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The Coffee Will Make You Black On-line Reading Group's Chat Transcript

To Thumpers Corner
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Transcript of On-line Chat Featuring author Chris Chambers

Discussing Sympathy For The Devil

Friday November 9th, 2001

Fri 4:13pm PDT
linn

Hello All

Fri 4:14pm PDT
Thumper

Linn, you may have to refresh your screen if nothing is showing up.

Fri 4:15pm PDT
Linn

Hi Thumper..Had to refesh

Fri 4:16pm PDT
linn

are you still there

Fri 4:17pm PDT
Thumper

Yes, I'm still here

Fri 4:17pm PDT
Thumper

Did you enjoy Sympathy For The Devil?

Fri 4:18pm PDT
linn

This is a very complicated chat room...how do you keep from refreshing so often

Fri 4:19pm PDT
Thumper

It's a bug in the software. I think it has a lot to do with the speed of your computer modem. If you're on a T1 line or on a network it works like a charm. It's only on modems that's not as fast where the refresh has to be used a LOT.

Fri 4:20pm PDT
linn

I guess I must have a slow modem..ha..hah

Fri 4:20pm PDT
Thumper

When I have a chat on Wednesday, and I'm at work, it's a dream. The auto-refresh works like a charm. But now that I'm home. I have to refresh like the devil.

Fri 4:21pm PDT
linn

Let me introduce my..I am Linda Watkins..from Indianapolis by way of Cincinnati..I met your mom throughJohnnie

Fri 4:22pm PDT
Thumper

Are you the young lady that works at the local campus in the city.

Fri 4:23pm PDT
linn

I also just read a few of your reviews. Hopefull, you will have the opportunity to meet me and also review my new novella-Thru the door.

Fri 4:25pm PDT
Thumper

Sure, that'll be no problem. Do you know how to reach me or my mother. Aunt Johnnie will make sure that I get it.

Fri 4:26pm PDT
Thumper

Have you had a chance to look over the site?

Fri 4:28pm PDT
Linn

Loved the site

Fri 4:29pm PDT
Linn

I'll get a copy to Aunt Johnnie...and your mother. I missed going last night...working on rewrite's for my next and first romance novel

Fri 4:30pm PDT
Thumper

It is a nice, isn't it? And we keep growing every month, it seems like.

Fri 4:30pm PDT
linn

Are you located in Indy or traveling

Fri 4:31pm PDT
Linn

I hope to be on your site soon...that's apromise..ha hah

Fri 4:31pm PDT
Thumper

I'm in Indy. Right now I'm trying to chat and cook clam chowder at the same time. *big smile*

Fri 4:32pm PDT
linn

that sounds good right about now. I'm just chatting to regroup my thoughts on where the heck my nove's storyline is taking me.

Fri 4:33pm PDT
Thumper

OK. How long have you been working on your novella?

Fri 4:35pm PDT
Linn

All in all it has been good for me though...I'm on Timbooktu.com and storytale.com in the litline newsletter as the featured poet and next month I'll be the guest columnist for Litline

Fri 4:36pm PDT
linn

The whole process took me a few years. This second one is coming together a lot smoother and quicker.

Fri 4:37pm PDT
Thumper

So you're a poet? Is the novella your first stab at fiction?

Fri 4:38pm PDT
linn

I'm sure you know the craft of writing is tricky, but i plan to master it or bust

Fri 4:39pm PDT
linn

Yes..the novella is my first..hopefully not the last

Fri 4:39pm PDT
Thumper

*big smile* Yes, believe me I know. Where do you plan to publish your novella, or are you planning on publishing a short story collection?

Fri 4:39pm PDT
linn

How's the chowder coming?

Fri 4:41pm PDT
Thumper

I'm almost at the end. *smile* I just put the tomatoes in. And 5 minutes from now, I'll throw in the clams and let it set.

