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Kola Boof

Johnny Temple, Naomi Campbell & Today's Publishing

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What's been going on with Kola Boof?

I just did the most amazing interview with nthWORD magazine....it

has to be my most revealing ever. :)

It's the first time I got to talk in depth about publisher Johnny Temple and many other topics...such as Naomi Campbell's desire to play me

in a film.

I still get so many emails from Thumper's Corner visitors asking me

a bevy of questions...I think you'll really appreciate the blunt honesty

in this interview and where I'm at now with my career.

"Literary Bad Girl Kola Boof"

(Sessions)

http://shorts.nthword.com/2012/04/literary-bad-girl-kola-boof-sessions.html

nthWORD magazine

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So many aspiring writers ask me about becoming a writer.

I think this interview is the only time I've been given an opportunity to talk in depth

about the forces that shaped me into a writer and about what the processes are like.

I feel lucky to have someone like Johnny Temple molding and controlling my career,

because with the way publishing is right now...it's a total mess. There is no money in it.

The audiences are fickle and the houses don't give much backbone and support.

Anyhoo, it's my favorite interview I've done since Kam Williams (here at aalbc.com), which

has always been my favorite.

I encourage everyone who writes to keep on doing it...because eventually, once the business

configures into its new shape, they are going to need strong writers. Storytelling is a part of

the human condition that never goes out of style. Stay focused, believe in your voice and

practice writing often!

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Hey Kola, I was at the National Black Writers Conference this past weekend. The last panel on the last day was entitled. "Being Sold or Selling Ourselves: Black Writers and the marektplace". The panelists included Regina Brooks, Jlove Calderon, Linda Duggins, Lisa Moore, Johnny Temple and Cheryl Woodruff.

Most of the talking was done by Johnny. While is he is clearly a nice guy, passionate and smart about what he does. I could not help but be taken by how seemingly obilvious he is to the fact that much of the ease at which has published so many Black writers is a direct consequence of his being a white man. I was going to address the issue at the panel, but like many others, I thought it wiser to hold my tongue.

Perhaps even more important is the issue that Black people despite our money, despite our talents, in 2012 still can not publish our own writers; and are dependent upon the largess of sypathetic white folks.

The panel will be broadcast on CSpan's BookTV in the near future -- I encourage everyone to watch it. You can judge for yourself.

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Hey Kola, I was at the National Black Writers Conference this past weekend. The last panel on the last day was entitled. "Being Sold or Selling Ourselves: Black Writers and the marektplace". The panelists included Regina Brooks, Jlove Calderon, Linda Duggins, Lisa Moore, Johnny Temple and Cheryl Woodruff.

Most of the talking was done by Johnny. While is he is clearly a nice guy, passionate and smartt about what he does. I could not help but be taken by how seemingly obilvious he is to the fact that much of the ease at which has published so many Black writers is a direct consequence of his being a white man. I was going to address the issue at the panel, but like many others, I thought it wiser to hold my tongue.

Perhaps even more important is the issue that Black people despite our money, despite our talents, in 2012 still can not publish our own writers; and are dependent upon the largess of sypathetic white folks.

The panel will be broadcast on CSpan's BookTV in the near future -- I encourage everyone to watch it. You can judge for yourself.

Troy...you should have spoke up. Johnny is definitely someone you can "be open & honest" with. I do it all the time.

And he has great respect for truth...even when it makes him look soiled.

Also, you're right.

Black Editors at the major houses cannot sign who they wish...and we as Black artists have no "black owned" power brokers we can go to in order to be published and heard.

In my case...I'm not sure that a Black owned publisher would give me a voice. It seems that I am too outspoken & introspective for most of the Black literary establishment.

If it weren't for White Jewish men like Johnny, I would likely be silenced.

It is hard for me to put down Johnny...because he rescued my career and he lets me do whatever I want and he puts a lot of backing into me. I can say almost anything to Johnny and he doesn't get upset. So I advise you to always speak up with him. He won't take it personal. He's very aware and humble with Black artists.

He will listen.

KOLA

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Thanks Kola, but don't get me wrong. I'm not saying Johnny has done anything wrong at all. He is using his God given talents and cultural advanatges to do great things. There is nothing I have to talk to him about -- other than say, "keep up the good work".

My concern is that the same system in which a Johnny Temple thrives is the very same one in which I witnessed a dramatic reduction in Black bookstores, Black literary magazines, Black websites, a reduction in the number of Black people in senior roles in publishing houses, and indeed the power of Black indepedent publishing is waning.

An older gentlemen, at the end of the panel, asked a rhetorical question which really spoke to what many were feeling. He asked, in essence, was the National Black Writers Conference becoming a multicultural conference?

That question was important to me because it says should we, as part of this conference, spend our time celebrating the success of Akaschic Books, or should we spend our time getting down and doing the work necessary to figure out how to publish Black authors ourselves?

It was not very long ago when Third World Press had a #1 NY Times Bestselling book. There is nothing on the horizon that gives me any indication that this feat will be repeated again.

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Troy,

I still doubt that any BLACK Editor/Publisher would have signed Kola Boof.

I sent several great manuscripts to **Third World Press** and they ignored me.

Ditto that Paul guy at Black Classics Press.

That to me....says everything about this issue.

There is a very unfortunate "Tunnelvision" by Black people in literature.

It's as though they've completely forgotten Zora, Baldwin, Alice Walker and everything about "the edge."

Would a Black Truman Capote or a Black Norman Mailer be recognized by Black editors

and Black Publishers? The treatment towards me says it's not likely.

LIKEWISE....someone Black should have started their own Akashic Books by now. They should be savvy enough and cutting edge enough to make it happen. But there's mostly "safe conservatism" with Blacks in literature. They want to bore us to death.

IF I wasn't "shut out" and such a pariah within Black American literary circles.....I would start a house.

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Kola your sentiments have been echoed by others: "...Black should have started their own Akashic Books by now." Kola that statement pretty much says it all.

But there are small Black owned presses, mainly in the urban space, doing their thing:

For example I hosted a reading at the National Black Writers Conference (photo below K'wan, Wahida Clark, Troy Johnson). Both of their next novels will be published by Bryan “Birdman” Williams and Ronald “Slim” Williams' Cash Money Content. Not only are the publishing these authors they are publishing other popular authors including the Ashley and Jauquavis, Treasure Blue, Iceberg Slim's Backlist and more.

You also have Crystal Lacey Winslow's Melodrama Publishing and there are others.

The problem remains; as we lose bookstores, magazines, websites, etc. The growth of these publishing companies will be constrained as there are not very many platforms to review or even talk about their books. Furthure, as growth is cramped, there is downward pressure on advertising bugets making a bad situation worse.

Now entities like Cash Money Content may engage in more creative promotional tactics, capitalize on celebrity, cross over and reap more successes than traditional publishers, maybe not -- time will tell.

295230_352006588169244_102870229749549_889563_1883080473_n.jpg

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Kola I saw your photo yesterday, but not today. If it is a problem I look at it after a software upgrade taking place today.

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