Archive for the ‘interview’ Category

Andrea Frost pic2

I have been knowing Andrea, or “Frosty” as I call her for some years. Her (brutal) honesty, intellect, and positive outlook is always welcoming. She doesn’t know how to bullshit and I love that about her. I have interviewed Andrea for my books “Straight Dope” and “All We Really Need Is Love“, so I was jazzed to ask her about what dating is like in San Diego. Read on

  1. What’s your dating life like?

I would say it’s pretty non-existent. I dated for a little bit a couple of months ago, thought that I was ready, but I was wrong.

2. Why are you not ready?

It’s time consuming. If you are going to do online dating, you have to spend an inordinate amount of time. Much of it is seeding through emails, sending replies back, looking at other profiles…

So it’s like a part time job?

Yes it is! (laughs)

3. Lets keep it funky: why do you think you haven’t found someone?

Well it’s the timing thing, and also people say, “Well you are not on the right site, you gotta go to this one.” Also, it’s a connection thing. It’s hard to go out and meet someone that you don’t know, your friends don’t know. You are meeting a stranger and that’s really tough for me. I’m old school, so I much rather go on a date with someone my friends know or a friend of a friend.

4. What’s the worst online date you ever been online?

Well, I asked this guy to meet up and I feel that made him nervous. He then starts asking me questions about my body and is my hair color natural? He then asked what was my “Ass to stomach ratio?”

Are you serious?

Yeah (laughs). Is your stomach bigger than your ass?  My friends said that I should have been done with the conversation, but I felt I needed to meet him to let him know he should not ask that (laughs). So we meet up and he is nothing to write home about, totally average. The guy then starts telling me how much money he could make with his job, but he wasn’t. So my stomach could have been three times the size of his stomach and he still would have been a buster.

 5. What’s it like dating in San Diego?

It all depends on what kind of men you like. I prefer African American men but there are very few here. Plus there is the body type thing. I am not the skinniest, but I am not a whale either. My stomach to ass ratio is still on point, but its California, Southern California at that. It isn’t like the Mid-West where men like a little meat on their bones.

6. You think men in Southern California like the skinny minis?

They like Spinners (laughs).

7. Do you kiss on the first date?

It depends on who it is, but I would. He better not ask to kiss me. That is the lamest shit ever.

Come on though Andrea! This is the age of consent (laughs). We don’t want to violate women.

Men need to be perceptive, if she is not feeling your vibe, you should know that.

90% of all communication is non verbal…

8. Biggest turn ons?

Old school gentlemen shit: opening doors, walking on the outside of the street, stuff like that.  Being able to have a conversation. I don’t care about sports; I want to have a deep discussion. Finally, I like a nice smile. No yuck-mouths.

9. What’s your advice to men when they create online dating profiles?

Please do not type everything in all caps. Do not yell at us and be angry. Don’t put up selfies of you half naked in the bathroom.

10. Anything else?

Be honest. If you are 5’5, then put 5’5 on your profile. If it asks my weight, I am going to put down what I weigh. If someone is going to love you, they should love you for you. It doesn’t matter if you are short, fat hideous, just be who you are.

 

To be apart of “10 Questions,” please contact me on @lovemelovebook on Twitter or email at info@mainlinepub.com

Purchase the new book “All We Really Need Is Love: Stories of Dating, Relationships, Heartbreak, and Marriage” at Amazon.com

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Cassandra

 

Cassandra is a smart, spunky woman who knows who she is, what she wants, and what she will and will not put up with. In other words, she doesn’t play any games. I have been wanting to talk with Cassandra for a long time, so we made it happen over drinks at Local Edition. She and I chat about dating in San Francisco as a Black woman, the need for good communication, and why she will never lower her standards.

1. What is it like dating as a Black woman in San Francisco?

It takes a lot of energy for little result. For some reason, online dating- Tinder, Match, all of those things- men talk to you differently than they would talk to a white girl. For some reason they have bought into the sexualization of Black women. Two or three messages back and forth with a guy and he is asking me how big my butt is, how big my breasts are, and to show more pictures.

Are you serious?

I’m like, “Does this work for you? Are you doing this because I am Black?” It is always about my body, the stereotypes…..

2.  How do you normally meet men?

Online, but I wish I could meet them organically. The problem is people don’t look and talk to each other.  We are so disconnected from everything. Social media reinforces our little worlds, so why should we look at one another?  We have the friends we want, the news stations that deliver the kind of news we want.  So when people are not looking at each other, we miss out. It’s as if we don’t know how to connect.

