March 20, 2008

Its That Time Again! NAACP Author Pavilion Submissions!



Washington, D.C., March 19th, 2008- The 2008 Author Pavilion, sponsored by the NAACP, will be held at the NAACP 99th National Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio on July 12th through 15th, 2008. In the past 4 years approximately 7,000 patrons attended the National Conventions, which take place during the 3rd week in July.

WHAT: The NAACP invites publishers to nominate authors and poets to participate in the 2008 Author’s Pavilion. Preferred candidates are popular, nationally known authors who have won book awards or are best sellers at the national level. Publishers or Authors are expected to support the travel, hotel and miscellaneous expenses of accepted nominees to make their travel arrangements.

WHEN: At the 39th Annual Commerce and Industry Show July 12 through 15th during the NAACP 99th National Convention, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Meet and greets, Presentation Panels, book signings and live In the Café with Mocha Show tapings are the heart of the NAACP Author Pavilion experience, which is designed to bring readers together with their favorite writers and poets

Author interviews and Author Pavilion Highlights will be seen and heard throughout the convention and on the NAACP Website www.naacp.org/events/convention/99th after the convention. For additional information, please visit www.naacpauthorpavilion.com

Founded in 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its more than half-million adult and youth members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities and monitors of equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

PBE specializes in creating literary events in a variety of non-traditional venues and seeks out exciting new locales for readers and authors to connect. PBE is the sister company to The Oracle Group which produces the literary talk show “In the Café with Mocha”

CONTACTS: Nominations should be sent by May 1st 2008 to Mocha Ochoa. Her email is mocha@professionalbookevents.com and her telephone number is 301-461-6925.


February 15, 2008


Filed under: Uncategorized — theoraclegroup @ 5:21 am

Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction

Blonde Faith – Walter Mosley (Little, Brown & Company)

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao – Junot Diaz (Penguin/Riverhead)
Cion: A Novel – Zakes Mda (Picador)
Knots – Nuruddin Farah (Penguin/Riverhead)
New England White: A Novel – Stephen L. Carter (Alfred A. Knopf/RH)

Outstanding Literary Work – Non-Fiction

An Unbroken Agony – Randall Robinson (Basic Civitas Books/Perseus)
Brother, I’m Dying – Edwidge Danticat (Alfred A. Knopf/RH)
Know What I Mean?: Reflections on Hip-Hop – Michael Eric Dyson (Basic Civitas Books/Perseus)
Not on Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond – Don Cheadle, John Prendergast (Hyperion)
Race and Racism in the Chinas: Chinese Racial Attitudes Toward Africans and African-Americans – M. Dujon Johnson (Authorhouse)

Outstanding Literary Work – Debut Author

The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears – Dinaw Mengestu (Penguin/Riverhead)
Grace Will Lead Me Home – Robin Givens (Hyperion)
Like Trees, Walking – Ravi Howard (Harper Collins/-Amistad)
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier – Ishmael Beah (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
The Women Who Raised Me: A Memoir – Victoria Rowell (Harper Collins)

Outstanding Literary Work – Biography/Autobiography

I Got Your Back: A Father and Son Keep it Real About Love, Fatherhood, Family, and Friendship – Eddie Levert Sr., Gerald Levert, Lyah Beth LeFlore (Broadway Books)
My Grandfather’s Son – Clarence Thomas (Harper Collins)
Obama: From Promise to Power – David Mendell (Harper Collins/Amistad)O
Silent Gesture: The Autobiography of Tommie Smith – Tommie Smith, David Steele (Temple University Press)
The Women Who Raised Me: A Memoir – Victoria Rowell (Harper Collins/William Morrow)

Outstanding Literary Work – Instructional

The Covenant in Action – Tavis Smiley (Smiley Books)
Do You!: 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success -Russell Simmons (Penguin/Gotham)
Get Yours!: The Girlfriends’ Guide to Having Everything You Ever Dreamed of and More – Amy Dubois Barnett (Random House/Broadway)
Reposition Yourself: Living Life Without Limits – T. D. Jakes (Simon & Schuster/Atria Books)
This Year You Write Your Novel – Walter Mosley (Little, Brown & Company

Outstanding Literary Work – Poetry

Acolytes: Poems – Nikki Giovanni (Harper Collins/William Morrow)
Duende – Tracy K. Smith (Gray Wolf Press)
Eloquence: Rhythm and Renaissance – Usiku (UsiKu.net)
Quiver of Arrows – Carl Phillips (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Selected Poems – Derek Walcott (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Outstanding Literary Work – Children

A Friendship For Today – Patricia C. McKissack (Scholastic Inc.)
Elijah of Buxton – Christopher Paul Curtis (Scholastic Inc.)
Let it Shine: Three Favorite Spirituals – Ashley Bryan (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing/Atheneum)
Nothing but Trouble: The Story of Althea Gibson – Sue Stauffacher, Author; Greg Couch, Illustrator (Random House)
Young Pelé: Soccer’s First Star – Lesa Cline-Ransome, Author; James Ransome, Illustrator (Random House)
Outstanding Literary Work – Youth/Teens

Body Drama – Nancy Redd (Penguin/Gotham)
Center for Cartoon Studies Presents: Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow – James Sturm, Author; Rich Tommaso, Illustrator (Hyperion Books for Children/Disney Publishing)
Divine Confidential – Jacquelin Thomas (Pocketbooks/Simon & Schuster)
More Than Entertainers: An Inspirational Black Career Guide – Charles B. Schooler, Author; Gary Young, Illustrator (Zenith Publishing)
Shadow Speaker – Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu (Hyperion Books for Children/Disney Publishing)

November 7, 2007

On My Birthday, My Wish For You All

Mocha, Rachel Vassel, Malinda Williams

The older you get, you tend to be more reflective of where you are and where you are going.

