Spotlight on Author Rhonda McKnight

Rhonda McKnight is the author of the Black Expressions Top 20 bestseller, A Woman’s Revenge (Mar 2013), What Kind of Fool (Feb 2012), An Inconvenient Friend (Aug 2010), Secrets and Lies (Dec 2009) and Breaking All the Rules (Oct 2013). She was a 2010 nominee for the African-American Literary Award in the categories of Best Christian Fiction Novel and Best Anthology. She was the winner of the 2010 Emma Award for Favorite Debut Author and the 2009 Shades of Romance Award for Best Christian Fiction Novel. Originally from a small, coastal town in New Jersey, she’s called Atlanta, Georgia home for fifteen years.

Hello Rhonda, thank you for joining us today for this interview. We are always on the lookout for romance novels here at Love Is A Drug, Ink. Now that we have your attention for a little while we have a few questions to ask you so let’s get right to it!

1.   What made you choose to write in the Genre that you write in?

I’ve been writing since I was a teenager, but I didn’t even know Christian Fiction existed until 1998 when Victoria Christopher Murray introduced me to her novel, Temptation. That was when I started to think about the kind of stories I wanted to tell. But even then I wasn’t sure I was the right person to tell a “Christian” story. As I’ve grown spiritually, I’ve realized that it’s really the only kind I can tell. I write who I am.

My latest release, Breaking All The Rules, is an inspirational romance.  When I began writing, it was because I had fallen in love with the then, BET, now Harlequin Kimani/Arabesque line of African-American novels, so while my novels have been pretty serious Christian Fiction stories, my love for “boy meets girl and they fall in love” type romance has shown up in both my novella length fiction.

2.   What is your favorite thing about the writing experience and why?

My favorite thing about the writing experience is reader feedback. Readers are fantastic. They fall in love with the characters and that connection to my work is exciting and encouraging.

3.   How do you handle bad reviews?

I’ve had great reviews with just a few bad ones here and there. When I see the bad ones, I shrug. Every book isn’t for every reader and some people are really emotional readers who can’t see the book ending any other way than the way they had it mapped out in their head. There’s nothing you can do about that.

4.   Where is your favorite place to write?

Any place where my kids and the dog aren’t. I can be found at the local Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts tapping away on my keyboard.  One day I’ll rent a cabin in the woods or a house on the beach and fail marvelously at getting any work done. I’m sure the scenery would pull me away from my work.

5.   When you write, do you write for a long period of time or do you write in short burst?

I do both. I work full-time and I’m a mommy, so I write when I can and when I must because of a deadline.  I typically start a project and write for weeks or months for long hours on the weekend and late into the night until it’s done, but then I won’t write again for several months.

6.   Where did your inspiration for this book come from?

 Facebook chatter. One day I was scrolling through my newsfeed and found a long discussion about what I call “the Ex-Factor” (the original title for the novel). People were so passionate about it that I thought, “Surely, this will make a good book.” I decided to give Deniece the career of a wedding planner simply because I was watching the movie, the Wedding Planner one night and thought that career would give the book the perfect twist.  I also love, love, love David Tutera’s show, My Fair Wedding.

7.   What is your favorite author and why?

My favorite author is actually deceased. The late, great BeBe Moore Campbell. She was a master at description and character development. She also did a amazing job at weaving several plots bringing them together nicely by the end of the book. I miss her work.

8.   What words of advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Read, write and then read and write some more. Study the craft of writing. Buy craft books or take writing classes. Attend a writer’s conference. You’ll learn so much about writing and the publishing business.

9.   Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

My favorite character is the hero, Ethan Wright. He’s yummy. Handsome, rich, generous and did I say handsome?

10  What is your favorite scene from the book or why?

My favorite scene from the novel is the black moment; you know when you think the lovers might be finished. Deniece puts up a great fight. She’s angry and stubborn to the point of silliness (kind of like we women get) and then she finds out she was wrong about the hero. I love it when couples make up.

11.  If your book was turned into a movie who would you want to direct it?

Malcolm Lee and not because my character is Deniece Malcolm. J  He directed The Best Man and it’s one of my favorite movies.

12.  What is the best book you have ever read?

Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine by BeBe Moore Campbell. Riveting, beautifully written story based on the Emmitt Till story.  I read it nearly twenty years ago and it still remains my favorite novel of all time.

13.  What projects do you have planned for the future?

I’m writing quite a bit. I’m working on a sequel to my third novel, What Kind of Fool, which was the sequel to my second novel, An Inconvenient Friend. My readers love the character, Samaria Jacobs. She’s a messy, homewrecker who’s trying hard to get her life together, but her ratchet ways keep getting in the way.  I’m also releasing another romance novella next month, just in time for  Valentine’s Day in an anthology with a few other authors. I’m writing a lot.

14.  What do you hope to say to people with your writing?

My books all have the theme of forgiveness.  I believe the stories resonate differently with each individual, but if I had to name one thing, I’d say I’d like readers to understand that forgiveness is a decision. Once a person decides that peace is more important than bitterness and pain, they will have a fuller, more complete life. Forgiveness is not about the other person. It’s about you.

15.  Is there another hobby you have that you would like to share?

Everything in my world seems to be about child rearing and writing these days, but I do have a garden and I enjoy that immensely. It a great way to work through stress and get some organic veggies for my family.

16.  Where do you see yourself in five years?

Is buying an island on that television show “Island Hunters” too ambitious? I pray  I’m retired from my job and happily creating stories for my readers.

17.  Do you have an official website?

 www.rhondamcknight.net

18.  Where can we find you on social media?

 I love social media. I’m on Facebook everyday at www.facebook.com/booksbyrhonda and in my Reader Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/rhondamcknight/

I’m also on Twitter @rhondamcknight and I’m addicted to Pinterest. I have a great Pinterest page for the novel, Breaking All The Rules. Please check it out. http://www.pinterest.com/rhondamcknight1/breaking-all-the-rules/

19.   Where can we find your books?

My novels can be found pretty much wherever books are sold and if not in stock they can be ordered. All of my work is also available on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and iBooks.

Check out ‘Breaking All The Rules’ on Feed Your Need To Read!

Spotlight on Author Audrey Ford

Born in Frankfurt, Germany, Ms. Ford was raised an Army brat. Moving from place to place made for a lifestyle of always having to make new friends. She found solace in reading and writing. As she lost herself in the many mysteries of Nancy Drew, Ms. Ford began to imagine her own stories coming to life.. From plays to short stories, anything that came to mind, came out in Ms. Ford’s writings. Like most teenagers, Ms. Ford’s interest in writing went dormant. The passion she had had for writing was reignited with the passing of her father and brother. Writing again was the release that she needed. She is looking forward to telling stories that people will want to read and enjoy.

Thank you for joining us today Ms. Ford we’re glad that you’re here. We’d like to take this time out to get to know more about you and the books you enjoy writing so much. Romance is our favorite genre so we are definitely looking forward to it. Now that we have you for a full segment let’s get right to it!

1.   What made you choose to write in the Genre that you write in?

I wanted to write a story that I had never read. I wanted to do something different from other authors. I wanted to write a book that would keep readers guessing, is it romance, general fiction, etc.

2.   What is your favorite thing about the writing experience and why?

I love getting lost in my characters. When I’m in a “zone” the writing can become like watching a movie. I love that I alone, control the destiny of my characters.

3.   What was the first moment you knew you wanted to write?

After I began to write in a journal I received for Christmas one year. I must have been twelve or thirteen at the time. I knew I had a gift when I started to embellish the things that I was writing about. LOL!

4.   How do you handle bad reviews

I received my first bad review a couple of months ago and was devastated, but then I realized very quickly that everyone is no going to like what I write.

5.   What book do you recommend everyone should read and why?

Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. It is the most powerful piece of work I ever read and one of my favorites.

6.   Where is your favorite place to write?

Sitting in my over-sized chair in my living room, my feet up on my over-sized ottoman and listening to jazz, there is nothing better!

7.   When you write, do you write for a long period of time or do you write in short burst?

I have gone into a zone and work for 10 to 12 hours at one time without interruption. Once the story starts to move I go with it.

8.   Where did your inspiration for this book come from?

I thought of the women in my life who are and have done great things without any recognition, my mother, my grandmothers and aunts. I wanted to pay tribute to these great women in some way.

9.   Who is your favorite author and why?

It would have to be the late Francis Ray. She changed the way I read books. She shape the type of writer I wanted to be. I loved her writing style and I’m going to miss her books a great deal.

10.  What words of advice would you give to aspiring authors?

I believe that everyone has a story inside them, If its there, just write it. I wouldn’t worry about not having done it before. Just write!

11.  What is your favorite character in your book and why?

Wow, that’s like asking which of my children I love more, lol! I would have to say Veronica, she’s very complex and it was fun to see her evolve.

12.  What is your favorite scene from the book or why?

It would have to be the meeting between Chris and Veronica. It was a throwback to the Dallas, Dynasty and Falcon Crest confrontations. It was classy and stylish. The ladies take your breath and give back, only to take it away again.

13.  What is your favorite time of year?

Fall, it’s the time for romance. Fireplaces, hot apple cider and cuddling in front of the fire, having sweet hot things whispered in your ear. Ok I’m done..LOL!

14.  What is the most inspiring quote you have ever heard?

“You can’t go back and get yesterday” This quote inspires you to keep moving forward and not worry about what you should have done.

