>First off, I want to express that I am by no means knocking my last publisher with this post. I had a great experience with them. They were all very nice people whom I genuinely liked, and I made good friends over there. I published three books with them—Blind Ambitions, Child of God, and Tastes Like Chicken, which is the book I’m about to discuss.
This was just one of those things that falls under, um, artistic viewpoint, I suppose. It also has to do with the nature of the business as well, particularly in regard to books by authors of color and how they are packaged. This could have happened at any publishing house (and probably does every day).
When Tastes Like Chicken, my fifth novel, was coming down the pike, something very interesting happened when we got to the stage where a cover was being selected.
As many of you know, Chicken was a follow-up to my first two books, Scenes From A Sistah and Getting To The Good Part, both of which feature the characters Misty Fine and Reesy Snowden, both of whom have quite a loyal fan base. Reesy is the saltier, more adventurous of the two characters, having dabbled in
pole-hunching lap-riding skrippin’ exotic dancing at one point, despite the fact that she is a classically-trained dancer, possesses a post-graduate degree in Business, and has parents who are social, financial, and professional pillars of the South Florida community. She’s a bit out there, although I don’t think she ever really gets pornographic, per se. Just edgy. Real, real edgy.
Well, I think that used-to-be-a-
skripper exotic dancer thing threw the publisher, because that seemed to be what was primarily on their minds when I was presented with their first recommendation for a cover. I was so excited when I was told they’d come up with something they all loved and just knew I would flip over. When the picture was e-mailed to me, I could barely wait for it to download. Imagine my shawe (yeah, that’s a blend of shock and awe), when the following filled my computer screen:
Took me a solid ten minutes to reinflate my lungs. They just collapsed. For real.
So these are the infamous white shorts. Whenever I forget how fortunate I am to have the absolutely stunning cover I have right now…
Of course, it could have been worse. She could have had camel toe. Or bumps on her booty. (She is cutting mad cheese, though. What’s up with that?)