Interview With Tony Forte, Partner of the Angela Yee Book Club!


On Wednesday, August 30, the Angela Yee Book Club: Kickin’ It From the Stoop will host its fifth meeting at its home location, the WOODstack Ivy, a sportswear store in Brooklyn, New York. Tony Forte, Vice President of Sales and Marketing /GMM at the WOODstack company, talked to So Booking Cool about his partnership with Yee, one of the radio personalities on the nationally syndicated show, The Breakfast Club.

The forthcoming title to be discussed at the club is Bed-Stuy is Burning by Brian Platzer. Platzer, who is also an English teacher, tackles issues like gentrification and race in his novel, a conversation Forte says will be interesting and enlightening. Platzer will be in attendance to discuss his book with Yee and Tasha Hilton, who works as the Digital Marketing Manager at Atria (Simon and Schuster).

The book club, which occurs monthly, has previously discussed the following Atria titles, including The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae; Life’s Work: A Moral Argument for Choice by Dr. Willie Parker; I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons by Kevin Hart; and Surpassing Certainty by writer, television host, and transgender activist Janet Mock.

Press play to learn more about how the book club started, the book selection process, why the club is important to Forte and his aspirations for it. Visit the official website  for additional information.

Interview With Senior Editor at Simon and Schuster, Christine Pride!

Christine2Like many publishing professionals, Christine Pride, a senior editor at Simon and Schuster, did not know there were opportunities for bookmaking, i.e, publishing. Pride earned her Bachelor’s in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and then worked at a non-profit organization catering to disadvantaged mothers.

It was during her four-year tenure at the organization as a Public Relations Associate and Director of Development and PR that she connected with a literary agent who also served as the chairwoman at the organization’s board of directors. Pride, a book enthusiast since childhood, became intrigued by agenting and pursued the industry she has now worked in for over ten years. She edits book club/women’s fiction, memoir, and some narrative nonfiction.

Hit play to learn more about Pride and her publishing trajectory, which includes Random House and Disney Hyperion, working as an editorial consultant, ghostwriting, her upcoming titles, such as entrepreneur, Joy Mangano’s memoir, Inventing Joy: Dare to Build a Brave & Creative Life (Jennifer Lawrence portrayed her in the film Joy) and her advice for aspiring publishing professionals. Visit Pride at her website

Interview With Publishers Weekly’s Associate Editor John Maher!

Maher, John

John Maher, award winning journalist and the associate editor at Publishers Weekly recently talked to So Booking Cool about overseeing the web and print version, and social media of the trade company, his trajectory from pursuing music to poetry, writing, and seeking publishing jobs to becoming a reporter, and the book launch for the infamous alt-right English political commentator Milo Yiannopoulos.

For those of you unfamiliar, Simon and Schuster (S&S) pulled the publication for Yiannopoulos’ book after a series of controversial events that have offended many, including the publishing industry.

Maher published the open letter  by Joy Peskin, editorial director at Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers (Macmillan) in response to S&S. Press play to listen to the candid and insightful interview with Maher and learn more about the industry insider. The New York-based writer has written for a host of publications including, Kirkus Reviews and The Long Island Herald and is co-editor of The Dot and Line, an online publication focused on the art of cartoons. Visit Maher at his website

Interview With Executive Editor and Writing Life Coach Kendra Levin!


We had the pleasure of talking with Kendra Levin, the executive editor at Viking Children’s Books, an imprint of the Penguin Young Readers Group, about her multifaceted career and views on the industry. In addition to editing all ages in the children’s market, which means everything from picture books to young adult novels, Levin is also an author, teacher, and life coach to writers around the world. “Everybody has to have a side-hustle,” she laughs softly. Side-hustle or full-time, it is clear Levin is fulfilling her passion.

Our interview begins with Levin in the midst of telling So Booking Cool how she landed in publishing, which would become a profession she’d have for more than a decade. A devoted writer in her teens–she won a Scholastic Art and Writing Award, and eventually caught the attention of author and editor David Levithan (Boy Meets Boy, Nick & Nora’s Infinite Playlist, anyone?)

9781573246880.jpg Press play to hear Levin’s perspective on young writers, whether she would write another book, an upcoming title she’s editing by Matt Killeen, and the Representation Matters Mentorship Program, which aims to foster ethnic-diversity in publishing. Contact Levin at  and Twitter @kendralevin. Her book the The Hero is You: Sharpen Your Focus, Conquer Your Demons, and Become the Writer You Were Born to Be is available on Indiebound, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads.

Interview With Author Kellye Garrett on Her New Hollywood Detective Series!

updated-cover1Debut author and #PitchWars mentor Kellye Garrett chatted with us about her new critically-acclaimed comedic, mystery novel, Hollywood Homicide, the first in her Detective by Day series.  The title was a Library Journal Debut of the Month and Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review and lauded it as a winning first novel and series launch. The book was published by Midnight Ink, which specializes in mystery and suspense fiction. Garrett has a three-year deal with the publisher and is represented by Michelle Richter, an associate agent at Fuse Literary.


Garrett, who ho a MFA in screenwriting, tells So Booking Cool how her background in television writing (Cold Case, CBS) played a role in her book writing, the celebrities she imagines as her characters, and her hopes to open doors for more black female mystery novelists. To check out the entertaining and enlightening interview, hit play!

Hollywood Homicide is now available for purchase! Visit Garrett at her official website and twitter @kellyekell

Interview With Self-Made Millionaire Katrina Walker on Her UNBREAKABLE Story!

image4.JPGEntrepreneur, motivational speaker, and now author, Katrina Walker spoke with So Booking Cool about her book Unbreakable: The Katrina Walker story.  The riveting memoir details the journey of a young girl originally from Ohio who grows up in Tennessee during a height of racial tension (she remembers when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated and how her community reacted) and overcomes being a teen bride and mother, homelessness, and five marriages, most of which were abusive.

Despite it all, Walker, who had an entrepreneurial mentality from when she was a child (she operated an ironing business under the age of 10!) eventually launched etiquette classes and a 24-hour childcare center, Rainbow Kidz. She also owns a nonprofit organization, which aims to help turn abuse victims into survivors.

Listen to the interview to learn more about Walker and her commitment to helping others. Visit her on her website and purchase the book at or Amazon!