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The Coffee Will Make You Black
Reading Group's On-line Chat Transcript for Our September Selection

Sugar Sugar
(Click title to purchase book on-line)

Author:  Bernice L. McFadden
Publisher:  NAL/Dutton
Date Published:  January 2000
Format:  Trade Cloth

Chat Held
October 4th
2000 9:00 PM EST

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[Thumper6488] Hello y'all
[Ron_mosaic] Hey thumper
Troy_of_aalbc> Hey Thumper, you see my boy Ron is in the house
[Ron_mosaic] Thumper the legend...
[Ron_mosaic] I hope you liked the book Thumper
[Thumper6488] Ron: I loved it!
[Ron_mosaic] So did I
[Thumper6488] I wasn't expecting to, but I did.

[Ron_mosaic] I didn't know what to expect but it was a good read.
Troy_of_aalbc> I did not expect to like it because of the cover -- believe it or not
Troy_of_aalbc> The Sugar on the cover did not match the one in the story
[Ron_mosaic] lol. I know the feeling but as covers go, I thought this one was pretty nice
Troy_of_aalbc> Nice, but incongruent
[Ron_mosaic] Yeah, Sugar didn't sound that attractive
[Thumper6488] Yeah, I'm going to ask her about that.
[Thumper6488] Are you serious, Sugar didn't sound attractive?
Troy_of_aalbc> I thought Sugar sounded good myself (smile) - Ron do you know Bernice?
Troy_of_aalbc> Sugar: Tall, dark Skinned, sexy, hmmm, hmm hmmmmm
[Ron_mosaic] I interviewed her for Mosaic. They sent me a review copy and I thought it would be cool to interview her
[Ron_mosaic] but she had a nappy head
[Thumper6488] Ron: are we going to go there with the hair tonight? <eyebrow raised>

Bernice Mcfadden

TO Thumper6488> Thumper do I need to call McFadden
[Ron_mosaic] lol...You mean she has a "good" hair-dresser
TO Thumper6488> smile!
Troy_of_aalbc> LOL!

[Thumper6488] Yes! that's what I mean.
[Thumper6488] What I couldn't understand was how did Pearl not think that Sugar wasn't her husband's.

[Ron_mosaic] I thought Bernice should have dropped clues earlier
Troy_of_aalbc> Just double checking the number Thumper gave me -- I'mm calling her now.
[Ron_mosaic] I also felt we should have been clued about the killer
[Thumper6488] I think she dropped enough clues about Sugar by saying that Sugar and Jude looked so much alike.
[Ron_mosaic] But there was no reference about her husbands afair until later on in the book

>> Bernice_Sugar has joined channel #XC.1141852
[Thumper6488] Hold up Ron, Pearl wasnt'[ the only that saw the resemblence.
[Thumper6488] Hello Miss Bernice
[scopel1038] Hello Bernice
[Ron_mosaic] Hi Bernice
[Bernice_Sugar] Hello all!
[Ron_mosaic] Miss Bernice...excuse my familiarity. ; )

[Bernice_Sugar] That's quite okay, Ron.. (smile)
[scopel1038] I just want to say really enjoyed your book
[Bernice_Sugar] Thank u very much.
[Ron_mosaic] I also enjoyed it.
[Thumper6488] I loved the book.
Troy_of_aalbc> Everyone enjoyed the book I spoke with -- The discussion board is full of praise as well.
[Bernice_Sugar] I'm glad everyone enjoyed the book!

[Ron_mosaic] Are you still touring?
[Bernice_Sugar] I'm not touring at the moment - I will begin a 12 city tour in Jan.
[Thumper6488] We were just talking about the resemblence between Jude and Sugar. Why didn't Joe make the connection sooner?
[Ron_mosaic] Did Joe ever make it?
[Thumper6488] Yes, he made it at the end of the book.
[Bernice_Sugar] He always knew, but he was avoiding the truth.

