Sunday, April 29, 2007

Going Back to My Roots--AJ's Serendipity


So before I struck out on my originals, I wrote fan fiction. Yes, yes i did. I know there are those who look down up on it, but I can say writing fanfic helped me tweak the mechanics of my own writing, to find my voice and rhythm, so I definitely don't knock it.

That being said, I have started a new fan fic/free read. Some of you may be familiar with the author Aliyah Burke, but if you aren't you should. She is phenomenal. I read her A Knight's Vow and loved it immensely, and then I discovered she had more books, so I gobbled them up as well. She has a series of books about men from a Navy SEAL team called the Megalodons. She has been gracious in allowing me to write a story about one of the minor characters from this series: Alejandro (AJ) Melonakos, cousin of Dimitri Melonakos, who is a member of the SEAL team. I will post the link of the story in my blog and post it to my google group so you can read the updates. I want to say thank you again to Aliyah Burke and hope you all enjoy!


AJ's Serendipity

This is the story of Alejandro Kyriakos Melonakos, a cousin of Dimitri “Merlin” Melonakos, a member of SEAL Team Seventeen, the Megalodon Team. The story is told from AJ’s perspective. Come join them for the five days in Greece while AJ tries to convince visiting American, Samara Grossman, to let go of her inhibitions and embrace her own self-worth and ultimately, their intertwined destinies.


He spotted her in the market as he was shopping for fresh ingredients for his restaurant. She was clearly an American, for Americans tended to stick out like sore thumbs, especially in Greece. It was the way she carried herself; cautious, but not nearly cautious enough, as if someone wouldn’t have the unmitigated gall to approach and do something untoward to her. She was looking at the wares being sold at Monastiraki. It was clear she wasn’t really interested in buying anything, but she gave the vendors shy smiles and nodded when appropriate. Before he knew what he was doing, he had paid for his purchases and began following the woman.

She was a black woman, her skin not as dark as he had seen with other women, but there was a dark caramel hue to her that shone beautifully against the pink sundress she was wearing. The straps were thin, and her chest seemed bountiful and full in the bodice. Her cleavage was stunning, he thought, and her skin seemed so smooth.

Her hair was in that natural Afro style, and there was a cliff rose flower tucked behind her ear. She was by no means the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, and her body probably wouldn’t grace a magazine cover in the near future, but she was his very definition of a woman: soft, lush, delicately strong. He thought her adorable, especially since she seemed oblivious to the looks other men were giving her. Not oblivious in the sense she knew she was getting the attention and was patently ignoring it, but in a way that she seemed not even to think it a possibility she could enchant someone the way she was. It was as if she needed someone to help her discover all the treasures she possessed, and he was nothing if not an ardent and enthusiastic explorer of the female form.

Friday, April 27, 2007

On the Radio

I did my first radio interview for Being Plumville. Heh.

WGCV 620AM Where Knowledge Is Power

Columbia, SC

They don't have a live feed, but the host, Kaela Harmon (also one of my best friends, so yeah, I had an in ;) ) is going to get the audio to me at some point. She said I sounded good so here's hoping!

Vietnam Story 3

There is an update on the group. Here is an excerpt below.



Erica rubbed her brother’s forearm. “Will you be able to handle tomorrow? Will you be able to see her?”

He took a deep breath. “I already have.”


Erica had stopped walking, but Eric hadn’t, looking at his feet as he walked on the sidewalk. Soon the clicks of Erica’s footsteps could be heard, and her dainty feet appeared in his line of vision. “When?—is that why you took the car? How did you find her? You don’t even know where she lives—!”

“There’s this thing called asking—”

“Oh really,” Erica said, rolling her eyes. “Because it’s the South and everyone knows where everyone else lives—”

“I had her address.”

Erica went quiet at that, tucking her arm through his. They walked together in silence for a bit, Eric wondering just what was going on in his sister’s mind.

“You’ve had her address all this time?”

He nodded.

“Why . . .?” She shook her head. “Doesn’t matter anymore. But you went to see her?”

