Last week, my latest book, The Girl’s Best Friend was published (11/27). Many people have asked me what the book is about and so I decided to share some excerpts from it in the upcoming weeks. The book tour will begin in January 2018 and I hope to visit as many cities, conferences, and book stores across the country as possible.
My favorite part of this process (besides the actual writing) is getting out and meeting people to talk about the work. Please let me know if you have a book club, conference, organization, or an event that you’d like for me attend and let’s see. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers and hugs!!!
INTRODUCTION (Excerpt from The Girl’s Best Friend)
I have a little secret to tell you. You have to promise to keep it to yourself. OK! Here goes. The term “relationship expert” scares me. I cringe a bit every time anyone uses the term to describe me. Sure, I wrote a relationship advice column for nearly five years for Essence magazine, and I have been giving relationship advice for over twenty years both formally and informally. But a relationship expert? That’s a lot of pressure.
My relationships are far from perfect, and I don’t propose to know it all. I remember, when the digital editor, Emil Wilbekin, first asked me to write “The Girl’s Best Friend” column for Essence to talk about my experiences with my fabulous female friends, I was super excited. Then I had to write my first column, and I was terrified. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say or if anything I had to say was valuable. Turns out, once I overcame my initial apprehension, I had a lot to say, and many people found it valuable.
I think the thing that people appreciated the most was that my advice comes from a personal space. These were anecdotes and stories about my real friends and life. And I started from the position that there’s nothing wrong with any of us. We all can continue to learn as life progresses; however, we are perfectly situated right where we are on our journey. So, I never took the position that it was my job to fix anyone, especially the women that read my column and Essence magazine. From what I have read, it seems that some of the men giving relationship advice to women don’t really like women (based on the tone and tenor of the advice). As my first column stated, I love women, and I wanted that love to shine.
Another secret. Although I write from the perspective of my “sister-friends,” many of my columns were about my male friends, and a lot more were about me. Since I was writing for Essence, I had to write from a female perspective. However, my columns are universal in origin and application. It was merely good advice that I have learned from listening, watching, and reading. Common sense living.
This book is a collection of my most popular as well as my favorite columns. It is designed to be read chronologically or out of order as needed—like a cookbook. Aside from some nips and tucks here and there, I resisted my burning desire to rewrite the columns. The good news is that, although some were written years ago, the advice still holds true. Now, I have updated references to ages/time; made notes about television, music, and movies that are from the past; and chopped any references to friends who are no longer friends (no shade…maybe a little). But all in all, this is what was published on Essence.com.
Along the way I have included little notes from my favorite girls about…me! Smile. It’s more an exercise of professional reference than one of vanity. I want you to know that I earned the title, “The Girl’s Best Friend” the good, old-fashioned way. By having amazing relationships with an amazing group of women. I posed some questions to them, and they were free to answer in whichever way they chose. I hope you enjoy the columns/essays. Please just don’t call me a relationship expert. Cheers!