[Ron_mosaic] For a second I thought Joe was going to be one of Sugar's johns
[Ron_mosaic] That would have been too much of a twist
[Bernice_Sugar] Oh no, that would have been awful! (smile)
[scopel1038] I knew that wasn't going to happen. But i thought the son was going to get with her
[Ron_mosaic] Plus Joe was such a stand-up guy with his wife
Troy_of_aalbc> I assumed Joe knew that is why he was one of the few who did not get to "know" Sugar
>> MelLuluisha has joined channel #XC.1141852
[Ron_mosaic] Even though he didn't get any for about 20 years
>> salt1111 has joined channel #XC.1141852
Troy_of_aalbc> Exactly
[MelLuluisha] hey yall
[Thumper6488] Now correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Shirley Brown Sugar's great grandmother or did I get something confused.
[Thumper6488] Hello Melisha, how are you doing this evening?
[Ron_mosaic] Hi Mel
[MelLuluisha] okay
[Ron_mosaic] Hey Salt
[MelLuluisha] couldn't get in
Troy_of_aalbc> Bernice, Every good story rings true, were any of these events based on actual events?
[scopel1038] hello mel
[MelLuluisha] had to create a crazy name

[Ron_mosaic] Troy had the door lucked
[MelLuluisha] hey scopel
[MelLuluisha] lol
[salt1111] Hello everyone salt=pam....couldn't get in either
[MelLuluisha] hey salt
[salt1111] hey melisha
[Bernice_Sugar] I'm trying to keep up -- Joe is MY idea of a perfect man -- And yes, Shirley was Sugar's g-grandmother
[salt1111] Joe was very likable...even with his flaws
[Ron_mosaic] It's sad that Sugar did try to be "straight" but she kept falling back
[scopel1038] if Joe knew that was his daughter, why didn't he stop his son from being with her
[Ron_mosaic] Joe had flaws?
[Bernice_Sugar] There was nothing in the book based on actual events - or I should say none that I was consciously aware of
[Ron_mosaic] If Joe had a cape he could fly
[MelLuluisha] hey troy
[salt1111] well, wasn't he already married to Pearl whenhe got with sugar's mother? No?

[Bernice_Sugar] As I said, joe was in denial about SUGAR so that is why he did not step in when he saw that a romance was brewing between her and
- Seth.
[Bernice_Sugar] Joe was about to marry Pearl when he had the one nite stand w/Bertie Mae.
[Ron_mosaic] I kind of wished Sugar did go with the son
[salt1111] Bernice, was it hard to get ur book published? How many rewrites did u do?
Troy_of_aalbc> The ending was sad. Don;t ask me why but that was what I liked about the story as well. I glad she did not go with him.

[Bernice_Sugar] It took me about three years to get Sugar published and just as many re-writes.
TO MelLuluisha> Hey you!
[MelLuluisha] what's been going on?
[Ron_mosaic] I'm not thinking in terms of sister brother getting together, but there was a point when we weren't sure about Sugar's father
[MelLuluisha] whoops
Troy_of_aalbc> 3 years -- that is a story in and of itself -- thanks for sticking it out!

[Thumper6488] Miss Bernice, about that opening?? It has to go down as one of the best beginnings in a long time.
[Bernice_Sugar] Thank you.
[MelLuluisha] no doubt thump that beginin had me hooked

[salt1111] I liked how we found out who murdered Jude in the end. He just hated women so cutting off her vagina was just something he needed to
- do?
[scopel1038] That is why I bought the book

[MelLuluisha] bernice I noticed that a lot of those women besides sugar had colorful hair
[Bernice_Sugar] I didnt realize that the opening would have such a devastating effect on people - but I understand that it has.
[scopel1038] the begining was excellent
[Ron_mosaic] Bernice, did you ever think of clueing us in on who the killer of Jude really was?
[MelLuluisha] were u trying to sho that they looked ridiculous looking themselves
[Bernice_Sugar] Well, hair, like skin color, varies..
[MelLuluisha] and had no reason to talk about sugar?

[salt1111] Well, the beginning made u want to see what for so it works.
[Bernice_Sugar] Ron, do u mean early on in the story?
[MelLuluisha] I noticed u emphasized how ridiculous they looked
[MelLuluisha] liked the old lady with the nappy wig
[Ron_mosaic] Actually later in the story when the killer resurfaces as a "friend" of Sugar's
[Bernice_Sugar] Salt, u know the saying - people who live in glass houses....etc..

[salt1111] Was that why Lappy did it? cuz he hated women that much?
TO MelLuluisha> Yeah

[Bernice_Sugar] Well, actually you will find out exactly why Lappy did it in the sequel.. This Bitter Earth..
[scopel1038] I kinda of knew it was Lappy when Pearl had a bad feeling when they meet.
[salt1111] Yes, your decription of the lady with the glasses that made her eyes bigger was excellent:-) Was
[Ron_mosaic] I started reading "The Warmest December", Haven't gotten that far yet

[Thumper6488] scopel: I did too! When she saw blood on his hands

[Ron_mosaic] I'm slow, I might big hints
[salt1111] I liked that Peal and Joe could rekindle there sex life cuz of Sugar's influence. That was nice.
[Bernice_Sugar] Ron, did TWD grab u like SUGAR?
[Ron_mosaic] It is. I'm only on page 20 or so.
[Bernice_Sugar] Salt, that happens all of the time -- when you're around sex or sexiness - u feel sexy!
[salt1111] Oh...okay! I see where I need to be. lol
[Ron_mosaic] But Joe was the man for waiting soooooooooo long

[Ron_mosaic] ...like 20 years or so!
[Thumper6488] but joe truly loved his wife.
[salt1111] Yeah, that was true love. :-)
[Bernice_Sugar] Women, wait all of the time - why can't a man?
[scopel1038] you ain't kiddin
[Thumper6488] yeah ron, why can't a man?
[Ron_mosaic] I'm not saying he/we can't but it's still a long time
TO Troy_of_aalbc> Yeah that is why I using the man I'm using tonight

[salt1111] Women don't usually have to wait for sex though...we could easily wait our whole lives to be loved like Joe loved Pearl though. :-)

[Ron_mosaic] >>>ron put on his pc hat<<<
>> Careycarey has joined channel #XC.1141852
[Thumper6488] But it sound like he was making up for it though.
[Bernice_Sugar] Are there any questions you'd like answers to in the sequel?
[scopel1038] Does sugar change her life style
TO Careycarey> Now don;t everybody say hello tpo carey now (hey Carey LOL)
[salt1111] Well, I know Pearl will forgive her man.
Troy_of_aalbc> Now don;t everybody say hello tpo carey now (hey Carey LOL)
[Ron_mosaic] is the story based on Sugar and Pearl's new relationship?

[Thumper6488] How long have you been working on the sequel?
[salt1111] Will Sugar finally get a singing career?
[Ron_mosaic] Hay Carey
[MelLuluisha] he he hi carey
[MelLuluisha] didn't see ya
[salt1111] Will Seth totally freak when he finds out he was in love with his half sister?
[Careycarey] Hello All!
[scopel1038] hey carey
[Bernice_Sugar] At this moment - the story is swirling around Mercy...do u guys remembe her?

[scopel1038] the little girl
[Thumper6488] The little girl,
[Ron_mosaic] Was that a "sister?"
[Ron_mosaic] or something like that
[salt1111] Oh yeah, her STL friend's granddaughter
[Bernice_Sugar] Yes, Mary Bedfords granddaughter.
Troy_of_aalbc> Now don;t you do anything bad to Mercy!
[salt1111] U from STL Bernice?

[salt1111] Yeah, be nice to her. I guess Sugarwill have to raise her right and clean up her life for her sake?
[Bernice_Sugar] No, I'm from Brooklyn -- although I stopped through during my tour and had a great time.
[scopel1038] How old is she in the sequel?
[Bernice_Sugar] Mercy will be 18 in the sequel.
[Ron_mosaic] Will Pearl and Joe be in the sequel?
[Thumper6488] Will Sugar ever go back and meet with Pearl and Joe?
[MelLuluisha] Bernice did u do historical research?
[Bernice_Sugar] Yes, Pearl and Joe will be in the sequel.
[Ron_mosaic] yeh!
Troy_of_aalbc> OK, Give us a scoop. Why did Lappy do such a Horrible thing in the first book. Can you arrange to have him lynched or something?
[Bernice_Sugar] A little bit of historical research - not a whole lot - I think I returned a lot of info from Black History classes

