i never wanted to write - it just happened and now it's what i do i like making people laugh

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[Thumper6488] Your book had me laughing in places where I knew I shouldn't like with Sonny and Kayla at the restaurant. I didn't know to laugh or

- be pissed off.

[vanw] sonny would NEVER have dropped kayla - she was way too sharp

[MsToy] what advice would you give to future authors?

[MissMayazi] I cracked up and laughed out loud most of the time

aalbc> I laughed out loud sevral times in the subway reading the book!

[vanw] THANKS!

[Thumper6488] Troy: I know you wasn't out of place with all of the happy peoplle in NYC

[MissMayazi] my students wanted to know what was so funny

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[vanw] future writers - WRITE - believe and don't give up

aalbc> I found the analogies funny there were so many too!

[MsToy] THANKS!!!!

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[vanw] aalbc - i don't know how to do the private chat thing -

[MsToy] books do funny things for you

[MissMayazi] any book signings coming up?

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[MsToy] YEAH hen can we see YOU?

TO vanw> Highlight my name select private chat and send the message don;t forget to unselect it afterward

[MsToy] that's when

[vanw] the humor is the hard part - you really do have to take chances and as with some folks and br - it doesn't always work


aalbc> I found the sex scene the funniest -- just the way you described the action

[MissMayazi] book signings?

[vanw] seeing me is hard these days - i'm off to la to work on this new tv show and then i have a book to finish

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[MsToy] WHY is the SEX scene so funny?

[AYYN] Hi Thump it wouldn't take my real name MISS ANN

[Thumper6488] Troy: yeah, what's funny about sex?

[cms217] Hi everyone I enjoyed your book Why did'nt you explore Kalya's relationship with her father a bit more

aalbc> The way he described the action -- tying to get into position

[vanw] i just took a chance with the sex scene and it worked (i hope)

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aalbc> The line about minute man, no 30 sec man, etc

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[AYYN] Hi Shellie

[MsToy] OH NO!!

[vanw] anybody here been to my page - www.vanwhitfield.com?

[AYYN] He' right here

[MsToy] Hi newcomers

aalbc> MsToy, Thumper what parts did you find funny?

[MsToy] NO but I'll check it out

[vanw] THANKS!

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[AYYN] I found the restaurant scene funny

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[MissMayazi] I thought the date at republic gardens was hilarious

[Thumper6488] Sorry, Miss ann. The mailbox scene

[Thumper6488] was very funny

aalbc> I felt bad for them at the republic gardens ;-(

[vanw] THANKS! - I'm going to get down there one of these days - i heard it's nice

aalbc> The waiters were too cold!

[Thumper6488] The waiters were cold, and I couldn't stop laughing in spite of myself

[MissMayazi] I felt bad when K was shopping in landover mall

[vanw] that stuff really happens - i put on 50 lbs to help "feel" the character and I learned much

[AYYN] Shellie what do you think

aalbc> Get out of here! Did your take off the fifty also?

[SHELLIE] Type HERE i thought the waiters and everyone else who commented on their weight were saying what everyone else at least thinks

[Thumper6488] Van: you mean you put of 50 lbs as part of research for the book?

[vanw] the way folks treat overweight people is near criminal

[MsToy] YOU can learn a lot when YOU tip the scale a bit

[AYYN] Van were any of the charactewrs modeled from someone you knew

[MissMayazi] I think they did speak what most think

[vanw] i put on the 50 strictly for research - who gains 50 on purpose?

[MsToy] it's more SICK than SAD

[AYYN] Van you mentioned a play who do you see as sonny?

[Thumper6488] Van: I was about to ask you.

[vanw] characters came from the 100 + people I interviewd

[MsToy] how were you treated Van???

[vanw] I'm not sure about sonny - suggections?

[vanw] dropped by my then girl

[vanw] lost one job

[AYYN] Hi Van was sonney supposd to handsome but fat?Yes! Bruce Bruce the comedian

[vanw] went from the nice guy to the fat guy

[vanw] the regular stuff

[SHELLIE] I thought it was interesting how adamant sonny's friends were in regards to him dating a "big girl"

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[MissMayazi] people really feel that way though about big girls

aalbc> Yeah his boys were real hard on him

[MsToy] PEOPLE are SICK NOW look at YOU<SMILE>

[vanw] don't know bruce bruce - is he funny?

