Eboni Snoe – African American romance novelist – Cover Story
When I think about the books I’ll be reading this summer, the words “unusual,” “absorbing,” “transformational” come to mind. I like novels that can bring those words to life for me, and if I can, I like to experience through those novels love in some shape or form as well.
Being an author who prefers to write romantic adventures in exotic settings, I have on situations and characters that are larger than life, be it because of an abnormal situation, the predicaments in which the characters find themselves, or the tarnished plate that life has set before them. I like books to be so compelling that they pull me inside their covers.
That’s one reason why Virginia Hamilton’s children’s book, Her Stories: AFrican American Folktales, Fairy Tales, and True Tales (Scholastic, 1995), is on my list. It is a wonderful, freeing, hodgepodge of tales. It allows me to acknowledge the child in myself, something I believe all adults should do from time to time. The beautiful book is a mainstay on my living room table. (One of my constant goals as an author is to create the visual images with my own words that Her Stories provides through its words and illustrations.)
After Hamilton’s work has opened the door to the possibility of fantasy and science fiction, Octavia Butler’s Wild Seed (Warner, 1988) and Parable of the Sower (Warner, 1995) will be right at home. These are books that I’ll read on my favorite bench, facing the Gulf of Mexico. You see, when I gaze at the seemingly infinite body of water, it enables me to believe, if only for a moment, in the kinds of people, creatures and worlds Butler creates so well. Reading her book is like sitting at the feet of a grand storyteller, one who tests the limits of my imagination. It’s like mental aerobics. I like that – I want my imagination to be in tiptop shape when I sit down to do my own storytelling.
After Octavia, I’ll need a novel that will give me a sense of grounding, and I have the perfect one – The Wedding (Doubleday, 1995), by Dorothy West. I have browsed through the pages, and I can tell it is an absolute classic that will take me to the past, enriching my understanding of people and relationships. West’s creation is like a rich chocolate: I will consume it slowly, with utter appreciation.
Once that treat is gone, I will allow Anita Richmond Bunkley to bring me out of the past and into the present with her novel, Starlight Passage (Dunton, 1996). Anita is a connoisseur of African-American history, and I know it will be intriguing to journey with her via the Underground Railroad, bridging the past and the present, all the while bringing me to the end of summer.
Eboni Snoe is the author of Beguiled (Windsor, 1994) and A Sheik’s Spell (Odyssey, 1992).
COPYRIGHT 1996 Heritage Information Holdings, Inc.
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group