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

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The Coffee Will Make You Black
Reading Group's On-line Chat Transcript 
for Our September
2001 Selection

Transcript of On-line Chat Featuring author
Delores Thornton

Discussing Babe

 

Chat Held 
Wednesday, October 3rd 2001

Check out the current reading list

sponsored by http://aalbc.com

 

Wed 5:49pm PDT
Thumper

Hello Miss Delores, how are you doing this evening?

Wed 5:57pm PDT
delores (Delores Thornton)

Hi Thumper, I'm good

Wed 5:57pm PDT
delores

Hi Thumper, I'm good

Wed 5:58pm PDT
Thumper

You didn't have no trouble getting into the room did you?

Wed 5:58pm PDT
delores

Hey Thumper, I don't know why it's not working for me.

Wed 5:59pm PDT
delores

Nope, I was wandering around wasting time!

Wed 5:59pm PDT
Thumper

I can't tell you why it's working for me. I'm pleasantly surprised to say the least.

Wed 5:59pm PDT
delores

I was supposed to be at the Cafe' Li' Ture tonight.

Wed 6:00pm PDT
Thumper

I know! *LOL*

Wed 6:00pm PDT
Thumper

Mama made sure to tell me. *smile*

Wed 6:00pm PDT
delores

But I begged Ms. you know who to let me chat. LOL

Wed 6:00pm PDT
Thumper

LOL

Wed 6:01pm PDT
Thumper

Miss Delores, don't be disappointed if no one show ups. We usually have a couple of thousand hit the transcript the day after the chats. So everything is fine.

Wed 6:01pm PDT
delores

Why are all these names in the right hand side?

Wed 6:02pm PDT
Thumper

The names on the right are people who have logged on to the chat room in the past couple of days.

Wed 6:02pm PDT
delores

That's fine with me. I just love the exposure of being on the AALBC.

Wed 6:03pm PDT
Thumper

I loved Babe! What made you decide to write about Babe and her other group therapy members?

Wed 6:03pm PDT
delores

Babe is my mother's story, and she insisted that I write it.

Wed 6:04pm PDT
Thumper

Really!! I should have known that there was some truth in it. So the recipes, you know I noticed them, are the recipes your mother's as well?

Wed 6:04pm PDT
delores

The other members in therapy were just added to give spice to the novel. I wanted to address the issue of Black folks and therary.

Wed 6:06pm PDT
delores

Yeah, the recipes are Mom's. I especially love the bread pudding. I've had people tell me they've made it. And they can't believe how delicious it is!

Wed 6:06pm PDT
delores

Did you try any of the recipes?

Wed 6:07pm PDT
Thumper

No, I haven't. But the bread pudding have been working my nerves since I read the book.

Wed 6:07pm PDT
Thumper

I have plans on making it this weekend.

Wed 6:07pm PDT
Thumper

I know that a lot of black folks have the same opinion of therapy as Babe's friend Octavia.

Wed 6:08pm PDT
Thumper

And I love Octavia, is she real too! Because I GOT to meet 'em?

Wed 6:08pm PDT
delores

I really felt my mother's pain as I wrote Babe. And she revealed things that neither me, nor my siblings were aware of. Things like her being in the cotton fields while her parents picked cotton. And all the rich history of our people and our nation.

Wed 6:10pm PDT
Thumper

I love the fact that all of your novels seem to have an eye on the past. Is that intentional or do the stories happen to unfold that way?

Wed 6:10pm PDT
delores

Oh, our people hate therapy. That's one of the reasons I addressed that topic. And yes, Octavia was a special character. But she was total fiction.

Wed 6:11pm PDT
delores

Black people tend to hold their emotions in, and I'm wondering if that's the best avenue for them. I know I try to do a balancing act. And I'm hypertensive, like a lot of blacks.

Wed 6:12pm PDT
Thumper

I'm with you on that. I think that there's something to that. My grandmother had told me once that black folks couldn't AFFORD to get crazy.

Wed 6:13pm PDT
delores

I love historical fiction, and I feel that books should entertain as well as educate. And readers always tell me they learned something about our past, from my books. And I'm extremely proud of that!

Wed 6:15pm PDT
Thumper

In many ways Babe was like a walk down my childhood memory lane. All of the sites you mention, the Three Sisters stores, The Walker building. Most of those buildings are gone now. It took me back to Indianapolis of old.

Wed 6:15pm PDT
delores

Oh, yes, being crazy is scary for us. And we don't trust doctors to play with our minds. And so we suffer. But not only with the sciences of the mind. We just started seeking counseling for marital problems and other issues. We didn't have control in our lives, so now we demand it.

Wed 6:16pm PDT
delores

I think it's a carryover from slavery.

Wed 6:16pm PDT
Thumper

The character of Vivian did a lot of travelling and allowed us to have a small peek into the life of an AA writer. Was any of this autobiographical?

Wed 6:17pm PDT
Thumper

The names of the bookstores and all?

Wed 6:17pm PDT
delores

I wanted to create that feeling for readers in this area. But I also wanted to paint a vivid picture for people that never even knew that there was such a place as Indy.

