Royce Reed, one of the stars of the television show “Basketball Wives” will be in Memphis to promote her new book at the Southern Black Writers Conference & Film Festival April 28 through May 1.
Myron Mays: For those who haven’t caught the show yet, tell us what “Basketball Wives” is all about.
Royce Reed: It’s basically a group of women who all have totally different personalities and we’re all trying to further ourselves and the era of life that we’re in. Me for example, I used to dance for the Orlando Magic and the Miami Heat and I guess the dancers have always had an issue with the wives. I have never had an issue with anyone, but I guess they put everyone in that category that is a dancer. What people fail to realize is that this is our career. Most of us have been dancing since we were like 3 to 5 years old and we’re now in our 20’s. It’s a job that we fought for and it’s a job that we fight to keep. And it just so happens that the players are sometimes attracted to us. I mean were not ugly women, we’re in shape and we can dance. It is what it is.
As far as everyone else, you have Evelyn who is the ex-fiancée, Shaunie who is the ex-wife of Shaq, Jennifer Williams, soon to be ex-wife or not of Eric Williams, Tammy Roman, soon to be ex-wife of Kenny Anderson. We have a few new women that are coming in, so you have to be there. There’s a lot of different personalities, age ranges and a lot of cattiness.
M.M.: So there’s a lot of wives, ex-wives, fiancées and girlfriends on the show huh?
Reality show star Royce Reed said she waited for the right moment to come with her new novel, the first in a series. (Courtesy photo)
M.M.: So you’re also a writer? Tell us about your novel, “College Girls.”
R.R.: It’s book one of a series. I wrote it a couple of years ago when I finished school and was dancing for the Heat. It was something that I did as a hobby and the more I had people read it, they were like, ‘Wow, you should get this published.’ I never really had the opportunity to get it published until now because I’ve made a bit of a name for myself. I got a lot of great feedback from it even before it was published so I decided to go ahead and venture out into that, and now everyone is like, ‘When is book two coming out?’
But a lot of people are interested in it because it touches on my life and some of my friends lives as well. It also touches that gray area that no one talks about, the realness of college. Outside the studying, there’s also the rapes, the STD scares and no one really talks about that. So it’s very real and it gives something for young women and young men to think about and to be prepared for when they go to college.
M.M.: Was writing something you always wanted to do but it had to be the right time?
R.R.: It definitely had to be the right time. I have been writing since I was in middle school. I used to write poems and short stories all of the time and I still have all of those today. With “College Girls,” I wanted to wait until the right time to put it out there. I think it’s gonna do very well. I have had only had one person to tell me that they didn’t like it and this will be coming from people who would. I didn’t have a ghostwriter, it’s all me.
M.M.: What else do you have on your plate right now? What should we be keeping our eyes open for?
R.R.: I’m still doing the play “Cheaters.” It starts touring in June and is written by Dennis Reed, no relation. He’s done many plays and I’m excited to be amongst some pretty big names. I was like, “you want me?” I auditioned for the part and I got it. I was a theatre major and sometimes you have to go through the rejections to get to the yes. But I didn’t have to get through the no, I wasn’t rejected and I was chosen.
I’ll be touring with the book. I’ll do an HBCU tour. I know we’re gonna be at FAMU for homecoming. Outside of that, I have my foundation, which kind of piggybacks off of Michelle Obama’s campaign for healthy kids. I think when they take P.E. out of schools, they take away part of the wheel. A lot of our kids are becoming overweight because they don’t wanna play sports. So since I’m a dancer, I can give back through dance. In our world now, everything is video games and we’re starting to lose that athletic side of us.
M.M.: How can we keep up with you?
R.R.: You can visit my Web site www.roycelyndsay.com and I’m also on Twitter as well. I have a Facebook fan page under Royce Reed, you can hit me up there, I try to talk to everyone. I like meeting new people and I am excited about coming to Memphis.