A breeze picked up, feeling good as it brushed against his face and hair. He took a deep breath, once again reveling in the freshness of it.

“I went to the diner, and I saw her there. Just a glimpse though . . . she’s tall. Dwayne had been tall . . .”

“They have the same parents, dear.”

“She’s a woman now,” Eric murmured. “She’s not fifteen anymore . . .”

Erica squeezed his arm and the three of them made it to the car. Erica drove back, though this time Dwayne sat in the front seat. Eric allowed himself to doze off, his mind conjuring visions of Addy, how their meeting might go. Would she be happy to see him? Upset? Sad? Would he even be able to talk to her? There were twenty years of stories untold between them; she could be a completely different person from the letters . . . he could be.

He was.

Would she still have tender feelings for him anyway? Did she . . . still love him? Was it wrong he hoped she did? God knew he still loved her. Out of sight was not out of mind in this case; she was always there, an imprint of goodness that had kept him sane during the war and in the years after it.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Decently Fragmented


I feel all over the place, admittedly. The Being Plumville has (technically, according to Amazon and Barnes and Noble) been out for exactly a month today. The people who have contacted me about the book have been very supportive, and I am thankful for them. It does surprise me when people tell me they've absolutely loved the book and what a wonderful writer I am. It made me realize that I don't really think there is one person who genuinely and truly knows who I am.

On this journey as a writer, the first steps starting ten years ago or around about there, has always really been a solitary experience for me. It started quite against my will. My uncle signed me up for Duke Young Writers' Camp, and my thought was the LAST place I, a Geek, Dork, Nerd, Socially-inept rotund black girl need to go was a camp full of Geeks, Dorks, Nerds, and Socially-inept other persons.

Well, joke was completely on me.

I fell in love with that camp, all the Geeks, Dorks, nerds, and Socially-inept persons who were the total opposite of that for the most part. For two weeks every year I was surrounded by like persons who generally accepted the quirky, off-kilter, shy, daydreaming, solitary, own-little-world habits we in that awkward stage of adolescents usually have at that point. It didn't matter I was often the only black girl at the camp, it was home to me. I didn't know I loved writing until I could write for something other than a school assignment. When it could come from me and my imagination. That I could share something private or personal about myself and no one would laugh because we were a community of writers who all wanted someone who could empathize, sympathize, and realize those personal and private parts with us.

Then I get into college, and from writing, comes singing. I sang in Kuumba (official title: The Kuumba Singers of Harvard College--there IS a concert this weekend at Sanders Theater on Harvard's Campus at 8PM, tickets $12 unless you're a student (or know one) then it's $8) and tapped into something else I loved to do. Sing. I sing all the time. I know my neighbors probably hate it. I'm not awful at it, I don't think, but what was better, the choir allowed me to write and share my poetry and gave me the confidence to pay homage to all my nameless ancestors, especially of the female variety, because we rarely get any love in our own Black History. The choir also gave me the support to try out for the creative thesis, and helped me deal with the bitter pill of racism I experience (and didn't want to call it for what it was because it had been so unexpected an awful). In the end, I received a good grade on my thesis, and more importantly, I got out with a degree in two concentrations. Yeah. I so did.

Now that I'm out, and have been out for two years, I am alone. Then again, even when I was at that camp or in school, I still felt alone. Disconnected. Fragmented. I only gave out pieces of my self, pieces I think others would like. I wish I could give my all, but the one person I was able to give that to left me, and I haven't been able to do it as fully since.

My mother.

My first "published" writing was for the Duke Young Writers' Camp literary magazine it put out the end of each session. That poem I submitted was about my mother. She was at the start of this, and she's always around, always at the fore. I miss her. This year in November will be 15 years without her. She is the one person I want to hear say is proud of me, and . . . she can't. At least not with a hug. I want a hug from her. I miss her hugs. I miss her. Sometimes I feel she is the only person who has ever loved me unconditionally, and I find I need that feeling now more than ever, even in the midst of all the congratulations and encouragement I'm getting along this journey. All my life I've wanted to be liked, and I would always put out the parts of me that I think would have them like me. But not me. Just that part of me. There are people at home who have no idea I sing. There are people up here who had no idea I write. There are people who know me and know neither about me. And I know I'm not the best. I'm decent. I'm fairly competent at things, but not the best, not spectacular. I'm not the best friend, the best writer, the best singer, the best student, the best niece or granddaughter or cousin or daughter. I think I'm a pretty good sister. Sometimes. Possibly.