Wed 6:19pm PDT
delores

Vivian's travels closely resembled my own. As you know I've traveled this country twice promoting my books. So Vivian was a natural character for me. I didn't have to do any fleshing out to get her ready, so to speak.

Wed 6:20pm PDT
delores

And Dorian was easy for me to relate to as well. He was the postal worker, dealing with union matters.

Wed 6:21pm PDT
Thumper

No, that was an interesting storyline as well as Dr. Walker and his brother John. Will any of these subplots carry over into your next novel?

Wed 6:22pm PDT
delores

I tried to include a little bit about all the people in Babe's therapy sessions. But I had to be quite careful, and not have anyone overshadow her and her story.

Wed 6:22pm PDT
Thumper

I meant Now -typo

Wed 6:23pm PDT
delores

My next novel, Anybody Seen Junebug, will include some of the subplots from Babe. As a matter of fact, Junebug is introduced in Babe.

Wed 6:24pm PDT
delores

Speaking of Dr. Walker and his brother John, that was some wonderful research.

Wed 6:25pm PDT
Thumper

I remember that. By the end of reading Babe, I said to myself, who in the hell is Junebug. By the time I read that your next novel was going to be about Junebug, I got a little excited and anxious about reading the next novel.

Wed 6:26pm PDT
delores

I went to the fire station and interviewed the firemen. They are some of the nicest people, and I came away talking the fireman talk. LOL.

Wed 6:27pm PDT
delores

Oh, you will love Junebug!

Wed 6:27pm PDT
delores

It you liked Ida Mae, and Babe, you're in for a treat with, Anybody Seen Junebug?

Wed 6:28pm PDT
Thumper

Miss Delores, one of the things that I love about your books is the size. Do you intentionally set out to write small novels? Your novels are to the point, extremely interesting, just good storytelling without being too long and wordy. I like that.

Wed 6:30pm PDT
delores

I'm just hoping that I'll be able to complete Junebug by my expected date of June 2002. I'm working on another work that is in fact a compilation.

Wed 6:32pm PDT
delores

I personally don't like a lot of filler material. I can tell when the author had nothing of value to add, but went for words to make the book big!

Wed 6:32pm PDT
delores

I hate to muddle through long periods of nothingness. And I try to keep the readers' interest.

Wed 6:34pm PDT
delores

But...major editors and publishers demand it, so I'll probably have to change my attitude. But for now, while I'm self-publishing, I can have them my way!

Wed 6:37pm PDT
Thumper

Sorry, Miss Delores, computer problems.

Wed 6:38pm PDT
Thumper

Tell us more about your compilation. Will it feature Babe, Junebug and a future book?

Wed 6:39pm PDT
Thumper

Can you give us a little hint as to what Junebug is about?

Wed 6:40pm PDT
delores

Sorry, I got booted

Wed 6:41pm PDT
Thumper

I did too!

Wed 6:43pm PDT
Thumper

[has very little to add...]

Wed 6:44pm PDT
Thumper

[has very little to add...]

Wed 6:45pm PDT
delores

The compilation that I'm working on is a totally different project

Wed 6:46pm PDT
delores

It's called, "Let's Stay Together."

Wed 6:47pm PDT
delores

And it's a collaborative effort of my organization, African American Authors Helping Authors, AA-AHA.

Wed 6:48pm PDT
Thumper

Really! That sounds promising? Will the book feature fiction, short stories or non-fiction works?

Wed 6:49pm PDT
Thumper

I apologize for the yellow. I thought I had hit the purple color. *smile*

Wed 6:50pm PDT
delores

Let's Stay Together, is the story of 20 AA women who meet online and start a networking group. Well, they have cat fights, chat fights, hate mail, email, snail mail, and other debates. But now they're planning their Founders' Day Celebration. But will they embrace each other or mace each other?

Wed 6:51pm PDT
delores

It's a fiction story, that will contain, very useful information. We'll have chapters on press releases, planning bookfairs, and producing an authors' catalog. But the drama, laced with comedy will prevail.

Wed 6:52pm PDT
Thumper

*LOL* Oh, goodness! That sounds wonderful. Miss Delores, it looks as if our time is about up. *frown* We'll have to do this again real soon. Do you have any parting words for the group?

Wed 6:53pm PDT
delores

We're going to launch this book in May at the Langston Hughes Library and Cultural Center, in Queens, NY.

Wed 6:54pm PDT
delores

I'd like to thank you for allowing me this opportunity.

Wed 6:55pm PDT
delores

And I'd like for everyone to purchase Ida Mae and Babe wherever books are sold!

Wed 6:55pm PDT
Thumper

Thanks for coming Miss Delores.

Wed 6:56pm PDT
Thumper

I'm going to look forward to the Junebug book in February, 2002. And if somebody by the name or Carey request any copies, turn him down. He don't deserve them.

Wed 6:57pm PDT
Thumper

Good Night.

Wed 6:59pm PDT
delores

Good Night.