Frenzied. Overburdened. Stressed. Overwhelmed. These are just a few ways to describe college senior Anaya Goode’s life. Add to this no career prospects following a looming graduation, and Anaya quickly finds herself drowning in the chaos of her own life. Her family and friends demand much of Anaya, and she’s struggling to balance herself in the mire. Facing an onslaught of grief, complex relationships, and a life that is full of deafening noise, Anaya must find herself, and maybe even true love and redemption, amid old traditions and new beginnings.
Excerpt from Chapter 4
“Chinese takeout? Anita, that has nothing to do with the fact that you made greens when you knew I was bringing cabbage. You are so rude!”
“Rude? Well maybe I’m rude, but at least I’m not a prude,”
Mom gave her a dirty look.
“What is that supposed to mean?” Aunt Marie asked.
“You know what I mean,” Mom said. “You sent my niece and nephew to that all-white school.” Aunt Marie sighed. “Not this again, Anita. What exactly is wrong with giving my kids a better life and putting them in a good school? I would love for the students at the Academy to be more diverse, but unfortunately I don’t have any control over that. What should I do, Anita? Put them in the local public school, so they can be inducted into a gang?”
“First of all,” Mom said, “you don’t get inducted into a gang—you get jumped into a gang. Get with the program, Merle, you have pre-teens in the house. Second, if you had your preference, your children wouldn’t interact with any Black people besides yourself and Allen.” Mom pointed her finger at Aunt Marie. “I’m surprised,” Mom hissed, “that you even let them come around us.”
“And I’m surprised,” Aunt Marie countered, “that Roscoe has been hanging in there with you for so long. You are so closed minded and old school, Anita. We were raised in a different generation. Get over it already. You’re intimidated by people who are intellectually superior to you. It’s pretty sad, Anita.”
“Intellectually superior? Sad?” Mom exploded. “Just because you picked up that European diction from God-knows-where doesn’t make you better than me, Merle. I graduated from college, just like you, and I even went back to graduate school, which you still haven’t done.” She tossed a spoon into the sink with a clunk. “I don’t know where along the way you felt like our upbringing was beneath you, and you were above us. You were embarrassed about the family nose, so you pulled a Michael Jackson. You were embarrassed about our great-grandmother’s name, so you pulled a Tina Turner. You’re a phony, Merle, nothing but a phony, with a phony nose and a phony name.”
Aunt Marie’s new nostrils flared.
“What’s wrong with changing what you don’t like about yourself, Anita? Who says you have to accept what life throws you and just deal with it? I always hated my nose, even when we were kids. And it was not the family nose.” Aunt Marie gestured what its former length was like. “It was twice the size of everybody else’s. You know that, because you used to tease me mercilessly about it. And the name Merle, Anita? Merle? Give me a break. I’m not walking around with that name. I’ve asked you a thousand times to stop calling me that. I changed my name over twenty years ago!”
“Whatever, Merle. I don’t have time for this.”
“Yeah, let it go.” Aunt Deb chimed in.
“I’m over it already,” Aunt Marie said.
Uncle Allen walked into the kitchen with a case of beer.
Tamika Christy was born and raised in the Bay Area and started writing at an early age after receiving a journal as a Christmas gift. By the time she reached middle school, Tamika was writing short stories for fun. In college, she majored in English with a creative writing option and realized her true passion for writing—and discovered an interest in becoming a published author. After graduation from college and uncertain of her career path, she attended law school. With the stress of juggling a family, a full-time job, and law school, writing provided an outlet. This novel, Anytime Soon, was actually created during law school.
Tamika’s life experiences have been filled with very colorful people and experiences, and these experiences lend depth to the characters—characters that any reader can relate to. These characters and storylines are based on the premise that we are all flawed in some way but our individual imperfections make us uniquely who we are.
Upon graduation from law school, Tamika pursued a career in local government to embrace the bureaucrat within. She still resides in the Bay Area with her two daughters and enjoys running, cooking, and spending time with her own multidimensional family, while working on her second novel.
Get to know Tamika:
1. When did you start writing?
I started writing in elementary school. My dad bought me a journal one Christmas and once I started writing in it, I was hooked. Not only did enjoy writing, I enjoyed looking back and reading what I had written. Even at an early age, some of my journal entries were like stories.
2. What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I’d like to continue writing fiction novels and eventually I want to take a chance at writing a play.
3. What have you written?
This is my first novel but I have written short stories throughout the years.
4. What is the main character in Anytime Soon like? Will readers like her?
I think readers will really like Anaya. She is a thoughtful, quick-witted and loyal. She thinks she wants independence, but she actually depends on her family a lot more than she realizes. She is also a high achiever and has a penchant for fashion. I think readers will make a connection with her because she will remind you of someone you know.
5. Why do you write?
Writing is liberating. It allows me to express myself and my thoughts in the most creative ways I possibly can. I love to develop interesting storylines with relatable and interesting characters. It pushes me into a challenging but fun creative realm. It’s also therapeutic. I write when I’m happy and I write when I’m not-so-happy.
6. What is the hardest thing about writing?
Currently, the hardest thing about writing is finding time. I love to write but life can be busy and finding a day or two where I can just focus on writing is the hardest thing for me right now.
7. Are you working on anything now?
Yes. I am working on my next novel and I am hoping to have it completed by the fall.
Find the author: