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?
18. Where can we find you on social media?
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!
New York Times Bestselling Author Kimberla Lawson Roby has published 19 novels which include A HOUSE DIVIDED, THE PERFECT MARRIAGE, THE REVEREND’S WIFE, SECRET OBSESSION, LOVE, HONOR, and BETRAY, BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU PRAY FOR, A DEEP DARK SECRET, THE BEST OF EVERYTHING, ONE IN A MILLION, SIN NO MORE, LOVE & LIES, CHANGING FACES, THE BEST-KEPT SECRET, TOO 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.
Check out ‘A House Divided’ on Feed your need to read.
It’s New Years Eve and my short story Wreckless is available on Amazon, Nook, Kobo, and Smashwords. Grab your ebook device and get your copy! Writing a short story was no easy task for me. Let’s face it, the challenge is to compile a 60,000 word novel in a 10.000 word story. That’s HUGE! It must come with everything and I’m proud to say this story definitely does. After going through a series of editing and test reading this story has been shaped into the baby I wanted it to be. Yes, it was just as hectic at times to get it right but it was well worth the fight!
Wreckless dives into the life of a love sick fanatic, Jasmine Johnson. She is completely mesmerized by a college cutie Maurice Desmon Jones. He on the other hand has no clue. Jasmine never actually approaches Maurice but when she sees the opportunity someone steps on her toes and gets to him before she can. Oh that is more than Jasmine can handle. She goes into a jealous rage and acts on her emotions. That puts her in a deep situation that will have major consequences. Jasmine tries to fix her problems but she only ends up causing more. This story has everything, drama, revenge, murder, suspense, thrills, pain, misery and inspiration.
There’s nothing left to do now but feed your need to read! Hop on over to one of these retailers and grab your copy. Leave an awesome review when your done I’d appreciate that. Connect with me, subscribe to my mailing list for the latest contest, guest appearances and upcoming releases from Love Is A Drug, Ink. Now tell me, what’s the last short story you read?
It’s time for a new release from Love Is A Drug, Ink! Writing this story was exciting for me. Being that it is a short story my challenge was to compact the love, drama, action, mystery, and thrills that I write in my full novels. There was no room for error and I couldn’t fall short. I must say, after finishing it and re reading, I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve been a author since 2010. My debut novel was Trouble In Paradise and it took me nine months to write it. I always played with the possibility of writing a short story but always saw it as too big of a challenge. You might say, why? Well because it couldn’t miss anything the full novel had. In other words, it had to have a beginning, a middle, and a end. Let’s face it, I’m pretty long winded. My husband says when I talk about something I go on, and on, and on, about it without coming to an end quickly.
After noticing it myself, I thought that’s just me long winded, so now you can see why writing this story was the biggest challenge. With all that said this story goes off with a bang! It was a joy to read. At one point I call my self proof reading for errors when it came back from my editor and midway into the story I realized I hadn’t been proof reading at all because I’d gotten so caught up into the story. That was a super plus, if I can captivate myself, surely I can captivate you! This story will be priced for $1.99 on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Kobo, ibook, and smashwords. It will be available on ebook. Only my full novels will be available for paperback. Wreckless releases on New Years Eve, what a great way to bring in the New Year! Below is the book blurb, check it out!
Jasmine Johnson wants nothing more than to be swept off her feet by classmate and cutie Maurice Desmon Jones. Everything about him, from his obvious confidence to his charisma, makes her melt like ice cream on a sundae cone.
One day, someone threatens to challenge her for his affection and Jasmine goes into a jealous rage, unable to control her emotions.
Obsession sends her over the edge and there is no turning back. In the eye of a brewing storm, she has to come up with a clever way to get out of the catastrophe she has created and she won’t give up, even if she has to die trying.
Read more about this story and get a sneak peek. Don’t forget to sign up for my mailing list for upcoming releases, contest and appearances from Love Is A Drug, Ink at http://www.stephanienorris.net
Dominique Wilkins is a licensed cosmetologist and married mother of five children who writes short stories to which everyone can relate. In a time where crime is high, morale is low, and drama is everywhere, Dominique writes to encourage her readers and provide them with resources to keep them going and do better. Read real stories about bad parents; jealous neighbors; backstabbing friends; cheating; love; pain; and the ability to inspire change or provide a life lesson. Transferring a decade of emotional support and encouragement from the beauty shop to the pages, these stories are written with biblical messages intermingled for the reader to refer back to or research for more healing on their particular need directly from The Bible.
Dominique believes that we often cannot solve our own problems, but maybe, when they’re put into a story in someone else’s shoes, they can then be seen and solved more easily. She’s written over 15 short stories for you to enjoy. She has received great 5 star reviews for many of her titles, such as Theresa in Wonderland, 7:10, The Bad Parent and Forgiven. Not Forgotten.
