Bernice McFadden, whom we have recently mentioned about her book giveaway has kindly got back to us to tell us more about her novel, Sugar and the campaign she is doing for its 10th annniversary:
“I believe that my ancestors speak to me and through me.
Do I hear voices? Not in the way you think. Their words come to me disguised in thought and the visions come as memory.
It’s like watching a movie. Techno color images, dialogue and off camera prose.
With my first novel, Sugar – Sugar herself came to me as a long, dark note.
Her rhythm so haunting I had to jot her down on paper, turning her music into a poem.
Some years later, when she’d made my home her home, I heard her voice; saw her slender neck, and her open mouth as she threw her head back in laughter.
So I wrote her a short story.
Even more years passed and this writing thing was inching up my spine and gnawing at my skin and Sugar was fully formed by then, standing in the middle of my living room, cigarette smoke a cloud above her head, her hand pressed firmly into her hip, those dark eyes looking deeply into my own – demanding more than thirty pages with the unlikely end.
And I obliged her.
In the early 90’s I began sending out SUGAR to editors and agents and I received 73 rejection letters over a nine-year period. In 1999 I finally acquired representation and a week later my agent secured a two-book deal. Sugar was published in 2000 to great reviews and received numerous awards.
After writing SUGAR and the numerous books that followed, I realize now that my purpose as a writer is to breathe life back into memory.
Back in 2000 Sugar, although a universally appealing story, was only marketed to African-American readers and so was immediately pigeonholed as a “Black Book.” Ten years later I am trying to reverse that damage by placing it within the radar of readers from all backgrounds who enjoy an engaging, and thought provoking read.
In order to do that as well as commemorate the 10th Anniversary, I have initiated a campaign to sell 10, 000 copies of SUGAR by Jan 9th, 2010.”