As long as there is something to say, there will always be books to publish, written by authors sharing a different viewpoint of the world. Whether that viewpoint is fictional or nonfictional—it’s how the author can pick a subject that connects our interest in any given category. In the last several years, technology has played a major role in how we purchase and read books through Kindle, smart tablets and other mobile devices. But, for avid readers, there is nothing like the smell and feel of a physical book.
The “newness” of opening the first page and reading the dedications, introductions and content list—it prepares us for what’s in store throughout the entire book. For authors, it is a symbol of collaboration, research, long nights and a true labor of love.
Comedian, actor and radio personality Rickey Smiley has a gift of making people escape reality for those precious minutes he’s entertaining them on the air or at one of his live shows. The Birmingham native started in comedy 27 years ago, rising up the ranks to become one of the most sought after comedic entertainers in the business. His radio show, “The Rickey Smiley Show,” can be heard in 60 markets nationwide, reaching millions of listeners with his down-to-earth style—and morning prank phone calls. When you can’t catch him on the radio, he and his co-hosts are serving up tea on the television show “Dish Nation” every night.
His sitcom, “Rickey Smiley For Real” on TV One, mirrors real life as a radio jock and single father sharing life lessons with his children. Smiley released a new book, STAND BY YOUR TRUTH: And Then Run For Your Life, this fall where he reveals the failures and triumphs of raising five children.
Smiley says his book allows the reader to understand common sense and common courtesy.
“There’s a lot of life lessons in the book. How to separate in relationships. Everyone you start out with is not always who you end up with. Hopefully, it can change someone’s life and get folks to think differently. Sometimes, we feel like we have to stay with different people we started out with and it’s not designed that way. It’s about thinking outside of the box and live to do bigger things—learn how to cut off dead weight,” he said.
The book includes different chapters that reveal a message at the end—giving folks “food for thought.”
“One of the chapters is called, “Who Brought You to the Party?” It talks about loyalty. There’s a chapter that talks about “forgiveness.” It is about “the time I was almost killed, I had to face that young man’s [the driver] family and how you have to forgive and move on.” Smiley says because “God didn’t let you die and he saved your life.” In understanding the lesson of forgiveness, he’s had some “wonderful and great” opportunities.
Other chapters include “Handle Your Business” and “Pass the Baton,” where he discusses the importance of teaching others the business and how to survive in it.
In an era where controversy and scandal riddles our headlines—it’s often meaty material for comic routine. Smiley tries to steer clear from too much of it unless it has real validity of being funny without being cruel.
“If it’s controversial, I don’t mind talking about it but it has to be funny. The funny has to outweigh the controversy. If I give you an onion and you eat it raw, it’s going to taste nasty; but if I dice it and put it in a skillet with some olive oil and other things along with some cube steak, it’s easier to digest. Sometimes you can talk about certain things but it’s not what you do, it’s how you do it.”
Recommended Reads for the Holidays
Chocolate Cities: The Black Map of American Life
Marcus Anthony & Zandra Robinson
Defining Moments in Black History: Reading Between The Lies
Freeing David McCallum: The Last Miracle of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter
The Anatomy of the Music Business: How the Game Was & How the Game Has Changed
Dr. Logan H. Westbrooks