Season 5, Episode 4
Interview with Author Brandy Colbert
July 28, 2022
Jen and former co-host Charity interview author Brandy Colbert. Colbert, a Springfield native discusses her books, and some local history that lent inspiration to her latest book, Black Birds in the Sky: the Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race...
Titles Mentioned in This Episode
h Find title on Hoopla
Little & Lion
The Only Black Girls in Town
The Voting Booth
Black Birds in the Sky
The Revolution of Birdie Randolph
Wake: the Hidden History of Women-led Slave Revolts
Last Night at the Telegraph Club
Jen 0:00 Hello, welcome to Planet Book. I'm Jennifer with the Springfield Greene County Library District. Each episode I speak to guests about books, stories, writing and reading. If you love books, you've come to the right place. Welcome to the Planet. Today I'm joined by Charity, my former co-host. Thanks for coming. We've missed you so much.
Charity 0:22 Ah, thanks for having me back. I'm super stoked to be here.
Jen 0:25 And I'm also excited to introduce today's special guest, award winning author and Springfield native Brandy Colbert. She writes on a range of topics for young adults. You may know her for Little & Lion, the Only Black Girls in Town, the Voting Booth, or most recently Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. Hello, Brandy, thank you so much for being with us today.
Brandy 0:51 Hi, thank you so much for having me. I'm really excited.
Jen 0:54 And you've transplanted to California now is that where you are?
Brandy Speaker 0:58 Yeah, I moved here. Let's see. I went to school, you know, from elementary/pre-K to college in Springfield. And then about like, not even a month after I graduated, I moved to L.A. and I've been here since 2002. Yes, since 2002. So about 20 years.
Jen 1:18 I think I was reading. You have a recent, the most recent book you have, is Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. And in your forward, you talk about a really embarrassing and gross part of Springfield history, which is the lynching that happened in it was 1906. And one thing that struck me is you said, you didn't even find out about that until you had moved away. So how did you find out about that?
Brandy Speaker 1:53 Yeah, I vividly remember this. I remember like the apartment I was living in and I was just in my room. I don't even know why I was looking at the News Leader online and just came across like this series of articles, I believe it was, but one in particular was about the 1906 lynching. And I was shocked. It was the 100th anniversary commemoration of it. So it's 2006. And I was just really, really shocked. I had never even heard of it at all. And so I was really happy that the News Leader was running, you know, that series educating, you know, people on this horrific event in the city's past. But it was also very upsetting that I wasn't learning about it until I was, you know, a 27 year old woman.
Jen 2:37 I don't remember when I learned about it, but my parents were from Mississippi and Memphis. So they were struck when they move back how few black people were in the area, and then it was just a known that, yeah, we used to have a fairly healthy black population until the lynching and then that's kind of dropped us down to the 3% of diversity we get when it comes to black people in this town.
Charity 3:05 I was just gonna say that was my experience, too. I came down here to Springfield to go to college, and came from a really diverse community in Northeast Ohio. And my mom had brought me down. And that was one of the first things we noticed about the area is that we were like, we actually looked at each other and said, "where are all the black people?" And so the internet was still kind of new back then. But like, I got on and I was like, oh, once you you're like, Okay, this is why there, uh, there weren't so many. Um. What? How did you decide to write about that? And include that in your book? Brandy?
Brandy 3:46 Yeah, so I had seen HBOs Watchmen, which I don't know if the two of you have watched that. Amazing. Yes, thumbs up. I'm not really like a superhero person. But that, if you want to, like, give me a superhero show to recommend, like, it’s that one hands down, and I was really struck by the Tulsa Race Massacre, like the way it was covered in there. And like sort of alternate, you know, history and retelling. And then I was reading kind of like about how a lot of people hadn't heard of Tulsa race massacre and didn't know that that was real until that first episode, you know, it's pretty graphic with the planes, swooping down and all of that and, you know, hearing from people that they didn't know that was real, that was really surprising to me. And, you know, I hadn't heard about the Tulsa Race Massacre. You know, myself probably until just a few years ago, but I had heard of it before Watchmen, so I was just talking to my editor and thinking like, well, people haven't you know, if adults haven't heard about this, then surely kids and teens have not, there's no you know, books out at the time, specifically focused on that, especially nonfiction. So we thought, you know, why not give it a go? And then, you know, once I started writing it, I started making all of these connections between past and present, history and future. And I started thinking about the lynching in Springfield. And the fact that, you know, once I knew about the lynching, it made sense suddenly why my town was so white why all the black people had fled all those, you know, decades ago.
