***Contest Following the Interview***
Rhonda McKnight is the owner of Legacy Editing, a freelance editing service for fiction writers and “Urban Christian Fiction Today”, a popular internet site that highlights African-American Christian fiction. She’s the vice-president of Faith Based Fiction Writers of Atlanta. When she’s not editing projects, teaching workshops about writing or penning her next novel, she spends time with her family. Originally from a small, coastal town in New Jersey, she’s called Atlanta, Georgia home for twelve years.
Since reading the ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of Rhonda’s debut novel Secrets and Lies, I’ve been chomping at the bit, waiting for the release date to arrive so I could tell everyone to run out and buy this book! I loved, loved, loved this novel. Can you tell I kinda loved it? From the first page, I was sucked in and had to know what was going to happen next. Before I get excited and give away the twists and turns, let me begin by introducing you guys to my guest.
Welcome, Rhonda, to my cyber cubby. To get this party started, first begin by telling us what your novel is about.
Secrets and Lies is the story of Faith and Jonah Morgan, a couple struggling to keep their troubled marriage together when the husband’s coworker accuses him of the unthinkable. Jonah is a workaholic, and his wife Faith is sick of it. There are lots of little secrets, lies, and unspoken words that create more secrets and more lies, even amongst the minor characters. Forgiveness is the main takeaway from the story.
Where did the story idea come from?
It just kind of came to me. One morning I woke up and they were talking (or maybe arguing) in my head. I ran to the keyboard. I have to admit, I was deep in marital woes myself, so I’m sure that had something to do with it. I’m sure my personal experiences added to the emotional intensity.
What characters from your novel are your favorites?
Jonah is my favorite. I loved writing about him because he is so complex. He’s a good man, but he’s got a lot of issues and that made for some interesting writing. I also enjoyed watching his character’s journey from the man we meet in chapter one to the man he becomes by the close of the story.
What’s your favorite part of writing?
I don’t know. I want to say draft writing, but it’s so intense that it stresses me out. Then I’d say rewriting, but that’s frustrating because I’m usually hating my messy draft. I could say editing, but I don’t know, I kind of hate checking for commas and such. So maybe it’s the before the writing work; developing characters and outlining. Yeah, that’s it.
What has been the most difficult challenge that you’ve faced in your writing career?
I’m a newbie, so I haven’t had much of a career to be challenged, but last summer I became ill and had to have surgery. I had a September 1st deadline for my second novel and about 17,000 words at the beginning of May. Losing time really made it difficult to meet my deadline.
How did you find and meet your editor?
My editors are my critique partners. They are members of my writers group Faith Based Fiction Writers of Atlanta. The feedback from the group is top notch. I’ve been fortunate to not have to hire a free-lance editor. However, I do recommend editors.
Now for the curveball… Rhonda, I firmly believe laughter is a powerful medicine. With this in mind, can you tell us which Tyler Perry movie is your favorite?
Hmmm…a favorite Tyler Perry movie. I loved Why Did I Get Married. Loved the cast and loved the stories. My favorite scene—at the end when the men tease the Jill Scott character’s ex-husband because he’s jealous. He treated her so badly. Regrets couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. I also didn’t mind seeing him get clocked with that wine bottle. Oops, did I admit that? (Hand over the mouth).
Thanks for having me Sharon. I appreciate the awesome book review!
Contest time! Leave a comment for an entry into the drawing to win an author-signed copy of Secrets and Lies. The contest starts today and ends on December 28, 2009. The winner will be announced on the 29th. Don’t be shy, take a few minutes to enter—who knows, you might just win! Chances of winning depend on the number of entries, and the contest is available to US residents only.
Filed under: Featured Authors | Tagged: African American Christian Author, Faith Based Fiction Writers of Atlanta, Legacy Editing, LinkedIn, Rhonda McKnight, Secrets and Lies, Urban Christian Fiction Today |