But my mother. I had the best mother. I did. No one can ever tell me otherwise. I think I borderline worship her. I've never heard a bad word about her, and she was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside.

I miss her.

It happens whenever something significant happens: graduation, some major birthday, the book being released. I wish she was here. I feel stunted and behind and just . . . I want her laugh. I want her hug. I want her to tell me she loves me. I want to climb into her bed on Saturday morning and just snuggle with her. Yes, I'm 23 years old and I want that. But I can't have that. And it sucks.

Her death changed me. Shook me, clearly. I began parceling out pieces , afraid that if I give my all to someone, that person will go away, too, to someplace I'm not meant to follow. Sometimes I've given bigger pieces than others, and when I've done that, the results haven't been the best. There are bits of this fear in my characters, but as my fiction writer professor at Harvard said, the personal is universal. I work out all those things through my writing. I flesh it out and give it the HEA I and I'm sure other people are searching for. That's why I write love stories. I read love stories. A Harvard graduate who wants to write, and write primarily love stories, for a living. Not just romance, although those are the easiest for me to find, but stories of mothers loving their children, fathers loving their children. I love watching a father with his child. My father didn't raise me, but he loves me. I love him. My mother raised me for a little while, and I love her. My grandmother, aunts, uncles, godmamas, teachers, community. They raised me, and I love them.

I'm working on my love story. Starring me. Featuring me. I'm staring at these fragments and I am working on seeing that the fragments together are worthy of love. Some days it's harder than others. Even if it's just me who ends up loving the put-together fragments, that is a Happily Ever After to which I should aspire.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Seems the conversating has paid off . . .

I just got my first Amazon review! Thank you so much JoJo Dancer! *hugs*

Customer Reviews
Average Customer Review:
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One of the best IR books I have read, April 21, 2007
Reviewer:JoJo Dancer (Baltimore, MD) - See all my reviews
This was a wonderful book. The characters were very believable and the relationship between Benny and Ceelee was realistic. I bought the book 2 weeks ago and I have read it 3 times.

Comment | Was this review helpful to you? YesNo


Yeah, me and Him have been conversating. Not conversing. Conversating.

Yeah, it's one of those days.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

In which Sav needs to learn to be a little more shameless

Hello, everyone!

So, Being Plumville has been out for a week (two weeks, if you pay attention to the listings on and . . . which I don't . . . because until you could throw in my name or title in the search box and get something back, it's not "out", as it was.) and some people have told me they have received their books, going to get their books, have read their books, etc. To you, I say thank you. I also have a request. If you purchased the books through Amazon or Barnes and Noble, could you please spare a moment and write an honest review? If you got the book and it let you down, that's a very valid review to tell other readers. If you got the book and it exceeded your expectations, that's even better. If you got the book and it met your expectations, then let potential readers know that, too. As a reader, I know I am swayed by reviews I read and word of mouth. I know word-of-mouth is still among the most powerful ways to get the buzz going, so anyway you can do that--be it online or to your friends, coworkers, etc, that would be amazing.

(Listen to your own advice, Sav).


Yeah . . . I'm working on it. The lovely ladies at RICH have been most helpful in . . . helping me! *big hugs to them*

And thanks so much to you! I stole the IP map from Jo . . . because I thought it was so cool to see where people are from. I've pulled Thailand, Japan, and Southern Africa so far, which is amazing *waves to you all*. I think I know who the people from Europe are, so *waves to you, too*. And to all the rest in the US of A, especially the West Coast, thanks for visiting! Feel free to say hello!

