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MURDER, SEX, DRUGS, PROFANITY—TOO REAL FOR THE YOUNG ADULT GENRE?

 

 

PRESS RELEASE

(Portland, Ore.) – Young adult fiction writer Boss Amanishakhete does not shy away from the controversy. Instead she takes it head on in her latest installment the Tippy Ellis Story 3 “Holla Me Bad,” where she’s passionate about creating fiction with characters to which today’s youth can relate.

This explosive new novel opens with 17-year-old LaTonya “Tippy” Ellis on the run from a malicious father who wants her committed to a mental health institution. Not because she’s crazy, but because he wants her $100 million dollar trust fund.

So then what is or who is Holla Me Bad? You’ll have to read the story to find out. But in short, it could reflect the attitude of anyone of the Tippy Ellis series characters, even though, the term is introduced by one. “Holla Me Bad ‘cause I’ma bad ass. Once you recognize you can’t help but to holla.”

Part 3 brings to light the sometimes painful, dark side of life that some adults wish to keep hidden or at least out of reach from teenage readers. Amanishakhete recognizes the power of words and self-imposed a notice to readers that she recommends her book for mature audiences 16 and up, but does not compromise on how kids really talk.

“I want young adult readers to see themselves in this story and feel validated,” says Amanishakhete, “that’s why I’ve created characters who act, talk, think and experience real life, not a sugar-coated version of adolescence. But at the same time I aim to present a variety of teachable moments for today’s young adults, especially young women.”

Amanishakhete joins other YA authors who challenge the belief that teens should be protected from exposure to certain language, content or subject matter by banning or censoring books. From bestselling authors to first time writers, they unite in favor of providing this fast-growing YA audience with true portrayals and real life experiences that mirror the lives of youth living in today’s information age.

Amanishakhete says her own colorful, adventurous and sometimes tragic life inspired her novels. “Holla Me Bad’s” edgy storyline engages both mature teens and adult audiences, as an African-American teen nicknamed “Tippy” finds herself without a voice, literally, when she suffers emotional and psychological trauma, resulting in her incapacity to speak. Estranged from the people who raised her, Tippy tries to make sense of things on her own, and fights to save who she is and shape who she will become. Foes make their moves and victims try to overcome the life-changing effects of murder, abuse and deceit.

Portland and Atlanta play the primary backdrop for the Tippy Ellis Story. This third installment dares to keep you on the edge of your seat while Tippy’s world unravels as she tries to hold on to the life she once knew. Even her BFF TiAnna lashes out. Then there’s Darius and Jeremy vying for her love. Remember daddy Robert T. Ellis? He’s got more surprises. Ask Unc Rae Rae. So who will be the last one standing?

“Holla Me Bad” Tippy Ellis Story 3 is on sale now at Amazon.com, Kindle eBook, Barnes & Noble and other electronic outlets. Stay in touch with Amanishakhete through her website and facebook, including information about book signings and book fairs at http://www.Ladybosswordsoul.me, http://www.tippyellis.me or Tippy’s Facebook page. For a media kit, to review a copy of the book, arrange an interview or book signing contact Lenora Daniels Media at ladybosswordsoul@gmail.com.

HOLLA ME BAD ISBN-13: 978-0615999777.

 

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Will African American fiction authors get the credit they deserve?

This is a blog I wrote a few years ago; however, it is still relevant. Things have changed since then like I now live in Atlanta, GA. And this series so far has three parts under the series title “The Tippy Ellis Story.”  You can find her on Amazon.com and a host of other bookstore retailers. 

As a new author to the fiction world, I am amazed at the wide range of talented black writers in this industry. Many authors we’ve heard of Carl Weber, Terry McMillian, Alice Monroe, Tony Morrison, Walter Mosley but numerous authors have yet to be acknowleged or celebrated.  For example, if you search for African American authors on-line at Barnes and Noble the results will come back with over 3,000 titles. Amazing huh?  Yep, black folks have passion for much more than basketball, singing and hip hop.

From what I’ve seen, even the most popular black authors rarely grace the front pages of major magazines or mainstream news. Seemingly, we have to fight our way to the forefront – to be seen – hoping to be heard and applauded for our works.

We have passion for what we do. Our individuality inspires great writers with great stories, offering ideals from a variety of black experiences beyond your typical street and hip hop literature, which appears to be growing in popularity – this is of no surprise.

Perhaps me being synical comes from living in a city called Portland, Oregon where blacks are 2 percent of the population if that. We usually get recognized if we commit a crime or if we belong to a closed niche group of black folks who the major news outlets recycle, making it sound like only a handful of black folks are doing good deeds, doing  great things.  I guess we can be grateful for our black media. But in my experience the geographical reach of black media, depending on where it is, is smaller. Further, the welcome mat doesn’t come easy and often expect to go unnoticed unless, of course, you already have the word celebrity attached to your name, or you know so and so at the corner store or church. There are exceptions.

So what advice is there for new black authors on the scene or for those interested in joining the long list of names already in the industry?

I’ve spent the past almost year writing my first novel, the first in a series, Diary of Tippy Ellis “Mama’s Daughter” and opted to self publish after having a focus group of early readers review the final draft. Inspired by my own life surrounded by often tragic circumstances, the Diary received raving reviews. I’m also a marketing and branding professional by trade so I am fortunate to have skills to self promote. Yet, I’ve found that introducing myself to the fiction world isn’t easy.  So far, I’ve been met with resistance and the money train is nearing empty.

To get the credit we deserve? I guess I have to rethink what that means. Change my blueprint and adhere to my mission for this series, which is to “Give young black women a voice” and to keep the spotlight on violence against women.  Both are crucial causes worth fighting for. Hence, I don’t need credit for that but the drive to continue the movement. Onward to part two.

In truth,

Boss Amanishakhete, author and Word-Soul artist

Trailer:  Diary of Tippy Ellis “Mama’s Daughter” by Boss Amanishakhete

Atlanta and Portland provide backdrops for a dynamic story about Latonya “Tippy” Ellis – 17 and black – who battles the pressures of drugs, alcohol and sex, while coming to grips with past family secrets. Through dealing with the trauma of murder and violence, Tippy learns to navigate the gauntlet of close friendships, love and life.

Diary of Tippy Ellis “Mama’s” Daughter” is currently on-line at Createspace.com and Amazon.com (paperback and kindle)

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