Teresa D. Patterson, who also writes under the pseudonym, Diane Diamond, is the author of It’s Your World, Black Girl, Project Queen, and Uncrossing Her Legs. She attended St. Petersburg College and has a degree in Business Administration. She lives in Florida with her two sons.
You can check out more about Teresa by visiting her website and her MySpace page.
Terrence James is Vicky Holiday’s ex-boyfriend. Rejected for the majority of his life, he refuses to accept rejection again. He is determined not to let Vicki go no matter what it takes. He continues to behave as though they never broke up, when it was his doggish ways that caused the split.
Vicki tries to ignore Terrence when he begins following her around. No matter where she goes, Terrence is guaranteed to show up and cause a scene. Not only does he stalk her, his actions show a side of him she’s never seen. He’s vandalizing her property, harassing her friends, and threatening any man he thinks she might be involved with. The last straw is when he breaks into her apartment and is confronted by her new love interest.
Can Terrence bow out gracefully when Vicki starts dating another man? Or will his jealousy escalate to a dangerous level?
On Street//Urban Fic
What does urban/street fiction mean to you? Is there a distinction between urban and street?
Urban/street fiction means that the stories are very real. They are based on urban or black experiences. They are written about OUR lives, OUR people, and OUR neighborhoods. Reading urban/street fiction is like reading about someone that we know; situations that happen to US. That’s why there’s such a connection between the reader and the author who creates believable characters that they can relate to.
I think that the distinction is that urban isn’t as gritty and filled with gore, meaning it’s not filled with blood shed throughout. When I think “street”, I visualize the brutal aspects such as rape, beatings, gang-banging, shootings, hard-core sex, and vulgar language. With street fiction, you get the grit and gore, in my opinion.
Of all the genres present, what drew you to write urban/street fiction?
Actually, I write several different genres, but the first three novels that I’ve had published have been urban/street fiction. I enjoy writing in this genre because there is so many ways that you can expand as a writer. Personally, I don’t hold back when I’m writing. If I want to mix up romance, with urban, add a little erotica, and humor, I do it.
I want to give my readers/fans what they want, and that happens to be urban/street fiction. For the most part, I try to create the stories that will sell the most, hoping to get on somebody’s best-seller list eventually. LOL!
What has been - if any - some of the positive and negative comments you have received from readers?
I haven’t received any negative comments. It was hinted that my book Project Queen wasn’t “street” enough. However, that didn’t deter me from having it published. One person’s definition of “street” may not be another person’s definition. Personally, I wasn’t aiming for “street” when I wrote it anyway.
So far, the reviews I’ve received on Amazon.com have been favorable, and that’s a plus.
In my neck of the woods, I’ve heard nothing but positive things about both books, Project Queen and Uncrossing Her Legs. I got requests to write a Project Queen 2, so I’m doing it. When I receive emails from people who have read my books telling me how much they enjoyed them, that’s a good feeling. I had one reader tell me that she was crying as she read Project Queen. The fact that something I wrote can evoke that type of emotion let’s me know that I have a God-given talent.
In the branch of Black literature, what do you think urban/street fiction brings to the table?
I think urban/street fiction brings so much to the table for both the African American authors and the readers. Along with the newer “street” genre, came the opportunity for so many authors to put pen to paper and create. Before, they may have thought that no one would be interested in what they’d written, but times have changed. Today, if you write it and publish it, somebody is going to buy it and read it.
When once there were only a few African American titles to choose from now there are a variety of books on the bookshelves written by black authors. Urban/street fiction appeals to a lot of the younger generation. They may not necessarily have read much in the past, but now they can pick up something that they can relate to.
There is a market out there for urban/street fiction. For a moment, it seemed like urban lit was dead because of the quality of books that were being produced. However, more authors are coming to the realization that even though they want their books to appeal to the masses, they still need to produce quality written books.
Terrence was livid. He couldn’t believe Vicki had thrown all that Chinese food on his new South Pole outfit. That red shit from the Teriyaki chicken had even gotten on his Nikes. How the hell was he going to get that out? He had fried rice all in his hair and inside his clothes. He’d had no choice but to let go of her car door when she’d started backing out of the parking space, almost dragging him in the process.
He would make her pay for what she’d done. People who had witnessed the incident had pointed and laughed. He’d almost wanted to shout at them, “Kiss my ass.” What the hell was so funny about a man getting food thrown on him? Some people were insensitive idiots.
He’d bought a newspaper to put under him when he sat down. He didn’t want all that stickiness from his pants to get on the seat of his truck. He peeled out of the mall parking lot, tires squealing.
“I’m gonna get that bitch. How in the hell can she treat me like this? I’ll get her.”
Fuming, he drove toward home thinking about all the ways he could get back at Vicki. He’d heard about people putting sugar in gas tanks. He wondered what would happen if he did that. Maybe he’d find out. Or maybe he’d just egg her car and let it simmer in the steamy, Florida heat. That would do quite a number on her paint job. Bet she wouldn’t be acting so high and mighty then.
He pulled into the driveway and got out, slamming the door of the Ford F150. He stomped across the yard and went inside his grandmother’s house.
“Lord have mercy. What in the world happened to you?” his grandmother asked as he entered. She eyed his stained clothes warily. “You all right, child?”
“Naw Grandma. I ain’t all right. I can’t understand why Vicki won’t listen to me. I just want her back. But, no matter how hard I try, she just won’t hear me out.”
“Terrence, leave that child alone before you end up getting yaself in some real trouble,” his grandmother advised. “Seems to me like you was the one in the wrong. You need to move on with ya life. You can’t keep running behind that gal if she don’t want you. Move on with ya life,” she said again, shaking her head.
“I can’t. You just don’t understand. Vicki is my life. If I can’t have her, I don’t want to live.”
“You’re talking crazy. This obsession you got with her ain’t healthy at all. Mark my words, it’s gonna land you in a heap o’ trouble.”
Terrence didn’t want to hear what his grandmother had to say. She was old school. She didn’t know anything about how things went down in the modern age. He hurried from the room before she started bombarding him with scriptures from the Bible. It burned him up when she did that. She thought everything could be solved by opening that book. She was so disillusioned. God wasn’t into answering prayers, at least not his. The only thing God could do for him was make Vicki take him back.
After taking a shower he dragged around the house looking pitiful. He didn’t cheer up until he received a call from his friend Jimmy. Jimmy wanted to go shoot some hoops at Fullerton Park. Since Jim didn’t have a ride, Terrence usually picked him up and they’d ball together. He had to put up with his grandma’s fussing before he finally made it out the front door. She treated him like he was still ten years old.
He stopped in front of Jimmy’s house and honked. Jimmy came outside, wearing Champion shorts, a tee-shirt and Nikes. “What’s up, man? How you been?” Jimmy greeted, getting in on the passenger side. “I ain’t seen you much since you and ya girl broke up. What’s the deal?”
“I’ve just been chilling at my grandma’s place. You know, trying to maintain.” The truth was he didn’t have much time to hang with the brothers. He’d been too busy chasing after Vicki, following her, watching her every move. Stalking a person took up a lot of time. Hell, it was almost a full-time job.
He wondered what his friends would think if they knew what he’d been up to. They’d probably laugh at him and call him pussy whipped. Most likely, they’d think he’d lost his damn mind.
“So, tell me something,” Jimmy shot at him. “Was it worth it? Hooking up with that project chick?”
Terrence exhaled loudly. “Hell naw! The pussy wasn’t even all that good and she couldn’t suck dick worth shit,” he lied. The truth was Tenisha could suck the skin off a dick. But that was for him to know.
“So, you lost a damn good woman like Vicki, over some lame pussy? Man, you must feel really stupid right about now.” Jimmy laughed.
Terrence felt like leaning over, opening the door and pushing his ass out. “Shut the fuck up,” he growled.
“Chill man. Chill. I’m just saying. Anyway, you’ll find someone else. If you get bucked off the horse, you just pick ya self up, dust ya self off and get back on.”
“I don’t want anybody else. I want Vicki,” he said with great passion. “I’m gonna get her back.”
“How? You plan to kidnap her or something? From what I heard, she ain’t never coming back. Give it up, man. Give it up.” Jimmy chuckled to himself and shook his head.
“You sound just like my damn grandma. Fuck you.”
“Hey, I can see it’s still a sore spot for you, so I’ll leave it alone. But, I still don’t understand how you could throw away a perfectly good relationship for ghetto, street booty.”
“I guess it does.”
Great interview! I agree with Teresa about the difference between urban fiction and street lit. I've been using that explanation for a long time and very few really believe that's how it is.
Great excerpt too!
Thanks for the comment Genesis! Thank you Shon for the opportunity. I really appreciate it!
And there is a difference, I think, but once "someone" takes a word like "urban" and bends it to their definition, then people tend to jump on that bandwagon, too.
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