Saturday, December 3, 2016
African American novels are on the rise these days, both in Kindle and print formats. As a black female author trying to break into this particular market (among others), I’m happy to see so many talented writers. But with growing numbers of authors writing about urban drama, the competition is that much steeper to gain visibility for your book’s title. That is one reason why I chose to reclassify the category of my book and drill down to a better subcategory for the title:
This is truly a novel that is thrilling and has moments of suspense. It is also clearly African American fiction that depicts urban family life. But rather than concentrate on just those elements, when categorizing this book, I’ve made sure to highlight the child abuse and dysfunctional family relationship element. It was only after I actually read the book myself from beginning to end that I was able to realize an important fact. The focus of the book is not on the serial killer aspect dealing with the multiple murders, the focus is on the main character’s struggle in dealing with abuse, neglect and abandonment in her life.
With that being said, there was no way to get around not finding a “family” related category to list “Skipping Childhood” in. Since I’ve modified the book description on Amazon, I decided to post the new description below. In addition to Fiction > Thriller > Suspense, the book will also be listed as shown here.
Young South side Chicago mother Diane Baxter will never win any good parenting awards. Her mother-daughter relationship with her only child Deandra is as dysfunctional as a family can get.
Diane is an addict and alcoholic, and verbally and physically abusive to Deandra. In this dark urban drama, Deandra will not stay victim to the sexual predator who befriended her mother. She takes matters into her own hands, and the result is murder.
The suspense begins to mount as one killing leads to another and Deandra tries desperately to survive life in foster care.
How will she cope with Diane’s abandonment and not knowing if her mother is dead or alive? Can a borderline sociopath ever have true happiness? Or will one final killing mean the death of her only chance for true love?
This is more than just a dark tale of murder for revenge. This bad seed is the product of child abuse and her story is one of survival.
Not All Urban Families
Of course, Skipping Childhood: A Novel wasn’t written to try and imply that all urban families are screwed up and dysfunctional. But while I wouldn’t exactly go that far, I’d be lying if I said I knew of one family that wasn’t screwed up. I grew up around a lot of families who were equally as dysfunctional as mine. But somehow, in the midst of chaos, you manage to find a little bit of calm. Urban families are no different from other families in this regard. When it comes to child neglect and abuse, no family is immune to the devastation it can cause. I happen to write about this issue as it relates to urban families because that’s the kind of family life that I personally know.
To learn more about Diane and Deandra Baxter and their rocky mother-daughter relationship, pick up a copy of “Skipping Childhood: A Novel”