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 October
2001 Selection

Click to buy online nowTranscript of On-line Chat Featuring author Solomon Jones

Discussing Pipe Dreams

Chat Held 
Wednesday November 7th, 2001

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Wed 6:10pm PDT
Thumper

Yes, at 9 PM. Solomon Jones was here bit he was a bit early.

Wed 6:10pm PDT
Thumper

Levette: I'm doing fine.

Wed 6:11pm PDT
Gabriela

Oh! I guess I missed it.

Wed 6:12pm PDT
Thumper

Gabriela: No, you didn't miss it. He was here way before I showed up. You're on time.

Wed 6:12pm PDT
Thumper

Levette: Did you enjoy Pipe Dreams?

Wed 6:13pm PDT
Levette

Yes, very much so.

Wed 6:13pm PDT
Gabriela

Oh! Okay. So how did you like Pipe Dreams people

Wed 6:13pm PDT
Thumper

I loved it!

Wed 6:14pm PDT
Thumper

I don't know of anyone that doesn't know someone that's been on drugs, so this hit a little close to home for me.

Wed 6:16pm PDT
Gabriela

I'm not even going to beat around the bush. I haven't read it as of yet, but I wanted to know how everyone felt about the novel. I've heard many great things about this book. Do you think that one would be able to relate to it even if their lives or upbringing was extremely different rom the character in the novel?

Wed 6:17pm PDT
Levette

At first I was a little reserved about reading the book because of the crack thing, but the book goes to show you that anyone can get hooked on drugs.

Wed 6:17pm PDT
Thumper

Gabriela, most definitely. It's gritty, all-in-your-face realism that I like.

Wed 6:17pm PDT
Gabriela

The reason I'm asking is because I find myself getting novels that "I think" I'll be able to relate to. If, for some reason, I feel I can't relate to the character then I feel that I will not understand their point of view.

Wed 6:19pm PDT
Thumper

Gabriela, I think you'll be able to relate to it. Sure there's people doin crack in it, but it's still a story about four individuals that find themselves on the run for a crime none committed.

Wed 6:20pm PDT
Thumper

Levette: What did you think of Black, Clarisse, Leroy, and Pookie?

Wed 6:21pm PDT
Thumper

At the end, Pookie really pissed me off.

Wed 6:21pm PDT
Gabriela

And why's that?

Wed 6:23pm PDT
Thumper

Gabriela, I don't want to spoil it for you, but she was weak and decided to break.

Wed 6:23pm PDT
Levette

I really liked Black, I thought that he was very intelligent and just got caught up in a bad situation, I did not really like Leroy at first but he grew on me

Wed 6:24pm PDT
solomon

What's up everybody? Sorry I'm late. Got a new baby in the house adn things are kind of hectic.

Wed 6:24pm PDT
Levette

I started to relate to Pookie after she reveals how she got caught up in drugs

Wed 6:24pm PDT
Thumper

For a while there I got frustrated because it seemed like the whole group couldn't by a break if they wanted to. The police was everywhere, people were getting killed that could've proved their innoncence. It's was getting ticked.

Wed 6:25pm PDT
Thumper

Hello Solomon. How are you doing? Congratulations!! Are you doing the midnight feeding thang yet? *smile*

Wed 6:26pm PDT
solomon

Levette. I'm glad you started to relate to Pookie after her story was told. That's why I was careful to tell their stories in such a way as to paint a complete picture of them. I'm good Thumper. How are you?

Wed 6:27pm PDT
solomon

I am waking up in the middle of the night. But my wife is doing the feeding. It's a breast feeding thing ...

Wed 6:27pm PDT
Thumper

Solomon: I'm doing fine. I will admit that by the middle of the book, I was pissed at you big time.

Wed 6:27pm PDT
solomon

Why were you pissed at me?

Wed 6:27pm PDT
Levette

Hello Solomon, Congratulations, and thanks for a great read

Wed 6:28pm PDT
solomon

Levette, thanks for reading. You are the reason I do what I do.

Wed 6:28pm PDT
Gabriela

Okay! I'm getting jealous here. All this discussion going on without me. "SMILE" I'm definitely going to get Pipe Dreams. I'm getting off now. I don't want anyone spoiling the ending for me. By the way, congradulation solomon. Good night everyone.

Wed 6:29pm PDT
Thumper

Solomon: Ah..why is your wife the only one doing the breast feeding thing? Shoot, you got two don't cha? *big smile*

Wed 6:29pm PDT
solomon

Gabriela. Please don't go before I get a chance to say hello. How are you?

Wed 6:29pm PDT
Thumper

Gabriela: good night.

Wed 6:30pm PDT
solomon

It's funny you should say that Thumper. I was holding my daughter the other day and she was hungry. And she turned to me and tried to eat. I told her I was sorry, but Daddy can't do that.

