Be My Sorority Sister-Under Pressure Author
Interview and Review
Be My Sorority Sister-Under Pressure is about one woman's quest
to become join a fictional sorority named Beta Gamma. The main character
is named Eva Perkins. Eva's mother, sister, father and brother are all
greek so when she goes away to college she basically becomes obsessed
with joining Beta Gamma Psi, the sorority her mother and sister belong
to. Written in first person, it is easy to become enthralled in Eva's
journey. Dorrie Williams-Wheeler is a very detailed writer and she takes
her readers along every step of Eva's journey. The book is quick paced
and exciting. There are several unexpected twists and turns. Based on
the cover, I thought that the book may have involved some paddling, but
the pledges don't. Read the authors explanation about the paddle on the
cover in my exclusive interview. Although there are several charcters
the book is written very clearly and I had no trouble following the storyline.
The reader gets to know sevreral of the pledges and the big sisters.
Overall this was a very good read. It reminded me very much of the climate
at my college. The only complaints I have are that it seemed to end rather
abrubtly and that there was no clear resolution about the main characters
family situation. Several times in the book Eva complains that she feels
different around her mother and sister because they are both greek and
she isn't. However, she does have an epiphany towards the end of the book
where she determines that she is going to live for herself and not her
This is one of the better greek books
on the market. The author details the stress of going to rushes and hoping
to hear something. This is a good book, a keeper.
Author Q & A
Interview by Shemya Taylor, for Sororitysister.net.
I was approached by Dorrie Williams-Wheeler when she contacted Sororitysister.net
about featuring our site in a story she was writing for Bellaonline.com
about multicultural sororities. She then sent me an advance copy of her
book and I then had a chance to interview her. Enjoy!
Daddy's little girl, Dorrie & her dad Tommie Williams
who is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Christmas 2003
1. What inspired you to write
Be My Sorority Sister Under Pressure?
Well, I had an idea to write a series of book that would interest teens
and college aged students after the surprise success of Sparkledoll-Always
Into Something. Be My is actually part of a 3 book serious.
The first book, Almost 18 focuses on one of the supporting characters
in Be My named Ashley Weber. Book 2 also is an Ashley book and it is named
She's Out There Bad. Be My Sorority Sister-Under Pressure was
intended to be the third book in the series. The main character in Be
My is named Eva Perkins. I had so much fun writing Be My and I
just felt like it would be a popular book so I decided to release it first.
I have been writing for so very long I just have many manuscripts waiting
to see the light of day. I started work on all of these titles in the
90's I guess, at least the preliminary ideas. I am always writing, I think
I have written 3 or 4 books since 2001.
2. Some people may feel like you are capitalizing off
the sacred tradition of sororities. How do you feel about that?
It's not like I invented the wheel. There was School Daze, MTV
has a series named Sorority Life and there are other books about
sororities and fraternities. As an African-American woman, in college
Greeks were a topic of conversation, even as an adult the Greek system
is a part of our culture.
3.Are you Greek?
Those who know me know the answer. If I said, yes, I am Greek people would
think it was based on an experience I had. If I said that I am not Greek,
people would say, well why the hell is she writing a book about something
she doesn't know about. I would rather people to just read the book and
not think about me. I am an author, a storyteller. I would like to think
I tell good stories. I have a very active imagination, and I always have.
I'm sure that someone will put me on blast somewhere.....There is bound
to be backlash no matter what you write.
4. Why did you put a woman with a paddle on the cover, especially since
no one in the book is paddled? Do you think this is a negative image?
No. I think that paddles are a part of Greek paraphernalia and they are
identified with being Greek. I can't take all of the credit for putting
a paddle on the cover. I was talking to a good friend of mine brainstorming
on how to design a book cover that would make people think "sorority"
and she mentioned the paddle idea, I had been thinking it, but since she
thought it too I figured it was a cool idea.
5. The made up sorority in the books colors are purple
and teal? That looks like purple and turquoise on the book cover, area
you color blind? LOL
No, I'm not color blind. When the cover with the teal printed it looked
greenish and I went to extreme measures in the book and within the cover
to not have anything that would associate the fictional sorority with
an actual African-American sorority so for the book I switched the teal
6. Do you and the character Eva have anything in common?
A few things, not much. Both of my parents are Greek but I would like
to think they didn't put any pressure on me, but sometimes they inadvertently
did. When both of your parents are Greek, you kind of feel obligated to
carry on the tradition, you don't want to have a "the buck stops
here" thing going on, but it happens sometimes. I have met people
in my lifetime who felt pressure from their parents to go Greek. I always
had my own bedroom growing up, like Eva. Eva didn't do the roommate thing
well, me neither, and Eva likes tall guys, so I guess those are a few
things we have in common.
