Tamika Thomas '01 (Photo: TamikaChristy.com)
Cal State East Bay alumna Tamika Thomas '01, English, published her first novel, Anytime Soon (BQB Publishing, 2013), under her nom de plume, Tamika Christy.
Her main character has been described as "Frenzied. Overburdened. Stressed. Overwhelmed." Thomas admits there are similarities between herself as a college student at Cal State East Bay and her protagonist, a college senior named Anaya Goode. "Much like the protagonist in the story, I was not sure what I wanted to do after undergrad," said Thomas. I knew I wanted an advanced degree, but I was frustrated because I didn't know which subject area I wanted to pursue."
She credits Associate Dean of the College of Education and Allied Studies at Cal State East Bay James Zarillo, then the director of the teacher education program, with helping her to find her eventual path as an attorney.
"During a conversation one time, he looked at me and said, 'You’d make a great lawyer'. At the time law school was nowhere on my radar but when I began to consider law school, I remembered his comment. Seems to me like a great example of how intuitive the professors were." With the stress of juggling a family, a full-time job, and law school, writing provided an outlet. Anytime Soon was actually created during law school.
Thomas turned to another previous professor after writing her book. "English Professor Stephen Gutierrez remains one of my favorite professors," she said. "We still keep in touch. He actually read my book and said he enjoyed it quite a bit! He taught me a lot during my time at Cal State [East Bay] and the fact that he enjoyed my book is a huge compliment."
A sequel is already in the works. "It will continue to follow Anaya and her multidimensional family and friends but will pick up several years down the road," explained Thomas. "There are some real treats in store!"