Sadeqa Johnson’s LOVE IN A CARRY-ON BAG just received the USA Best Book Award for African-American fiction and was hailed by Ebony.com as “this summer’s hottest read.” Sadeqa is a former PR manager, meditation teacher, motivational blogger and happy wife. She shares her personal long distance relationship tips after our interview below.
Abiola: Congrats on your debut novel Sadeqa! Tell me about your book, “Love in a Carry-On Bag.”
Sadeqa Johnson: I like to say that my novel is a cross between the movies Love Jones and Mo Better Blues.
When I set out to write Love in a Carry-On Bag it was with the intention of creating the next unforgettable black love story that will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.
Love in a Carry-on Bag is a story that begs the question, can a long distance relationship really survive?
Abiola: As a passionate living and relationship coach, the LDR question comes up often. Below is an advice video vlog that I made on the subject, but it’s not necessarily the fully evolved advice I’d give today.
What is the story of the book? I love a good romance. The main character’s name is Erica and…
Sadeqa: Erica Shaw spends her week babysitting the country’s bestselling authors for one of the top publishing companies in New York City. But on Friday nights she escapes to DC, where her sexy-lipped musician boyfriend, Warren Prince, works and performs.
Their connection is fierce, and the couple promises to never miss a weekend together. But when real life walks in—an overbearing father, an alcoholic mother, office politics, and a lucrative job contract—the couple start unraveling at the seam. Tempers flare, violence breaks, while new lovers eagerly wait in the wings—to claim both of them.
The intensity of that experience drove me to write the story of Erica and Warren. Erica and her mother have a unique relationship seeped in a lot of childhood pain. I drew from my own relationship with my mother, and was able to take Erica’s journey beyond.
Abiola: Your inspirational personal love story with your hubbie is just as interesting as the one in the book. We’ll have to double date some time. Please tell us more.
Sadeqa: We met the summer of 95’, when I still felt cool enough to wear cut off shorts and my Daddy’s v-neck white tee, hair long and loose and very little make-up. Glenn was from D.C. living in Philly. I was from Philly living in New York, and I just loved the sound of his D.C. drawl as it entered my ears when he called me baby. Even now, seventeen years later, three kids, two businesses, and a home, when he calls me baby it curls through my insides and vibrates down to my toes.
The anticipation of being together on the weekends only made each encounter storybook and brand new. I stayed drunk off the mere smell of his skin, the way his mind moved, and protected by his laughter that could light up any room.
Sadeqa’s “Make It Work” Long Distance Advice Tips