Wed 6:30pm PDT
Gabriela

I'm fine. I just wanted to know what eveyone thought of Pipe Dreams. I guess they loved it. So I'll be reading it next. Oh! Good night Thumper.

Wed 6:30pm PDT
Thumper

Solomon: OK, now, you got me with the killing of the reporters. Why bump 'em off?

Wed 6:31pm PDT
Levette

Bye, Gabriela

Wed 6:31pm PDT
solomon

Good. Thank you for taking the time to read the book. Is there anything you want to know about me before you go? Any questions you want to ask that won't ruin the plot?

Wed 6:32pm PDT
Melisha

hello

Wed 6:32pm PDT
Thumper

Melisha: Is that YOUU! How are you doing?

Wed 6:32pm PDT
Levette

Solomon, I was really losing hope by the end of the book, hello Melisha

Wed 6:33pm PDT
Gabriela

Yes! there is. In order to write a novel such as Pipe Dreams, does one have to have experience a lifestyle such as the characters or does this all come from a great imagination. Do you interview people to get a great plot. I mean, how does this work. I have a wild imagination, but I can't seem to write a page worth of a story.

Wed 6:33pm PDT
Melisha

yes tis me thump

Wed 6:33pm PDT
solomon

Thumper, I think that by the time I got to that part of the book, the plot was really molding itself. It felt like the right thing for that particular character to do at that point. And the removal of the reporters was a vehicle by which I was able to illustrate the sheer evil of the officers. It was also a way to add excitement to the plot.

Wed 6:36pm PDT
solomon

Gabriela, one of the things that writers are constantly told is, write what you know. Pipe Dream is based on my expereinces. I am a former addict, adn I am a former police dispatcher. At the time I was writing this book, I was a freelance reporter. Those three elements of my expereince came together to form the backbone of this story, which eventually grew into a novel. But it's not necessary to have exepreince in order to write about something. You may conduct interviews or do research. By doing it that way, you risk losing some of the book's authenticity.

Wed 6:37pm PDT
Melisha

Why is this chat room messing up?

Wed 6:37pm PDT
solomon

Hi Melisha. Have you read Pipe Dream? I hear it's pretty good.

Wed 6:37pm PDT
Thumper

LOL

Wed 6:38pm PDT
solomon

So Thumper. I know I'm taking a big risk here, but what did you think of the book overall?

Wed 6:39pm PDT
Melisha

thump when yall get thru I need to talk to u aight

Wed 6:40pm PDT
solomon

Levette. I'm glad that you were pulling for the characters and feeling their plight. Otherwise, there would have been no need to hope.

Wed 6:40pm PDT
Thumper

I loved it! Trust me. Now the ending was a little too happy for me. But after I was so into the story and the characters, that I was kinda glad for 'em. You wrote an excellent book. I only pick excellent books, didn't they tell you? *big smile*

Wed 6:41pm PDT
Thumper

Melisha; sure hit me at my email address: thumper6488@hotmail.com

Wed 6:41pm PDT
Thumper

How did it feel for you to write a story that was so close to your life?

Wed 6:42pm PDT
solomon

That's what's up. And since you loved it, I'll let you in on a secret. The original ending of the book (it went through five drafts before it was sold)was not happy. It was a little more real. And you know what happens to brothers in that situation for real. But the ending that I finally arrived at allowed me to resolve the situation with Clarisse and Black, adn to give the reader a more satisfying conclusion.

Wed 6:44pm PDT
Gabriela

Mmm. Interesting. Well, I'm going to get Pipe Dreams and see what I can learn and understand from it. As I mentioned earlier on, I tend to get novels that I feel I can relate to. When I heard of Pipe Dreams, I wanted to get it so bad, but I wasn't sure if I'll be able to relate to it and thus, understand the characters. However, this story line is close to your life history, and that of many others. I think it would be educational and exciting to read something a little different this time.

Wed 6:44pm PDT
solomon

As far as writing a book that was close to my life, it was fun, and painful, and nostalgic, and cathartic. It allowed me to address a lot of issues that I needed to deal with, adn do it in a positive way. Some of the scenes are very gritty, adn very true to life. They are difficult to go back and read, but they are real. I think that's what makes the book strong.

Wed 6:47pm PDT
solomon

Gabriela. There is something in this book for every reader--especially for African American readers. I like to tell people that it is part-thriller, part mystery, with a little political intrigue. It's very suspenseful, adn that's what keeps you turning the page. But along the way, you learn about the characters, their backgrounds, their motivations, adn what put them in the position they're in. And you're right, it's very different from most of the books that are on the market right now.

Wed 6:47pm PDT
Thumper

I really appreciated the fact that you made the characters 3-D and not play on the general stereotypes. Pookie and Clarisse stories mirrored those of a couple of cousins. I knew that it was real. That police corruption thang, I don't think anyone is surprised by that.

Wed 6:49pm PDT
Thumper

Did you think that there would be a market for a book like Pipe Dreams?

Wed 6:49pm PDT
Melisha

Thump is there a chat room we can go to because I need for us to talk back and forth

Wed 6:50pm PDT
solomon

You know what Thumper? I'm glad that you saw the characters as three dimensional. It really wasn't hard to do that. It was just a matter of looking at them as real people, and drawing on the characteristics that I saw in a lot of sisters adn brothers out there. As far as the police corruption thing, I still think the mainstream is surprised by the fact that the police are sometimes corrupt.

Wed 6:50pm PDT
Thumper

Melisha: stick around

Wed 6:51pm PDT
Gabriela

Okay guess! Getting off now. It was nice talking with you Solomon. Everyone, have a pleasent evening. I'll tell you all how I liked Pipe Dreams on the discussion Board. "Smuches"

Wed 6:52pm PDT
Thumper

Good night Gabriela.

Wed 6:52pm PDT
solomon

I didn't know if there would be a market for Pipe Dream. But publishers didn't think there would be a market for it. They weren't willing to risk straying form the four girlfriends formula, adn intially, did not want to take a chance on my book. I got over 50 rejections before I was able to get it to Random House.

Wed 6:52pm PDT
solomon

See ya Gabriela. Nice chatting with you.

Wed 6:52pm PDT
Gabriela

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

Wed 6:53pm PDT
Melisha

Thump its kinda private and I don't want it to post on the chat archives,r u a member of talkcity.com?

Wed 6:54pm PDT
Thumper

Solomon: I believe that. Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come now that your book, and books like Dark and The Dying Ground are getting some notice and finding an audience.

Wed 6:54pm PDT
Thumper

Melsiha; no.

Wed 6:55pm PDT
Thumper

We have a few minutes left in the hour. Solomon, do you have any last remarks or comments?

Wed 6:55pm PDT
solomon

I hope so. My next novel, The Bridge, delves into the same type of subject matter. It's about a detective going back to the housing project where he grew up to investigate the murder of a little girl. Once there, he not only has to solve the murder. He also has to solve himself.

Wed 6:56pm PDT
solomon

I think Melisha really, really wants to talk to you ...

Wed 6:57pm PDT
Levette

I am looking forward to your next book and hope that you will continue to be blessed. Goodnight all.

Wed 6:57pm PDT
Thumper

Goodnight Levette, thanks for coming.

Wed 6:57pm PDT
solomon

But in any case, I just want to thank you adn the readers for the support and interest in my work. It really means a lot to me to have people who are genuinely interested in and entertained by my work.

Wed 6:57pm PDT
solomon

Goodnight Levette. It was a pleasure.

Wed 6:58pm PDT
Levette

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

Wed 6:58pm PDT
Thumper

Solomon: No problem. Thanks for an excellent book.

Wed 6:58pm PDT
solomon

So Thumper, when is YOUR book coming out. I know you've got one in you.

Wed 6:58pm PDT
Thumper

LOL yeah, right. I don't have the discipline.

Wed 6:59pm PDT
solomon

You've already been in Publisher's Weekly. You're halfway there.

Wed 7:00pm PDT
Thumper

You've done your research, huh/ *smile* When will your next novel be published?.

Wed 7:01pm PDT
solomon

I should be out by this time next year. And yes, I've done my research. I'm just trying to keep up with the industry, man, you know how it is.

Wed 7:02pm PDT
Thumper

Yeah, I know. Solomon, I'll let you go. Thanks for coming.

Wed 7:02pm PDT
solomon

Again, thanks for having me. I really appreciate your support. People like you make it happen. Take care Thumper. And God bless.

Wed 7:03pm PDT
Thumper

You too, Solomon. good night.

Wed 7:03pm PDT
Thumper

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

Wed 7:06pm PDT
Thumper

Melisha are you there?

Wed 7:06pm PDT
Thumper

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

Wed 7:07pm PDT
Melisha

thump?

Wed 7:08pm PDT
Melisha

have you logged out?

Wed 7:11pm PDT
Melisha

I'll just email you thump because this chatroom is too complicated

Wed 7:36pm PDT
hello

Hi I was wondering if anyone read the book Your Blues Ain't Like Mine

Wed 7:36pm PDT
hello

please respond

Wed 7:38pm PDT
hello

can someone please respond

Wed 7:38pm PDT
hello

its for my literary analysis

Wed 7:38pm PDT
hello

for school

Wed 7:41pm PDT
fritterman

hello all