[vanw] i learned it the hard way

aalbc> Bruce Bruce is funny and he looks funy too

[AYYN] Funny? the guy will make you laugh your ass off

[vanw] my friends started to see me as just fat and not a real friend

[AYYN] He is on bet alot

[vanw] i can't get ppast the videos to catch bet enuf

aalbc> Van If you did not say you interviewed 100 people I would find it difficult to believe people are that rough on large folks

[SHELLIE] friends and family can sometimes cut you deeper than anyone else about weight

[AYYN] Hey van for kayla I see Natalie Deselle heard of heer?

[vanw] does he come on before or after the video preachers?

[MsToy] I'll have to try and catch your set again on bet

[vanw] No - can she dance?

[AYYN] Don't know

[AYYN] She was in BAPS and how to be a player

[MsToy] Family and friends can be the worst where you feelings are considered

[MissMayazi] oh yeah she would be good

[vanw] i know her - great timing

[AYYN] Van i noticed you staye dpg is that your intend


[vanw] i think family does it 'cause they THINK they're helping

[SHELLIE] van, speaking of kayla, i thought you captured her self-confident nature as well as her sensitivity toward her weight

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[Thumper6488] I liked that Kayla didn't feel the need to lose the weight and loved herself as she was.

[MsToy] Who needs that kinda LOVE or HELP?


[AYYN] Shellie I know how I feel but do you see fat men the same way

aalbc> Good question

[vanw] I stayed PG on purpose yes - i'm proud that there are no curse words in the book

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[MsToy] That's the cool part. When you love yourself

[vanw] Anen

[AYYN] Yeah I liked the pg thing

[vanw] oops - Amen

[vanw] thanks

[AYYN] What was the onus for the "fat" book

[vanw] that was a fight onto itself - the publisher didn't like it

[SHELLIE] i also think freinds and family comment because they believe they CAN and it's supposed to be ok cause YOU know they 'don't mean any

- harm'

[vanw] br gave a voice to brothers

[AYYN] Van sonny always seemed to hav e alot of money how much does a person make in loose balls?

[MsToy] Van keep up the wonderful work. We don't need the negative glorified

[vanw] i thought overweight people were not being heard in african-american lit

[MissMayazi] you really believe can be put in those categories

[vanw] so i took a shot

[AYYN] Well you sure seem to do them no justice

[vanw] miss m - u talking about the 6 types of women?

[MissMayazi] yes

[MissMayazi] sorry I forgot to type women

[vanw] AYYN - no justice for who?

aalbc> AYYN I was thinking the same thing,but Sonny inherited his house so little or no rent

[vanw] 1's just got out of a bad relationship

[AYYN] Well fat jokes are not really putting them on the map you know

[vanw] 2's just want friends

[Thumper6488] Ayyn: putting who on the map?

aalbc> Health was brought up a lot Overwieght people are neccessary unhealthy, are they?

[AYYN] II'm backing out of that one

[vanw] ayyn - i beg to differ - i've spoken to a nearly 50 weight watchers of america groups

[AYYN] Yeah you did give her some props

[MsToy] If you don't fit why fuss?? I didn't take offense

[vanw] i'm the guest speaker for their national convention - they get the book and fully appreciate that someone has told their story

[AYYN] I'm curious , Who do other s see as Chet E and Sonny

[MsToy] CONGRATS!!!!!

aalbc> Amazing!

[Thumper6488] Troy: That really burns me up. All you hear from some of the people concerning fat people is how unhealthy it is, and how concerned

- they are for fat people's help.

[MsToy] why do people get sooooo touchy

[Thumper6488] Well if these people are really concerned, pay a light bill

[AYYN] Ok Thumper lets here it about the diets books

[Thumper6488] or something

[vanw] thanks - being overweight does not necessairly means theres a problem

[Thumper6488] Ok, I'm stepping down from my soap box now.

[vanw] EVERYONE should trip off of their health

[SHELLIE] i agree thumper, but the way van described some of the eating sessions, it didn't sound very healthy

[AYYN] Van why did you chose a white guy for E?

aalbc> Did it!

aalbc> Dig it

[MissMayazi] good point

[MsToy] that is sooooooo true I couldn't lose after my son no matter how HARD I tried

aalbc> Yeah was that cross over appeal

[vanw] we got crazy crossover because of the subject matter the first weight watchers group i did was in maine

[MsToy] that's how some people are and I've seen it like everyone else

aalbc> Would any of you consider yourself over wieght -- did you relate to CWWYS?

