Every once in a while, there comes along an author who captures in real-time the spirit of a particular society.
One such author in my view, is Memphis-born, Tempie D. King, author of `Feelings’ (ISBN -4241-0706-7) Published by Maryland-based, traditional publisher, Publishamerica LLLP. This 164-page publication is a modern-day, classic written in the literary tradition of the Deep South. Its treatment of its subject, matter resembles such writers as the renowned, Richard Wright, Toni Morrison, Ernest Hemingway and Og Mandino who are the author’s idols. “John Grisham,” says Tempie, “is another author that I love. His work has inspired me tremendously, even more so, since I left Chicago and moved back. Now, I live where he lived…I see what he saw. Our age is only one year apart. I now sit in the same library and write as he wrote his many novels such as: `A time to kill.’ …Both libraries here in Mississippi are featuring and want to promote me just as they did John Grisham.”
Miss King, who prefers to be known by her Christian name only, presents her protagonist, Manerva R. Jones, as a young, medical student determined, to champion the cause of the down- trodden, particularly in Memphis, Tennessee, USA where the novel is set, against institutionalised racism and injustice in corporate America.
Her debut book, which was just released, March 27th, 2006, and which is now available, with great five-star reviews on-line, from top booksellers such as Amazon.co.uk, Borders, Barns and Noble and WH Smith, etc, and in several libraries, in the states Kentucky and Mississippi and others, is a well-crafted tale told in the vernacular of the characters she has presented. And through whom she relates events and episodes, which are at once recognisable to readers, acquainted with American society, and its all too evident racial divide.
Tempie, who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Pre medicine, and who attended the Writers Digest School of Novel Writing, in addition to weaving her abundant knowledge of the medical profession into the plot of the story, also has extensive expertise in management and marketing and sales, and cleverly utilises anecdotes from her professional life in this little gem, to bring to life the themes of family values, spiritual enrichment, and romantic love into one masterful volume of a publication, in this her first of many novels.
The author told this writer that she realised that she had the gift of writing during her early years, “in between jobs.” She already was in the habit of keeping a journal of her reflections on life matters, and it was these jottings that she would later turn into `Feelings’ many years later following a traumatic period when, as fate would have it, she would lose both her parents within the space of one month. “Feelings was written ten years ago,” she confessed. “…That’s when I wrote it. I remember every day; it was like an obsession. I’d go to the library and I made a job out of learning how to write a novel. I read every book that could teach me how to write fiction. I became very happy because of what it did for me. I was this person away from home…I was going through my own life obstacles. But I didn’t want family and people to know. So I would just write down what I was feeling, and when I did that it gave me a sense fulfilment. It made me feel good about my self and my life…it filled a lot of the void. And so, I built on that.”
I asked Tempie to share her thoughts in retrospect about her lead character, Manerva, around whom the story revolves. She revealed that while Manerva, is a fictional character spawned from her imagination, she is quite a creation of her own making.
“Manerva is a creation of fiction but her stories and life are so real. They are based on a lot of inspired truths,” she mused adding, ” There are actual battles throughout the story where being the author, I had to yield to my heroine and remove myself completely, and allow her to guide and dictate the story.” Tempie declares adamantly, that although memories of her up bringing of the 60’s era, which saw protest marches and boycotts to fight for the recognition of civil rights for coloureds; inspired by the oratorical speeches of the now deceased, Dr. Martin Luther King, have shaped her world-view, she sees her self as simply a writer, and states, “I wanted it to be something that I could read to my nephews and niece; something that they could be proud of.”
Aptly, Feelings is dedicated to the memory of her parents and her brother. She will ever be grateful to her two sisters and brother, and close relatives and friends for all of their love and support.
On Friday morning, Tempie will be the guest on CBS- affiliate, WREG TV Channel 3’s Live @9 to promote her first major book signing at David-kidd Booksellers in downtown Memphis, where she will meet the reading public and sign copies of Feelings on Saturday, August 5th at 1:00 p.m.
As a fellow published author, under the Publishamerica imprint, I proudly recommend, Feelings, as an amazing read, and a publication worthy of critical acclaim.
FEELINGS (PUBLISHAMERICA ISBN 1-4241-0706-7) IS AVAILABLE AT ON-LINE BOOK STORES IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND INTERNATIONALLY