Sheryl Lee Ralph is all about the next generation of artists. She has also been known to collaborate with the next generation of writers. This is evident in her first two novels and her most recent one, which is a collection, Love You to Death: My Life, My Love, My Work, written with an old friend.
I recently had the opportunity to talk to Ms. Lee about working with writers, collaborating, and more. Here is what she had to say:
You’ve worked with an amazing writer before and it was an honor to be asked to work with you again this time. How did that happen?
We were talking a little bit at one of the conferences where he was doing a reading of his book I don’t Think so, just before I went to his house for a meeting. He was sitting in a chair with a book. Then I sat down beside him at the table across from his desk. I was so happy because I really wanted to meet him. It was so funny, he started talking, and he said he was excited to read my first novel. What I thought at that point was that I was going to lose my lunch over this. How could this happen?
I wasn’t ready to be introduced to anyone, I didn’t know anyone. I’d only been in the industry for three years, and I had no career, then when my first novel was published, I was working in publishing. As a reader and an agent, I just didn’t know any of the people who had a career in publishing. I started looking around at the literary world, and I just thought, “Wow, this is so interesting.”
But, I didn’t think of myself as working in publishing, and I was so grateful that he wanted to read my work. It made me feel like I was part of that world, and a part of something else.
When he wanted to read you, he told me you were coming out with a book. What was he reading about?
I was a little bit worried. I didn’t know how it was going to happen. I