I have never really written a character like Eva. People who are familiar
with my writing know that I specialize in drama, debauchery, tragedy and
angst, and Eva really doesn't have too many complaints, except wanting
to become a member of Beta Gamma Psi. I so much like writing character
who have to deal with difficult situations, drugs, gang banger boyfriends,
death, illness, just mad crazy stuff, heck even characters who flip out
and go crazy, or their friends flip out, Eva was kinda normal. But that's
it---after this book, it's back to my old ways. But don't worry, Eva and
the cast of Be My Sorority Sister-Under Pressure have their fare
share of drama.
7. What are your writing plans for 2004?
In early 2004, the hardcover version of Be My Sorority Sister-Under
Pressure will be released. I'm thinking March or April. Prior to that,
Sparkledoll Always Into Something-2004 Edition will be released
on my own publishing imprint Sparkledoll Productions. I will then spend
most of the year promoting those titles. Then just maybe I will release
She's Out There Bad by the end of the year. I would like to release
Almost 18 and another book I wrote named The Edge of Insanity
too, but I can't flood the market. I guess those titles will have to wait
8. What made you start your
own publishing imprint?
For real, I was tired of people making money off of me. It's just sickening
and I hate to think about it. I used a POD company for the original release
of Sparkledoll. The reporting was way funny. Some months I would
sell mega copies and the next month zero? They say the computer system
was backlogged and it would show up the next month. Things were just too
funny and they were making this money, why can't I just cut them out and
do it myself? On top of that I would have to pay almost $14 for my own
book. I couldn't even afford to send out review copies.
Then company number 2, they weren't POD but they are some serious scam
masters, the publishers of the Unplanned Pregnancy Handbook. They
go and price a 108 page book at 16.95!!! That's ridiculous, I would never
even buy my book at that price. We just happen to use the same printer,
my company and the scam masters who published The Unplanned Pregnancy
Handbook. I calculate that it costs them way less than $3 a copy to
print up that little bitty book, but they want to charge $16.95 and give
me an 8% royalty and all they do for me is send out one pathetic mass
mailing on black and white paper??????
As you can see I'm steamed. I can do it myself. I will never sign with
a publisher again unless there is major money involved, for real. On top
of that I want creative control, editorial control, cover design input,
media tie-in's with film and TV and at least low to mid six-figures. So
when someone wants me bad enough to give me that, i'll gladly sign on
the dotted line once my lawyer looks over the contract. Am I cocky? Maybe.
But I know that I have a marketable product and I'm not making any more
of these scam masters rich. I will leave the publisher of The Unplanned
Book nameless, because my web sites get a lot of hits and when people
type in their name, my web sites come up--and I don't want no trouble
8. So you are writing and producing your book, will
you release books by other authors?
Pretty much. I'm a one woman show, book designer, web designer, marketing,
you name it. I have assistance with distribution and the titles are in
Ingrams, Baker & Taylor, Amazon, etc. I don't mind though. It will
be nice one day when I don't have to do everything, but at least I know
things are done the way I want them done.
Although I have my own publishing imprint and the capabilities to release
titles for other authors, it's not something I am looking into at this
time. I basically only did this to have an avenue to releases my own work
without sending queries and getting jerked by the scam master POD's and
stuff. I have to write and I need an audience.
9. Do you watch MTV's Sorority Life?
Of course I do. I like all of the MTV reality shows except Punk'd.
I hate that show and think it is staged. Did anyone else notice many time
people appear on Punk'd just as they have a new project coming
out? Usher really seemed like he was acting on his Punk'd episode.
I enjoyed Nick & Jessica's show and currently I have been watching
Real World/Road Rules Challenge The Gauntlet and Rich Girls.
I really like Rich Girls. My favorite season of Sorority Life
was the first one with Jordan and Amanda. This past season with the mixed
sorority was okay, wish they had a season with an African-American sorority.
10. What advice would you give other writers?
I dunno. I get e-mail a lot from other writers or aspiring writers. I
guess one thing I would say is to just write. Get your work out there
the best way that you can. Although, I moan and complain about the publishers
of my first two books, they did help me to get noticed and somewhat gain
a fan base and make a name for myself. With fans, comes encouragement
that someone really likes your work. I also got and still get negative
feedback, so be prepared to take the bad with the good and don't let any
of it go to your head. If you want to write, just stay dedicated to your
craft and be prepared to have some nights where you function with very
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