3. How do you feel when men hit on you when you are out and about? Do you find it invasive?

Well it is the way it’s being done. Today, on my way to work a taxi cab driver slowed down around me and asked me to come over. I thought he was lost and maybe he needed directions, so I go over and he says, “You are so beautiful, can I take you out sometime.” I thought it was creepy. A: I don’t know you and B: you drive up on me and it’s 8:30 in the morning….

Damn, men cannot win…… (laughs)

I know.  Women are so on the defense now that everything y’all do is creepy which isn’t fair, because we could miss out on our blessings. But as a woman, we err on the side of caution.

4. When was the last date you were on?

Good date or just date? (laughs)

Just a date.

About 10 days ago with a guy I met at a speed dating event.  We met for coffee and had a good time. He is just like me, very engaging and lots of energy. Hopefully we will see each other again.

5. What are your top three must haves/deal breakers with a man ?

Integrity, passion – not just for me but for what he wants in life, and a good communicator.  The deal breakers are when I am sexualized very early. If we are two to three messages in, I don’t want a dick pic.

I will never understand the dick pic. How is that supposed to turn somebody on?

I think men are obsessed with what they have and cannot fathom the idea of a woman not being obsessed about it too (laughs). I don’t like dishonesty. Just tell me who are. If your picture looks one way and you present yourself another, that is bad. And finally, a lack of confidence and sense of self. A confident man walks in the room and all the females light up. I love a confident man.

6. What makes a great date?

I think good conversation is important. It should be free flowing and not teeth pulling. Ambiance is important too. I want to be romanced. Yes I make my own money, but I want to be wined and dined.

7. One complaint I have heard from women is that when on a date, the average man can’t hold a decent conversation. All he does is talk about himself. Do you find that to be true?

Absolutely, especially men in their 20’s. The conversations have this networking feel to it, like they are constantly boasting about themselves. Women don’t want to hear that, we want you to ask us about ourselves and get to know who we are.  Send us flowers, write a note. It sounds cliché, but we are very easy to please and it has nothing to do with money. It is about being attentive, noticing the little things, and doing things that say “I see you, I appreciate you.”

8. What’s changed for you dating as a woman in her 20’s versus in your 30’s?

When I was in my 20’s it was all about getting attention and immediate gratification. I was not trying to build a life with someone or looking for substance. At 35, I am looking for someone who is solid and can challenge me. But that is so hard to find. So many men are married or coupled up.

9. Do you think men hold all the cards in today’s dating scene?

I think women over time have allowed men to hold all the cards. We gave up our power to be in competition with each other. For example: if I reject a man, then there is always a woman that is willing to do what I won’t do. Until the man wants something different like a real woman, there will always be girls.

10. Do you ever feel like you have to lower your standards because you are lonely?

I have done that. Here is the thing: Everybody wants to be held, to be told that they are beautiful, to feel wanted. But that is us giving up our power and that gets us nowhere. You end up dating someone that is not good for you and I won’t do that again.

 

To be apart of “10 Questions,” please contact me on @MainlineLeRon on Twitter or email at info@mainlinepub.com

Purchase the new book “All We Really Need Is Love: Stories of Dating, Relationships, Heartbreak, and Marriage” at Amazon.com

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Edgar, 21

communication is key…that and sex

I grew up in San Francisco but moved to El Cerrito when I was six. I have six siblings, one older and the rest younger. My folks are from Mexico and have that old school type of thing where they’re still together. My grandparents are still together too.

Being a young guy in The Bay feels good. I hang with my friends and go to clubs in the city or hit a rave real quick. When we turn up like that, we’ll go to the store and buy some stuff and chill. I don’t drink that much though.

What are the girls like?

They all vary. I’ve had all types of women. It all depends on where you live it. Like if you are here in the city, they are more open minded and willing to have fun. If you suggested something fun, they wouldn’t be the ones to say, “Turn it down.” East Bay girls, like a girl from Richmond, is more ghetto, like ratchet you know? I’ve been dealing with that my whole life so I recognize what’s real. I’ve also dealt with girls in Sacramento, Davis, Concord, and around those areas. The girls are a lot different and a lot more classy. They know how to handle themselves.

I had my first girlfriend when I was a junior in high school. We met at a quinceanera that I was invited to by my homegirl. When she had to dance at the party, I was partnered with Daisy, who would later be my girlfriend. Daisy was Latina; I couldn’t remember if she was Salvadorian or Mexican but definitely Latina. She had long straight hair, big brown eyes, nice curves, painted eyebrows, and was a soccer player so she was definitely in shape. Our relationship lasted almost two months and everything was new to me. It  was like, “Wow,” I finally got one with nobody’s help. I got Daisy on my own based on everything I experienced, watched, and learned from.

