Critically Acclaimed Author,Malaika Adero, Shares a Candid Interview About The UpSouth Festival!
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LITERARY HEAT: What new events are in store for UPSOUTH.org?
MALAIKA: The May 29th event featuring Farai Chideya, Lori Tharps and Patricia Spears Jones. Weíll have a presence at Faisonís Firehouse Street Festival August 8, 2009. Otherwise, our programming for the rest of 2009 depends on material support we can garner over the next couple of months. In other words, we need contributions, money, like every other cultural organization. We are a young developing nonprofit organization.
DISILGOLD: : Where can folks meet you and find out more about your events?
DISILGOLD: Do you have any literary projects due for release soon?
MALAIKA: Iím Vice Pres. Sr. Editor at Atria Books, so books of mine coming to market is a constant: Kiss the Sky by Farai Chideya (May), Survival: How a Culture of Preparedness CanKeep You and Your Family Safe from Disasters by Gen. Russel Honore, Kinky Gazpacho (in paperback) by Lori Tharps; Stormy Weather: The Life of Lena Horne by James Gavin (June), God Sleeps in Rwanda: A Journey ofTransformation by Joseph Sebarenzi (September). Carpentaria by Alexis Wright, an Australian Aboriginal is a recently published novel I acquired. Iím thrilled that critics are calling it a masterpiece.
DISILGOLD: How do you maintain a dual career as an author and publishing industry professional?
MALAIKA: I do the best I can. I have this demanding job and I write, paint, dance, travel, and love my family and friendsósometimes I find the time to do what I desire, sometimes I donít. I enjoy my work and am grateful for that since Iím not independently wealthy. But, I make a point of not letting my professional life consume my personal one.
DISILGOLD: Which books have you authored that were your most challenging, but rewarding projects?
MALAIKA: Iíve published only a couple of book length works, Up South, an anthology of writings on the Black out-migration from the South and Speak, So You Can Speak Again: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston, an illustrated biography, which I coauthored with Lucy Hurston. Otherwise, Iíve contributed to a number of anthologies, including Black Southern Voices edited by John O. Killens and Mending the World edited by Rosemary Robotham. Iíve contributed to a couple of forthcoming anthologies that youíll hear about soon. Every time I complete a piece that is publishing worthy Iím rewarded many times over for my efforts. Iím developing and writing a book length work. But, Iím patient with myself and way too superstitious to talk much about a work in progress.
DISILGOLD: What book(s) are you reading now?
MALAIKA: Spiritual Liberation by Michael Bernard Beckwith, which is like food for the spirit; Triangle Road by the brilliant Paule Marshall, food for the soul, and rereading Bluespeople by Amiri Baraka, aka, LeRoi Jones, food for the intellect.
DISILGOLD: Is there any advice you would like to share with new authors and writers?
MALAIKA: Do read often; let good writers influence and inspire you. Do persevere. Be patient. Donít compare your accomplishments, successes or failures with others. Embrace the process and practice of writing, but donít expect that everything you complete will or should be published.
DISILGOLD: What is your daily regimen or advice tips for beauty and fashion?
MALAIKA: What you put in your body is as important as what you put on it, so consume wholesome food. Get physical: regularly break a sweat. Meditate. Smile. And donít use a lot of crazy product in your hair.