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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Six questions with. . .Author Ernessa T. Carter

Back in the 1980s, you couldn't watch a teen movie without red head Molly Ringwald starring it. Her most wide known movies has to be Sixteen Candles. I was never a fan of the movie, then I picked up the most amazing book, 32 Candles by Ernessa T. Carter. I'm not going to lie and say I love the movie now, but Carter's book makes me thankful that SHE liked the movie and wrote this novel! This is her first book, but with the kudos she received, it won't be her last!

1. 32 Candles was an excellent novel. What prompted you to write it?

To summarize a Toni Morrison quote, there was a novel I wanted to read, and I wasn't seeing it. I was very frustrated with the way dark-skinned women were being depicted in literature. And I realized that if I wanted to read a somewhat funny, somewhat romantic women's fiction novel, in which a contemporary dark-skinned black woman was depicted as something other a complete sad sack and/or victim, then I was going to have to write it. Often when avid readers complain about not being able to find a book that meets a list of specific wants, I think that's the Universe calling them to write a certain novel.

2. You deal with issues of colorism in your novel, do you think that's still a problem in the African American community?

You know, I have no idea anymore. I haven't had to deal with colorism in a very long time, because I don't associate with the kind of people who would engage in it -- mainly because I don't have to. I'm not in high school, I work from home. I get to choose who I hang out with, and I'm lucky enough to hail from a family that doesn't truck with colorism. I often think of colorism as a young black girl's problem. If it's still seriously affecting your life after your mid-twenties, then you need to start dumping certain folks and situations. I can't speak for the entire African-American community -- all I can say is that it's not a problem within my chosen African-American community.

 3. What went through your mind the first time you saw your book on store shelves?

Yay! .... I hope it sells.

 4. Tell the readers what's next on the horizon for you?

I just finished up my second novel, THE AWESOME GIRL'S GUIDE TO DATING EXTRAORDINARY MEN, which is about four women (including Tammy Farrell from 32 CANDLES), living, dating, and careering in Los Angeles. Davie also has a small cameo. I'm hoping this will give fans a gentle wean off her, because she's not in the third novel, which I'm working on now.

 5. What have people told you that they've learned from Davie's struggle?
Mostly people have said that they find her mindset and ability to overcome inspiring. I'm really glad about that.

 6. How can readers get in contact with you?
Totally feel free to contact me: etc at 32candles dot com -- I love hearing from readers.

 Thank you so much, for the interview!
No thank YOU. I had a lot of fun answering these questions.

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