By J. Coyden Palmer, Chicago Crusader
In what is possibly the most anticipated novel by a first time Black author in history, people can’t stop talking about “Say your Preyers,” a fictional story about a woman who becomes involved with a married pastor at a prestigious Black church.
A four-chapter preview of the book has already been downloaded over 13,000 times since it became available three weeks ago and it has been the talk on social media sites around the country. “Say your Preyers” will be the first of a trilogy, with the second book being released sometime in 2017.
The book’s main focus is on abuse of power within the Black church and how it hurts the community as a whole. But before it gets to that message, “Say Your Preyers” goes through all of the scandals within a fictional Black church in Chicago. Everything from forbidden sex, bisexual men posing as straight, financial corruption, manipulation of members and other scandals that are rarely talked about, though most know happen, is told in explicit detail.
The Crusader recently sat down with first-time author Mundi Aali for an exclusive interview to preview the book and ask why she chose this subject matter to write about.
“I wanted to bring awareness to some of the things I’ve been exposed to… and wanted to write about some situations that people don’t know about,” Aali said. “The sex is juicy but I don’t want it to get lost that the overarching concern is still abuse of power. That’s the message, but of course the sex sells.”
The positive responses Aali has received were not expected she said. She said she’s just a simple girl from the South Side of Chicago who realized she had a great idea for a novel. She decided to self-publish because she said when she floated the idea to book publishers; they gave her a lot of interest, but not the financial value she believes the story holds.
“It’s been crazy in a good way,” she said, after being recognized by a woman while she was just eating at a Wrigleyville bar earlier this week. “I just floated the teaser to gauge what the response would be and its been overwhelming. It’s a hot topic. People want to know what happens in the Black community, especially the Black church. So hopefully this fictional account can shed some light on that. I write in a humorous way because when you are dealing with sensitive issues you don’t want to make light of it, but you want to educate people in a way they can absorb it.”
Much of the content in the book is uncomfortable to read. But it is stuff that has been on the national news before with situations like Bishop Eddie Long in Georgia and his questionable involvement with young males and Bishop Hilliard in Texas wanting congregants to buy him a helicopter.
Aali wants readers to understand the content from the main character Monday’s lens on life. She said the book is not about attacking the Black church at all but at the same time the content is based on things people gossip about all the time.
“It’s about all of the scandals and misappropriations that take place right under people’s noses in the church and how people turn a blind eye,” Aali said. “It’s an ugly story but very necessary and relatable. People want to know what goes on in the back office and under the pulpit so to speak. Why are there three Black churches on the same block and none of them work together? I hope the book inspires people to have these discussions within their church. ‘Say your Preyers’ is about talking about people who have hurt you to take your power back and speaking your truth.”
Presales for the book began Sept. 21. The book will officially go on sale at midnight on Sept. 29. The book will be available in both electronic and soft copy. The electronic editions will cost $9.99. Presale price of hardcopies are $14.99 and $18.99. You can purchase the book from the website www.sayyourpreyers.com. You can also download and view the first four chapters of the book at the website.