I am pleased to present you with various books, in the Contemporary Christian and Inspirational fiction genre. These books are all written in and around everyday life events. There are sometimes brief sex, violence, or profanity included, but please do not be offended, as they are written with taste. You or someone that you know may identify with these characters or stories. They are all written for you to not only enjoy as you revisit these familiar scenes and activities, but to receive its message. Everyone will not like the story’s message or contents, but please keep in mind, that though you may not like it and it may seem extreme or unreal, please understand that these stories are all inspired by real life events and news reports. So, the book that you have may not be your story, but don’t let that stop you from finding your story. I’ve got plenty of other titles to choose from! The majority of the books are short, so that the message will not be lost while your entertainment need is being met without taking a large portion out of your time. You may question, who authorized me to deliver messages to anyone? The answer is simple. I have no authority by the city, state or government to pass judgement or advice. I am simply a Chicagoan, who has often shared your stories or even lived these lifestyles as well. As an adult, with a past, I’ve been blessed to be able to tap into my inner worth and see the error of these ways and now, I am simply doing what someone did for me: paying it forward. With stories, that I write for you to love! So, enjoy and please leave your review where you got your copy. If you have family or a friend who has not read one of my titles, feel free to suggest one that is possibly geared to the message that THEY need to receive. Remember, you can also pass the message, simply by sharing the book! “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.” (James 2:24)
Thank you Dominque Wilkins better known as Dee Double U for hanging out today. I’m glad you’re here, we need more stories like yours everywhere! Now that we know a little bit about you, we’d like to ask some questions so let’s get right to it!
1. What made you choose to write in the Genre that you write in?
My stories are all real life situations that everyone has experienced in their life at one time or another. I’ve had my storms and in the mist of them, someone encouraged me to get me through. This is what I hope to achieve in my books. To give someone else, what was given to me.
2. What is your favorite thing about the writing experience and why?
I absolutely love when someone reads my story and “gets” me! It is the best thing in the world. It is like a teacher listening to a child read after a lesson.
3. What was the first moment you knew you wanted to write?
I knew that I should write books, because I had always been good at entertaining people with my playful stories, so when I began to hurt and found my heart going out to so many wronged people, I decided to use books to reach them.
4. How do you handle bad reviews?
Initially it stings, but I do take everything into consideration because I strive to be better at all times. I never respond to a reviewer as a reply to their words, instead I simply try to incorporate that info and take it with me into my next title, if I can.
5. What book do you recommend everyone should read and why?
That is a difficult question, but the answer is going to be simple. IF having to choose which one of my babies to read, I will suggest 13 Heroes-Your Favorite Bible Stories Today. I believe that this title is very necessary and even people who are not in touch with their faith can enjoy and take something from these stories.
6 Where is your favorite place to write?
I love to write in the park in the summer sun!
7. When you write, do you write for a long period of time or do you write in short burst?
I write when I can and when I feel it, so that when I am done, I feel comfortable that it is good and the story is sealed with passion.
8. What words of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Do not write what everyone else is writing about, write about whatever story that you feel the most passionate about. This will keep you excited and the readers too.
9. If your book was turned into a movie who would you want to direct it?
Tyler Perry or Oprah
10. What is your favorite time of year?
11. Where is your favorite place to read?
I would love to read on a hammock under a shady tree.
12. What is the worse book you have ever read?
This I may have already blocked out! lol
13. What is your favorite song?
As of today, A Little More Jesus by Erica Campbell.
14. What is your favorite musical artist?
15. What projects do you have planned for the future?
I am the CEO of a business called Authors Promoting Success, that will be launching this month, where we will be offering author mentor-ship to help others build their brand and boost their business in similar genres. They can go to WeAreAps.com when it is officially up and running for info and pricing.
16. What is your favorite movie?
Fireproof #LOVE IT
17. What do you hope to say to people with your writing?
Be encouraged. You are not alone. Seek God and talk to Him…thy rod and thy staff will comfort you, when you do!
18. What do you dislike the most about the publishing world?
Some people make it look so easy and because they do, it invites an influx of people who make it look so bad.
19. Where do you see yourself in five years?
I pray to have reached a lot of people through my books in some way and prayerfully been able to stabilize my personal life, where I can be active as a mentor to others who need a hug, a smile and an uplifting message.
20. Do you have an official website?
21. Where can we find you on social media?
22. Where can we find your books?
All of my purchase links are available on http://www.AuthorDWilkinsGOODbooks.com
Theresa in Wonderland
Theresa survives a near death experience and is so grateful for life, she puts the incident so far behind her, that she takes herself out of the real world and into wonderland. Suddenly, when the real world comes crashing into wonderland, she is forced to deal with her loved ones dying, lying and hurting her all at once. Too much to take. Will she take it and bounce back or take her life instead?