Fiction

Sixteen-year-old Nostalgia Richardson has lived all her life in the rural township of Spivey’s Grove, South Carolina, but that has not stopped her from dreaming of running away to Harlem to become a showgirl at the world famous Cotton Club. One night when she comes home from work she finds her father in the company of Noah Holdtstaff, the most notorious bootlegger in town. Later, Nostalgia’s 14-year- old sister, LILY, divulges their father’s plans to marry her off to the 49-year-old Noah.

To escape the ominous fate, Nostalgia goes to work as usual the next day, scheming to sneak off to the bus station to leave for New York City. Just prior to her audition for The Cotton Club, Nostalgia learns there was money involved in the deal their father made with Noah, forcing Lily to marry the miscreant instead. From 1928-1935, Nostalgia and Lily communicate with each other through a series of letters in which Nostalgia lives the glamorous life hobnobbing with the talented elite of the Harlem Renaissance. Lily, fueled by her ardent affair with milkman Henry Whit, uses Noah’s love for pig’s feet and penchant for hustling reefer to concoct a scheme to absolve her dreadful marriage. Set against the backdrop of the Jim Crow south, and the Great Depression, these two spunky heroines are determined to live, love, and excel on their own terms!

Gifted with a unique voice and free spirit, Karla Mitchell Diggs entered the world stage in 1971 in the city of Roxboro, N.C. where she was educated in the public schools of Person County. After a high school career that included extensive participation in the Person Senior High School Drama Department, Karla took her talents to Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C. While there, she became the first African-American to pursue and earn a Bachelor of Arts in Theater. Karla furthered her education by attending the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City, where she acquired a Certificate of Completion of the Integrated Program. She has since performed in theatrical productions in New York City, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, and North Carolina. Karla currently resides in Murfreesboro, TN with her husband and two daughters where she continues to write. Cotton Club Princess is Karla’s first novel.