Interview With “Hello Beautiful Brown Girl!” Authors Charli Hodge & Octavia Samuels!

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So Booking Cool recently had the pleasure of speaking with debut co-authors Charli Hodge, 11, and Octavia Samuels, 37, about their picture book, Hello Beautiful Brown Girl. The self-published work is intended to celebrate and empower young girls of color around the world. What’s more is, Hodge and Samuels, based in Georgia, are an auntie and niece duo who sold beyond their expectations on their release day.

Hodge_Charli_Promo Photo.pngOctavia Samuels and Charli Hodge

One of the important themes of the self-described bedtime story is forgiveness. Listen to the full interview to learn more about their creative process, how Issa Rae inspires Samuels, their advice for entrepreneurs and children becoming authors, as well as their exciting future plans for their company and brand, ImCharli.Me.

Visit their official website to purchase the book and for more information.

A Review: Unsuccessful Thug by Mike Epps

MIKEeppsUNSUCCESSFUL THUG: One Comedian’s Journey From Naptown to Tinsletown, Mike Epps. Harper, $26.99 (288p) ISBN: 9780062684899

Publication date: March 27, 2018

For fans of Charlamagne Tha God’s Black Privilege, Kevin Hart’s I Can’t Make This Up, and Tiffany Haddish’s, The Last Black Unicorn, comes the must-read memoir from Mike Epps, Unsuccessful Thug. In addition to learning there will be a Meet the Blacks sequel, that he made Richard Pryor (who he will portray in a biopic directed by Lee Daniels and produced by and starring Oprah) laugh for the first time in years, and the nerves he overcame when replacing Chris Tucker in Next Friday, Epps divulges about his extreme humble beginnings, engaging in criminal activity because he was starving, his lacking of self-worth, etc., in a manner that is often humorous and always thoughtful.

Like any quality memoir, Epps is very candid in a way that is unapologetic and heartfelt. He isn’t afraid to express vulnerability, and he is sincere about struggling youth from “Naptown,” Indianapolis, beating the odds like he did.

Here are the reasons I’ve cited the aforementioned comparative titles for Unsuccessful Thug: In Black Privilege, Charlamagne, like Epps, had an on-and-off-again history with drug dealing and going to jail despite knowing it was a destructive cycle. They also adopted tough personalities, knowing they were acting just the opposite of their true identities in order to fit in. With I Can’t Make This Up, Epps conquering the standard comedic boot-camp in New York City, as well as relocating to Los Angeles in pursuit of an acting career will remind you of Hart’s, the journey of a comedian. Finally, like Haddish’s The Last Black Unicorn, there is such a raw yet funny journey readers experience when reading Unsuccessful Thug. Haddish and Epps both used laughter as a way to avoid trouble and make others smile, even when they were at some of their lowest points. Unsuccessful Thug is definitely among the most personal and riveting autobiographies.

Unsuccessful Thug is available Tuesday, March 27, 2018.

Interview With Shannon Hitchcock On Her New Novel One True Way!

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Award-winning author Shannon Hitchcock recently returned to So Booking Cool to discuss her new novel, One True Way. Based in 1977, the story centers on two middle-school female students, Allie and Sam, who experience the pressures of falling for each other from their southern community, the political climate, and their families. Hitchcock says the novel is inspired by a real-life friendship she had, in which their mutual friends describe One True Way (Scholastic Press) as a tribute.

Check out the full interview below to learn more about the process that went into the book, Anita Bryant (a famous singer who was publicly anti-homosexuality) the response for the book thus far, historical fiction, and more! One True Way is available everywhere. Visit Hitchcock at her official website.