Cook, Janet Stevens 1969(?)-

views updated

Cook, Janet Stevens 1969(?)-

PERSONAL:

Born c. 1969; married; has children. Education: Howard University, bachelor's degree, 1985.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Bowie, MD. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer. Event Staff Inc., Washington, DC, owner. Has worked for numerous brokerage houses, hosted a radio show, and headed media events and promotions for restaurants and businesses throughout the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.

MEMBER:

Delta Sigma Theta.

WRITINGS:

Black Skyy, Strebor Books (New York, NY), 2007.

SIDELIGHTS:

In her first novel, Black Skyy, author Janet Stevens Cook, who has a degree in marketing and owns her own event-staffing company, introduces readers to Sandora "Sandy" Knight. Knight runs a large global communications conglomerate by day, but goes out at night to protect the innocent and right wrongs as a vigilante named "Skyy." "I think Skyy is actually my alias," the author said in an interview on Urban-Reviews.com. "I would love to do the things that [come] so natural[ly] for her. She's courageous, determined, ambitious and incredibly sexy."

The first book in the proposed "Lady in Black" series, Black Skyy, features the heroine searching for a serial killer of little black girls. Although Skyy has no superpowers, she is an expert in martial arts and, in the process of Skyy's narration, readers learn of her background and what led her to become a crime fighter. Much like Bruce Wayne, who became Batman to avenge his parents' death, Sandy Knight initially takes on her alter ego identity to avenge the death of her mother, a heroin addict who was murdered in New York City in 1977 by drug dealers. Early in her life, however, Sandy works as a prostitute to support her younger brother until a karate master takes her in and teaches her the martial arts. She eventually goes to college, works as a spy, and becomes a successful black woman in the corporate world, appearing to be a prim and proper corporate executive. Another subplot involves her ogre of a boss, whom she believes is involved in criminal activities. Meanwhile, Skyy is having a tough time finding the serial killer, who may be somebody she knows.

Black Skyy has received a wide range of favorable reviews. A Publishers Weekly contributor commented that Skyy's "upfront … raw narration pulls no punches" adding that "this vibrant thriller [has] a comic book ambience." Calling Black Skyy "a wonderfully daring novel," Urban-Reviews.com contributor Radiah Hubbert went on to write that the "novel is full of high drama and heart-stopping action." While many reviewers noted the action and thriller aspects of the novel, others pointed to the main character's development. For example, writing on the Sew Transformed Web blog, a contributor noted: "The real story lies in how she [Sandy] transforms from one life to the other and how she develops the persona of Skyy."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Publishers Weekly, May 14, 2007, review of Black Skyy, p. 33.

ONLINE

Janet Stevens Cook MySpace Page,http://www.myspace.com/blackskyy07 (November 26, 2007).

Sew Transformed,http://sewtransformed.blogspot.com/ (September 29, 2007), review of Black Skyy.

Urban-Reviews.com,http://www.urban-reviews.com/ (November 26, 2007), Radiah Hubbert, review of Black Skyy; "Janet Stevens Cook," interview with author.