[vanw] initially, the only reviews we got were in white pubs until ebony blessed it

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[AYYN] OH! Do you see anyone playing him. I see Michael Rappaport

[vanw] e was white because i wanted to work against chet

[MsToy] good plot

[vanw] mike r would work - he's perfectly understaed for e

[AYYN] The fact that chet s girl was stolen by a white guy now that was drama

[vanw] indeed

[AYYN] I agrre mike is good

[vanw] that's another reason e had to be white - to add to the tension

[vanw] besides the tension from his grape eating sister!

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[AYYN] Van do you have the complete bok in your head before you write?

[vanw] yes

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[AYYN] If so give us a few othe scenarios

[vanw] i just need more time to get them done - the first 10 are pretty plannned out

[MissMayazi] Van keep up the good work Peace everyone

[MsToy] so what's the plot for the new book/

[vanw] by miss m

[AYYN] I mean in this book did it hav eother endings

[vanw] it called - guyz -n- suitz -- will women EVER know what they want?

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[AYYN] Lets talk about "honey"

[vanw] it's a love triangle about two best friends who are after the same woman


[vanw] only they don't know it

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[vanw] so they're always giving advice

[MsToy] JUICY!!! Title????

[vanw] one's a blue collar bus driver

[vanw] the other a white collar stock broker

[cms217] when will it be out

[MsToy] need some ideas???

[vanw] we'll see the difference in the way sistahs treat blue collar GUYZ and white collar SUITZ

[vanw] ALWAYS!!!

[vanw] Out next fall

[SHELLIE] van, keep on writing brother - you definitely have a gift! Bye all

[MsToy] I'll be WAITING!!!!

[vanw] Check out the TV show shellie

[AYYN] Van "honey" was he a paper chaser or did he ever love Kayla?

[regalknight] Hi Van, this is Krista in Opelika, AL. Remember me?

[vanw] he dug her at first

[MsToy] I'll send some book title ideas to you when i check out your site

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[AYYN] So why was he hanging out

[vanw] KRISTA - when can I come back - HOW could I ever forget Bubbas BBQ?

[cms217] what is the name of the tv show I missed that info

[vanw] where else was he gonna go ? Sports Authority wouldn't have worked for him

[regalknight] ha, ha Sorry I'm jumping in here late. So what are we talking about?

[MsToy] When are you coming to Houston?

[vanw] The Show - The Grown UPs - UPN Monday nights this fall

aalbc> Hey yall, we have about 8 minutes before we have to let Van go.....

[MsToy] CONGRATS on that too

[AYYN] Van are you writing for the show?

[vanw] I like houston alot, but they weren't trying to get on the book tour

[vanw] thanks toy

[regalknight] Van, would you be interested in coming to Opelika again?

[regalknight] We would love to be a focus group again.

[regalknight] In fact, I saw that you implemented one of our ideas in your latest book. It was a reference to the DC metro

[AYYN] Troy how long is the chat tonight

[MsToy] I have a book club Sistah Circle Book Club and we'd LOVE to have YOU Maybe we can work something out

aalbc> Scheduled end time 10PM

[vanw] yall are down for the new book - i also want to do scales with ephinay

[AYYN] ok

[Thumper6488] Van: there's been an emergence of AA authors hitting the scene for the past couple of years now. Is it getting any easier getting

- your work published and out to the public?

[MsToy] Scales Cooooool

[vanw] lets make it happen toy - i can bounce that way one weekend when i'm out west

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[AYYN] Good question thumper

[vanw] thumper - i don't think so - it's VERY competitive

aalbc> That goes for all authors does it not?

[vanw] they going after stuff they KNOW will sell

[MsToy] Van you can found us at http://members.xoom.com/sistahcircle/index.htm

[vanw] they aren't many surprises out there

aalbc> What they THINK the Know

[AYYN] Competition? like which books

[regalknight] So what do 'they' think sells???

[vanw] i think so

[vanw] most of what gets to market sells -

[MsToy] Good Luck and BLESSING Good night everyone

[vanw] out toy - hit my site, www.vanwhitfield.com and e-mail me about houston

[regalknight] What I mean is, are there specific topics that the publishers push for black authors?

aalbc> 3.5 minutes yall....

