You already know that we’ll discuss ‘Identity & Individuality: The Movement Toward Issue-Based Black Women’s Fiction.’ It’ll be a candid, intimate, fun exchange… facilitated by Essence® bestselling author Grace Octavia! Register now and join us… can’t wait to see you Saturday!
Today, the spotlight is on DL White! What stands out for me about DL’s writing is that her style creates the clearest images as she draws you into her story. Take ‘Brunch At Ruby’s,’ for example — I loved how DL contrasted the personalities, paradigms and predicaments of three best friends as I followed them through sometimes-sweet-sometimes-salty brunches, surprising romantic connections and points of conflict I didn’t always see coming (no spoilers). In her latest blog post, DL described ‘Brunch At Ruby’s’ as “warm women’s fiction.” Yes y’all… it truly is and this novel is fantastic.
Get to know DL in the Q&A below then check out this week’s wine pairing recommendation and an excerpt from ‘Leslie’s Curl & Dye’… enjoy!
10 Questions for DL …
Would you like to see into the future? Why? Nah. I like predictability as much as the next guy but I also love the element of surprise. If you STAY ready you ain’t got to GET ready. HA!
If you could only choose one vacation destination where would you pick and why?
Eauh Gah why are you asking me thisssss??? A beach. I don’t know which one but it should have soft sugar sand and blue green water and the air should be warm… that’s as specific as I can get.
What show on Netflix did you binge watch embarrassingly fast?
It wasn’t Netflix, but the L Word… I found it online and blew through that series like CRAZY. I think I stayed up all night to watch the last season. I heard a rumor that the show was coming back, though I feel like people are just playing with my emotions. But can Jenny still be dead but Dana come back? GAH JENNY SCHECTER WE HATE YOU!
What will finally break the internet?
I’m not sure it can be broken at this point. It’s so evil, it’s all powerful.
What’s in your purse?
Like fitty eleven pens, ibuprofen, 4 tubes of chapstick, 2 lippies (beauty bakerie- get hip to it!) my organizer, my wallet, Tangy Mae Kindle, and one of those multi charge cord things so I can charge all of the things. And of course the work phone and the Ho phone.
Favorite book you’ve written?
Brunch at Ruby’s. It’s always going to be my Book Baby.
Are you spring, summer, fall, or winter? Please share why.
SUMMER. I just LOVE it, heat and all. I moved south for the HEAT and the sunshine. Spring is a close follow up. If I don’t have to worry about a jacket and the skies are blue and cloudless…. Heaven.
If you were a city, which city would you choose to be and why?
Some place modern and cosmopolitan but also kinda small townish and downhome…. Like Atlanta. Or maybe my vision of DC, a hip chocolate city.
What technology from science fiction do you wish existed? Teleporting. I neeeeeeed that technology. Like, I love going places but I hate the airport and I don’t like to drive long distances. If I could just… arrive… at the nearest beach that would be great.
What are the most common road blocks that stop people from achieving their dreams?
Fear. In my opinion, roadblocks boil down to fear. Fear of unknown, fear of success, fear of failure, fear of the word no, of people not liking us or our ideas. When we stop being afraid of what could or won’t happen, when we get rid of the what if’s, we’re able to push forward. Speaking for myself, really.
An Excerpt from ‘Leslie’s Curl & Dye’
He smiled, quietly laughing while his eyes surveyed the salon, starting at the reception desk, a plain old desk from Caine Brothers Wood Works. Then he took in the mismatched leather chairs that comprised the waiting area; the salon chairs with peeling vinyl patched with black tape and the shampoo bowl that was a refurbished and redesigned laundry sink.
To the naked, and maybe the more upscale eye, the Curl & Dye wasn’t much to look at. But people came to the Curl & Dye for the atmosphere.
“I mean, with all due respect, Leslie…” KC shrugged and gestured toward the small salon. “You’re not my competition.”
That lofty, lightheaded feeling was zapped as quickly as it came. I felt like I landed face first on the pavement. There went my moment of attraction.
Tamera stood beside me, her arms crossed. “Look who decided to slum it over on the old side of Potter Lake.”
“I’m not… slumming. I hadn’t been over here since I moved back and— “
“And you decided to pop in and start some shit with us?”
KC’s eyes narrowed and his brows formed “V” of irritation. The glare he gave Tamera gave me an uneasy feeling.
“Tam, why don’t you close out the day for me? Pull the receipts and get the deposit ready.” I led her to the front desk and pulled out the chair for her to sit.
As soon as she was settled, I grabbed KC’s arm and guided him back out of the shop into the warm evening. I heard Tamera grumbling, not even under her breath, as she sat at the desk and began the daily closing ritual.
“What do you want?” I asked him, noticing the enormous black Escalade parked in front of the window. “We’re about to close up.”
He shrugged a shoulder, tossing his keys from one hand to the other. Back in college he used to do the same with a basketball. “I just… was around and— “
“Bullshit. You have no reason to be on this side of the lake except to be snooping around this shop. So… what? You wanted to gloat? To say some more shit about stealing my clients?”
“I’m not steal—” He heaved a deep sigh and shoved both hands into his pockets. “I felt bad. About earlier. You surprised me by showing up at the shop. I felt cornered and I get mouthy when I feel like that. Listen, I think we got off on the wrong foot— “
“No, I think the foot we got off on was right. You came out here and opened a business in direct competition with mine— “
“That was not my intent, Leslie. I keep telling you, I didn’t know this shop was here.”
“Well, now you do.”
I paused, giving a wide-eyed stare at ruggedly bushy eyebrows, at long, undeservedly lush lashes, at almond shaped eyes, at full lips and well-edged goatee.
Damn, he was fine. Had always been fine but… damn, he was fine.
“Now I do,” he acknowledged, with a head nod. “All I’m saying is that we should be able to co-exist.”
I gestured toward the building that was The Curl & Dye, catching a glimpse of Evonne and Tamera standing in the middle of the shop watching us talk. I pulled him away from the window, toward the driver side door of his truck.
“It would be one thing if you were just a barbershop. Most of the men in this town do their own hair; they only come to me if they want something real nice. That cheap cut you offer is perfect for them.”
He scoffed, but I ignored it. “We can’t coexist because women are going to your shop instead of mine, for services I offer, my mother offered, my Grandy offered for years. Your shop could lose a customer or three and it wouldn’t hit your bottom line. I need every client I can get. Your shop is some kind of…”
I shrugged, shaking my head. “Get rich quick scheme, it seems. Except you’re already rich, so now you’re just being greedy. The Curl & Dye is my bread and butter. It keeps me and my parents in food and electricity and Grandy in good care at Primose Gardens. It’s about more than a cheap haircut.”
“What do you want me to do, Leslie? Shut down my shop on some first dibs bullshit?”
I began to back away from him and his truck and his intoxicatingly sexy smelling cologne. It was making me heady and I was feeling all kinds of familiar feelings from being too close to him.