novel GLORIOUS was six years in the making and now it's just six months away from publication. The story first came to me in 2004 as I sat in my kitchen sipping tea when I became suddenly was aware of the presence of two women, who I will contend until the day I die, were the spirits of Zora Neale Hurston and Nella Larsen. I listened to what they had to say and then went to my office and typed out the first twenty-pages of what would become Glorious.
It was no easy journey. The road from that first day to here was a long, arduous one paved with rejections letters, the death of my father and oceans and oceans of tears.
But we don’t do anything in this life alone and without the love and support of my family, friends, fellow scribes, guides, readers and God – this book would never have seen the light of day.
Glorious is set against the backdrops of the Jim Crow South, the Harlem Renaissance, and the civil rights era. On a hot July 4th afternoon, in Reno, Nevada boxers Jack Johnson and James Jeffries engaged in what would be come to known as "The Fight of the Century."
Jack Johnson would become the first ever Negro Heavy Weight Champion of the World. His victory set off race riots in many major cities across the country and ignited a chain of events that would forever change the life of a small, town girl named Easter Venetta Bartlett.
Blending the truth of American history with the fruits of my rich imagination, this is the story of Easter Venetta Bartlett, a fictional Harlem Renaissance writer whose tumultuous path to success, ruin, and revival offers a candid portrait of the American experience in all its beauty and cruelty.
Glorious is filled with a cast of historical figures. One man that makes a brief appearance is Cuban band leader, Xavier Cugat. His band was the resident band of The Waldorf Astoria Hotel before and after WWII. Cugat was also a cartoonist.
Now here's where it get's real interesting....
Xavier Cugat is widely known for his musical talents, while his artistic skills are probably a lesser known fact. But do you know who this famous bandleaders brother was?
Did you know that when the Great Gatsby was published in 1925, it was not immediately popular and even after being adapted into a play and a feature film, it was soon forgotten. It wasn't until it was republished in 1945 and 1953 that it gained a wide readership and became the successful piece of literature it is today.
Causes Bernice McFadden Supports
Hurston Wright Foundation
Girls Write Now
Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS)