Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Fantastik Buzz

"The Femme Fantastik tour was one of the biggest book signing events we have ever had at Fort Bragg! The ladies of Femme Fantastik made a huge impact within our community and our customers, who are active military and family members, truly enjoyed meeting these terrific ladies in person. The response to the signing was actually so great that we have now put an entire African-American book section into our book department featuring books written by the Femme Fantastik authors and other best-selling African-American authors. We look forward to hosting any of the Femme Fantastik authors at Fort Bragg in the future, as part of the tour or as individuals, they are top notch!"

Jason Rosenberg, Manager, Main Store
Fort Bragg Post Exchange, North Post

"Meeting authors on the Femme Fantastik tour was a great experience. It was really nice to put a name and face with the books that I have been reading. I think visiting the military installations is an excellent idea and a real morale boost for the troops and their families. It meant a lot to me that these authors were interested in meeting with the military community. I want to say "Thank You" and "God Bless" to all of Femme Fantastik authors who are traveling to add a little spice to our lives."

Melody L. Clarke
Joint Logistics Managers Functional Analyst
Fort Bragg, NC

"However the Femme Fantastik Tour was born, you all were meant to be together. Thank you for making the Sistahs Book Club anniversary most memorable and special. It was wonderful, and everyone is still talking about you four ladies. The Sistahs just loved you all. The men had as much fun as we did. Wanda's husband doesn't even read, but he was back there laughing the loudest and stayed around until it was over. He's never done that. We are still talking about what an awesome weekend it was. It wouldn't have been so without you all. You guys are the real deal, and I love you for it. You are welcome anytime. And when I grow up, maybe I can join."

Suzetta Perkins
Sistahs Book Club
Fayetteville, NC

Monday, June 06, 2005

Need a Fantastik Fix

The Femmes are on a short summer break before we reunite in late August to tour several more military bases in the Washington, D.C. area. It's been a month since we've all been together and I have to tell you, I miss my girls!

I miss Nina and her fantastik 'foxiness'. The girl is aptly named. The woman is crazy like a Foxx. She's a quiet mystery that makes you wonder what's filling those Jimmy Choo's (okay they could be Manolo's). It's hard to categorize her as quiet, though she doesn't say a lot, but when she does you can bet it will be right on point. She's not a jokester and yet you can count on her to come up with some mischievous plot behind the scenes to stir things up and get us giggling. In getting to know her, I've come to admire Nina's quiet ambition, her quick wit and 'let's do it' attitude.

Now I know we throw the word 'diva' around a lot in these reports but Victoria is the diva of the best kind. Behind her Chanel, rhinestone-studded sunglasses is a mega-author in the making and she knows it. But there is no arrogance attached to this bold knowledge only the desire to make sure that as she rises all her girls rise right along with her. Her attitude is always positive, her words kind and encouraging and while she's taking with one hand; she's giving with the other.

I miss Carmen and her crazy sense of humor and sweet vulnerability. What I admire most about Carmen is that despite her prolific publishing record, she's hungry to move higher and push herself farther and to do that she's not afraid to ask for help. Publishing is a very competitive business, one that is built on very fragile perceptions, and it is rare that an author of Carmen's experience and past success is brave enough to step outside the genre where she's been mega-successful and ask for help with breaking into another. Rarer still is the wide-open support by the Femmes to help her do just that. Carmen teases about being the Wal-Mart woman among all the designer divas, but this girl is mega rich in areas where most women are downright poverty stricken.

Getting to know Jacquelin is like coming face-to-face with the stereotypical description of genteel, Southern Belle. But behind that quiet, demure, Louis Vuitton carrying persona is a woman with amazing strength and fortitude. During late night discussions I've come to know Jacqui as an amazingly generous and loving woman. Definitely the most prolific writer among the Femmes, she is a case study of the strong, black woman who lives her life with grace and dignity and has been such an inspiration to us all.

Marissa Monteilh is the Femme whose confident attitude we all want to have when we grow up. She is feisty, flirty and fabulous. She can pull a reader (male and female...okay mostly male) over to the signing table with a wink and a smile, and when she's done with them not only do they have signed copies of each of her books, but leave feeling like they are THE man. And she does it without ruffling one feather among any female in the room. How does she do it?

For me, the Femme Fantastik Tour has been such a reminder of how important it is to surround yourself with women of like minds and positive dispositions. They are proof that when you do personal growth is unavoidable. I can't wait to get back on the road with my girls and grow some more.