Fri 4:41pm PDT
linn

Actually I'm heading towards self-publishing the first. That way I can get my feet wet, use my contacts and sell 10,000 copies so some publisher will know I can carry my own. But I must say my poetry has been bringing some recognition and also going to the many conferences

Fri 4:43pm PDT
Thumper

That's good. It seems like so many of our new authors don't realize how valuable poetry is to fiction. I'm always excited when I read works by poets writing fiction.

Fri 4:44pm PDT
Thumper

With all of these AA imprints and all, the time seems fertile on getting the attention of major publishers.

Fri 4:45pm PDT
linn

Then it's a good thing? I also included a couple of poems in the novella

Fri 4:48pm PDT
Thumper

I don't see how it could hurt. I personally believe that it's a good thing. But, then I'm rather odd, in the notion that I'm not always a big fan of a u-go-girl book, know what I mean?

Fri 4:49pm PDT
Thumper

Poetry adds depth and dimension to a story or character if it's done by the right writer.

Fri 4:49pm PDT
linn

Do I ever..if I read one more I think I might be sick

Fri 4:50pm PDT
Thumper

Earlier this year I read a fascinating book titled Gabriel's Story that merge the two, poetry and fiction together perfectly.

Fri 4:50pm PDT
linn

I chose to write about being a very light individual in a very black and white world with a twist

Fri 4:52pm PDT
Thumper

Cool.

Fri 4:52pm PDT
linn

I have that on my shelve, but have not read it yet. Perhaps I should give it a look see

Fri 4:52pm PDT
Thumper

Isn't it strange that we, as people living in the 21st century, AA especially, are still color struck.

Fri 4:53pm PDT
linn

Earlier you sadi you have a chat on Weds. What time

Fri 4:53pm PDT
Thumper

What?? You haven't read Gabriel's Story yet? I loved that book!!

Fri 4:54pm PDT
linn

I find it very disturbing, yet I know it still exists and proably always will

Fri 4:54pm PDT
Thumper

This past Wednesday, I had a chat with Solomon Jones, the author of Pipe Dreams, another excellent book. I'm not here every Wednesday though, just one Wednesday out of the month. Every day I'm on the discussion board.

Fri 4:56pm PDT
Thumper

I'm here today, because I have a chat schedule with Christopher Chambers, the author of Sympathy For The Devil at 8 PMEST. I logged on early because I'm not sure what part ofthe country he's in.

Fri 4:56pm PDT
linn

I will start reading it tonight..now that you have peeked my curiousity. I must commend you though on Brian Eggleston's Whippin..etc..I felt exactly as you did...confused and let downt

Fri 4:58pm PDT
linn

let me know when I need to go back to work..that way you can enjoy your chat without interference

Fri 4:58pm PDT
Thumper

I hated giving Brian that kind of review though, but I had to be honest.

Fri 4:59pm PDT
Thumper

You can stick around. The Friday chats are like an open interview.

Fri 4:59pm PDT
linn

I'm glad you were honest..at least I know I can expect that from you. Perhaps I will let you do a sneak review so I can hide while there's time and save face..(smile)

Fri 5:01pm PDT
Thumper

Ah now, I'm sure that's not the case. *smile* As you can probably tell there's plenty of people that will disagree with me. I'm sure you won't have to run and hide anywhere.

Fri 5:02pm PDT
linn

Well, from what I've heard your word is pretty well received

Fri 5:03pm PDT
linn

Have you also written something yourself that i might read

Fri 5:04pm PDT
Thumper

Really? I hope so. I keep myself so isolated that I'm not always sure how I'm received. I know Rosalyn McMillan is still writing and making money despite my opinion. *big evil smile* I hope I do some folks some good. *smile*

Fri 5:05pm PDT
linn

I've heard so much about you from everyone, but they never mentioned your work to me

Fri 5:06pm PDT
Thumper

I don't have the discipline. My uncle wanted me to become his protege, but at that time I thought he was just being nice. Who knows, maybe one day.

