For me, a voracious reader with celeb crushes on my favorite authors, a writer’s Twitter blog is the ultimate test of their unedited wit and general ability to remain interesting. And while some would surely fail miserably, the 10 authors we chose for this list constantly prove their eloquence, relevance, smarts and funnies in 140 characters or less.
Aliya S. King’s preparing for the publication of her first novel, Platinum, to be released in July, which will follow four women in the male-dominated hip-hop industry. She also co-wrote Faith Evans’ memoir, Keep the Faith, and Original Gangster, the life story of infamous drug lord Frank Lucas, which will be released this June. Her tweets are an extension of her popular blog, www.aliyasking.com, so expect an inside look at the writing process and music industry tidbits, not to mention the occasional UStream session.
Sample Tweet: “Twitter is like giving a big lecture to a crowded auditorium. Except the lights are out. And you’re blindfolded with headphones on.”
Colson Whitehead’s latest novel, Sag Harbour, was released last summer to great reviews and features the story of teenage boys in a Long Island vacation community. He has written three other books, including novels The Ituitionist (2001), Apex Hides the Hurt (2006) and an essay collection, The Colossus of New York (2003). His tweets are just as brainy and witty and interesting as you’d imagine from a writer whose a favorite at The New Yorker with a Harvard pedigree.
Sample Tweet: “I don’t know exactly How to Make an American Quilt, but I’m pretty sure you need smallpox.”
Eric Jerome Dickey might just be the king of contemporary African-American fiction with over 20 releases in the past 14 years. His latest novel, Resurrecting Midnight, debuted on three top bestseller lists (including The New York Times and USA Today). His Twitter blog is full of biographical details and play-by-plays of his busy life.
Sample Tweet: “little sleep… working on book… sun rising on a Sunday morning… craving peach muffin and the beaches of the Dominican Republic”
Erica Kennedy’s first novel, the satirical Bling (2004) took readers inside the mixed-up world of hip-hop’s elite. She shook up the chick lit genre last year with the publication of her second book, Feminista, whose irritable protagonist earned the novel a place in the burgeoning ‘Bitch Lit’ sub-genre. Her tweets report on the world of Feministas (an “empowered woman of style,” if you were wondering) and range from celebrity fabness to new music to books and fashion.
Sample Tweet: “How is Gus Johnson the number 2 trending topic right now? I went on a blind date w/him once. What is he, the new Marv Albert???”
Helena Andrews’ first book is a hotly anticipated collection of essays, Bitch Is The New Black, about her experience as a young single and educated Black woman in Washington, D.C. Though the book’s slated for a June release, it didn’t stop plenty of folks from raising a fuss about the premise after a profile ran in The Washington Post last December. Her tweets are mix of funny anecdotes and political opinion.
Sample Tweet: “Me: “Like you have your Belarusian whore, stick to that plan.” Dex: “Wait I thought she was Turkish.” Me: “Who cares!”
Mitzi Miller co-wrote the novel The Vow, along with Essence Editor-in-Chief Angela Burt Murray and Denene Millner. The book, released in 2006, was the trio’s second together as they’d previously published The Angry Black Woman’s Guide to Life in 2004. Mitzi and Denene also collaborated on a Hotlanta series, which includes the books If You Only Knew (2008) and What Goes Around (2009). Mitzi’s tweets are as spontaneous and funny, as the author herself appears to be, with life updates and the occasional hilarious pop culture observation.
Sample Tweet: “Watching the premiere of Kendra. But not for nothing, I keep getting sidetracked by the mess in her house. Why are they so nasty??”
Rebecca Walker is a prominent feminist and author. She’s written and/or edited five books including Black, White and Jewish: The Autobiography of a Shifting Self and Baby Love: Choosing Motherhood After A Lifetime Of Ambivalence. She tweets information bytes that interest her: cool quotes, links to informative articles and her reading and writing.
Sample Tweet: “An artist is someone who wills into being something that didn’t exist before their doing it.”
Scott Poulson-Bryant’s first book Hung was both a “mediation on the measure of Black men in America” and a double entendre involving penises and nooses. Besides being one of the founding editors of Vibe Magazine, he also wrote a novel, The VIPs, which will be released next year. He tweets about music, film and news while doing a little lifecasting about life as a Ph.D student and writer.
Sample Tweet: “Tyler Perry’s cast, “For Colored Girls…” http://tiny.cc/05zxg …whew, just glad he ain’t cast himself (or Madea?) as the Lady in Red”
Terry McMillan is best known for her seminal novel Waiting to Exhale, published in 1992 and adapted into a feature film in 1995. She’s the author of six novels and is notable for her contemporary portrayal of Black women’s relationships. Her tweets are a mixed bag of writing tips, inspirational quotes and a hodge-podge of political, television or life chatter.
Sample tweet: “Idiots (and fundamentalists) don’t seem to know that God still don’t like ugly.”
Tia Williams transitioned her career as a successful magazine editor to become author of The Accidental Diva in 2004. The novel was part of a new crop of chick lit that featured Brown girls living “the life” in Manhattan, alongside Carrie Bradshaw and ‘nem. Tia also writes the popular teen chick lit series, It Chicks, and is the newly appointed Beauty Director of Essence.com. Her tweets are full of beauty advice.
Sample Tweet: “Don’t bite chapped lips! Instead, gently rub a wet toothbrush over lips at night, slather on Vaseline, and you’ll be all kissable in the AM.”