"The universe is made of stories, not of atoms."
—Muriel Rukeyser

More great news

Noire's Thong on Fire won #1 Erotic Fiction Award at the Annual African-American Literary Fiction Awards.

FORECAST received a wonderful, 4 1/2-star review from Romantic Times.
They say:
A breezy, lighthearted romance by an author who knows her New Age and alternative philosophies, this one will put a smile on your face. Tara makes the paranormal normal and the happily-ever-afters seem like destiny. Wonderful characters and a well-crafted story arc make this a recipe for a beautiful weekend.

The Chicago Tribune picked Racing the Dark as one of it's "Best Reads for Fall."

Racing the Dark
By Alaya Dawn Johnson
Agate, $24

A young girl grappling with mysterious powers becomes the apprentice of a reclusive witch.

Below: Producers of “Hitting the Bricks”: (left to right) Chi-Li Wong, Brian Jaynes (also directing!), Kayoko (Ken’s wife), KJA, and Mark Sullivan

One of the highlights of my recent trip to the Bay Area—aside from watching my grandson Teddy’s first soccer game--was a meeting with The Yoga Journal for the purpose of hooking them up with The Grameen Foundation—the micro-financing institute founded by Nobel Peace Prize Winner Dr. Muhammed Yunus.

The YJ/Grameen program will be called “Giving Back to India.” More details to follow. The photo shows the “organizers”: my wife Kayoko Mitsumatsu, Grameen west coast development exec Julia Wilson, and yoga instructor par excellence/YJ model Joel Bender.

Q&A with Dr. Ken Atchity, Literary Manager & Film Producer

Q&A with Dr. Ken Atchity, Literary Manager & Film Producer
by Jennifer Minar-Jaynes

Dr. Ken Atchity is a self-defined "story merchant"--writer, producer, teacher, and literary manager-- responsible for launching dozens of books and films.
With more than forty years experience in the publishing world, and over fifteen years in entertainment, Atchity has been highly prolific, producing 26 films, including "Joe Somebody" (Tim Allen; Fox) and "Life or Something Like It" (Angelina Jolie; Fox).

As if that isn't enough, he's also authored 14 highly-praised books on writing, including
How to Publish Your Novel and A Writer's Time: Making the Time to Write.

What's more, as a literary manager, Atchity has successfully built bestselling careers for novelists, nonfiction writers, and screenwriters. Clients include bestsellers Steve Alten, Jamise Dames, Noire, Dr. Dre, and Governor Jesse Ventura.

I recently had the great pleasure of talking with Dr. Atchity to get his views on what makes the ideal client, the writers who garner the most lucrative publishing deals, how to deal with the inevitable rejection writers face, and common misconceptions folks have about the writer's life.
Read the interview…

Review of Forecast by Jane Tara

Date of Review: 09/14/07

Reviewed by: Dorothy Jones

Rowie Shakespeare comes from a long line of Shakespeare women with psychic abilities. Her particular psychic talent is being able to forecast the weather – she has never been wrong. She lives and works with her mother and grandmother who are also psychics. They have a business called Second Site, a metaphysical bookshop and healing center, owned by her family. She is expected to carry on the tradition and run the shop when her grandmother passes. However, the two things she desires: 1) her own life – which dismays her grandmother and 2) to find her One True Love. Her psychic abilities have been playing havoc with her social life.

Drew Henderson is tall, dark and handsome and he is the weather forecaster at USBC television station. He has studied for years and believes in the scientific approach to forecasting the weather. Betrayed by his wife and his best friend, the last thing he is looking for is a relationship.

While investigating a hurricane, Drew breaks his leg badly and ends up in the hospital. His boss, having witnessed Rowie forecast the weather for her neighborhood, manages to get her to fill-in while Drew is in the hospital. Drew is attracted to the psychic weather girl and it is mutual. However, will he have a job when his leg heals or will it go to the psychic weather girl? Will her psychic abilities hold up on TV in front of millions of people? Could he possibly be Rowie’s One True Love? If only Rowie could forecast her future as well as she can FORECAST the weather.