15.  What projects do you have planned for the future?

I’m looking forward to releasing the third novel of the Elite Sisterhood.

16.  Where can we find your books?

Amazon.com Kindle and Barnes & Noble.com

Check out ‘The Sweet Taste of Love’ on feed your need to read

Spotlight on Author Kimberla Lawson Roby

New York Times Bestselling Author Kimberla Lawson Roby has published 19 novels which include A HOUSE DIVIDEDTHE PERFECT MARRIAGETHE REVEREND’S WIFESECRET OBSESSION, LOVE, HONOR, and BETRAY, BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU PRAY FOR, A DEEP DARK SECRETTHE BEST OF EVERYTHING, ONE IN A MILLIONSIN NO MORE, LOVE & LIES, CHANGING FACESTHE BEST-KEPT SECRETTOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING, A TASTE OF REALITY, IT’S A THIN LINE, CASTING THE FIRST STONE, HERE AND NOW, and her debut title, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, which was originally self-published through her own company, Lenox Press.  She has sold more than 2,000,000 copies of her novels, and they have frequented numerous bestseller lists, including The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Essence Magazine, Upscale Magazine, Emerge Magazine, Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com, Wal-Mart, The Dallas Morning News, and The Austin Chronicle to name a few, and both BEHIND CLOSED DOORS and CASTING THE FIRST STONE were #1 Blackboard bestsellers for four consecutive months in both 1997 and 2000.  BEHIND CLOSED DOORS was the #1 Blackboard Best-selling book for paperback fiction in 1997.

Kimberla is a 2013 NAACP Image Award Winner for Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction, the recipient of the 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013 Author of the Year – Female award presented by the African-American Literary Award Show in New York, the recipient of theBlackboard Fiction Book of the Year Award in 2001 for CASTING THE FIRST STONE, the recipient of the 1998 First-Time Author Award from Chicago’s Black History Month Book Fair and Conference, and in 2001, Kimberla was inducted into the Rock Valley College (Rockford, IL) Alumni Hall of Fame.

Each of Kimberla’s novels deal with very real issues, including corruption within the church, drug addiction, gambling addiction, infidelity, social status, single motherhood, infertility, sibling rivalry and jealousy, domestic violence, sexual abuse, mental illness, care-giving of a parent, racial and gender discrimination in the workplace, sexual harassment, and overweight issues to name a few.

Kimberla resides in Illinois with her husband, Will.  Her 20Th novel, THE PRODIGAL SON will be released May 13, 2014.

It is such a pleasure to have you visiting Love Is A Drug, Ink today Kimberla we are excited to know more about you. I have read many of your books and you have paved the way for me and other self published others to write great books with the inspiration of God. We have a few questions to ask and now that you’re here we’ll dig right in!

1.   What is your favorite thing about the writing experience and why?

My favorite thing about writing is having the great opportunity to write about real-life issues that readers everywhere can relate their own lives to.  I also love being able to meet my readers in person and hearing their feedback about my work.

2.   How do you handle bad reviews?

Years ago, reading bad reviews about my work or about me as a writer was very painful.  But now, I focus on the readers who are kind enough to post very thoughtful words about my stories.  This is what truly keeps me encouraged and motivated.

3.   Where is your favorite place to write?

My favorite place to write tends to change every few years.  Right now, I love to go upstairs to write in my reading room/TV den.

4.   When you write, do you write for a long period of time or do you write in short burst?

When I am writing the first draft, I try to write no less than 10 hours each day until I’m finished.  On a good day, I can write for 12 hours.  Then, once I finish my first draft, I go back and work on rewrites and revisions.

5.   What words of advice would you give to aspiring authors?

My advice to aspiring writers would be to make sure writing is your passion, learn the craft of writing, write your stories straight from the heart, never mimic another writer’s writing style, and learn every single thing you can about the business of publishing and how to promote your work.

6.   What is your favorite time of year?

My favorite time of year is definitely summer.  Autumn is my second favorite.

7.   Where is your favorite place to read?

My favorite places to read are at home and also on airplanes.

8.   What projects do you have planned for the future?

My 20th novel, THE PRODIGAL SON, which is also the 11th title in my Reverend Curtis Black Series, will be released in May 2014.  I also have a novella being released in November 2014 entitled A CHRISTMAS PRAYER.

9.   Coffee or Tea? Tea.

10. Where can we find your books?

My books are available nationwide wherever books are sold (Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, independent bookstores, Wal-Mart, Target, K-Mart and other retailers).  You can also order my work online through Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Indiebound.org, Walmart.com, itunes.com, etc.   

11.   Where can we find you on social media?  www.facebook.com/kimberlalawsonroby and www.twitter.com/KimberlaLRoby

Check out ‘A House Divided’ on Feed your need to read.