Sharon D. Smith
In our feature, Catching Up With…, Sistahs on the Shelf is pleased to bring you updates on your favorite authors, ones who have new books or projects in the works.
Revisit with Sharon D. Smith, whose latest work, Still Strapped, finds Silk and Taz taking their Stud-4-Stud love to the next level while dealing with drama from the past. Read on to hear about the last book in the Strapped trilogy, and what it means for the stud lovers.
Tell us about Still Strapped. Why should readers pick this book up?
Still Strapped is part 2 of the Strapped Trilogy. It picks up from where the characters in part 1 left off, but with a different twist and narrative altogether. Secrets are revealed and ties are broken. One character dies tragically, but the death marks a defining moment in the story. The ending definitely helps prepare readers for a wild ride in the finale. Overall, readers will get a better look at s4s relationships and hopefully a greater appreciation for the diversity in our community, especially the Black community.
Strapped and Still Strapped feature a stud-4-stud relationship and all that it entails. Why did you decide to focus your novels on such a taboo subject?
Most people can’t function without labels. Whether it’s clothes, cars, & even our mates. There has to be something there to identify that thing or person we like. In the GLBT community, the rule of thumb is that a person labeled “femme” has to be with someone labeled “stud.” The Strapped series is all about breaking through those labels and stereotypes to show people that love is love no matter what the outside looks like. Following these crazy rules about who to date and why keeps people in closets.
Why do you think there’s such a stigma about stud pairings?
It’s not “normal,” at least that’s what most people believe. Studs shouldn’t date other studs. I’ve seen on different internet sites and even in conversations I’ve had with some people that people believe it’s nasty for that to happen. I think it comes from our desire to be treated like and feel equal to heterosexual couples and therefore, we have to look like them, too. In the Black community, this seems to be even more true because we don’t see these types of relationships at all, or at least they’re not talked about.
The way Still Strapped concludes there’s no doubt that the couple’s story doesn’t end there. When can we expect another book about Taz and Silk?
I have really enjoyed writing the Strapped series. It’s opened me up to a lot of different perspectives and viewpoints, and I’ve met a lot of great people along the way. The final book in the trilogy, Strapless, will be released in 2013, and it will bring Taz and Silk’s story to a close. However, I plan to introduce new characters and storylines in other books that will focus on S4S relationships. Readers may even see cameo appearances from characters from the original trilogy.
What other projects are you working on next?
There are several things going on in the lab. Aside from Strapless, I am in the process of writing my first business leadership book called Morning Coffee. I am also working on a project that is very dear to me. The name of the book is called That Little White House in Birmingham and it, too, should be released in 2013. It began as a response to some of the drama and turmoil I had to endure after my wife transitioned in January 2012 after a nearly two-year battle with breast cancer. I’m going to use that experience to help people in the GLBT community not go through what I had to endure and show them how to protect their relationships, especially if they plan to marry.
This year is rapidly coming to an end. What do you hope 2013 brings for you in the new year?
2012 was a year of joy & pain, but it also made me a stronger person. In 2013, I hope that whatever comes my way is an opportunity for continued growth and learning.
Interviewed December 2012