Also, on the left sidebar I put up a link to show where you can "Browse Before You Buy"; it's the prologue and first chapter of the novel.

I hope everyone is enjoying her Sunday (or Monday if you're on the other side of the world!)



Thursday, April 12, 2007

Overwhelmed (in less than a good way)

Yes. My book is out in the universe thanks to iUniverse.

Now I feel at a lost, stumped, and downright mentally exhausted. All I keep hearing now from my family is "what's the plan?"

I know I need a marketing plan. I really do; I'm not so naive not to know that. However, I couldn't even begin to know where to start. Outside of my (apparently hit-or-miss) web site, my blog and my google group, as well as telling all of my friends via e-mail, facebook, IM, and the various other messageboards I'm on, I pretty much was relying on word-of-mouth to help me along. I am not a planner. I am a writer. I understood when I first decided to thumb my nose at NY establishment that I would have to bear the brunt of everything, but as someone who works, is working on way too many other novels, and is just so god-awfully shy, I'm feeling daunted, quite frankly. I do not think of my writing as a hobby at all, but I'd like one minute for me to catch my breath before I go hawking my book to people who don't know me, probably don't care to know me, and, in light of the present racial culture out there, would probably think my novel is the Black Plague, Small Pox, and the Bird Flu all rolled into one. Added to that, I've only gotten two reviews on my book (outside of people who know me personally telling me what they think of it.) That review on B&N is looking awfully lonely, and Amazon has nothing up. Be careful what you wish for, Sav. I know, I know, but I have no idea how many books I've sold outside what iUniverse is telling me, which is a grand total of one actual book and seven e-books. I KNOW I've sold more than that because my friend just texted and said she got a book, as well as two people from TST telling me they just purchased it. I sent it off to Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards, so hopefully I'll get good news from that, and in general, I feel very lost, flopping around; a grounded bird. Yes, I've been busy at work, but the inspiration to write other things is gone. I have VS and GS and TF (poor, poor, neglected TB) but nothing is flowing. I need time to unwind, but I need a marketing plan.

Did I mention I don't have one? I thought I should again.

I have a new appreciation for professional writers now. I just do. Much props.

Monday, April 09, 2007

My First Review: Being Plumville

I thought I'd share from the Barnes and Noble web site:

A reviewer, fan of good IR fiction, 04/07/2007 Customer Rating for this product is 4 out of 5
One reader's review
Being Plumville is one of the better I/R romances that I have had the opportunity to read. Ms. Frierson's depictions of the south and the ultimate love and tenderness between Ben and Ceelee is poignant and real. This is definitely a read I would recommend and I look forward to reading more from this author.


Whoever wrote that, I'm so thankful and grateful! I really and truly appreciate it! *hugs*

I'm a Ms.Frierson! lol So cool!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

If you buy Being Plumville . . .

Please either go through iUniverse or Barnes and Noble because I get higher royalty rates from them. I mean, you know, get it where you can get it, obviously, but I'd be much obliged if you could go to those two places before anywhere else.

Thank you SO much for your support! I really appreciate it!


Friday, April 06, 2007

Just Published: Being Plumville

Just Published...

Being Plumville

Savannah J. Frierson

Living in the small, southern town of Plumville is effortless, seamless, and safe … if you follow the rules. You’re given them from birth, and anything that could possibly make you break them is removed from your life—even if it’s your best friend.

Such is the case for Benjamin Drummond and Coralee Simmons, two best friends separated during childhood because Benjamin is white, Coralee is black, and relationships between the two races are unspoken in its taboo. However, fifteen years later during the turbulent 1960s, Benjamin and Coralee are reunited, and despite their upbringing, neither are able to deny what they had in their innocent youth, nor suppress the desire to rekindle it—maybe even into something more.

The reunion forces the pair and those around them to examine the consequences of following the status quo versus following their hearts. Is friendship too high a price to pay to be Plumville? Is love? Will Benjamin and Coralee become who Plumville raised them to be, or who they were born to be?

Buy It Now!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Overwhelmed (In a Good Way)

First, Happy Belated Birthday to my sister who turned twenty yesterday *dies*. I can't believe it! When did that happen? Oh well, Here's to at least 80 more years!


Also, last week was a very weird week, starting with the "weird" rejection letter to me being just mentally and spiritually exhausted with the whole writing thing. I literally glared at my WiPs for a minute, wondering if they'll ever get finished, will they ever see the light of day once they are *eyes Manna Tree*, did I bite off more than I can chew *eyes Vietnam Story*, will some other off-based agent think my writing "isn't strong enough" and "redundant" *rolls eyes*. I talked with my father on Friday, and he told me something that I had never thought of before he said it--many times it's really not about talent who gets published. It has less to do with you and more to do with the flaws of the industry. And I agreed, and not because my ego needed stroking, but because I talk with other authors who, in my humble and not-so-humble opinion should've been snapped up and published last year. And while e-book publishers are wonderful because they offer you an audience, I defy anyone to say the ultimate goal of an author isn't to make it to NYC and end up on the Bestsellers' List and on Oprah and The Today Show and etc, etc, etc. In other words, maximum audience. These authors who I think of . . . people STARVE for their type of writing, and if agents are so stupid/unwilling to take a risk on them (even if it's not a risk . . . unless the risk is selling too damn many books/books that expand the scope of who a black woman is supposed to be, how a black woman is supposed to be loved, and who is supposed to love her and vice versa), then they DESERVE to miss the boat. If agents and publishers are more willing to give advances to and publish plagiarists than people with real, genuine, authentic talent, then poo on them! I know there are agents, however who are willing to take that risk, however. That is the only reason I and the others of whom I speak haven't given up yet. You find the books, as few and far between they seem to be now, that offer something new. Those books keep hope alive, even if that flame flickers dangerously at best sometimes.

And then, others have been so encouraging to me, keeping me in their thoughts, calling me out on certain message boards :-p, join my group, tell me how excited they are for my book to come out, talk with me into the wee hours in the morning, and make me not care I have to be up in three hours to go to work, texting me because I'd accidentally blocked them on IM while I had explained away her absence by thinking she'd finally gotten the life we had promised ourselves we're gonna get one day lol. Those who just keep me sane and reassure me that it was okay for me to put myself out there and go for it. I'll admit. I'm terrified. I'm terrified my skin isn't thick enough to handle the negativity. I'm terrified that I may exceed my very modest expectations and then not know how to handle it. I'm terrified of talking about my book to strangers and sounding like an idiot. I'm terrified of being asked questions about my writing to which I won't know the answer. Someone told me I'm a much better writer than speaker. Golly. Not something you want to hear, you know, if you have to go and do promotions and sell your book to random people. For so long, my writing has been just a private part of me, and in my tiny nook in the universe, I can talk to folks who know me as a writer and understand, or at least don't hold it against me if they don't. This must be how our parents felt when they watched us in their rearview mirrors as they left us behind on college campuses, or when they let us go to the head of the alter where some man would now be taking care of their baby girl, or when their baby has a baby of their own. Being Plumville is my baby, regardless if it's "the middle child" of sorts (RJC is my first and foremost baby, my thesis, the one that started it all, really). So the obvious question is why start off with Being Plumville? Because I finished it first lol. That's really why. I'm proud of it. I received just great feedback on it (special shout out to mirevas). I believe in it. And it was my original fiction debut in the Internet world, so I figure, why not a debut on a bigger scale?

Anyway, this is a long-winded post to tell folks "thank you". I'd been pleasantly surprised by the encouragement I'd received this past weekend especially. I didn't realize . . . yeah. I just didn't realize that many folks were eager for my writing or read this blog or the group. It's . . . weird . . . but I'm thankful. I guess, there are so many undiscovered authors out there who I think are just amazing and I'm trying to catch up with them. It's not envy, just an appreciation for their art and craft and how they apply it. For people, apparently, to think the same way of my writing is overwhelming. But in a good way.