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Fort Lauderdale, Florida, |
|Education||Broadcast Journalism English Literature Secondary Education|
University of Florida (B.S.)|
Alabama State University
|Years active||1997 - present|
Scenes from a Sistah|
Child of God
Lolita Files is a contemporary African-American author, screenwriter, and producer. Among her six bestselling novels are book club favorites Scenes from a Sistah and Child of God. Her sixth novel, sex.lies.murder.fame was optioned for film by Carolyn Folks for Entertainment Studios with Files adapting the screenplay. She also co-wrote the screen adaptation of award-winning novelist/playwright/essayist/poet Pearl Cleage's bestselling book, Babylon Sisters, to be directed by filmmaker, artist and educator Ayoka Chenzira.
The book Once Upon A Time In Compton (Brown Girls Publishing), by former Compton Gang Unit Detectives Timothy M. Brennan and Robert Ladd, along with Files, about Brennan and Ladd's years in the gang unit, the rise of Gangsta rap, gang wars, the L.A. riots, the investigations of the murders of rappers Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G., and the fall of the Compton Police Department was published on April 25, 2017.
Files lives in Los Angeles, where she writes novels, nonfiction, and writes and produces projects for television, film, and new media.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Shakespeare's Hamlet vs Files' Child of God
- 3 Who Killed Tupac? Television Docuseries
- 4 Maternal ancestry
- 5 Bibliography
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Lolita Files was born in Fort Lauderdale, FL, on September 25, 1963 to Lillie Belle (née Brackett) (d. 2008) and Arthur James Files, Sr. (d. 1999), She was named by her mother after the Stanley Kubrick film Lolita.
An avid reader from an early age, she was heavily immersed in mythology (Greek mythology, Roman mythology, Norse mythology, Arthurian legend), Dante's Divine Comedy, and the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Her love of Shakespeare, Toni Morrison, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Zora Neale Hurston, Louise Meriwether, Vladimir Nabokov, Chinua Achebe, Claude Brown, Richard Wright, Gustav Flaubert, and Greek playwrights Sophocles, Aeschylus, Euripides, and Aristophanes would inform and influence much of her work.
Education and corporate career
Files graduated from Dillard High School with seven scholarships and attended the University of Florida at Gainesville. She briefly worked as a stringer for the student newspaper, The Independent Florida Alligator, was a member of the University of Florida Gospel Choir, and pledged Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (Iota Lambda chapter) on the line Rare Creations. In her senior year, she was a Senator representing the College of Journalism and Communications in UF's Student Senate.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism in 1985, Files returned to Fort Lauderdale, working as a marketing manager for a pharmaceutical company and as a regional property coordinator for Great Atlantic Property Management, a real estate management company based out of Newport News, VA with commercial and residential properties that spanned the Eastern Seaboard and parts of the Midwest. Her experience with the world of property management would later inform her first two novels, Scenes from a Sistah (1997), and its followup, Getting To The Good Part (1999).
From 1992 to 1996, Files was the National Communications Manager for the Facilities Management division of KinderCare Learning Centers, the nation's largest provider of for-profit child care and early childhood education, then based in Montgomery, AL.
Files set a personal deadline of being published by age thirty. The deadline passed and, though she had several writing projects in progress, she hadn't taken steps towards getting representation.
In the fall of 1994, four days after turning thirty-one, she overnighted two comedic short stories and fifty pages of Child of God, a dramatic novel she'd been working on sporadically since 1989, to literary agency Jay Garon-Brooke Associates, Inc., the agency that represented bestselling author John Grisham. In her query letter, Files stated she had eight more short stories that went with the two she sent.
Nancy Coffey, an agent from Garon-Brooke, called the next morning requesting to see the rest of the material. A week later, Files was signed by the agency.
"Her voice just leapt off the page," Coffey told the Miami Herald. "It was fresh, uplifting and funny."
Scenes From A Sistah and Child of God
After signing with Garon-Brooke, while working on completing Child of God, Files began writing another novel, Scenes from a Sistah, completing the first draft in seven days. In February 1996, Warner Books purchased Scenes for an advance of $50,000.
"It's a Cinderella story," says Caryn Karmatz Rudy, Files' editor at Warner Books. "Most often, you hear about people writing and getting a zillion rejections. But Lolita writes this book, sends it to the agency of the most successful writer in the country, and they take it. Then, we publish it. That's not your typical story."
In April 1996, Files left Corporate America for a full-time career as a writer. Scenes from a Sistah debuted a year later in April 1997 and was an instant hit, quickly selling out of its first printing and landing on several bestseller lists.
"Child of God" was published in September 2001, after the release of Scenes sequel Getting to the Good Part in 1999 and Blind Ambitions, in 2000.
The short stories that helped Files get signed by the Garon-Brooke literary agency were expanded into HodgePodge, a novel including several characters who feature prominently in the Scenes trilogy (Scenes from a Sistah, Getting to the Good Part, and Tastes Like Chicken). To-date, Files has not chosen to publish the book.
Shakespeare's Hamlet vs Files' Child of God
SUNY Empire State College offers an eight-week course, "Exploring The Disciplines: Literature (EDU-232072)," centered around the examination of Shakespeare's Hamlet and Lolita Files' novel, Child of God.