Jen 5:15 I’ve also recently read Wake: The Hidden Story of Women Led Slave Revolts by Rebecca Hall. Have you read that one?
Brandy 5:24 I haven't read it yet. But it's, like, sitting across the room.
Jen 5:26 Okay, so one of the things that struck me the most is she is a researcher. And she's just trying to find the stories of female led slave revolts, which clearly existed, but you almost have to learn to read in code because it's just not even present. And so when I then I read that, and then I read your book, and you were talking about some of the explicit covering up of these stories. Because this, you know, Tulsa Race Massacre was a lot more recent, but it was still very hard to find certain details. Can you talk about that a little bit?
Brandy 6:05 What's really funny to me is that it does seem like so much of this history is hidden, you know, you really have to look for it. It's not in textbooks, it's not talked about by a lot of teachers. So, you know, I was luckily able to use, excuse me some books that were written, you know, geared toward adults that had some information in it, and in them, and also, you know, some primary sources, but a lot of that is gone. And a lot of it's missing, because so much of that history was buried for so long, so nobody wanted anyone to find out about it.
Jen 6:37 Right? Isn't there like a specific like, like was it the day after, there's like a newspaper, you can't even find a copy of?
Brandy 6:45 Yeah, the Tulsa Tribune. There's like an op ed that's missing. And so everyone said that it basically called for the lynching of Dick Rowland, who was at the center with Sarah Page of sort of the genesis of the Tulsa Race Massacre. But yeah, the paper exists, people have seen it, but the even the one copy that existed at one time that they had on file somewhere, like there's a cut out, you know, and like, I think that microfiche or microfilm that they were looking at. So I just find that shocking, because someone has to know someone has to have a complete copy of that. I don't think that many people would make that up or assume that something happened that didn't. But yeah, it's never been found to this day.
Charity 7:23 Well, and it's so surprising to so yeah, a lot of folks. I mean, Watchmen is what, how they learned about the Tulsa Race Riots, but then you dig a little bit more. I mean, I came across a map a while back, and those incidents happened all over the country. I mean, so there were multiple incidents like that, where they went in and destroyed thriving black communities. I'm curious what your take is on what's happening now with critical race theory, and how we're still we're trying to shut down, teaching those stories, teaching that history.
Jen 8:02 And Brandy, I would like to preface that our Attorney General in the state of Missouri, Eric Schmidt, is specifically targeting Springfield Greene County school district, public school districts, because of a training that they went through, that was just a general diversity training for teachers. But he's using critical race theory quote as a political issue.
Brandy 8:28 Right. And, you know, I won't pretend to be more educated about the origins and the actual definition of critical race theory than I am. But I do know that it is apparently not taught, you know, below the college level, maybe even the graduate level. So that's not even something that they should really be worried about. But I do think it's really sad that, you know, places like Missouri and you know, places like Springfield, which we've just talked about the lack of diversity there, that someone would say, you know, it's not fair to teach people the true history of what happened in this country. And that's really what it boils down to is people are uncomfortable. I think that a lot of politicians who are trying to ban or, you know, parents, or whoever's doing it, or trying to ban this type of work and this type of teaching are really concerned that once you know, children start to learn more about what actually happened, they're going to have a lot of questions for the parents, or the educators, for everybody, like, why didn't we know about this? What can I do to help? How can I make things change? And I think people are really worried about broad change. And so they think we can just, you know, stifle it, just get it out of the way right now, we won't have to worry about that. But I think the more that you try to, you know, like also looking at book bannings, which are on the rise, of course, and I know you both know about that. So I think that, you know, just trying to take that away, you can do that. But kids are smart, teens are smart, they're going to seek out this information anyway. And they're going to find a way to get to these books and this information. So I just don't understand trying to make it more difficult for them.
Jen 9:57 And it's as a woman or a black woman, or any person of color? I think you even mentioned this in your book, when you're reading history, you're like, ugh yeah, it's not that interesting until you start hearing the stories of successful women , of successful black people, you get to hear the good and the bad. And it makes history more exciting for the people that have been left out.