Fri 5:07pm PDT
linn

Rosalyn McMillian is still going and as you said..some people will differ depending on their taste...I hope I can be so lucky

Fri 5:09pm PDT
Thumper

I'm keeping my fingers crossed. We need more authors that are willing to go beneath the surface and tell our story and yet possess a way with words to evoke the passion and emotions of the characters and their stories.

Fri 5:09pm PDT
linn

Well, at any rate..you could proably write something great with all the insight you have through reading

Fri 5:10pm PDT
linn

I wish my modem could keep up..for it to be new and supposedly fast..it's giving me the blues..I feel as if I'm answering you ten minutes later...smile

Fri 5:11pm PDT
linn

My biggest concern is did I dig deep enough

Fri 5:11pm PDT
Thumper

I'm afraid that I would be another Ralph Ellison working on a book for over 20 years without finishing it. with my luck I won't have a Invisible Man under my belt.

Fri 5:13pm PDT
linn

I would have you look at my sight but my address is so long from aol that it's easier for me to email you with a hyperlink. What's your email address

Fri 5:13pm PDT
Thumper

My email address is thumper@aalbc.com.

Fri 5:14pm PDT
linn

I'm sure there's a novel under your belt that needs to be told

Fri 5:15pm PDT
Thumper

Oh there is. I just have to figure out a way that I won't get sued for slander. *smile*

Fri 5:16pm PDT
linn

Hope you enjoy my site. I think I did pretty good for a beginner...wish I knew how to make it better, but who has the time...smile

Fri 5:16pm PDT
Thumper

It would be my luck that although the people that I would base my characters on don't necessarily read books, they would read mine and see themselves. *smile*

Fri 5:17pm PDT
linn

That must be some storyline you're holding up

Fri 5:17pm PDT
ChrisC

Chris Chambers is on--sick as a dawg but on

Fri 5:17pm PDT
Thumper

I know that's right. Everybody should have a Troy Johnson, the site webmaster and founder. he definitely makes my life easier.

Fri 5:18pm PDT
linn

Hard to disguise interesting characters

Fri 5:18pm PDT
ChrisC

Thumper help me out here

Fri 5:18pm PDT
linn

Hi Chris

Fri 5:18pm PDT
Thumper

Hello Chris, sick as a dog. *LOL* I promise I won't keep you long. I'm fighting a cold myself.

Fri 5:19pm PDT
ChrisC

Will this work? I don't think I signed on properly.

Fri 5:19pm PDT
Thumper

Chris, you have to refresh to see the new messages on the screen.

Fri 5:22pm PDT
linn

Chris..are you there

Fri 5:23pm PDT
Thumper

I don't think that he's gotten the hang of the Refresh yet. He has the flu, so he's not feeling well.

Fri 5:23pm PDT
linn

Thumper

Fri 5:23pm PDT
Thumper

Hello Linn, I'm here.

Fri 5:24pm PDT
Linn

Sorry to hear you're not feeling well Chris

Fri 5:24pm PDT
ChrisChambers

Okay I'm here.

Fri 5:24pm PDT
Thumper

Chris, are you sure? We can postpone this. I'm cool with it.

Fri 5:25pm PDT
ChrisChambers

No, I'm cool. Typing on a laptop as I sip Theraflu. What's this about the refresh button?

Fri 5:26pm PDT
linn

Be right back

Fri 5:27pm PDT
Thumper

The software has a bug, where if your modem and internet connection is slow, it doesn't automatically refresh. So we have to refresh manually by clicking the right mouse button and selecting the refresh option. But you have to do it all of the time.

Fri 5:28pm PDT
ChrisChambers

I see. Well so far I see the new messages without having to do that.

Fri 5:28pm PDT
Thumper

So, Chris, besides the flu, how's the book tour and all that other good stuff going? Is Sympathy For The Devil getting good reviews?

