It’s no secret that I, Reds Johnson has been the talk of the literary world for the past 5 years. Some good, some bad, and some indifferent; either way I had people talking! If they weren’t talking about my crazy book titles, then they were talking about my eye-catching book covers. They talked about my ratchet characters, and my jaw-dropping storylines and they even talked about how many books I had in one series.
But what they talked about the most was the fact, that I had been crowned the Princess Of Urban Fiction, my high priced books, my terrible editing, me jumping from company to company, me so called being a prostitute, and my weight. Crazy right?
One reader went from being a supporter to one of the ones who spoke dirt on my name. “I used to like her until she priced one of her books at $8.99. Who does she think she is, Carl Weber?”
“I don’t like her because of her book titles, and that’s one reason I’ll never support her.” said another reader.
“Her fat ass need to lose weight and retire from writing them dumb ass books.” Another reader added.
How did this make me feel? Well, I must admit it, at the time, it bothered me a great deal. To see grown women, black women at that downing a young black woman who was trying to make it as well as live out her dream was sad. I also couldn’t take the fact that I was being downed and talked about by people I didn’t know, and that didn’t know me. They didn’t get a chance to know me as an author. They just saw that their “friend” didn’t like someone and BOOM! They hopped on the bandwagon.
When I first came into the literary industry I hadn’t done a lick of research. All I knew was that I had a passion for writing and I wanted to be an author. I didn’t know anything about editing, marketing, page count, word count, etc. All I did was write, and at the time, I may have needed more development, and editing, but it was no secret that I could tell one hell of a story. The titles I had were mines, the covers I had were my idea, but the prices? The prices I had no control over considering I was signed to a company at the time. So, to be degraded because of my book prices, something I had no control over was petty and immature.
My first publisher lied to his authors and said I was a prostitute when I came to him, and third publisher lied and said that I was in a relationship with my first publisher and that’s why he let me go. I didn’t know whether to laugh or be upset because the lies were disgusting. Never have I ever sold my body for money, and never have I ever slept with any publisher or author. They were doing everything in their power to ruin my image and break me.
Back then, I was being talked about in reading groups, and on readers, and authors personal pages. They even went as far as to involving my mother, and that’s when I had enough and that’s when I started clapping back. Once, I responded I lost tons of readers because they looked at me as “negative” and “messy” but no one cared when I was being dragged through the mud. No one cared when my brand was being ruined. No one cared when my family was targeted. It was a “I hate Reds Johnson” bandwagon sort of thing. I didn’t handle being talked about well. I couldn’t handle being ganged up on. I couldn’t take not being able to defend myself so, I lashed out, but in the end, I was the one who suffered because my career went downhill.
It felt like I had been blackballed. I went into such a deep depression because the easy success I had gained I lost just as quick. I also didn’t like how my personal appearance was being attacked. Like, talk about my books all you want, but talking about my looks was taking it to a personal level. However, I went through it, they said what they said, I said what I said and I took the proper steps to regain my career and rebuild my brand.
How do I handle being talked about now? LOL, I give zero f*cks! I love being the talk of the industry! All publicity, good or bad is good publicity. I mean hey, if me making post on Facebook, commenting, promoting or even if you see or hear my name bothers you then I must be doing something right. There’s millions of people in the world, and I haven’t reached all of them so, I don’t mind the free promotion. I have old and new books that needs to be read so, I don’t mind the talk at all. I’m not everyone’s cup of tea and that’s okay. I’m not for everyone and I’m most certainly not trying to be. So, to my haters continue to talk that talk! Because ya girl don’t care for beef, I like bread.
Like Beyonce said “Always stay gracious best revenge is yo paper”