Urban Reviews: Tell our
readers about He Loves Me He Loves Me Not!.
Tracy L. Darity: Well,
He Loves Me He Loves Me Not! is a coming of age story
about a young woman who could have been any of us at one point
and time. Khadejah Johnson is preparing to graduate from high
school and head off to college. She has her future planned out
and a recipe for success at hand, but love gets in the way and
she makes some decisions that cause a major detour. Readers
journey with Khadejah as she finds herself in and out of
relationships in her search for love. Many wasted years and a
lot of tears later she is a single parent, and trying to undo
the damage caused by her reckless decision making.
Many readers have likened He Loves Me He Loves Me Not!
to comedian Steve Harvey’s Act Like A Lady Think Like A Man.
Khadejah has to learn those valuable lessons on her own. With
a cast of supporting characters, readers find themselves
rooting her on as well, and taking a vested interest in her
outcome. He Loves Me He Loves Me Not! is not just for
women. Men can also relate to this novel and the male figures
depicted from the her loving father, devoted brother, and the
men who seek to feel the void in Khadejah’s life.
Urban Reviews: How did
you come up with the story for this novel?
Tracy L. Darity: The
premise for the story came from a dialog I witnessed by Dr.
Gwendolyn Goldsby Grant, at the Just Sister’s Forum during the
1997 Essence Music Festival. She took a daisy and asked the
audience to repeat after her. She began, “he loves me he loves
me not….” Her presentation was so moving and her speech
afterwards spoke truth to the situations that so many women
find themselves when trying to find love and be loved.
Urban Reviews: When did
you know you wanted to be a writer?
Tracy L. Darity: I think
most writers who write from the heart and have a genuine
desire to share a good meaningful story, are born with this
gift. Even as a child I can remember creating stories as I
played with my dolls and these little cardboard towns that my
parents used to buy me. As I grew older, I actually started
writing as a release. When things happened at school I could
create my own ending or rewrite the whole scenario if I chose.
Urban Reviews: Looking
back, is there anything you would have done differently in
regards to your debut novel?
Tracy L. Darity: The only
thing I would have done differently is that I would have
published it sooner. I actually completed the manuscript in
1998. I tried going the traditional publishing route but was
met with so much opposition that I would give up and shelve
the project. Every now and then I would pull it out and work
on it and give it another try but I kept getting the same
results. Finally, about a year ago, I decided to self-publish
and see what happens.
Urban Reviews: What are your
ultimate goals as a writer?
Tracy L. Darity: I would be
lying if I said I didn’t have dreams of becoming this famous
author that everyone waits with baited breath for their next
release. Since my book is now out in the universe, I am just
overjoyed when readers come back and share with me that my
book touched their life or reminded them of a place and time
long forgotten. So I guess my ultimate goal is to continue to
share my gift with others and to be the best writer that God
would have me to be, and whatever success that brings me, I
will be happy to receive.
Urban Reviews: What's the
best literary advice you've gotten from another author so far?
Tracy L. Darity: The best
advice I have received from another author is to not worry
about what the next person is doing or what is selling. Write
from within and be proud of what I put out. I was also told to
be patient and not be deterred if my book doesn’t sell or
doesn’t get the recognition I think it deserves right out the
gate. People have to learn who you are and feel you before
they will support you.
Urban Reviews: Do you
have any upcoming projects that we can look forward to?
Tracy L. Darity: Yes, I am
hard at work (on most days) on my second release titled
Love…Like Snow In Florida On A Hot Summer Day. I was
hoping for a Spring 2009 release, but it is looking more like
Urban Reviews: Do you
have any favorite authors or books?
Tracy L. Darity: Anything
by Tananarive Due. I am currently reading Blood Colony,
which I believe is about the fourth in its series. I am
already looking forward to the next installment, which is due
out in 2010. Aside from following this series, I love good
writing with strong characters and believable storylines. I
read a lot and have a lot of favorites that I will buy the
book just because. Then there are lesser known authors I have
discovered along the way as well.
Urban Reviews: What do you
like to do outside of writing?
Tracy L. Darity: I love to
read and spend time with family and friends. I am a real
free-spirit so I don’t like to get bogged down with things
that are too serious. Give me a beautiful flower to plant,
nice weather and a day at the beach, and I am cool.
Urban Reviews: Is there
anything else you would like to share about yourself or your
Tracy L. Darity: Just that
this is a very exciting time in my life. I am learning so many
new things and meeting a lot of great people along the way who
share my love of writing. I was a little nervous when the book
came out, but so many people have provided positive feedback
and encouragement that I can’t wait for the literary world to