Book Tour

February Travel

2013_February Calendar

This month, I will be giving readings and signings in Tennesee, Maryland, Alabama and Tennessee.  If you’re in the area, I’d love to see you there.  Here are the details:

  • Thursday, February 21, 7:00p,m–Salisbury, Maryland
    Wor-Wic Community College, Echoes and Visions Reading Series
    Reading and Signing
  • Saturday, February 23 — Birmingham, Alabama
     Southern Voices Festival
    Reading and Signing
  • Wednesday, February 27, 6pm– Clemson, South Carolina
    356 Sushi & Martini Bar (366 College Ave, Clemson, SC, 29631).
    Reading and Signing
  • Thursday, February 28, 6pm– Johnson City, Tennesee
    East Tennesee State University
    Reading and Signing
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Hey Brooklyn, “Secrets and Mysteries” are coming your way on Monday, August 13- Franklin Park, 8pm

On Monday, August 13th at 8pm I’ll be taking part in the Franklin Park Reading Series and I cannot wait. The theme is “Secrets and Mysteries.”.  Here are the deets:

TAYARI JONES, VICTOR LAVALLE (The Devil in Silver, Big Machine) will be joined by fiction hotshots LINCOLN MICHEL (Tin House, Gigantic), COURTNEY MAUM (Hobart, Electric Literature) and CAITLIN ELIZABETH HARPER (The Renegade Reading Series) for an evening of thrilling tales and shocking surprises. And we’re.. incredibly honored that VICTOR LAVALLE will be giving a SPECIAL SNEAK PREVIEW of his highly anticipated new novel THE DEVIL IN SILVER!!!


LOCATION: FRANKLIN PARK BAR AND BEER GARDEN 618 St. Johns Place, between Franklin and Classon Avenues Crown Heights, Brooklyn Subway: 2/3/4/5 trains to Franklin Avenue

Come on. It’ll be fun. I promise.

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The Case for the Book– The Paper Book That You Can Hold in Your Hand

I Love BooksI recently took a trip to Brazil. It was meant to be a work-cation– sightseeing, beaches, but also writing time. It also involved about twelves hours on a an airplane.  I llike to think of myself as a with-it person, so I decided that I would read e-books while I was away.  Afterall, I am a superfast reader and I wouldn’t want to be carrying two weeks worth of books.  No, not hip super-techie me! iPad baby. Nook app.

I ordered the books from but forgot to actually send them to my device.  No worries, I thought.  I’ll just zip them from the cloud when I get on the place.  Didn’t the promo material say the jet was WiFi enabled?  Well, there was no WiFi on board, but that was okay. I entertained myself with the movies offered by my friends at American Airlines. (Young Adult wasn’t bad.) When I got to the villa in Brazil, there was no WiFi there, either.  (Moral of this story– don’t believe anything you read in promo materials.)  So there was was, stranded for two weeks with nothing to read.  Keep in mind that this was a communal living situation– think The Real World.  And everyone that was ever a nerdy child knows that a good book can give you privacy in your head, even when you have no privacy in real life.  And I had NOTHING.  Before you can suggest it— there was no sense looking for a bookstore since everything would be in Portugeuse.

Yes, I know that this falls under #firstworldproblems, but it was a little bit of a wake up call to me.  The ebook requires a certain amount of infrastructure and privilege. Not everybody in America– let alone the rest of the world– is plugged in 24-7.  And let’s say that I been able to download my ebooks, I wouldh’t have been able to share them with my new friends in Brazil.

The ride back was a nightmare.  For one, No movies because I lost my upgrade. (That’s a long story which I will only tell over cocktails.)  And second, I had nothing to read, having exhausted the SkyMiles catalog on the outbound trip.  All around me people were flipping through paper books with what looked to me like joy.  Glee, even.  On my lap, my iPad mocked.  I know this sounds dramatic, but I was in flight twelve hours!  There is only so much solitaire and Texas Hold ‘Em a person can take.

Next time, it’s real books all the way.

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Cackalacky, Here I Come

For years, I thought that “Cacklacky” was a nickname for North Carolina invented by my daddy.  But to be fair, when I was a little girl, I thought my father named the whole world, like Adam.  But that is just a little side point.  The main point is that next weeks, I have three public events in North Carolina– Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Ashville  If you are in the area, I would love love love to see you.



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Triple Header in Atlanta: Pearl Cleage, Charis, APL!

