Student shares ‘The Tea’

Many people love a good scandal, whether they choose to spread the news to friends or look on as the drama ensues.

But what happens when the tables are turned and you and your circle of friends are the topic of discussion? Florida A&M graduate student Trey Parker reveals the journey that a group of women take in his debut novel, “The Tea.”

Parker, an MBA student from Tampa, has always been inspired to write and knew he wanted to be an author one day. Parker started to write around Christmastime last year.

“I realized I was witnessing real-life relationship drama and I started writing, using it as somewhat of a venting tool to give my opinion, my experiences, and to give it a twist by making it into a relevant and interesting storyline,” Parker said. “After continued focus, persistence and determination, I realized that I had written enough for it to be considered a book.”

The story takes place in Atlanta, where a group of successful African-American women celebrate their successes and comfort one another during their failures. People love a juicy piece of gossip until they are the topic of “The Tea.”

Parker said there are true life experiences hidden within the manuscript. However, he stressed that his novel was strictly fictional.

“I made sure that people understood that most of the plot, characters, as well as the dialogue, was fictional,” Parker said. “I didn’t want people attacking me from what they read from the book.”

“The Tea” was released Nov. 21, and those who have read the book had positive things to say.

Ambrianna Jones, a junior accounting student from New Orleans, enjoyed reading Parker’s debut novel.

“It had every element you could ask for in a fictional drama: twists, turns, excitement and still real,” Jones said. “The ending was honestly the best part, so be sure to read all the way through.”

Latoya Jackson, a senior social work student from Jacksonville, said “The Tea” was a good read.

“There were so many plot twists, and this was the first book that I ever read in less than 24 hours,” Jackson said. “It was so good that I could not put it down.”

Parker said the most interesting part about writing the novel was the freedom of his ideas and thoughts.

“There were times when I had no idea where to direct the story, and after meditating on it, the idea just appeared in my mind,” he said. “I think that was the most interesting thing to me. At times when I was thinking about quitting, ideas would always surface out of nowhere.”

 Parker described his journey to becoming an author as tiring yet rewarding.

 “A sacrificed social life, long nights and fearlessness led to me becoming an author, and consequently, having printed manuscript that can be here possibly long after I’m dead and gone,” Parker said. “That’s amazing.”        

“The Tea” can be purchased at