Per the course description:
"Both texts include a similar story-line: a murder, an incestuous relationship, an uneasy resolution at the end. By exploring these texts written over 300 years apart, students will learn about the types of themes, questions, comparisons and insights that literature has to offer."
Who Killed Tupac? Television Docuseries
Files produced and appears as an investigator for A&E's six-part limited series Who Killed Tupac? In the series, civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump leads an in-depth investigation into the unsolved murder of hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur.
In December 2012, at the urging of actor and activist Isaiah Washington, Files took a genealogical DNA test through lineage tracing company African Ancestry. Results came back revealing a direct link of Files' maternal ancestry to the Brame and Balanta people of Guinea-Bissau in West Africa.
- Scenes from a Sistah - Warner Books, April 1997
- Getting to the Good Part - Warner Books, January 1999
- Blind Ambitions - Simon & Schuster, September 2000
- Child of God - Simon & Schuster, September 2001
- Tastes Like Chicken - Simon & Schuster, May 2004
- sex.lies.murder.fame. - Amistad/HarperCollins, January 2006
- "Roses, Red, Room 416" in the anthology Black Silk - Warner Books, February 2002
- "Bobby Q's Sauce" in the anthology Twilight Moods - Flowers in Bloom Publishing, September 2002
- "Standing Room Only" in the anthology Brown Sugar 3: When Opposites Attract - Washington Square Press, January 2004
- "Appropriate Measures" - The Lo Zone, November 2014
Once Upon A Time In Compton (Tim Brennan & Robert Ladd with Lolita Files) - Brown Girls Publishing, Summer 2016
- Who Killed Tupac? (TV Mini-Series, 2017) - Producer
- Baggage Claim (Film, 2013) - Associate Producer
- Love in the Nick of Tyme (Video, 2007) - Associate Producer
- Files, Lolita. "Lolita Files at Hachette Book Group". Hachette Book Group.
- Files, Lolita. "Lolita Files at Simon & Schuster". Simon & Schuster.
- Files, Lolita. "Lolita Files at HarperCollins Publishers". HarperCollins Publishers.
- Files, Lolita. "Lolita Files at The Internet Movie Database". The Internet Movie Database.
- Files, Lolita. "Scenes from a Sistah at Amazon.com". Amazon.com.
- Files, Lolita. "Child of God at Amazon.com". Amazon.com.
- Files, Lolita. "sex.lies.murder.fame at Amazon.com". Amazon.com.
- Anthony, Jason (2007-03-03). "Little, Brown's Big Deal". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2014-10-07.
- Cleage, Pearl. "Babylon Sisters at Amazon.com". Amazon.com.
- Chenzira, Ayoka. "Red Carnelian Films". Red Carnelian Films. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
- "University of Florida Gospel Choir". University Gospel Choir.
- "Iota Lambda Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc". Iota Lambda Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
- "Iota Lambda Ivy Vine". The Illustrious Iota Lambda Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Archived from the original on 16 October 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
- "University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications". University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
- "University of Florida Student Government: Legislative Branch". University of Florida Student Government: Legislative Branch. Archived from the original on 8 October 2014. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
- Files, Lolita. "Getting to the Good Part at Amazon.com". Amazon.com.
- "Pinder Lane & Garon-Brooke Associates Literary & Media Representation". Pinder Lane & Garon-Brooke Associates Literary & Media Representation. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
- Doup, Liz. "Sistah A Dream Come True For Author". Encyclopedia.com. (Miami Herald, March 19, 1997, page D1). Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- Doup, Liz. "First novel realizes longtime dream for writer Lolita Files". Google News. (Daily News, March 28, 1997). Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- Winston, Sherri. "If It's Your Dream, Start Working For It". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- "Far-fetched Tale That's Packed With Fun". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
- "Customer Reviews: Scenes From A Sistah". Amazon.com. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
- "New York, New Theatre: New Homefront". www.playbill.com. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
- "Playwright Roz Nixon Praises Black Women". Ebsco. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
- Forever Sisters: Famous Writers Celebrate the Power of Sisterhood with Short Stories, Essays, and Memoirs. Google Books. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
- "Exploring The Disciplines: Literature (EDU 232072)". SUNY Empire State College. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
- "Who Killed Tupac?". Retrieved 19 November 2017.
- "African Ancestry". African Ancestry.com. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
- "African Ancestry: How It Works". African Ancestry.com. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
- Lolita Files' website, "The Lo Zone"
- Lolita Files on IMDb
- Lolita Files' Books on Amazon.com
- Lolita Files at the African American Literature Book Club (AALBC)
- Lolita Files Interview on Black Hollywood Live Conversations
- USA Today: Online Book Videos Bring Words To Life
- The Wall Street Journal: Chick Lit Goes 'Glam'
- The Washington Post: Mysteries: Review of sex.lies.murder.fame (Under "Seminal Success")
- Publishers Weekly Review of Tastes Like Chicken
- NPR: All Things Considered: Lolita Files Discusses and Reads from Child of God
- The Washington Post: Judged by Their Back Covers
- The New York Times: Open a Book, and There's a Sister Inside
- Sun-Sentinel: Far-fetched Tale That's Packed With Fun