My life has been such that the experiences that I’ve had have enabled me to have adventures most people on dream about.
Everything that has peaked my curiosity; I’ve been allowed to explore in order to tell stories to those whom I encounter.
10 years ago, fate took me by the neck and literally lead me into the new world of writing. I didn’t know what I was doing, but a little voice inside of me just told me to ‘write a book.’ And…I did.
Now, all these years later, my newest novel has been published and I’m currently working on its sequel.
Before I wrote this book, I was thinking of where I came from compared to being in a place where I really am not sure about. I thought about how much I missed people and the things that made me. Then I started thinking about old friends, all the crazy stuff you go through growing up and going through in life. I was homesick. And when the story-line came to me: It reminded me of what I loved. This story is about exactly that: family, friendship, community, and most important, love. It’s the perfect story for the holidays. It’s a story revolving around two best friends and how life impacts us all. It’s thoughtful, humorous, and real. This is definitely a keeper. I had fun writing it…and it is my hope that you will have even more fun reading it.
It’s a great story. What’s it about? Growing up on Chicago’s North Shore, I had long heard of an interesting neighborhood on the city’s south side, named Bronzeville. It was a magical place. Bronzeville was to Chicago’s African American community what Harlem was to African Americans in New York. Bronzeville was a source of pride for the African American community. It was cool, hip, beautiful; a place where being Black and proud was normal. Important people lived there, like civil rights leader Ida B. Wells, aviator Bessie Coleman, trumpeter and jazz great Louis Armstrong, poet Gwendolyn Brooks, novelist Richard Wright, playwright, Lorraine Hansberry, the late Ebony founder and publisher, John H. Johnson, to name a few, and blues greats Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon and Buddy Guy. There were doctors, lawyers, politicians, athletes, academics, and other notables who called Bronzeville home. Bronzeville was the center of Black Metropolis in Chicago. It was a place where you could get a shoe shine and then go next door for a doctor’s appointment. Hard working middle class Black folks rubbed shoulders with the crème de la crème of the Black Elite.
Butterflies in Bronzeville is a “feel good” story about lifelong friendship. It’s the first book of a planned sequel. The basic plot of the story revolves around 3 characters, Fred Peebles, Gwynette Burgess, and Gwnette’s best friend, Bonita “Bunny” Thompson. All of the characters live in Bronzeville, which is one of Chicago’s premier Black communities on the south side–similar to what Harlem is to African Americans in New York. Fred and Gwynette have a chance meeting on the “L” (sub train moniker in Chicago). Gwynette trips and literally falls into his arms. It’s kismet. They are instantly attracted to one another. The adventure begins after that.
Gwynette and Bunny’s friendship inspires, captivates, provokes, and warms the heart. They are true BFF’s and hilarious together–constant drama and humor. Their bond is tested after an unexpected tragedy occurs on Bunny’s birthday. Fred and Gwynette are brought together by unpredictable circumstances and a series of chance meetings. Through a succession of fascinating events impacting the other, combined with a series of twists and turns; their lives intertwine with other connecting stories, and exciting characters over a generation, highlighting love, hate, joy, sadness, the challenges of class, social prejudice, as well as the unexpected.
Butterflies is an entertaining coming of age tale, highlighting the joy of family, community, and friendship. it takes the reader on a fascinating journey through Black culture, and its people trying to define themselves through the ups and downs life challenges them with, yet through them, they emerge strong, bold and transformed, like the butterfly.
Kindle readers are really digging it. It’s also available on paperback.