Fri 5:29pm PDT
Thumper

I'm glad yousee the new messages. I'm also jealous. 8big smile*

Fri 5:29pm PDT
ChrisChambers

Very good. Black Issues Book Review did a great one last month; I have ones coming up in the Washing ton Post and USA Today.

Fri 5:30pm PDT
Thumper

How did you come to write Sympathy For The Devil? how did Angela Bivens come into your life?

Fri 5:30pm PDT
ChrisChambers

Touring is up and down. Since 9/11 sales of everything have suffered. But I try to make my dates. I also try to make my readings pertinent.

Fri 5:31pm PDT
ChrisChambers

I'll answer the next question when everything catches up...

Fri 5:32pm PDT
Thumper

It's up. It's me that has to slow down. I wasn't typing this fast when i was in college.

Fri 5:32pm PDT
ChrisChambers

I have been writing adventure, detective, gothic and more literary short stories since I was kid. I've always liked the thriller genre because you can pour so much into it. I wanted to blaze a trail for African American writers as well...

Fri 5:33pm PDT
ChrisChambers

...we've always very good mystery and detective writers, pre-Mosely (who owes his success to Bill Clinton, period).

Fri 5:34pm PDT
ChrisChambers

...but in thrillers, not a one, as you compare with Patterson, Grisham, Crais, Sullivan, Deaver, Tom Harris, Cornwell, et al.

Fri 5:36pm PDT
Thumper

Well, there's a couple, but you're right none that are as popular. But why Angela bivens and not a male character.

Fri 5:37pm PDT
ChrisChambers

Because women make better dramatic characters. More complex. Conflict tugs and pulls...

Fri 5:38pm PDT
ChrisChambers

...whereas to make a male character more interesting, you pretty much have to weight him with all kinds of quirks and inner demons.

Fri 5:40pm PDT
ChrisChambers

And as for your last query about there being other thriller writers, yes there's Eric Fullilove, Chris Benson, etc. But mostly we are talking abou the weight of writers being more mystery, and mystery-gothic, a la Grace Edwards.

Fri 5:40pm PDT
Thumper

Lucas Beauchamp! How did you come to use Lucas Beauchamp? You know I had to go and read Go Down Moses. I take it that your a fan of Faulkner?

Fri 5:40pm PDT
linn

Chris..are you saying women are complex in thrilling situations or over all in writing

Fri 5:41pm PDT
ChrisChambers

Women are complex period. And that's a good thing. Many facets. Many competing priorities. As for Faulkner, no. I hate Faulkner. But I wanted to expose a lot of literary sources in my work. Show another dimension to black folks, black writers, black characters...

Fri 5:42pm PDT
ChrisChambers

...very little reference to lit. in anything E. Lynn or Omar or Eric Dickey or any of the other "relationship" or neo-soap opera novels.

Fri 5:44pm PDT
Thumper

But how is showing another dimension of black folks, black writers, black characters using Faulkner who's straight up white and have been criticized for being the typical white liberal "we appreciate the effort but you're still missing the boat" type of liberal?.

Fri 5:46pm PDT
ChrisChambers

That a character in a novel would use him, quote him, understand him. You really don;t see that a lot, especially in thrillers. Like the Mayan myths, etc. You have to think out of the box to set yourself apart.

Fri 5:46pm PDT
ChrisChambers

Are we the only three in the chat room? LOL

Fri 5:47pm PDT
linn

When I can stay in..I'm here

Fri 5:48pm PDT
Thumper

This is true if you're shooting for an audience that it is being assumed would know Lucas Beauchamp or would have read Go Down Moses or Intruder of the Dust. What about the folks that haven't read or even heard of Beauchamp, would they have missed the point that you're trying to make?

Fri 5:48pm PDT
Thumper

Chris, I can't tell.