[AYYN] I know this ain';t col but, but is there money in books I mean who gets paid VAN?

[vanw] bad relationships, abusive relationships, that kinda stuff

l sell

[MsToy] Van you can found us at http://members.xoom.com/sistahcircle/index.htm

[vanw] they aren't many surprises out there

aalbc> What they THINK the Know

[AYYN] Competition? like which books

[regalknight] So what do 'they' think sells???

[vanw] i think so

[vanw] most of what gets to market sells -

[MsToy] Good Luck and BLESSING Good night everyone

[vanw] out toy - hit my site, www.vanwhitfield.com and e-mail me about houston

[regalknight] What I mean is, are there specific topics that the publishers push for black authors?

aalbc> 3.5 minutes yall....

[AYYN] I know this ain';t col but, but is there money in books I mean who gets paid VAN?

[vanw] bad relationships, abusive relationships, that kinda stuff

[MsToy] What did you do?

[AYYN] Van are you going to be hands on in the stage productions/ or do you sell the rights then push on

[vanw] the money is good for those who REALLY sell - i've been lucky - scales debuted #1 is emerge, # 2 on BET and has been on the essence list for

- three months (#2 this month)


aalbc> Van any parting thoughts, last words, something you would like to leave us with?

[MsToy] I've been watching your books CLIMB VAN

[vanw] I write the scripts and retain producer and talent rights

[vanw] thanks toy

[cms217] I see a lot of mystery or police storries with black folks in them too

[vanw] keep me in your prayers

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[AYYN] Ok so you ain't trying to be like james brown*smile*

[MsToy] OOooh maybe I should have read it first

[vanw] we always seem to make it in anything to do with crime

[vanw] we always seem to make it in anything to do with crime

[AYYN] Van thanks for the oppurtunity to chat

[regalknight] van, I hope you will seriously consider coming to Opelika again. who should I contact re: this?

[MsToy] SEE YOU in HOUSTON VAN Good night for REAL and thanks for the chat

TO vanw> Van it has indeed been a pleasure!

[Thumper6488] Van: Thanks for coming.

[vanw] last words - THANKS for you support and for giving my work a chance

TO vanw> don;t foget to visit van site http://www.vanwhitfield.com/

[vanw] check out the show and the web site

[AYYN] Our pleasure

[MsToy] YEAH

[vanw] and please

[cms217] God bless and good luck Van

[AYYN] Will do van

[vanw] EAT WELL!


TO vanw> ;-)

[AYYN] Yes sir

[Thumper6488] I do that anyway

[vanw] i knew that thump

TO vanw> Drop me an emial with your digits

[AYYN] Boy that was fast but good

[Thumper6488] laughing out loud

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[AYYN] OK thump weight?

[vanw] thump - thanks for defending shawn and br

[Thumper6488] van: no problem man. I love that book

[vanw] krista - i'll call soon

[Mielyk] Type HEREmielyk hello van I am starting late

[Mielyk] I loved you books they are hilarious

[vanw] thump - i 've read - but trust me A LOT of women LOVE that book (see the reviews on my webpage)

[vanw] thanks mielyk

[AYYN] Van do the bad revierers hit your site

[vanw] of course

[vanw] i bet you wrote a couple of 'em!

[AYYN] ok


[vanw] NOt yet, huh?

[cms217] Good night all

[AYYN] Look at the Thumper board me and carey are your fan

[Mielyk] well I will tery next time

[vanw] lit is great because it's so subjective - some people don't dig what i do and that's cool

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[vanw] i'll look - and please know that i APPRECIATE IT!

[Mielyk] how do I contact you to let you know my opinions

[AYYN] OH i better hurry up and put something good on it

[vanw] have i answered everybody's questions

[AYYN] It's been fun

[vanw] www.vanwhitfield.com - go to the review page

aalbc> Van you have been more than accomodating Thanks again!

[vanw] we post them all

[Thumper6488] Van: Thanks again.

[regalknight] thanks van, next time you're here we'll stop by Bubbas Medicine Shoppe!

[vanw] okay - i tried that private deal did it work?

[vanw] bye krista

[AYYN] Private ?

[Thumper6488] Thanks for coming

aalbc> Thanks again everyone for coming! bye bye!

[vanw] thumper - keep hope alive - (who the heck is hope?)