I really liked FORECAST. The secondary characters add appeal to the novel. Suspense, romance and a few ghosts add up to an enthralling story. Do not miss it! I highly recommend FORECAST.

Dottie Jones, RomanceDesigns.com
Contemporary Romance Writers

Desperately Seeking Chris

Over tennis yesterday morning Katherine Taylor (Rules for Saying Goodbye, Farrar, Straus) told me a delightful story for the annals of contemporary lit about her previous night’s reading at Vroman’s. She and about 10 pals reconvened at the Ritz Hotel for drinks and snacks after the packed reading. A tall mysterious stranger named Chris joined them, though she only exchanged a few words with him. They ran up a bar tab of at least $50 each. At the end of the evening, someone noticed Chris slipping out the door. When the waitress was asked if he paid his share, she said, “He took care of the whole tab!”

Now if Chris is really as cool as this sounds Kate won’t see him again until she’s signing her second novel! Truly a tale as delicious as her novel.

“Hitting the Bricks” by Noire a la Noche (screenplay with Adria Lang) in Preproduction!

It’s very exciting to start seeing location pictures, cast photos, and EMI Latin’s suggestions for the soundtrack of Noire’s first foray under her new pseudonym Noire a la Noche. Just as she’s torn up the pavements of Harlem as “the queen of urban erotic tales,” now Noire (as Noire a la Noche) is moving to “Bricks” in Spanish Harlem—with both her first novel under the new pen name and her very first film, scheduled for production October 28. I can hear the excitement in her voice every time she’s on the phone with director Brian T. Jaynes or my partner Chi-Li perfecting the script. Here’s our first rough draft of a poster.


Los Angeles, 9/5/07 – Atchity Entertainment International (AEI) client Alan Roth’s screenplay Hang Time has entered the semi-finals of the Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowships of Screenwriting.

Out of over 5,000 entries, Hang Time is one of the approximately one hundred screenplays chosen to enter the semi-final round.

Hang Time is the story of a bitter professional basketball player who forms an unlikely relationship with a sports reporter and a young boy who lives in the apartment where he grew up. By turns funny and heart-warming, Hang Time is a powerful drama with compelling, unforgettable characters.

The Nicholl Fellowships are run by the Academy for Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It is generally considered to be one of the most significant screenwriting contests available.

In the past, winners of the Nicholl Fellowships have gone on to production, including Michael A. Rich (Finding Forrester), Doug Atchinson (Akeelah and the Bee) and Ehren Kruger (Arlington Road).

Literary management/production company AEI signed to represent Roth in 2005.

AEI is producing Hang Time and another of Roth’s scripts, One More for the Road.

A native of New Jersey, Roth lives in upper-state New York.

Houston Symphony's NFL Night

"Once in a while it's fun to get input from a different perspective. At the Houston Symphony's NFL Night recently, AEI director Fred Griffin consulted the cheerleaders while I got to hook up with the bull!"

KJA with Texan Bull

AEI director Fred Griffin with Texan advisers

Sneaker-marmalade magazine and Ed Lover & Doctor Dre (Andre Young) Interview

It’s exciting to see one of our clients, DOCTOR DRE, get heavy into the merchandising & licensing scene—in this case with Puma and Rad Toys:

1. Did you know that we chose to interview because we found your creation one of the freshest of this Yo! MTV Raps series?

Thank you, I really appreciate it.

2. What was the creation process and what was your involvement in it?

No. I really didn’t have any input on the design of the “Yo MTV Raps” Doctor Dre and Ed Lover model. Although the PUMA team captured the same “Cool and Cutting Edge” by teaming Doctor Dre and Ed Lover with the famous “Clyde” brand. I hope the next version we can collaborate.

3. Could you introduce to us your creation?

With great pleasure.

4. Had you already participated in designing a shoe or apparel in the past?

Yes, I have. I had created an apparel line called, “Doctor Dre’s Bigga Stuff.” It was apparel created for Big and Tall persons. I was working with Chuck D’s (Public Enemy) apparel company Rap Style.

5. Your creation as well as the others Yo! MTV Raps Pumas are all rich of pleasant details. But how can you explain that only yours is the only one to have extra features such as a specific has extra like the “Ed” and “Dre” on the back of the heels or the lime and purple sock liner?

