*COSTA MESA, Calif. ― Today, Granity Studios releases GEESE ARE NEVER SWANS ($18.99), created by the late NBA legend and New York Times bestseller Kobe Bryant.
This powerful and gripping novel, written in collaboration with Eva Clark, is an extraordinary tale of a young swimmer who struggles to overcome his grief and personal torments while finding his rightful place in the world.
Gus’ life is about one thing ― swimming. He is determined to make it to the Olympics and knows that the only coach in town who can get him there is Coach Marks. His plan is simple: convince Coach Marks to train him, believing that with hard work and practice, his entire life will fall in place. But, there are major complications along the way that could unravel Gus’ perfect plan.
In this compelling novel about the punishing and healing nature of sports, Gus’ rage threatens to swallow him at every turn. He’s angry at his brother, his mother, his coach . . . and even himself. As he works through his feelings, towards his goal of becoming a great swimmer, Gus does everything he can to channel his anger into excelling at the sport that he loves, finding solace in the same place he must face his worst demons: the water.
With a strong level of detail and care that has gone into the bigger message of the book, GEESE ARE NEVER SWANS features partnerships with various artists and organizations in the mental health community, including student-athlete resources provided by The Hidden Opponent and The Michael Phelps Foundation.
GEESE ARE NEVER SWANS is now available everywhere books are sold. More information on the novel can be found at https://granitystudios.com/geese
ABOUT KOBE BRYANT
Kobe Bryant was an Academy Award winner, a New York Times best-selling author, the CEO of Granity Studios, a multimedia content creation company, husband and father to four girls . He was also a five-time NBA champion, two-time NBA Finals MVP, NBA MVP, and two-time Olympic gold medalist. In everything he built, Kobe was driven to teach the next generation how to reach their full potential. He believed in the beauty of the process, in the strength that comes from inner magic, and in achieving the impossible. His legacy continues today.
ABOUT EVA CLARK
Eva Clark is a psychologist and an award-winning young adult novelist. As a psychologist, she focuses on mental health, social justice, and sports. As an author, her focus is on creating stories that help young people discover their best selves. Clark lives in California with her family.
ABOUT GRANITY STUDIOS
Formed by NBA Legend Kobe Bryant, Granity Studios is a multi-media original content company Bryant founded to enable young athletes to maximize their full potential through creative storytelling. Projects include the Bryant-created, critically-acclaimed Showtime-distributed documentary “Kobe Bryant’s Muse,” the 2018 Academy-Award, Sports Emmy and Annie Award winning animated short “Dear Basketball,” the groundbreaking television series “Detail,” which currently airs on ESPN+, the #1 ranked kids and family podcast, “The Punies,” and The New York Times bestsellers, “The Wizenard Series: Training Camp,” “Legacy and the Queen,” “Epoca: The Tree of Ecrof,” and “The Wizenard Series: Season One.” For more information about Granity Studios, please visit www.granitystudios.com.
Source: Rogers and Cowen
Aaliyah Book Titled ‘Baby Girl: Better Known As Aaliyah’ Dropping in 2021
*Christmas has come early for Aaliyah fans, as an upcoming book has been announced that will chronicle her life and career.
Written by journalist and author Kathy Iandoli, the title “will focus on the span of Aaliyah’s life and career — from her earliest beginnings singing in Detroit all the way through to her game-changing musical era with Timbaland, Missy Elliott, and the late Static Major,” revealed in a press release. “The book also includes a deep dive into her tumultuously abusive entanglement with R. Kelly and an intense investigation on the crash that ended her life.”
Says Iandoli: “I wrote this book as an Aaliyah fan. This is for all of us who for the last twenty years can spot her influence everywhere, while wishing she was still here. I left no stone unturned, and I hope I’ve added to her legacy properly.”
— Aaliyah (@AaliyahHaughton) August 25, 2020
News of the book follows confirmation from Aaliyah’s estate that they are bringing her music to streaming services.
