About the Author
Within eight months, he sold more than 50,000 books and was on "Essence" and "Emerge" magazines best sellers' lists. He toured with black expos, sorority conventions, and book fairs. He even signed books at the local nightclubs, and hair salons.
"I was determined to make it!" he says. "I would sell books at a funeral if they let me."
Eventually, his popularity grew and so did the demand for his next book. This time, instead of writing another book on relationships, Michael took a gamble on a novel. "There was a void in African-American novels written by men," he explained. "I wanted to destroy the myth that men don't read."
In July of 1997 he released his second book, "Men Cry in the Dark." Once again, the book was a big success, selling 30,000 hard cover editions during the first six months. This time the national media paid attention. Michael has been a guest on several local and national radio programs, including the syndicated "Tom Joyner Morning Show." His electrifying personality has earned repeated appearances on talk shows such as "Ricki Lake, Sally Jesse, Maury Povich, " and "The View." He has also been a guest host for Tavis Smiley on BET Tonight.
By the summer of 1997, demand for his appearances were overwhelming. Organizations, book clubs, and retail stores were frantically trying to book him. But Michael wasn't about to go back to doing business as usual. The local retail stores were too small to accommodate his large following and organizations refused to pay honorarium. He decided it was time to promote his own seminars. And he called it, "The Love, Lust and Lies" tour. Unlike traditional book signings, the events were held in auditoriums and lavish hotel ballrooms, usually on Saturday nights from 9-11 P.M. And best of all, he could charge admission, which was only $10.
Michael was careful not to turn-off his customers for the sake of a quick buck. "My goal was to make sure everyone took something positive away from the experience. If I broke even, I was happy," he said. The cost of promoting a successful event was beginning to add up. With the cost of radio advertisement averaging $5000, and rental fees for hotel ballrooms $2500, it was clear to Michael that he needed help. That help came in the form of radio stations cosponsoring the events. They ran additional commercials, gave away tickets, and in some cases, broadcasted live from the seminar. Other sponsors, such as banking institutions, credit card companies, and magazines soon came aboard with solid financial support. Michael could now concentrate on promoting bigger and more elaborate shows.
At the 1997 and the 1999 Expo in Cleveland, the seminar attracted over 3,000 women. "In 1997 it was so crowded the fire department closed off the floor," Michael recalls. In other markets such as Atlanta, Los Angeles, Charlotte, and Detroit the seminar has become a highly anticipated annual event. The interest was so great that Michael produced a video with excerpts from various shows and sold it through direct mail. The name of the video was, of course, "Love, Lust, and Lies." During the first week of its release, the tape sold more than one thousand copies. Lastly, in 1999 he self published his most recent novel, "The Maintenance Man." The main character, Malcolm, is a handsome gigolo looking to break out of the game. Michael says, "It was my way of letting the world know that not all men enjoy cheating and playing women. Eventually you have to grow up." As expected, it climbed quickly to the top of the best sellers' list and cemented Michael as one of the top authors in the country. No doubt he was already "The" most controversial and entertaining.
Michael is currently living in Houston, TX and is working on several projects for 2001. He is holding down his responsibilities as CEO of Legacy Publishing. Also, well-known Hollywood producer, Rueben Cannon, has optioned his latest novel, "The Maintenance Man, " for a movie. And most recently, Michael signed a deal with Tribune Broadcasting to host his long anticipated national talk show, "Talk or Walk" scheduled to air in the fall of 2001. Details of these events will be posted on his site and his monthly newsletter, so be sure to sign on!