The great designers at PUMA were creative enough to bless the Yo MTV Raps version with Doctor Dre and Ed Lover on the back of our sneaker because the uniqueness of “Ed and Dre!” We were just LUCKY! Thanks PUMA!

6. In Europe Yo ! MTV Raps is not as well known than in the US. Could you tell us more about this show?

Yo MTV Raps was the brain child of Peter Doughtery and Ted Demme. It was the first time that MTV dedicated a show to Rap music. Ed an I were the daily hosts of “Yo MTV Raps Today.” The “Yo” grew legs quickly and became one of the most popular shows as well one of the longest running programs in MTV history (7+ years). During this era artists like Public Enemy, NWA, Tupac, MC Lyte, Snoop Dog, Big Daddy Kane, Doug E. Fresh and countless others emerged as the Hip Hop Stars of the future.

7. You cannot be completely indifferent at the hands of a sneaker? Do you like sneakers? Do you collect a bit?

I am a ridiculous sneaker junkie! I have worn quite a few brands in the past. I have worn PUMA “Clydes” since I was in the 5th grade! When PUMA came out with the classic Black with Gold stripes suede joints and had to have them. My brother got me my first pair, Many of the “rich” kids would rock the Stan Smith PUMA, but the “Hood” had to be cool with “Clydes!”

8. What are your next projects?

I can’t tell you…..yet! Next interview, Doctor Dre

Noire breaks more new ground!

Noire Queen of Urban Erotica™

NOIRE, the Queen of Urban Erotica and #1 Essence bestselling author of G-Spot, Candy Licker, Thug-A-Licious, Baby Brother (with 50 Cent), Thong on Fire, and Hood, has joined forces with New York Times Bestselling author MARY B. MORRISON, author of Sweeter Than Honey, When Somebody Loves You Back, Nothing Has Ever Felt Like This, and He's Just A Friend, to collaborate on an anthology of erotic proportions for Kensington Publishing. "Writing with an erotica virtuoso like Mary is going to be the literary experience of a lifetime," says Noire. "Between the two of us we should generate enough heat to melt the cover off this book!"

More great reviews

Review of Alaya Dawn Johnson’s Racing the Dark

Adult/High School-A coming-of-age story set on a Polynesian-like island. Alana faces her approaching puberty ritual with great concern as the entire population faces devastating typhoons, earthquakes, and volcanoes, brought on by the angry spirits of wind, water, and fire. Apprenticed to a witch, the girl denies her true power. She naively thinks that her sacrifice will save her mother, but she is caught in a web of deception. Dark forces erupt, changing all her plans. This novel has rich details of setting and character motivation. The prose is lyrical and metaphorical, in a style similar to Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist (HarperCollins, 1993).

There are also elements of Greek myths in which mortals and spirits meet with mostly tragic results. The complex plot requires careful reading but the effort is worth it. Teens who enjoyed Ursula Le Guin's Always Coming Home (HarperCollins, 1985; o.p.) will like this novel, and many readers will identify with
a character facing adult responsibilities while still feeling like a child.-Deirdre Cerkanowicz, Berkeley Public Library, CA

Buy Racing the Dark on Amazon

Review of Royce Buckingham’s Demonkeeper

School Library Journal

Gr 4–7—Buckingham has written an enjoyable novel that is both scary and laugh-out-loud funny. Nat, the clumsy new Demonkeeper, and his three mischievous minions live in an old mansion filled with animate objects—lamps, quilts, and even the porch move. When local boys accidentally release the Beast that Nat is responsible for keeping captive, the teen works with a mousy library assistant and a tough street kid to find and stop the orphan-eating demon and the Thin Man who is trying to take charge of it. While the characters are mostly teenagers, the book is definitely for a younger audience. The story, set in Seattle, is fantastical, but with very current and realistic characters. Fast-paced and full of action and suspense, this wacky novel is a good choice for reluctant

readers.—Sharon Senser McKellar, Oakland Public Library, CA

Buy Demonkeeper on Amazon