[salt1111] Yeah, when the murder first happened, I was ready to blame some sick white bastard.
[Bernice_Sugar] I can't give out all the secrets to book 2 -- you'll have to wait until Jan 2002! (smile)
[MelLuluisha] So how did u come up with the setting for the book bernice?
[Careycarey] Yeah, life is to short sometimes, isn't it. How has the chat been going? anything interesting. has it been moving along ?
[salt1111] interesting it was one of our own---very uncharacteristic however--certain things we don't generally do
[Careycarey] Sorry Y'all, that was suppose to have been private.

[Ron_mosaic] You think Salt?
[Bernice_Sugar] Sugar was like a movie playing in my head -- I didnt really have to work that hard at putting it down on paper
[salt1111] Yeah, some things are not us.
[Ron_mosaic] We have a lot of fouls walking around

[salt1111] but still... cutting off someone's vagina....a young girl's? rarely if ever or just never ever spoken of before now
Troy_of_aalbc> That was a new one on me
[Bernice_Sugar] Remember, Lappy is half black --

[Ron_mosaic] I think when things like this happened in the black community they were never documented by the media so they become more of a
- "legend" than fact.
[salt1111] OHHH,, well, why didn't u say so...lol...that could explain it.
[salt1111] I'm a writer too Bernice. Unpublished. Words of advice?

[Ron_mosaic] And he was very light, if I remember

[Bernice_Sugar] I think we have people of all colors and creeds, capable of any number of horrible things -- its unfortunate but true
[salt1111] Could be Ron, but I still say certain kinds of heinous acts are reserved for our western brothers.
[Bernice_Sugar] Salt- keep writing - no matter what - if u know that's what u want to do - DO IT -

[Ron_mosaic] Why did you put out another book befor the sequel
[salt1111] and as far as getting something published?
[MelLuluisha] so bernice do u know the impact your book is having yet or is it too soon to say?
Troy_of_aalbc> Good question!
[Bernice_Sugar] Because I have to write what I'm feeling -- and that was TWD - that story had been dancing around in my head for a while - so I had
- to put it down on paper.

[Ron_mosaic] But you could put it on paper then put it away for a while...
[Bernice_Sugar] Salt - query everyone and their mother - over and over again until it happens!

[salt1111] What's your favorite part Bernice? What do u like to read at ur readings?
[Ron_mosaic] I'm surprised the publishers went for that sequence.

[salt1111] Thanks for the advice. :-) I will.
[Bernice_Sugar] well, I'm getting a lot of positive feed back on SUGAR -

[Ron_mosaic] You were listed in B&N Discover series
[salt1111] Is the cover picture how you think of Sugar in your head Bernice?
[Thumper6488] Bernice, did you cry when you wrote the church scene at the end. I was sho nuff boo-hoo-ing
Troy_of_aalbc> It was not the Sugar in my head - I pictured a dark skinned beauty

[Bernice_Sugar] I had no intention of doing a sequel - I was actually working on something else - and I wasnt really feeling it -- because all of
- these characters from Sugar kept coming back to me - so I had to oblige

[Bernice_Sugar] The publishers were fine w/it
[Ron_mosaic] Hi Chery

[Bernice_Sugar] I read the opening to section because I feel I need to guide a lot of my readers thru that very difficult part of the book
[salt1111] I thought Sugar could have given them a bit more hell in the church scene. She didn't let them with both barrells like I thought she
- would.
[Bernice_Sugar] At first, I wasnt to keen on the model - but then it kind of grew on me -- and yes, SUGAR would be much darker

[salt1111] Okay, the murder of a child like that I guess they dont' expect.
Troy_of_aalbc> I guess Dark skinned does not sell books?
[Thumper6488] salt, I though the church scene was perfect
[Ron_mosaic] Was the cover your choice?