Brandy 10:26 Yeah, you know, it's like everyone says it that kind of, I don't know, if the phrase has kind of lost some of its meaning. But you know, representation matters. And it will always have meaning for me, and I think for people who didn't grow up seeing themselves in a lot of media, like, you know, I even remember in like, in the 80s, when I was a kid, and even a little bit into the 90s. When I was a teenager, being like, so excited just to see black people on TV, and being like, mom, like, there's a black person in, you know, a commercial on TV right now. Like, that's how, like, I don't think people understand what it was like, and what it's been like. And that's not to say we haven't had, like the 90s did have a lot of great, you know, TV shows, but it kind of moves in waves. And so you get used to seeing yourself a little bit. And then as soon as you get used to it, you know, suddenly there's no more shows or movies, and all of that. So, yeah, it really, really matters to see yourself in present day and in history to know, if you know that someone who looks like you has accomplished something big, then that opens up a whole new world to you. And you understand that there's really no limit for you where you can go.
Charity 11:29 Absolutely. So I'm curious, Brandy, you just I would love to get your thoughts on kind of the trajectory of your career so far, because you are like you're really blowing up now. I mean, you're everywhere. You are in that, like, elite class of contemporary authors. And you've got all of these folks like you are a name, Brady Colbert, like people know you. How does that feel? Like when did that? When did you start to see that like, oh, my gosh, this is like, this is really happening for me. How does that feel? How do you manage that?
Brandy 12:07 Oh, thank you. I don't know if it ever feels real. Or if it ever feels like oh my gosh, people know who I am. You know, there may be a little bit of impostor syndrome that creeps in there sometimes. But you know, I think for me, I just always think each book could be my last, you know, so I just kind of go sort of move forward with that. But I do remember, this was sort of in the before times, right? Like before the pandemic and it was Book Expo in New York in 2019. And my book, the Revolution of Birdie Randolph was about to come out, I think it came out that August. And this was May. And so I had a signing for the advanced reader copies. And I had never been to be BEA before. So I like didn't know what to expect. It was huge. It was a lot, you know. And I went over with my publicist, and we were like, getting ready for the signing. And I saw, you know my name, but I was just kind of overwhelmed. And I'm like, Ah, like, I hope that, you know, people show up for the signing. And my publicist kind of gave me this weird look. And he was like, that line of people sneaking around the corner is for you. I just had no idea. So I think that was sort of the moment and then talking to people in that signing line who were like, bringing in, you know, books from that I've written previously published or talking about books they had read by me, I was like, wait a minute, I think I have like a growing readership. So I would say that was sort of like the moment that solidified it all. But I will say I think with Black Birds in the Sky, I think I've gotten, you know, a new level of exposure. And I don't know if that's because it's nonfiction. And it's sort of a new, you know, genre that people are not used to seeing me write in. But it's been really exciting. And I just feel really lucky because publishing is a very difficult business. You know, there's a huge difference. I know, you both know, between the writing of it all and the publishing of it all. And you know, it's really hard to kind of stay afloat and publishing sometimes. So I feel really lucky and just really grateful that I get to keep publishing books and work that really speaks to me.
Charity 14:09 Okay, so quickly, I want to circle back to something you just said. So even as successful as you are, as well known as you are, all the books that you've put out, you said every time you write like this could be your last book. Do you honestly think that? Like there's, is there not a, like, I'm How does that work for authors? Like so even though you've got a lot of books, you're super successful, is there still a question? Like will the next one sell? Will it be a flop? Like, are those thoughts that you will actually have?
Brandy 14:40 Yeah, I do. You know, I have talks with author friends. And I think that all of us kind of feel that way. So I don't think I'm necessarily alone in that. I'm not sure if every author feels that way. But for me, it kind of keeps me a little grounded. To not get too big of a head. So like if one of my books does particularly well, I just think, all right, well, that book did really well. And now you have to move on to the next one because you can't, you can't coast, you know, like sort of that you're only as good as your last book. So, yeah, it you know, it might be more of a Brandy thing than an author thing. But I think I'm just always working to, like, get better with each book. So I don't ever want to get too comfortable with what I've done before, or assumed that like, that's gonna carry me and like, you know, I'll forever just be known as that author. That makes sense.
Jen 15:23 In addition to race, a lot of your books deal with LGBTQ plus characters. And as librarians, sometimes we're pushing against this idea that, well, kids can't read about LGBTQ plus characters. And I think, where are the uncles, the aunts, the parents, like, does average America not realize that people have gay parents? And we get to see gay parents in several of your books, and I'm so happy about that.