Dating Daisy taught me that when you get to know someone, anything can happen. There is no right or wrong when you are with someone you trust.

I can dig that.

And also, don’t try to fall too hard too quick. You do that shit to yourself – you just always just end up bad. After breaking up with Daisy, it took me a month to get over it once I got back in school.

But you bounced back though.

Oh yeah, once I was in school with like 20, 24 other girls, I loved going there everyday. School kept me occupied, so I got over it, moved on, and boom – talked to other girls.

Do you have a girlfriend now?

Yes, you could say we are together, but it’s complicated. I met her while going to the Art Institute; she was in two of my classes. I kinda noticed her and I know she noticed me, but I didn’t go up to her. When I got home, I looked her up on Facebook, added her and she added me.

Today’s dating…(laughs)

That’s how it happened, on Facebook. I liked that she was into Japanese anime and to be honest, she looked like something out of an anime cartoon. She has bleached hair and rocked it in Asian style. On our first date I took her to the Westfield food court to grab something to eat, and then we went to a movie. After that we were together. This August will be one year for us.

The thing that makes our relationship complicated is her ex. It’s on some other shit. She told me on our first date that she had recently broken up with her boyfriend and what’s crazy is, her twin sister is still involved with him.

Wow, that’s…interesting…

Yeah. He was crazy jealous. Before we were together we would text back and forth. One day he saw it and broke her phone. Dude is a douche (laughs). He is an old Asian looking guy who’s probably in his 30’s.

So 30 is old (laughs)?

Look, I’m 21 and after 30 I consider you old (laughs). So when her and the ex-boyfriend started dating, she introduced him to her twin sister. They got along well and boom, they became a thing. He was pretty much dating both of them. He is that type of guy that can talk shy people into doing things. My girl is shy, quiet, and into drawing, so he saw that and went for her. After meeting her sister, he was just like, “Why don’t we date each other.”

That’s kinda incestuous….

Yeah, she fell for it because she is really attracted to Asian guys.

Is she Asian?

No she is actually mixed, half Native American and half Puerto Rican.

One thing is my girlfriend is really into Asian fashion culture.  She likes K-Pop bands and their style of dress. The way the guys use the eyeliner, the earrings, and have that gentlemen look: she digs that. But she is also into Latino men too, because her boyfriend before the Asian guy was Latino.

Things got heated one day when we were chilling at her apartment, and her ex busted in trying to beat her and I up to a bloody pulp. He was not over the fact that he lost her to me, so he didn’t take it well. He got all pissed because she was happy with me, so it got crazy. To get back at my girl after they broke up, he kept sleeping with her sister. What’s frustrating to her is she broke up with him because he hurt……….

On Monday Nov 24, 2015, like many in the world, I was waiting with great anticipation for the decision to prosecute Darren Wilson for the murder of 18 year old African American child Mike Brown. And like many, I was very disappointed in the decision not to prosecute Wilson. While speaking to a crowd at the famed Glide Church in San Francisco, Ca, I was also able to give my opinion on the state of the justice system concerning African American men. Check it out and tell me what you think.

 

LeRon

 

http://abc7news.com/news/people-gather-at-glide-to-watch-ferguson-announcement/410306/

Lucky

As an indie writer, networking is everything. You share, critique, promote, and above all help each other because it is us against the system. I came across Christian Cipollini while looking for readers for my first book, “Straight Dope: A 360 degree look into American drug culture.” We exchanged books and information and have been keeping in touch ever since. I have always admired Chris’s drive and willingness to “put himself out there.” Chris’s first book, “Diary of a motor city hitman: The Chester Wheeler Campbell Story” opened up the world of one of the most notorious hitmen that had ever lived. His newest project, “Lucky Luciano: Mysterious Tales of Gangster Legend” takes you inside the rise of one of the most well known mafiaos. The great thing about Chris’ writing is that he is a digger. He mines tirelessly for information and tries to give you a complete picture of who the man is. I got a chance to chat with him on his writing style, influences, why gangsters, what he thinks of modern crime books, and what is next. Check him out

Tell me about how you grew up?
My dad worked the narcotics detail for the State Police. My mom was a former flight attendant. Grew up in middle class edge of suburban/rural area outside Pittsburgh PA. Was a shy kid, maybe a bit nerdy, but definitely had good parents. Not perfect, but they certainly tried. Besides my dad’s influence and what I learned from him regarding what I’d one day be writing about – I also had some friends who, well, were a little more familiar with the ‘other’ side of things. I sort of consider it a ‘best of both worlds’ scenario of learning.

