Halima, Shelley

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Halima, Shelley

PERSONAL:

Born in Charlotte, NC. Education: Attended Henry Ford Community College.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Redford, MI. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer, lyricist, and poet.

WRITINGS:

Azucar Moreno (novel), Strebor Books International (Bowie, MD), 2004.

Los Morenos (novel), Strebor Books (Largo, MD), 2005.

ADAPTATIONS:

A film based on Azucar Moreno, entitled Fiesta!, is in production.

SIDELIGHTS:

In her novels Azucar Moreno and Los Morenos, Shelley Halima blends cultures, ethnic backgrounds, and different sexualities to create a rich picture of the diversity and problems of modern life. The stories trace the "lives and loves of two cousins—Nikki and Rosie Moreno, who were raised together as sisters," the author explained in an interview published in Urban Reviews. Halima "takes a raunchy, tell-it-like-it-is approach in [both] Azucar Moreno and Los Morenos," declared Allison Steinberg in Curve Magazine, and she presents the two cousins as equally devoted to their friends, their careers, and to each other. In Azucar Moreno, Nikki makes the decision to leave Detroit for Los Angeles to pursue an acting career, rekindling in the process a relationship with Mario, a former lover. "Nikki ‘has a strong sense of loyalty,’ says Halima," Steinberg explained. "‘She's passionate about who she loves and what she does and she's wonderfully flawed.’" Rosie is bisexual, and her experiences with a closet lesbian named Crystal complicate her life in Detroit. Other characters in the novel include the unmarried couple Rhonda and Dante, expecting a child together, and Odell, a gay black man. "Azucar Moreno breaks barriers and crosses the color lines as well as sexual lines," declared Yolanda M. Johnson in Literary Wonders, "to exemplify that true friendship has no color or boundaries."

In Los Morenos, Nikki is beginning her career as an actress in California while, at the same time, Rosie is launching a modeling career. She follows her cousin to the west coast. While Nikki confronts what a writer for Urban Reviews called a "secret addiction," Rosie wins a spread in a major magazine. "But will Rosie be able to deal with the media attention and the fast pace Hollywood lifestyle?" The novel, concluded the Urban Reviews interviewer, "looks at the mistakes and challenges that both women face in their lives and how they overcome them."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

ONLINE

Curve Magazine,http://www.curvemag.com/ (February 27, 2007), Allison Steinberg, "Author Shelley Halima's Diverse Dramas."

Literary Wonders,http://www.literarywonders.com/ (February 27, 2007), Yolanda M. Johnson, review of Azucar Moreno.

Shelley Halima Home Page,http://www.shelleyhalima.com (February 27, 2007), author biography.

Shelley Halima MySpace Profile,http://www.myspace.com/shelleyhalima (February 27, 2007), author biography.

Urban Reviews,http://www.urban-reviews.com/ (February 27, 2007), "Inside Out—Shelley Halima," author interview, and review of Los Morenos.