Brandy 15:56 Thank you. Yeah, you know, growing up in Springfield, like, it was just always like, this kind of hush hush thing as if there was nobody who identified on the LGBTQI plus spectrum, and it's like, I don't really even know if I knew what that was, you know, and so I remember specifically meeting like, the first, like, out, you know, gay person, I worked with him. And when I was like, 18, or something, and just thinking back, and like, that's absurd, like, you know, I definitely should have met someone who felt comfortable being out before then. But it just really wasn't the case in Springfield. And so, and I don't remember, you know, seeing that on television in a positive light, hearing about it in a positive light from anyone. And so to me, it's really important to write books for kids who may grow up in areas like that still, who don't meet someone in that community until they're 18, which, again, just living in L.A., for so long. And like, that's just wild to me. Um, and it's really important to have that representation out there for people, you know, that's part of my world, I have a lot of friends who identify, you know, on that spectrum, and it's just, it's the world, it's just really important. Like you said, there's gay parents, there's gay aunts, uncles, friends, and family, like there's, you know, everybody, it's just part of our world.
Jen 17:09 Yeah. And in addition to getting to see a variety of people, let's talk about the elephant in the room. So one of my favorite books of yours is The Only Black Girls in Town. You grew up in Springfield. How close to home is that? Because I will say when I went to college, and finally met black people, because there weren't any in the town I came from. They were black people, like the black people in your books, that, you know, were named after Warhol icons or something that you know, their family listen to NPR or read The New Yorker. So how do you bring that perspective into your writing?
Brandy 17:51 Yeah, that is the elephant in the room, right? So people always ask, like, where do you get your ideas? And you know, that when I was just thinking a lot, like, you know, how I grew up, and how I was always like, wanting a kid my age to move in across the street, and then I'm like, what if she had been black? And I was like, oh, there's your story. Yeah, you know, I think for me, there was so much of not feeling black enough. When I was growing up. It was either, you know, too black for the white kids, or not black enough for some of the black kids I encountered. And, you know, I mean, but there also just weren't that many black kids at my school, there were five in my graduating class of like, 300. And we all sort of felt that same way. I think, like, we hadn't necessarily felt black enough for everybody. And we were going to the super white school, I mean, on the super white side of town. So yeah, you know, for me, I think I used to be pretty self conscious about writing the kinds of characters I did, because I was really worried that they wouldn't be considered black. And then I was just kind of like, maybe you just tackle that head on, you know, so I wanted to put these two black girls together and show that there's multiple ways of being black, that they might have ideas about it, and it doesn't match up. But like, at the end of the day, they're both black like, they're black girls, and that means they're black, no matter what their experiences are.
Jen 19:08 Yeah, and specifically, Eddie is a goth. And it reminded me so much of like one of my besties who is really into heavy metal, and he still comes down, we go to indie rock concerts, but he's a six eight’08" black dude that everybody asks, So did you play basketball? Just like, no.
Brandy 19:33 Right? And there's just so much room for diversity there. There's like tons of black kids who listen to indie rock and metal and are goths and all of that, you know, I wasn't necessarily like that. But I was listening to I remember when I was like nine, like one of my favorite songs is by that group Poison. I'm just like, what, like, you know, that's probably not what anybody expected. But it's like, I also listened to a lot of, you know, basically every black artist that was on MTV at the time, because MTV actually showed videos back then so, you know? Yeah, I just think it was really important for me to show like that diversity within blackness because I don't think even though there are those portrayals out there in books, I don't know, if they always get the push that they should, you know, from readers and sort of the gatekeepers as well.
Charity 20:18 That brings up a question. I'm curious, when you started writing and getting books published, and presenting books with those kinds of characters, that kind of representation. Was there any pushback? Or did you really have a lot of autonomy and freedom to present the stories that you wanted? Like, how did the gatekeepers at the publishing industry handle those stories?
Brandy 20:43 Yeah, I've always been really lucky. I think, in that I've gotten to write what I want to write, I haven't gotten any pushback. And, you know, sometimes I look back at my books, I'm like, I can't believe they let me do that, you know? Oh, like, there's a lot of, you know, romance in quotes, like, in Little & Lion. And I'm just like, wow, like, there's a lot going on there. But you know, even from my first book Pointe that was published in 2014. And you know, there were even fewer black authors who were being published then. And, you know, it's about a girl who's dealing with, you know, I don't want to give too much away, but of past, you know, sexual trauma. And looking back, I'm just like, I can't believe they let me do that, you know, but I really feel like I've had a wonderful literary agent. I've been working with her, you know, since the beginning. And I've just always had wonderful editors, they were really open to letting me tell different types of stories. So I feel really grateful for that.
