Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Find your Boo in the pages of Darius Jones

Have you ever caught yourself in the grocery store walking past the magazines, cook books and greeting cards when all of a sudden your eyes stop? One book draws your attention...with the suggestive title, lovers embracing, and author with a clever pen name.

Some call these books romance novels. Some call them erotica. Whatever you choose to call it, when a book fits that description, you know whats in between the sheets, I mean pages. Do you buy this book? Are you embarrassed? I used to be. But this past weekend, I learned that there is no need for embarrassment when it comes to sex, romance novels, and Mary B. Morrison.

On Sunday, I attended the event Brunchin To Find Your Boo at The Hammond House, an African American arts museum located in the West End in Atlanta. This event was hosted by Written Magazine, a publication in the Atlanta World Daily and 10 other major papers around the country. Written Magazine caters to ravenous readers by highlighting authors, literary work, publishers, and events. The Brunchin To Find Your Boo event intended to give Atlanta readers access to New York Times Bestseller Mary B. Morrison as she released her 15th published book: Darius Jones.

When I registered for this event, I was asked two questions about relationships. I thought wow, I assumed Mary B. Morrison books were just about sex...but I answered the questions anyway:

What makes a soul mate?
When I think of a soul mate, I think of this quote: "True love is your soul's recognition of your counterpoint in another person."

What makes a person dateable? A willingness to do some of the things that you enjoy together; the desire to share new experiences with one another.

When I arrived at the event, we were greeted with yummy Mimosas and gifts! The first gift that I discovered were coasters that had a clever catch phrase: Written: Celebrating the word. Celebrating the reader.

Inside the main room, where the book discussion would take place, we found the newest edition of Written on each seat. This edition focused on 2010 Women of Influence in Publishing. On the cover of the magazine was a collection of books and low and behold, a book by Pearl Cleage was included in the collection. After sitting down we began to play Are you dateable? Bingo.

These were such cute additions to this event! Soon after bingo we were introduced to Mary B. Morrison (she also writes under the pen name: Honey B). I learned a few interesting things about this writer that I did not expect:

  • Her Honey B novels (more racy than the Mary B. Morrison books) are read by many men; she never male bashes, she simply provides tips for relationships
  • She has published an anthology Diverse Stories: From the Imagination of Sixth Graders
  • Her readership ranges in age from women in their 20's to those in their 60's; her oldest reader is 101
  • She sells relationship products on her website and provides workshops called Tell It All where women can get advice from men (instead of just their girlfriends) about their relationships (She can host a workshop in a city near you)
  • She visits the cities she writes about and she does research for the explicit parts of her books
  • In order to gain distribution, she chose self publishing; after a few months she found a literary agent and she began working with Kensington for Mary B books and Grand Central Publishing for the Honey B books; when she started writing there were many black self publishers, that has changed recently
As an author and business woman, I must say I was impressed by the way she diversifies her business. We were then introduced to our new boo, Darius Jones:

  • Like her typical characters, Darius Jones is someone you can love to hate; a pro-athlete, wealthy husband, and father, Darius struggles with remaining faithful to his wife as he is tempted daily by beaufitul women. Mary B poses the question of whether or not we should hate him because of his indiscretions with his adoring fans. Is he wrong for giving into his temptation? Why do these women put a man they know is married on such a pedestal?
  • The novel, like her others, exposes the idea that "If you won't work hard at your relationship, someone else will" and that "Communication and forgiveness are the key to successful relationships"
  • The short chapters and cliff hangers leave the reader wanting more as they follow Darius, his wife Ashley and Darius' mom's assistant Bambi in their personal lives
  • Characters come back from other books within Mary B and Honey B's repertoire
  • This book actually has the least sex out of all the others, she wanted to see if her readers would notice the difference

At the end of the event, I was happy that I came to learn a little more about Mary B. Morrison, her interesting approach to a career as a novelist, and her ideas about relationships. Here's some final thoughts she gave to the audience:

"I don't think I'm much different from any person who says they want to write a story one day."

"I encourage women to meet 1 person a week, just give them a card with your email on it and see where it goes."

"Get dressed up, go to a bar, sit with your favorite book, turn to the man sitting next to you and ask him: 'What's the last book you've read?' Even if he's married, he will still engage in conversation. Men love to talk about themselves. You never know, you may learn something new."

Be on the lookout for the release of Mary B. Morrison's latest projects:
The Rich Girls Club
The Eternal Engagement

And check out the rest of her novels if you need a little bit more romance in your life.

Leave a comment if you've read a good romance novel lately. Or leave a comment if you want me to let you in on some of Mary B's more X-rated advice that she gave to us on Sunday.

Jessica Ebony

1 comment:

  1. Awww.. I like romance novels....sometimes. But like Lauryn Hill says...Fantasy is what we want, but reality is what we need. I think people forget that romance novels are FICTION.
    Good job on the post!