“To our loyal fans: We are excited to announce that communication has commenced between the estate and various record labels about the status of Aaliyah’s music catalogue, as well as its availability on streaming platforms in the near future,” read the announcement from Aaliyah’s Twitter account. “Thank you for your continued love and support. More updates to come!”
Check out the official announcement via the Twitter embed above.
In a 2016 story from Complex on the singer’s uncle, Barry Hankerson, who owns her catalog under his Blackground Records label, writer Stephen Witt said of the absence of Aaliyah’s music on the internet, “Aaliyah’s internet absence is different—there’s no logic to it. It’s not an artistic statement or a play for more money, and there’s no dedicated Aaliyah-only streaming service in the works.”
Witt continued, “Instead, there’s a single, stubborn man, sitting on a catalog that includes almost all of her most famous work. … The situation puts her entire musical legacy at risk of fading from memory. Year by year, streaming accounts for a greater portion of an artist’s visibility and reverence among the next generation of listeners. And he refuses to budge.”
Ross Williams: ‘Made It Out’ Author Recalls Escape from Streets of New Orleans and Corporate America
*Ross Williams made it out, and then he wrote a book about it.
Growing up in New Orleans’ 7th Ward can be rife with challenges. The horror stories far exceed the successful ones. Ross’s journey is an exception, and an exceptional one.
Surrounded by a solid family with community values, Williams attended Tulane University where he studied sociology. He has gone on to become the author of two best-sellers within an eight-month span.
“Made It Out” is testimony not only to his journey, but also to the similarities of surviving the streets and corporate America. His follow-up book, “Crabs In A Barrel: War On Racism,” gives a different perspective on the phrase that focuses more on the barrel than on the crab.
Author is just one of Williams’ many hats. He is also CEO of Williams Commerce Writing Services, which aims to empower job seekers, authors and entrepreneurs.
Zenger News invited Williams for a Q&A session to learn more about his break-out book and journey of discovery.
Percy Crawford interviewed Ross Williams for Zenger News.
Zenger: How did you break the cycle, so to speak, and make it out of the 7th Ward in New Orleans?
Williams: Really learned as much as possible. So, really learning what cursed prior generations and trying to avoid those same things. A lot of that came from learning from my parents who were born in the 1940s, so a lot of my family members are older. So, I have a lot of old-school values. I had the chance to learn about life before my era… I was able to accumulate all of that and just learn from every lesson or loss that I had in life and just never settled.
Zenger: What was it like growing up there and seeing some of the things you experienced?
Williams: I had a sense of pride about my community. My mother’s side of the family has been part of the St. Bernard, 7th Ward community since it was established back in the 1930s and 40s. A lot of people talk about the downfall of the neighborhood. Of course, I discuss that in my first book, “Made It Out,” some of the things I experienced. But one of the big things my neighborhood helped with was just building a confidence about myself and my abilities. At first it was basketball and then it became a swag with everything I do. I believe that I can be the best at whatever I put my mind to.
Zenger: What made you decide to even write a book?
Williams: Really to help other people to make it out of situations that they encountered. At first when I was writing my book, it was kind of like making it out of the inner city. I felt my lessons were applicable to any environment that you can grow up in. Like I said, learning from mistakes, gravitating towards positive energy, and learning from your losses. I really just wanted to give people the blueprint because halfway through the book it became about making it out of corporate America and becoming an entrepreneur. As of right now, even just picking up from there, I’m trying to show the world that I’ve made it out since then. Since the book, I’m still making it out.
Zenger: You actually make parallels in the book about the similarities of making it out of the street life and making it through corporate America. As crazy as it sounds, there’s not very much separation, is there?
Williams: I think in society with social engineering, a lot of us feel that if we are a different race or different religion, society has taught us that the next person is very different from us. And we can’t see eye-to-eye just because we come from different worlds or experiences. Gangstas and crooked people growing up in inner cities are no different than white collar gangstas. White collar gangstas are actually more cutthroat because at least in the neighborhood you know who to look out for. In corporate America, a lot of people have ulterior motives, but they project friendly energy. It’s not really necessary. It’s not these people need me to get by like in the neighborhood. It’s just out of malice. That’s why I feel like it’s grimier in corporate America because of how it’s presented to you.
