OneChele: Ms. Grant, thank you so much to agreeing to this interview today!
Ms. Grant (giving side-eye): Umm, sure but you realize that you are me and I am you so really we’re just sitting here talking to ourselves.
OneChele: You just referred to two sides of yourself as “we” so who is the crazy one here?
Ms. Grant: Moving on…
OneChele: That’s my line.
Ms. Grant (sighing): Let’s just move on.
OneChele: Yes, let us... we… me… nevermind. So, you have written a brilliant work of fiction entitled Heard It All Before. What kind of book is it and what is it about?
Ms. Grant: This is fun, relationship fiction. It’s about a bougie chick in Dallas-
OneChele: I’m shocked.
Ms. Grant (sucking teeth): ANYway, it’s about a bougie chick named Jewel in Dallas who literally bumps into a guy named Roman who lives in the hood and how with all their friends, family, and exes constantly dragging them into drama, they try and make a relationship work.
OneChele: So Rome and Jewel, is this a twist on Romeo and Juliet?
Ms. Grant: You know when I first dreamed up this plot over fourteen years ago, it really was. But the plot and the secondary characters just grew until I just decided to keep the names and work the book around them.
OneChele: So tell me more about Roman and Jewel.
Ms. Grant: Jewel owns her own home in North Dallas and runs her own temporary agency. She took a break from dating after her ex-fiancé decided to go back to his ex-girlfriend. She’s a little bit jaded about the relationship thing but she is immediately drawn to Roman.
OneChele: I take it Roman is fine.
Ms. Grant: Of course Rome is fine. Rome owns a landscape architecture company and his own home on the Southside of Dallas. He comes from a large Cajun family, was married once before and has a young son named Chase.
OneChele: Talk about some of the other characters.
Ms. Grant: Well, there is Renee – she’s one of Jewel’s best friends. She had a rough childhood and overcompensates for her insecurities by plotting, scheming and running game. A large portion of the story revolves around her game-playing with Gregory, the ultimate Bougie Buppie. There are also some fun characters like Jewel’s friend Roni Mae (who has taken to calling herself Veronique) and Rome’s brother Beau who is trouble in a pretty package.
OneChele: Sounds intriguing. How long did it take you get published?
Ms. Grant: Over ten years and twenty reject letters. The last letter I sent out, I had already decided would be the last letter… if it was rejected this time I would know I wasn’t meant to write professionally. Thankfully, the good folks at Kensington loved it and within four weeks of sending that letter I had a three-book deal.
OneChele: So there is more to come from Michele Grant?
Ms. Grant: Much more! And of course now that you, we, I… whatever! are having such a great time with the blog, there might be a book in some of these experiences too.
OneChele: So are the characters in the book based on people you know?
Ms. Grant: No and yes. First of all, I know no men like Roman or I would have clubbed him over the head and dragged him to the altar. Also, I tried to create unique and individual characters from scratch. But I will admit there are some definite thoughts, sayings and actions of my friends and family that creep into my characters.
OneChele: Did you put yourself, us, into the book?
Ms. Grant: Again, no and yes. A few OneChele-isms are in there and a few patented Michele looks and attitudes snuck into the plot.
OneChele: So when is the book due out?
Ms. Grant: Publication date is January 2010 but it is now available for pre-sale on Amazon with a late December ship date so – holiday reading!
OneChele: Any more sides/names of us?
Ms. Grant: Might be one or two more Michele-entities out there, you never know.
OneChele: There is one last thing I ask all of my interviewees: On the Sliding Scale of Bouge from Ghetto to Rarest Bouge, where do your characters and where do you fall?
Ms. Grant: Rome is regular, Jewel is a lil bouge. I tiptoe up and down the scale on a regular basis but usually hover around bougie.
OneChele: Well thank you for the interview, I look forward to reading the book.
Ms. Grant: I’m going to assume my BnB Bougie Book Review will be favorable?
OneChele: Don’t get ahead of yourself; we are strict here in BougieLand.
So now that you’ve read me talking to me, any questions for either of me? J Seriously though, if you like the blog –order the book! More details about the Michele Grant of it all can be found at my other “all business no bouge” website: www.MicheleGrant.net. Enjoy your weekends!