I had the pleasure of meeting Tee C. Royal in 2006 at the Raw conference in South Carolina she puts on a wonderful well organized and very informative conference. I met some many wonderful people who I had been talking to for years on line and now that we have met we are family.
Tee C. Royal is the founder of RAWSISTAZ Literary Group and its subsidiaries, a literary agent, wife and mother. She resides in the suburbs of Atlanta with her family.
How did RAWSISTAZ come about? RAWSISTAZ (Reading and Writing SISTAZ) came about in September 2000 when I was asked to start a book club for the online group SISTAZ. Since I enjoyed both reading and writing, I wanted to incorporate both, so RAWSISTAZ was born. With a handful of members from the original SISTAZ group, we opened the doors to others and branched off into a separate entity.
How long have you been reading? I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember. My earliest memories as a child are hiding on top of the house and under my bed reading.
What made you want to support authors? One of my biggest annoyances is people who talk a good game, but don’t really do anything. Another is seeing a great piece of work not getting the exposure it deserves. Both were what pushed me to have the main focus of RAWSISTAZ on supporting and promoting African-American authors and their work.
Is this a rewarding or a thankless job? It’s sometimes a bit of both, but the rewarding part always overshadows everything else. No matter how many people I run across who don’t bother with a THANK YOU, I still enjoy what I do, and plan to always do it. It’s also rewarding because I can see the impact and importance of RAWSISTAZ and I’ve met some wonderful people through the various groups.
What has RAWSISTAZ diversified into? RAWSISTAZ does various things in the literary industry, but our main objective will never change. We are most known for our free Black Book Reviews (www.blackbookreviews.net), our team of reviewers, and our online book clubs and offline chapters. We have other projects in the works, but they all revolve around the literary industry. There’s also our annual literary event, The RAWSISTAZ Affair.
For an author to take full advantage of your services and your group what should they do? First and foremost, visit the main website at www.rawsistaz.com. The website alone is a major source for exposure, at no cost to the author. There are sections to list your website, book information, bio, and items of this nature. I would also suggest joining RAW4ALL, our online literary hangout with members who are readers, writers, agents, editors, and other literary professionals. The wealth of information shared in the group is at times overwhelming, but almost always helpful. I’d also recommend visiting the various resources & links listed on our site, subscribing to our newsletters, and reading our blogs. Collectively, we offer the perfect one-stop location for “keeping you in the know regarding the African-American literary community.”
What in the literary world excites you? A better question would be what doesn’t. LOL. I simply love reading or hearing about a great book. I also love when unknown authors are in the spotlight and able to share their craft with avid readers. Most recently, I’ve been fascinated with the whole publishing process. So, there isn’t much in the industry that doesn’t excite me.
Is this why you became an agent? Pretty much, yes. It was an extension of what I’ve already been doing for six years with RAWSISTAZ, just another route for doing it and on a different scale. Granted, it’s much more complex than what I’ve done with RAWSISTAZ, but I enjoy it just as much.
Tell us about a typical day for you. Now that I’m an agent too, my day is a bit different work-wise, but for the most part, I get up before everyone and immediately start working. I then take a break and wake up the family, get coffee on and try to slip in some exercise. Then I drop off my daughter at summer camp. From there, the day varies as I normally run personal family errands once a week.
But, on most days I return back to work and go through submissions, check through email, do call-backs, and work on client projects. I also may do some editing or manuscript evaluations. I also blend in the RAWSISTAZ stuff and work on admin to the site, email, reviews, following up with publishers and authors, and depending on the day, I’ll pick up mail and log in books received. I’ll also peek in at the various groups and lend a hand as needed. I do a LOT of email correspondence, so that takes up quite a bit of my time.
Pretty soon, it’s time to pick my daughter up. Then, I work with her for a while on school stuff and depending on the day I may do housework (or I go back to work) and stop in time to get dinner ready. We then eat and have family time. After that, depending on the night, I’m back at the above things, since I admit I’m a workaholic. Sometimes we play games, do yard work or hide out in our respective areas of the house. Once they’re off to bed, I normally do more work, research or read until about midnight. I normally sleep 4-5 hrs and then the process starts over again.