Charity 21:35 What kind of stories would you still like to see? Or what are the stories that you think there still aren't enough of these kinds of stories? I want more people writing these stories? What do you want to see more of?
Brandy 21:47 Yeah, gosh, I mean, I think it's getting better. So that's really good. But yeah, I want to see, you know, just more stories about black kids from all different walks of life. You know, all different types from all different areas of the country. Like people always ask me if I'm going to write a story about kids living in Missouri, and like, I think it's just too close. But you know, I want to see those types of books of kids living in suburban environments, rural environments, as well as what we already have out there and more of like the city type stories. And when I see kids grappling with, you know, their blackness in different ways, or just even grappling with their blackness, sometimes I think the books that are pushed aren't necessarily ones where kids, you know, ever have any sort of identity crisis. And like, you know, I certainly did, and I know now growing up, or having grown up, I know that a lot of other black people had sort of those experiences, maybe growing up in, you know, predominantly white towns, or growing up in the suburbs, or, you know, whatever, didn't have an experience that we see very often. So I really just want more diversity within diversity. And, you know, I don't identify on the LGBTQIA spectrum. So I won't be writing any more books from that perspective. But I'll always have characters in my books that identify on the spectrum. And I really want to see more of that from authors who do identify as part of that community, you know, writing their own books, and we're getting there, there's still not a lot, but I think that we're getting there. So I'm happy to see the direction that we're hopefully moving in.
Charity 23:21 I'm wondering if you have any advice for the kids and teens, maybe who have read your books, but do do live in maybe those neighborhoods, those communities where there aren't a lot of people that look like them? Do you have any advice for those kids? How do they find their people? How do they, do you, make it?
Brandy 23:43 Yeah, gosh, that's so tough, you know, but it's way easier now, I would say than it was when I was a kid, the internet was just not around like it is today. It wasn't really around at all. So, you know, I would say just try to maybe reach out online. I think one thing is that I did feel really isolated as a kid I even though I know there were other people in my hometown, who were going through the same thing, and even some of my friends at school, but we just didn't talk about it, because it just felt easier to just sort of blend in and let it go. So yeah, I would say to just reach out as much as you can to find people, you know, online, I don't actually know where kids go online to find things probably TicTok? I don't know, like, do kids use Snapchat still? I'm like, I don't know. But to reach out that way. And also maybe just find, you know, books are so powerful, as we all know, and just finding those types of books that, you know, as I said, there are more coming out now I think than ever before. And just I think even seeing yourself and knowing even if it's just, you know, a fictional character like that this character is going through this. So that means that the person who wrote this knows what it's like, and even then, I mean, you know, I think authors always loved hearing from kids and teens, you know, so to hear from someone who was going through that, I would love that as well. So I know it's probably not, I don't know, super useful advice, but it's a difficult position to be in.
Jen 25:06 Okay, this will be one of my last questions, but I read The Voting Booth. And it's a day in the life of this kid that's having trouble voting. He's a mixed race boy. And then he, you know, this African American girl kind of takes him under her wing. And it's their attempt at getting him to be able to vote. So when I read books like Black Birds in the Sky, or The Voting Booth, I'm filled with rage. And as an adult, last year was the first time I worked as a poll worker. So as an adult, I know there's things I can do. What do you say to the teenagers who read something like The Voting Booth? Or Black Birds in the Sky and just become enraged? And where, where should they channel that?
Brandy 25:55 Yeah, I know, there was a lot of rage for me in writing both of those books. So yes, thank you for saying that. Yeah, I always say, to just try to channel that rage, you know, into something productive. So for me, my best use of that is, or my best use of avenues of activism, I would say, is to write, um, you know, much better with the books with the words, all of that, but some people are better at protests. That's not really my game. But you know, a lot of people are really great at that. And I think if you can get out there and use your voice, that's so helpful, you know, writing to Congressman, or calling congress people, excuse me, calling congress people. All of that stuff is really useful. Even just talking though to people in their life. You know, I know a lot of people say like, the whole, you know, Thanksgiving scenario of like, I'm sitting around the table with my family. And we all have differing opinions. And I don't want to get into it, you know, I say get into it, honestly. Because if you can't hear it from your family, then who are you going to hear it from? And at least even if it doesn't work out, you know, that you tried. So I always say, just use your voice the way you're most comfortable. And for me, it is words, but it's also like, I'm a person who's not afraid of, you know, confrontation, I don't want it to sound like I court confrontation. I don't. But I'm not afraid to talk to somebody about uncomfortable things and maybe get some pushback in person. So I always try to use my voice that way, too, when I can.