Fri 5:49pm PDT
linn

So Chris..you find it relevant and stimulating to the writing to include more lit references or quotes

Fri 5:50pm PDT
linn

What Thumper relays is very true with the average reader..is this advisable for mainstream

Fri 5:50pm PDT
ChrisChambers

No. I provide enough context and pertinence. It's analogous to the way i've tried to make Washington DC a character in the novel. I don;t name drop or use it as a mere backdrop. You weave it into the story. Create a mood. Same thing with the Mayan imagery, with the literary references. It's a part of a character or characters. that way, even people who've never heard of Faulkner, for example, or never been to DC can get the flavor.

Fri 5:51pm PDT
ChrisChambers

I meant "Yes" in the first word, but jumped the gun on the question. The average reader will "get" the references. Plus I don't really overuse literary stuff. LOL

Fri 5:51pm PDT
linn

point well taken

Fri 5:51pm PDT
Thumper

Chris, do you plan to expose more of Angela's relationship with her mother? Are you planning on making Angela into a series or is this the first and last outing for Angela?

Fri 5:52pm PDT
ChrisChambers

Well, like anything in entertainment, if something's successful, they will demand more. I have a two book deal, so there'll be a sequel...

Fri 5:53pm PDT
ChrisChambers

...as for her parents, that's tough to say. They re-appear in the sequel, but not as characters about whom you see why she is the way she is. I think the reader will see that in the first novel.

Fri 5:54pm PDT
ChrisChambers

Plus, that relationship isn't central to the story(ies).

Fri 5:55pm PDT
Thumper

I'll be surprised if her parents are still speaking to her because of how Sympathy For The Devil concluded. Do you plan on Angela finding the love of her life or do you like it better if her life remains a mess?

Fri 5:56pm PDT
ChrisChambers

Well, without giving too much away, I'd ay she needs to recover from post traumatic shock and resolve her "problem". LOL

Fri 5:57pm PDT
ChrisChambers

Though she does find herself "with" Prof. Markham. But he's just a band-aid. She's using him. You don;t get over Trey and Pluto that easily

Fri 5:58pm PDT
ChrisChambers

LOL

Fri 5:58pm PDT
Thumper

Since you don't like Faulkner, yet Lucas Beauchamp was used. Is it safe to assume that I won't see you at the next Rolling Stones concert? *smile*

Fri 5:59pm PDT
ChrisChambers

No, I do like the Stones. Not their current dirty ol' grandfather form. Their songs, especially Sympathy, were very good allegories.

Fri 6:01pm PDT
Thumper

Hold up. You mean to tell me, you like the Stones, but you dog my guy Faulkner?? I don't believe this. *LOL*

Fri 6:03pm PDT
ChrisChambers

LOL. He was ok. A little long-winded. A Classic as Trey would say. I'll give him much props. But I just don't like him. I like his contemporaies, Zora and F. Scott and Ernie H. But hey, this chat's about me, not them! LOL

Fri 6:04pm PDT
ChrisChambers

Actually, my medicine's starting to weight my eyelids. We can continue in future? Doesn't look like there are many folks online now.

Fri 6:05pm PDT
Thumper

*LOL* Look, you have a chat because a Faulkner devotee ALLOWED you to have one. Let's get it straight. *LOL* *LOL*How much research went into the Mayan aspect of your novel? I found it fascinating.

Fri 6:06pm PDT
Thumper

Yes, we can continue. You get your rest. It was good of you to stop by anyway. *big smile*

Fri 6:06pm PDT
ChrisChambers

A lot. But much is made-up/embellished. You take the basic myths and bend the stuff to your story. Done all the time. Even in the Bible. It's said the Old testment ripped off Noah's Flood from the Assyrians, Gilgamesh.

Fri 6:07pm PDT
ChrisChambers

And with that controversial statement, I'l say good night all. Hope you'll urge folks to buy the novel in your area.

Fri 6:08pm PDT
Thumper

*big smile* Good night, Chris.

Fri 6:08pm PDT
ChrisChambers

Later!

Fri 6:08pm PDT
ChrisChambers

[has very little to add...]
[has logged off the chat room]














 

 

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