Author Nicole D. Sconiers Quits Top-Rated Talk Show, Publishes Debut Book "Escape from Beckyville"

An L.A. writer quits her job at a top-rated talk show, publishes a debut book and buys a van to travel cross country. Oh, and she's taking her mother with her on the journey.

Los Angeles, CA, July 27, 2011 --( During times of economic crisis and skyrocketing unemployment, most people live in fear of joining the ranks of the millions out of work. But not Nicole D. Sconiers. The writer took a bold leap by walking away from a career at the top-rated "Dr. Phil" show, where she worked for nearly eight years, to pursue an even riskier venture – self-publishing a book.

"Escape from Beckyville: Tales of Race, Hair and Rage" is a place where speculative fiction meets racial politics. In this collection of ten twisted and provocative stories set inside a futuristic Los Angeles, readers will enter a world where female wraiths prey on black women's hair, southern maids possess superpowers and black women live in fear of being stopped by the Rage Patrol.

Sconiers, a recent MFA graduate of Antioch University Los Angeles, says she felt an urgency to publish the book and add another dimension to the discussion on black womanhood. “Even though several friends tried to convince me to keep my day job and just work on 'Escape from Beckyville' as a side project, I didn’t want to be a part-time author. I was willing to risk everything to follow my dreams.”

Following her dreams means purchasing a van, the “Beckyville Bookmobile,” and driving cross county to promote Escape from Beckyville at independent booksellers and black beauty salons. But the author won’t be taking the journey alone. Her mother, Lola, will be traveling with her.

“I hesitated to tell my mother that I had turned in my resignation at 'Dr. Phil,' because that’s been my identity for so long, and I didn’t want her to worry about what I was going to do for food or how my rent would be paid. But she took the news with grace and said she supported me. That’s when I blurted out, ‘Thanks, Mom. You’re coming on the road with me,’” Sconiers recalls with a laugh.

Despite the stigma attached to self-published authors and a highly competitive publishing industry, Sconiers believes her book will resonate with many readers. “I wanted to present a funky and futuristic portrayal of black womanhood that I felt was missing from the literary scene: dysfunctional, beautiful, complex and flawed characters grappling with issues of race, hair and identity,” Sconiers says. “Our stories matter, and if we don’t tell them, who will?"

Sconiers' cross country book tour kicks off August 2 at Underground Books in Sacramento. For more information, visit

Jane Hannah Media
Joanne Griffith
"Escape from Beckyville: Tales of Race, Hair and Rage"

"Escape from Beckyville: Tales of Race, Hair and Rage"

"Escape from Beckyville" cover image