Jen 27:17 And about speaking to your family members, I've heard one approach is to not necessarily make it as confrontational as much as like, ask them. Well, where did you get that? Where did you form that? How did you formulate this opinion? I'm really curious. And then when they actually have to start trying to think about the logic behind their own opinions. That's kind of your in.
Brandy 27:40 Oh, totally. Yeah. I think just asking questions is the best way. That's why I say yeah, like confrontation. Hopefully, it doesn't come to that. Like, you know, but yeah, asking lots of questions. Exactly. I think that's like the perfect way to go. Because after a while, it's like, wait a minute, I don't have a good answer for this. What is this whole belief that I have, you know?
Charity 27:58 Well, I think this will probably be my last question. I'm so curious. Who did you love to read as a kid? And who do you love now?
Brandy 28:05 Oh, my gosh, I love this question. Um, I was obsessed with Judy Blume, of course, you know, like any good young reader was, I could not just not get enough of her books. And I just really liked the way that she was so honest, you know, and really, you could tell that she really understood kids and teenagers and she really cared about the writing that she was giving us. You know, the books she was giving us. So I loved her. Of course loved Beverly Cleary. I read a lot of like, Sweet Valley, not even Sweet Valley High, Sweet Valley twins, the ones where they were like in middle school, which I think is like half the reason I moved to California, honestly, they made it sound so perfect. And then birth to Clements was like another author that I loved, loved, loved. And a lot of people haven't heard of her. You know, I don't even know if she's still around. But she wrote these really great books that followed these kids from like, fourth grade up through high school. And she was like, probably the most honest writer for kids I think I ever encountered like some things that I read in her books. I was just like, I can't believe she's going there. And then she just would and I was like, but this is great, because there are kids who live that you know those lives and who can see themselves and then kids like me who were understanding that not all kids have the great childhood that you did so as for today. Oh my gosh, I'm reading everybody so much I love I love Nina the core. A lot of K Arnold. Elliott Schrieffer Renee Watson DBS boy, and reading Melinda Lowe's latest that won every award possible. It's so good. I had it before it went all the words and I feel like I should have read it so I could have been like, Yeah, I knew that was gonna win everything. Um, yeah, just I know, I'm leaving out somebody that I really, really enjoy. But um, There's just so much good literature out there. And I'm I just I'm so happy for today's teens that they just get to see so many perspectives and experiences that I never got to read when I was that age.
Jen 30:11 One thing I want to add about Melinda Lowe, because she writes us great historical novel, which again, is kind of struggling with just trying to find what what it would have been like to be a gay Asian American in the 40s. And she was talking about going through the history, well, you can go to her website, and the history links she has on her website are just so much fun, so many rabbit holes, you can go down on just her website after reading the book.
Brandy 30:44 Oh, good. I can't wait. And I saw I just kind of flipped the back to look and I saw there's a ton of back matter to which you know, you don't really get with novels very often. So the nerdy researcher, part of me is super excited to dig into all of that.
Jen 30:56 Well, thank you so much for joining us. And maybe you'll have a new title to promote next time you come back. What are you working on?
Brandy 31:06 Yeah, um, thank you so much for having me. This has been the best. And I think my next book that's coming out, is that YA novel? It's working title is the Blackwoods. And it's this big sort of saga about a black Hollywood family over several generations. So you kind of have the great grandmother who died at the start of the novel, and she had a career in Hollywood, and her contemporary would have been like Dorothy Dandridge. So we see her kind of from growing up in the 40s, all the way through her life. And then you see the perspective of two of her great grandchildren. Who one is the Hollywood actress now as a teenager, and then the other is like, not famous at all, but gets dragged into the spotlight. So lots of family drama has a family tree in it right now. So I'm super excited by that because I've always wanted to write a book with a family tree. So I think that'll be out next year in 2023. Sometime, I'm not positive, but that should be the next thing you see. For me.
Jen 32:02 My family saga. Looking forward to it.
Brandy 32:05 Thank you. Yes, it's a lot of work, but it'll be worth it.
Jen 32:08 Thanks for joining us for another episode, send your book and show suggestions or comments to imagine at the library.org We'd love to hear from you. Follow us on Facebook for the latest news and events. This has been a production of the Springfield Greene County Library District. Thank you for listening