Smith, Méta

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Smith, Méta

PERSONAL:

Born in Philadelphia, PA; children: one son. Education: Attended Clark Atlanta University, 1991-94; Spelman College, Atlanta, GA, B.A., 1994.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Chicago, IL. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer, novelist, journalist, disc jockey, actress, model, fundraiser, and dancer. Disc jockey and performer in the Chicago, IL, area. Rimland Services, Evanston, IL, director of development and marketing; Benedectine Sisters of Chicago, director of development; United Way of Metro Chicago, director of leadership giving. Worked in the music industry as a publicist, recording engineer's apprentice, and a recording studio manager. Worked variously as a waitress, television station promotions coordinator, middle-school English teacher, and event promoter. Serves as an on-air trend scout for a Chicago-area television station. Magdalene Foundation (a nonprofit organization), chief executive officer.

WRITINGS:

The Rolexxx Club (novel), Warner Books (New York, NY), 2006.

Queen of Miami (novel), Warner Books (New York, NY), 2007.

SIDELIGHTS:

Méta Smith is a writer, novelist, and journalist based in the Chicago, Illinois, area. A former model, actress, and dancer, she has appeared in music videos by notable artists including TuPac Shakur, TLC, Jadakiss, and Ja Rule. She is also a performer who regularly works as one of Chicago's most popular female disc jockeys. Though she is a self-professed lover of the party scene, she also has a serious side, reflected in her dedication as a single mother and as a successful fund-raiser for Chicagoarea nonprofit organizations

The protagonist of Smith's debut novel, The Rolexxx Club, is Desiree, also known as Dez, who has worked her way up through the seamy world of strip clubs and turning tricks to the top of the entertainment industry. When she started dancing at the Rolexxx Club, she was just looking for a way to make extra money to pay her bills. Soon, however, she was being mentored by fellow dancer Ginger, who showed her how to become a popular dancer who earned high-level tips and how to make even more money by offering selected customers more than a smile and a dance. When Ginger drops out of the game, Dez decides to move on and work at becoming a legitimate performer and artist. After years of working as a dancer and model in music videos, she lands a choice spot in a video by popular rapper Bentley. Dez and Bentley find themselves keenly attracted to each other, and soon she has parlayed her relationship into a three-record deal as a rapper. When an illicit video of Dez surfaces, it shatters her relationship with Bentley. Even worse, unknown enemies from her past reappear and make an attempt on her life. While she recovers, she tries to figure out who would hate her enough to kill her. At the same time, she realizes that her difficulties prove that she has achieved success as a performer and possesses the ability to regain her career and respect. Monsters and Critics.com reviewer Sandy Amazeen called the novel "an interesting, reasonably fast-paced read with no shortage of grit, grudges, and dirty dealings that still manages to end on a hopeful note." Lillian Lewis, writing in Booklist, named the novel an "absorbing tale."

Queen of Miami concerns Bobbi Hayes, billed as one of the hottest deejays in Miami, as she navigates a sometimes tense, if erotically charged, relationship with Mikhail Petrov, a wealthy Russian businessman. The child of wealthy parents, Bobbi walked away from what they offered her in order to carve out a life of her own, created on her own terms. When the sexually supercharged Bobbi initially picks up Mikhail, she has no interest in a long-term relationship, but when she discovers his wealth, power, and prodigious bedroom skill, she falls under his considerable influence. Soon, Mikhail has purchased the popular nightclub Babylon and has asked her to work there. He offers her a position as deejay on his yacht, and she accompanies him to Greece. When the two return to Miami, he restyles Babylon as Bobbi's own personal playground, giving her free reign to perform there and develop the nightlife and music scene as she wishes. She becomes a wildly popular deejay, loved by the big crowds that flock to her dance floor. However, in the background, Bobbi begins to have some doubts about Mikhail and his sources of income. When one of his previous girlfriends is found dead, Bobbi begins to understand that Mikhail is a dangerous and ruthless man. Soon, she has joined forces with one of the club's bouncers, the surly and enigmatic, but extremely handsome and masculine Q, to help her navigate, and perhaps escape from, her potentially deadly association with Mikhail. A writer in Kirkus Reviews remarked that Smith is "good at capturing the seamy side of South Beach nightlife." A Publishers Weekly reviewer commented that the book's "cornucopia of sex, name dropping, and hip-hop melodrama is bound to be gobbled up by fans of the genre."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, June 1, 2006, Lillian Lewis, review of The Rolexxx Club, p. 40.

Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2006, review of Queen of Miami, p. 1196.

Publishers Weekly, December 4, 2006, review of Queen of Miami, p. 33.

ONLINE

Armchair Interviews,http://www.armchairinterviews.com/ (August 5, 2007), Kornelia Longoria, review of The Rolexxx Club.

Méta Smith Home Page,http://www.metasmith.net (August 5, 2007).

Méta Smith MySpace Page,http://www.myspace.com/metasmith (August 5, 2007).

Monsters and Critics,http://www.monstersandcritics.com/ (August 5, 2007), Sandy Amazeen, review of The Rolexxx Club.

TheGrits.com,http://www.thegritsbookclub.com/ (August 5, 2007), review of Queen of Miami.

Urban-Reviews.com,http://urban-reviews.com/ (August 5, 2007), "Inside Out with Méta Smith," author profile.

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