What do you feel that this book will accomplish that the first Midnight didn’t?
I don’t really look at it that way⎯like this one will accomplish something that the first one didn’t. I love Midnight a Gangster Love Story and in fact, at the time that I wrote midnight, it was my favorite of all three books that I had written so I don’t think that Midnight a Gangster Love Story failed to accomplish any thing. I think that Midnight a Gangster Love Story, which is a book that made me a New York Times best selling author, was just solid and credible and deep feeling and moving, so I don’t look at comparing the two stories that way. I just look at it as an artist, as an author⎯that every time that I put out a book it should be better than the last one and I think that that’s what I’m sticking to.
Going back to the street lit term, how do you feel about how popular the genre has become in terms of so many different authors putting out books and getting more exposure?
Actually, I can’t give you a genuine feeling because I don’t read it. I’m a huge reader of nonfiction. I really love autobiographies and biographies and I love to read about foreign countries and languages and cultures, so that’s the heaviest concentration of my reading⎯nonfiction. If I pick up fiction it’s always has to be something that’s teaching me something that I don’t already know, so that’s kind of my criteria for my writing and my criteria for my own personal reading. I can just say that I’m happy that a lot of African people have been introduced⎯their writing has been introduced into the world of literature, which I think is excellent. I think that every library and every bookstore can have such an incredible selection of books because I think different people connect to different things, characters, and they can have choices. So I’m glad that other African authors are in the field of literature because I think it’s a good field to be in and I think it’s providing good choices for the readership.
What are some of the challenges that you’ve dealt with as a Black female author?
I think just making people understand that what you’re writing is literature and having it placed properly in the bookstore, so that when they see the category of literature, or just fiction, or American Fiction, that it’s there. I think it shouldn’t be that some one has to walk to the back of the bookstore in the deepest darkest corner to find literature written by an African author. That’s pretty much it but as far as handling my business, I handle my business at a quality level because I just don’t accept anything less, so I haven’t really had a problem with that.
There was buzz about a Coldest Winter Ever movie for years. What’s the status of that?
I still own the film rights to Coldest Winter Ever and I haven’t found the business package that I’m satisfied with yet. When I do, there will be a film but until then, I try to do everything in a very proper order⎯a very common sense order like, 1-2-3-4-5 and I try not to get swept away by things that Hollywood tries to sweep people away with like, “Don’t you just want to see your name on the big screen?” And “Don’t you want to see your face?” And “Don’t you want this story to be called…” and just trying to appeal to an author’s egos, or an author’s insecurities and then they try to short change them on the business package. I’m not really interested in any of that. I’ve handled all my work and business from the beginning to the end and I think if you don’t handle it that way you wont be respected.
What ‘s your ideal situation for this movie to happen?
I wouldn’t really articulate my ideal business scenario in an interview because that’s a whole different situation. My business is private. The point where the reader comes in is if they decide whether they want to watch the film or not, which I hope they’re still interested in it.
What else are you working on?
I’m coming out with the Porsche Santiaga story next.
Winter’s little sister?
Yeah. That’s the next book I’m coming out with, hopefully some time within the next year and a half.
Is there anything you want to add?
I would be grateful if you could put in the article that people can find me at Sistersouljah.com and when you spell “Souljah,” don’t leave the h off because that’s why a lot of people can’t find me. And also to let them know that I’m on twitter and my twitter @SouljahBook