Saturday, May 31, 2008

Welcome to Author - Victoria Christopher Murray


Today I welcome national bestselling author, Victoria Christopher Murray. Victoria is author of seven Essence bestselling novels including Truth Be Told, Grownfolks Business, A Sin and Shame and The Ex-Files. Victoria has received numerous awards including an NAACP Image Award Nomination, the Golden Pen Award for Best Inspirational Fiction and in 2006, she was awarded the Phyllis Wheatley Trailblazer Award for being a pioneer in African American Christian Fiction. Her latest novel, Too Little, Too Late will hit the shelves on Tuesday, June 3rd.


Welcome Victoria! Congratulations on the release of your latest novel. Tell us a little about Too Little, Too Late.

Too Little, Too Late is the story of Jasmine Cox Larson Bush who returns to find herself in the fight of her life – to keep her husband from another woman. It doesn’t help that she is still hiding so many secrets and she’s told so many lies. TLTL also reintroduces Jasmine’s baby’s daddy and his drama.

Jasmine has become a phenomenon. Why do you think readers are so attracted to this character?

I. Don’t. Know! I’m telling you, when I wrote about Jasmine in my first novel, Temptation, I never had any plans of bringing her back. After all, who would want to read again about that scheming, conniving, low-down man-stealer? Then, I received so many e-mails saying that readers wanted to know more about that wicked woman. I think Jasmine is just a character we love to hate, not to mention that many see a little bit of themselves in that vixen. Ouch!

You have an awesome new teen series, Divas, tell us about it and what prompted you to write a young adult novel?

I decided to write the Divine Divas series because I saw so many teen readers reading the erotica books on the market. Now, none of that is the author’s fault – the authors who write erotica didn’t write those books for teens. But what I discovered is that our young girls wanted to read good books – filled with drama, without perfect people, and no preaching. I figured I could give them all of that – and still have a message.

What has been the response from teen readers?

Excellent! I’ve been so blessed. The best response though has come from my adult readers who enjoyed the teen book as much as they enjoyed my adult novels. To me, that was the ultimate compliment.

You were pegged the “Mother of African American Christian Fiction” long before you won the Phyllis Wheatley Award. It’s an awesome legacy. Tell us how you feel when you hear those words identified with yourself.

You know, those words make me smile, although I’m not sure it’s rightly deserved. When I wrote my first novel, I wasn’t writing to create a genre. I had never read a Christian fiction book and honestly, I thought my book was just like the other books on the market. I didn’t see a big difference because I wasn’t just putting God in the book; He was already there...just like He would have been in anything I did in life. The Lord is the center of my life. So, I get a lot of credit for starting something that I didn’t mean to start. What I am proud of, however, are the authors (like you) who have followed me. All of you have remained steadfast, understanding that we are fighting a different battle than other authors. And no matter what is popular and selling, you have all stood your ground. That is what makes me proud.

Do you consider your writing to be a ministry? Why or why not?

I know my writing is a ministry because others have told me that, but when I sit down, I’m not thinking about that. The messages in my books just come out – they’re not planned. That’s why I know that God has His hand in everything I do. I don’t plan the Christian message. I just plan the story, tell the story and then Jesus’s story just finds its way into my books because that is who I am.

I asked Victoria a few person questions so that readers could get to know her a little better. Here are her responses:

What is your favorite color? Blue

Which do you prefer, the beach or mountains? Beach for sure! Wearing a bathing suit and all!

If you had a 25 hour day, what would you do with the extra hour? I would probably use that time to catch up with family and friends because I just don’t do enough of that now! I would love to have an hour a day to call at least one person to let them know I’m thinking of them.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? South Africa.

If you could have an hour with one person (living or deceased) who would it be and why? Of course, I’d want time with Jesus – just to ask Him if I’m getting this thing right and what can I be doing better. But, I ask Him that question everyday, anyway, so I’ll give you someone else. I know you said one person, but I’m a fiction writer – I don’t follow rules. The first person would be Barack Obama and I would spend the entire hour telling him how proud I am of him and if he didn’t do anything else, I would tell him that he has inspired a generation of young people who now know that it is possible! I would thank him for having the nerve! And I would tell him that I plan on knocking on as many doors, and making as many calls and sending as much money as I can to do my part to make sure he’s the president of the United States of America! And then, there’s Oprah. I’d like to know what makes a dynasty tick.

What’s next for Victoria Christopher Murray?

Blessedly, lots of things. Of course, more books. I just signed a new two-book deal with Simon and Schuster. My first two-book deal because my agent only believes in singular deals. But, they made us that proverbial offer – we couldn’t refuse. I’m getting ready to write my fourth book in my four book teen series and I hope to continue that series since it has already been optioned for television. And, we’re in negotiations now for my second book, JOY, to become a movie. So, lots and lots of good stuff. Can you spell b-l-e-s-s-e-d?

Victoria has an extensive tour planned this year. Readers can connect with her and see tour sites at http://www.victoriachristophermurray.com/.

7 comments:

Natalia Zacarías said...

is great how writing can be a ministry :)

Great space Rhonda!

Greetings from Argentina

Cecelia Dowdy said...

Wow! Thanks for posting! VCM is one of my favorites!

LaShaunda said...

Rhonda,

Great interview. Victoria is one of the top authors of our generation.

Patricia W. said...

Few books have given me warm fuzzies and goosebumps at the same time. Temptation was one of those books. I ran out and tried to find everything I could in a similar vein, i.e. Christian fiction with African-American characters, people who looked, thought, felt, and acted (sometimes) like me. Alas, there wasn't any. So maybe Victoria didn't intend to start a genre but I'm thankful that she did!

Ty said...

Great interview with one of my favorite authors!I'm looking forward to catching up with "Jasmine" in Too Little, Too Late.

Rhonda McKnight said...

Ty,

I cracked it open last night right after I finished reading yours. Only read one chaper and went to bed. Isn't that discplined. Wish I was as good with chocolate.

Anonymous said...

hi rhonda its mom ...you are the bestest ..i am really touched by your vision ....its feels good to see thiscomming from you ...love mom