What were some of your favorite writers coming up?
I was that kid who had to read something twice before I could completely absorb it. I was never checked for a learning disability, but I think I definitely had to try hard as a kid to comprehend. That said though, I would consume everything in the library – short stories, novels, but I think historical and biographical subjects always got me most hooked. Reality of worlds unfamiliar with my own… fascinating.

What influenced you to start writing books?
I truly believe I determined in fourth grade I wanted to write a book someday. Loved my teacher and something in class made me realize even though reading comprehension was hard for me I was able to write some wildly clever stuff. Or at least I thought so! But really I just always had an easier time, as I got a little further along in school, with grammar and formulating thoughts into full length stories.

What is it about the gangster genre?
That I credit my dad and my friends with, to start. Dad loved gangster movies. My friends, well some of them did a little work for local bookies, you get the gist. Anyway, the real kickstarter was in very early 1990’s and I picked up a copy of the New York Times in the library and saw a guy named John Gotti splashed all over the front page. I had to find out who this movie-star looking guy was and what was his story. From there I went on to devour every mob and gangland history related book I could get my hands on. The fire was certainly lit, just took me a while to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up! Write my own!

What was it about Chester?
Wow, Chester. I could not believe nobody had written extensively about this guy. It all started from a photograph I acquired. See, I sort of work in reverse. I collect rare photos then study them and the press or police notes on them. Then I work my ideas and research from there. Chester’s photo had me mesmerized. Just his look, his clothing, this sinister aura. I had to find out more. And once I contacted an old friend from the Detroit area about it, well, I was on my way to writing my first book.

What were the challenges in writing the first book?
The first challenge for any new author is how to publish. I had already been doing a few years of solid networking, meeting the right people I suppose is best way to put it. And when I proposed the concept to my publisher – he said if I think I can get a whole book’s worth out of my research… I’ve got a deal. Besides determining who or how to publish, the other big challenge was basically taking tons of research materials and translating it all into a flowing tale that is both informative and entertaining. It’s not an easy task!

Why did you focus on Lucky?
Lucky Luciano has, for whatever reason, been the most fascinating gangster to me. When my publisher invited me to participate in a “Gangland Mysteries” anthology series the topic of Luciano was one idea he had. I thought how daunting it would be to cover someone already so heavily written about, but then I thought – hey, this is my chance to dig into his mythology and pop cultural effect. I wasn’t about to say no. Plus, I’ve been collecting original photographs of Lucky and all his cohorts for years – I finally got to put some of them in a book!

What was some of the most fascinating things you learned about Lucky Luciano?
Besides the fact there is a ridiculous amount of misinformation taken for fact about him, I think for me the coolest thing I learned was how much collusion and unification of other ethnic groups and allies it took for him to reach such infamous status. He wasn’t a boss of all bosses. He really hated that old school mentality and it truly appears his credibility was built from a unified effort of a lot of other brilliant, albeit criminal minded friends.

Were there any road blocks when writing Lucky Luciano?
The biggest difference between the book on Chester and this one on Lucky was finding people alive to interview! With Lucky, a roadblock is quite frankly – nobody is alive anymore from that era. But, I dug where I had to and worked around the obstacle. Plus, I did get in touch with a relative of one of Lucky’s old pals and what a treasure trove I was graciously provided!

Any backlash from the underworld? Feds?
Great question! No, thankfully no. Actually I’m extremely grateful that most of the feedback I get, from both sides, has been very good. I try to write in a realistic way, but without too much judgment either way. I certainly have opinions which filter in just like any writer does, but at the core – I try to tell the tales from all sides and perceptions, but always allow the reader to form their own opinions.

Dream project?
Movie deal!!! Whereby I at the very least consult on the project.

Hardest thing as an indie writer?
Surviving, just like everybody else trying to survive. Indie writing is for the passion and love. If the money comes… that’s great and you do have to be smart about the financial element. However, and again, don’t start just thinking big payday. That takes time and tons of hard as hell work. Lots of self-promotion work we indie writers have to do. The bulk of it all falls squarely on us.

Whats next?
Well I recently appeared on Biography Channel Series “Gangsters: America’s Most Evil” and History Channel Series “United Stuff of America” and did some consulting work for the producers of National Geographic Series “Drugs, Inc.” But as for book projects? My next one comes out in February 2015. Another installment in the “Gangland Mysteries” series, this one being on the notorious enforcement arm of the New York mob. Murder Inc.: Mysteries of the Mob’s Most Deadly Hit Squad

 

Pick up “Lucky Luciano:Mysterious Tales of a Gangster Legend” now at Amazon.com