[Bernice_Sugar] No, I didnt cry while I was writing it - but I find myself getting emotional when I re-read some sections
[cheryley] HI. Where is the discussion? Can't catch up with you. In case I lose you again--just want to say what a wonderful read.
[Bernice_Sugar] Thank u Cheryley

[salt1111] Yeah, the model grew on me too, I guess she has almond eyes at least but she isn't the right shade of Black.
[Bernice_Sugar] I think dark-skinned sells books -- at least in our community it does
[Thumper6488] LOL
Troy_of_aalbc> For example? (cynical smirk)

[salt1111] How come they printed in hard back and not paper book. Is that a tribute to your talent?
[Bernice_Sugar] I wanted a to use an original piece by this Bernudian artist named: Sharon Wilson - SOLITUDE
[PRIVATE FROM Careycarey] I have to confess that I have not finished but looks like it was a goodie. I rally only started a few pages to get the
- feel.
[Bernice_Sugar] Look at some of EJD's covers
Troy_of_aalbc> hmmm thoise are cartoons

[MelLuluisha] are we discussing the cover?
[cheryley] Bernice--dare I be so familiar? Your ending helped me gain insight to a book I've been puzzling over. The idea of victimization and
- perception--becoming who we think others think we are.
Troy_of_aalbc> BVut I see your point
[salt1111] Oh, okay. Well, maybe fate intervened. No since in everybody's book looking alike. :-)
[MelLuluisha] I'm confused?
[Bernice_Sugar] Well most books come out in hardcover first -- then paperback - by the way SUGAR w/be in papeback in Jan 2001 - w/a totally
- different cover
[Thumper6488] Hold on every one

[Thumper6488] let's give bernice a chance to answer some of the questions

[MelLuluisha] I like paperback books myself
[Bernice_Sugar] Dark-skinned cartoons -- it still counts.
Troy_of_aalbc> Agreed
[MelLuluisha] just something about them make me wanna read them more than hardbacks

[Bernice_Sugar] The price?
[salt1111] lol
Troy_of_aalbc> I keep books so I prefer hardback

[Bernice_Sugar] I prefer hardbacks too!
[cheryley] May we talk theme?
[MelLuluisha] well I like paper backs because i can fold them back
[Bernice_Sugar] Of course
[Thumper6488] sure go ahead
[Thumper6488] Cheryley, whats your question?
[cheryley] Okay. The idea of vicitmization and self perception. I'm particularyl focused on the ending
[cheryley] sorry i don't type so fast

[Careycarey] HI Bernice, I just could't leave without personally saying hello. See, that way I'm on the transcript with you and I can show it to my
- grandchildren. *smile*
[Bernice_Sugar] Thank u Carey!
[Careycarey] Now you've made my day, thank you!!
[Bernice_Sugar] Cheryley -- is there something specific you want me to address regarding that issue?

[cheryley] I don't have a question--just commenting that the ending of sugar gave real plausability to the story because of self-fulfilling
- prophesy for lack of a better word
[Thumper6488] OK, our time is just about up
Troy_of_aalbc> One last question thumper?
[salt1111] do u mean she couldn't see a better life no matter how she tried so u gave up?
[Thumper6488] sure one last question
[Bernice_Sugar] That is true -- I do want to say - that I learn a lot about my characters from my readers -- Thank u!
Troy_of_aalbc> Bernice is there an over ridding theme, moral message to this story?
Troy_of_aalbc> somthing you wanted to leave the reader thinking about

[Bernice_Sugar] The message - I think, is a basic one - Don't judge a book by its cover -- and where there is God, there is Love, hope and peace.
[Thumper6488] Miss Bernice do you have any parting comments?
Troy_of_aalbc> Beautiful
[cheryley] i recently read the street which left me puzzled--after rewading sugar, i'v elarned so much mor e about the human conditon thanks!

[Bernice_Sugar] I'd like to thank everyone for supporting me and taking the time out to participate in this session. God Bless!
Troy_of_aalbc> Thank You! -- BYE all!
[Thumper6488] Thank you for coming!
[Careycarey] Thump, The cake is good too!! I made it.

[salt1111] You'e welcome. Thanks for being here.
[Bernice_Sugar] Thank u for having me!



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