Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Victoria Christopher Murray - Mother of African American Christian Fiction

Next week my most favoritest author in the whole world will have a new book on shelves. My favorite because not only do I enjoy every sentence and every word of her excellent writing, but I’ve been blessed by her mentorship.

In 1997 I began writing my first novel. I met Victoria Christopher Murray in an online chat room. She had just self-published her first book, Temptation. Excited about her description of the project, I tried to order the book from a local bookstore, but was told they wouldn’t be able to get it. I remember telling her I was on my way to Atlanta for vacation and wished I could have it for the trip. Victoria wanted me to have her book so badly that she mailed it overnight to my cousin’s house and when I arrived in Atlanta it was waiting for me. Before I left Atlanta I purchased two more copies and went on to buy at least ten copies of the original version of Temptation to share as gifts. Talk about planting a seed. Now more than ten years later I’m still telling people about her work.

I have to admit, although it’s superb, it’s not just Victoria’s writing that makes me her cheerleader. It’s her spirit and her heart to always help new authors. In an industry that’s as competitive as a beauty pageant, Victoria Christopher Murray is a rare gem. She shares advice, encouragement and industry information at the click of a keyboard. She's always willing to go that extra mile to teach and help struggling writers understand the journey to being published is a process, but with God all things are possible. She has a never quit spirit.

In honor of her contributions to African American Christian authorship I solicited some warm fuzzies from author friends who feel the same way about our “Mama Victoria”. Here are there kind words. I'll share others over the next few weeks:

To me, Victoria is an outstanding and inspirational woman. When my first book was published I met her at one of her book signings and told her about my book. She then introduced me to her readers as an up-and-coming author! That was probably such a little thing to her, but it was huge to me because I was in Atlanta for Mega Fest trying to promote my book without two nickels to my name. Anyway, her success has paved the way for so many like me! I greatly appreciate her example.

Author, Tiffany L. Warren
What A Sista Should Do and Farther Than I Meant To Go, Longer Than I Meant to Stay

and

As a life-long writer who had yearned to pen novels since childhood, I was finally getting serious about achieving this goal, but couldn't figure out which genre would best fit the stories I wanted to tell.

Then I picked up Temptation, Victoria's page-turning first book. When I reached the end, all I could say was, 'Wow.'

I have since had the pleasure of meeting Victoria and learning about her journey of faith as a writer. That, in and of itself, has been an inspiration. But long before I knew I'd be blessed to cross her path, I was grateful that she helped open the door to my dreams. Her book was proof that if God placed the desire in my heart, all I had to do was begin.
Stacy Hawkins Adams, author of Watercolored Pearls, Nothing But the Right Thing, and Speak To My Heart

Join me over the next couple weeks as I highlight her work and chronicle her contribution to African American Christian fiction.

Also, make sure you pick up your copy of Too Little, Too Late and visit her website at http://www.victoriachristophermurray.com/

Blessings,

Rhonda

Jasmine is determined to keep all her secrets and hold onto her man, Hosea, for good—by any means necessary. But with Hosea’s ex-fiancĂ©e back in town, has the crafty and conniving Jasmine finally met her match?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rhonda,

I am so enjoying your blog. I love Victoria Murray and I didn't know she had a new book coming out. Thanks for sharing this. I'll make sure to get it right away.

Janice

Niambi Brown Davis said...

Hi Rhonda: I love the look of your blog. Your writing journey sounds something like my own. And who knows, maybe you'll be the Christian Fiction equivalent of Brenda Jackson! All the best to you.

Anonymous said...

Rhonda

I really enjoyed this blog on Victoria and look forward to learning more about her. I have just recently read my first Christian Fiction book which was Michelle Larks "Keeping Misery Company" and vowed to add a couple to my reading list for the summer. Victoria Christopher Murray will be one. Have a question what book does Jasimine for debut in so that I can read that one first. Thanks and will be adding you to my list of books to buy when your book is out. Good Luck and Great Success!!

Tina Allen

Michelle said...

I adore Victoria and her books. I have this one so I plan to read it soon. :)

Rhonda McKnight said...

Hi Tina,

I'm so glad you enjoyed Michelle Lark's book. I did too. She has a new one coming out in July, The Legacies.

As for Ms. Jasmine. She makes her debut in Victoria's first book, Temptation as a minor character who makes a lot of trouble. Then she has her own book, A Sin and A Shame which is one of my personal favorite books. I almost went to the end and read it because the suspense was killing me. I'm never tempted to do that. She's a great storyteller. One of the best in my opinion and I read alot outside of Christian Fiction.

Thanks for stopping by. Make sure to come back when I give away books next month.

Blessings,

Rhonda

Anonymous said...

Those dedications are so nice. I've seen her at Camp Creek, but never bought one of her books. I'll make sure to get one this one before I leave for vacation next week. I like sowing into people who help other people. She seems to have a kind spirit.

Jennifer Wilson

Anonymous said...

Thanks Rhonda for taking out the time to answer my question and I'm adding them books to my buy list looking forward to reading them.

Tina