If you know me, you know that Georgia is always on my mind.  I am very happy to announce that the Silver Sparrow paperback tour includes a three day visit to Atlanta, and three signing events.  And I am thrilled to remind you that I will be signing all three of my novels– Silver Sparrow, Leaving Atlanta, and The Untelling.  So come out out.  It will be fun.  I promise.

Here’s the schedule.

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By Popular Demand, Leaving Atlanta and The Untelling are Back! Thank you, Everyone!

Leaving Atlanta,  my debut novel, published in 2002, will always be my baby.  In many ways, it’s my most personal work, grounded heavily in my experiences growing up in Atlanta during the Atlanta Child Murders.  Many Americans don’t know that between 1979-81 almost thirty African American children were murdered in my hometown.  Those of us who grew up in Atlanta will never forget. It’s no wonder that I chose this as the subject matter for my first book.

And while child murder is a dark topic, I had a lot of fun writing Leaving Atlanta.  I got to go back and remember lots of wonderful details from childhood.  I pulled up memories that were on the edge of being forgotten forever.  There were little things like a weird orange colored, peanut butter flavored candy called a “Chick O Stick”.  I also pulled up a photo of a boy I had known who was murdered.  He was a couple of years older than I was, and a bully.  In my memory he was this huge kid, but when I saw his photo, I realised that he had been just a baby, really.  Understanding this was maybe the hardest thing about writing the book. My personal connection to this project as so deep that I added myself as a minor character.

Well, about three years ago, Leaving Atlanta and my second novel,  The Untelling, were put on “print on demand.”  This basically means that if someone wants a copy of the book, she has to wait for the publisher to print one up.  The books were expensive and took FOREVER to get to the reader. In addition, they were never available when I gave readings.  I was very unhappy about this, but there was little I could do.

But there was something that readers could do, and they did it.  Thanks to the success of Silver Sparrow, more people have discovered my work and have been curious about my other titles.  Enough people have shown interest in Leaving Atlanta and The Untelling that Grand Central Publishing has begun printing them again.  I was so delighted when I gave a reading last week and saw a stack of Leaving Atlanta and The Untelling on sale beside Silver Sparrow.

Thank you, so much, everyone for making this possible.  It means everything to me.



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Silver Sparrow Flies to Pennsylvania

I am on the road again.  I’ve got two public events in Pennsylvania in the next couple days.  If you’re in the area, come on out.  I’d love to see you there.

  • Wednesday, January 25, 7:30pm– State College, Pennsylvania
    Penn State University
    Reading and Signing
    Location: Foster Auditorium
  • Thursday, January 26, 7:00pm– Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
    Bucknell University
    Reading and Signing
    Location: Bucknell Hall
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Silver Sparrow Flies to San Diego

Next week, I’ll be in San Diego doing two Silver Sparrow events.  If you are out in Cali, stop by.

Monday, December 5, 7:00pm– San Diego, California
San Diego State University
Reading and Signing

Tuesday, December 6, 5:30pm– San Diego, California
Adventures by the Book (Ticketed Event)

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Silver Sparrow Flying to Florida

I’m on my way to Florida to participate in two events this weekend.  Here are the details– I hope you will be able to join me.

  • Friday, November 18, 5:30pm– Sarasota, Florida
    Bookstore1 Sarasota
    Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe
    1649 10th Way, Sarasota
  • Sunday, November 20, 12:30pm– Miami, Florida
    Miami Book Fair
    Panel: The Writer’s Voice, with Justin Torres, Ana Menendez, and Lynne Barrett
    Building 3, Room 3208-09
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Virginia is for (book) Lovers: October 7-9

I’m on my way to Virginia to participate in two really cool events.
The first is the James River Writers Conference in Richmond.  At JWR I’ll give a reading at Virginia Commonwealth that’s free and open to the public. (Friday night at 7:00 pm), but I am also doing two panels at the conference.

  • One panel asks: How does a writer face criticism, anger, outrage, or even speculation when writing about topics sure to invite emotion–race, religion,politics, sex, gender, transgender . . . and did we say sex?
  • The other panel is more craft-oriented: Build tension into your writing and your readers will always have to read “one more page.” Tight pacing isn’t just for thrillers; you want everything you write to leave them wanting . Come join the conversation.

On Sunday, I am headed to Charlottesville for a literary salon at Writer House.  We’ll talk story, craft, business, everything to do with getting the novel from idea to book.  I hope to see you there at 2pm.

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