When we started this venture of promoting books and authors of color via various media platforms including television and web format alot of people told us we were wasting our time. In fact BLACK television in the Washington Area told us that “there was no market”. I took that to mean that black people dont read, so why should we celebrate these authors. That made us pursue this idea even more.

In my former life, I worked for a national bookstore chain planning author events. I saw personally that in Downtown Chocolate City the African American Fiction section was done away with, taken apart. The only part that remained was a “History Section” which was shared with the “Women’s History” shelves.

On every level the signs pointed to “no success”, “black people dont read”, “there will be no market”

Well today, I am so happy to say that as you know, the market is alive and well. Always live your dreams, follow your passions, do what you were brought on this earth to do. As long as you keep living, breathing, and doing your life’s work, “your gifts will make room for you” as the Bible says.

I want to thank all of the Authors who continue to write such beautiful books, all of the publishers who print them, and all of the publicists, marketing directors, bloggers ect who help create awareness about the books we love so much.

God Bless You and I look forward to working with you!

October 4, 2007

Etan Thomas Is So Much More Than An Athlete

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When I get bad news, I often ask myself “is there a greater good?” and “what is the higher purpose of what is happening”. I have to have something to hold on to, or some kind of hope that I will come out of the situation ok. Well today, my client and friend Etan Thomas, Center for the Washington Wizards, Author, Spoken Word Artist and Activist is dealing with some pretty devastating news. He is dealing with a heart issue that is potentially career threatening.

Anyone who has ever had the pleasure to meet Mr. Thomas knows that they are in the presence of greatness. I have to admit, I have never watched a Washington Wizards game, I was one of those who kind of lost track and fell by the wayside during the strike, was that in ’99? Anyways, a whole bunch of new players came in, people got traded here and there and I was lost. But lately Mr. Thomas has inspired me, not for what he does on the court, but rather his impact off of the court.

This summer I interviewed the incredibly down to earth Etan at the NAACP Author Pavilion. He stopped through to sign his book “More Than An Athlete” before he spoke as the Keynote Speaker at the Youth Luncheon (mind you, he left the Convention and took a flight on a mission to Kenya). He is Senator Obama’s NBA Representative and despite his celebrity status is not afraid to speak out against the War in Iraq or the Republican Party that engaged us in the war in the first place.

When I got the news of Etan’s health status, I immediately had a feeling of peace, knowing that everything was going to be all right. You see, God forbid he never plays professionally again, but with every fiber of my being I believe that God has a greater purpose for Etan. The NBA is just the platform for his voice to be heard. This brother is serious. He has something to say and has the power to engage and influence with his words. Yes, you listen at first because he is an “NBA Basketball Star”, but after hearing what he has to say, you truly realize that he is “More Than An Athlete”.

Etan my brother, keep you head up, we are praying for you and are with you. There is a greater good for your life, please believe that.

October 1, 2007

Alek Wek In The Cafe with Mocha

On Wednesday September 19th I had the utmost pleasure of hosting Ms. Alek Wek In the Café. We had a wonderful chat discussing her latest project “Alek, From Sudanese Refugee to International Supermodel. She was everything I hoped she would be, poised, witty, and very sharp. It was refreshing to speak with someone who lives such a privileged life, but still manages to be so down to earth and humble. Perhaps it is her memory of where she is coming from that keeps her grounded, or quite likely her vision of where she is going.

This Supermodel, Entrepreneur, Designer and now Author was simply radiant as she shared with us her humble beginnings, her love of family and the importance of following your own path. “Don’t let nobody tell you that you cant do something”, she said as she recalled being turned down for numerous jobs in her early years of modeling. She also spoke of having a meager “go-see” wardrobe while the other new models in the agency received wardrobe stipends to go to their appointments. To all of the hardships that she overcame, she credits having a strong family and great friends. “I don’t walk around thinking, oh I’m so beautiful and oh I’m so brilliant. That would be silly, I am just me and I am using my voice to help others and to make a difference”.

But beautiful and brilliant you are Ms. Alek and the pleasure was all ours. To see the Interview in its entirety please go to http://www.theoraclegroup.net and click on Book of the Month

Book Festival Weekend

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Maurvene Williams, Mocha, LOC Staffer & Selah

So I went to the National Book Festival this weekend. For the first time I was able to take in the event as media and not as part of the event planning committee, and I have to say that I enjoyed myself.

Authors of Color in attendance included Jan Spivey Gilchrist and Ashley Brian My America, Edward P. Jones All Aunt Hagar’s Children, Sheila P. Moses Baptism and my girl Victoria Rowell The Women Who Raised Me.

It was a beautiful Autumn day and it was amazing to see the thousands of booklovers converge on the National Mall, children, families, even Bullseye the Target Dog was there taking pictures with “whomsoeverwill”.

I got a chance to connect again with Maurvene Williams, the Program Officer for the Library of Congress’s Center for the Book. One of Maurvene’s many responsibilities include getting all of the authors to the National Mall. An amazing task when you think that this event usually includes 60-90 Authors speaking and signing within an 8 hour time period. She is definitely my “large-scale-author-event-mentor”.

If you needed a little more “color” to quench your literary thirst, Karibu Books helped in that area. While the National Book Festival was going on, less than 5 minutes away the Author Pavilion at the Congressional Black Caucus was in full swing. Authors like Victoria Christopher Murray, Eddie Levert and Lyah Leflore, Master P and Russell Simmons were in attendance. And if you still needed more, all you had to do was head down 95 and 40 minutes later step onto the grounds of the Baltimore Book Festival where Justine and Rev Run to the other extreme Kerrine Steffans were doing their thing.

Oh how I love DC in the fall!

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