The crowd was a prime mix of fans, friends, and authors alike. Packed over a 100 deep in the cozy rear of the Hue-Man bookstore, on a seasonable summer Thursday afternoon. Treasure was the man of the hour, in a store that once kicked him out for trying to sell his book. It was now his story that brought everyone together.
Dressed in a crisp white button down under a chic navy blazer, Treasure commanded attention from the moment he blessed the crowd. Taking questions from his fans, Mr. Blue shared his stories or struggle, strife, and inspiration. He brought the bunch back to his first Saturday in front of the Commerce bank on 125th street in Harlem when he and his team sold over 500 copies of Harlem Girl Lost. It was on that day it hit him that he had something special. Never once taking full credit for his accomplishments, Treasure repeatedly thanked his father and children, who were all in attendance, for their unwavering support, sharing with the group, “I’m fortunate and blessed, many don’t reach the levels I have.”
Treasure kept it real with his fans in true Treasure-Blue-no-holds-bar style. “Hasn’t always been a smooth ride. I slipped and fell a lot of times.” Indeed Treasure has lived and bared witness to the stories of his characters. He confessed that he was once ashamed to share his secrets, always told to sweep it under the carpet. “Got to tell you about the bad and weak spots; flaws we all have them. The best writers have been through hell and back.” And from his secrets Treasure has created urban fairy tales, refining the sometimes harsh and ugly reality into jewels of encouragement.
Already in awe of his words, Treasure further hypnotized his circle of fans with an impromptu reading from his latest, A Street Girl Names Desire. After the reading a silence of admiration brushed over the crowd before a few, who were no longer speechless, shared their stories of how much the characters touched them.
When the praise died down, Treasure took a few more questions from the group, which included a few aspiring authors. Asked his advice on what an upcoming writer should do, Treasure broke it down, “Boxers box, runner run, and a writer should write.” Further questioned, Treasure shared his point of view on the never-ending debate on whether a first time author should self publish or wait for the majors. “The decision is yours. You have to take into consideration what kind of person you are. Keep in mind your chance of being picked up by the majors is like throwing a dart at the moon. I self published and rang the bell to be noticed.” He ended his answer by inviting the person who asked the question to talk to him more after the signing, “The only way to keep what you got is to give it away.”
Treasure wrapped up the signing with hugs, kisses, and hundreds of photos, before the Hue-Man staff politely ushered everyone out to the sidewalk where the second wave of mingling began. The epitome of what it means to be down to earth, Treasure mixed with the crowd outside before inviting everyone to his after party. No entourage. No ego. No bullshit. Just Treasure Blue being Treasure Blue, a role model for Urban Fiction.
Elaine Watkins is the Editor-in-Chief of The Urban Book Source.
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