Zenger: It can be difficult to navigate that.
Williams: Right. And something that my neighborhood taught me, once I started communicating with people in higher level CEO positions or people that made in the upper six figures or north of that, just the intellect and growing the confidence once I interacted with these people, it’s like, “Oh, I can sit in these positions too.” A lot of times we are made to look at certain people as if they are superior to us, especially when we’re coming from inner cities. But we have the same abilities as those people. A lot of those people had easier routes to get there. That’s one thing of just gaining confidence along each step of your journey.
Zenger: Did you anticipate becoming a best-selling author and your books having the kind of impact that they have had?
Williams: Humbly speaking, my mom always told me, “Don’t step at all if you are going to half step.” So, I know the tears, the blood and sweat that I put into each project, or even a client’s book. I put that same energy towards everything. I’m very strategic and I move with a sense of urgency. I visualized the successes that I have had in my career so many times over and over, that all of the excitement is poured into the process each day. So, when it happens, I’m kind of militant about it, so I’m really not surprised. I really put my all into each thing and utilize my natural skillset. I haven’t been surprised so far.
(Edited by André Johnson and Judy Isacoff)
The post ‘Made It Out’ Author Recalls Escape From Streets of New Orleans and Corporate America appeared first on Zenger News.
Mariah Carey Opens Up About Racism During Childhood and More in New Memoir
*Five-time Grammy singer and recording artist Mariah Carey is one of the best-selling female solo recording artists of all-time, with a portfolio full of memorable hit songs since bursting onto the music scene in the late 1980s.
Yet, she also has vivid memories of the racism she endured growing up a bi-racial child in the 1970s and early ‘80s in Huntington, New York, about 32 miles from New York City. Carey is one of three children born to a white mother and an African American and Venezuelan father.
In her new book, “The Meaning of Mariah Carey,” the 50-year-old writes about several incidents that opened her young eyes to bigotry and racism. One incident that stands out in her mind was when she was a young girl and one of her grade school friends came over to the house for a visit.
“The parents didn’t know I was Black. They didn’t know that she (their daughter) was going to go into a Black man’s house,” Carey writes. “They’d only met my mother. The girl burst into tears because she was so freaked out. Mind you, my father is this gorgeous, tall man that looked like a movie star to me and then to see that happen. It just changes your perspective on things, and it twists it. It was just heartbreaking.”
Carey writes about another incident in school that involved a teacher that didn’t know that the future singing star had a Black father and white mother. When students were assigned to draw their parents, the teacher corrected Carey after seeing what the youngster had drawn and colored.
“I was basically traumatized by the teacher who thought I had used the wrong crayon because I had drawn my father with a brown crayon,” recalled Carey. “These are the kinds of experiences that stay with someone at such a young age, even if there isn’t malicious intent on the part of a teacher, or even perhaps a close friend who was unaware that my father was Black.”
Carey is happy that her book has been released in this present climate of racial discord and the heighten national debate about racism. The book, which Carey said took three years to write, is an important tool to talk about racial attitudes between white and Black people. She shared, however, since the release of the book, her nine-year-old son Moroccan has been bullied by a white supremacist he thought was a friend.
Carey said her book is more than reflections of the racism she endured as a child, as she also writes about her 2001 hospitalization due to mental health issues because of exhaustion and other factors; her strained relationship with her mother; dating baseball star Derek Jeter, who was also biracial; her ex-husband, Tommy Mottola’s role in trying to sink the success of “Glitter,” which she starred in 2001; throwing shades on J.Lo; and much more.
During a recent interview on “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen,” Carey said that there’s a possibility that the book may someday come to life as a film or mini-series with Lee Daniels’ involvement. “The Meaning of Mariah Carey,” the songstress told Cohen, “is written in a very ‘visual way.’ ”
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