Sunday, June 08, 2008

Victoria Christopher Murray - More About Mama


Welcome to my first guest blogger, Essence Bestselling author, Sherri Lewis. Sherri is the author of My Soul Cries Out and Dance Into Destiny. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the first president of the Visions in Print Writer's Group in Atlanta, GA.
From the pen of Author, Sherri Lewis:

As the last of my sistahwriterfriends left after a Sunday evening plotting meeting, I held the blessed gift Rhonda McKnight had brought me. An advanced review copy of Victoria Christopher Murray’s latest release, Too Little, Too Late. I looked at the time – 8:30 pm. Could I chance it? I was exhausted from a busy weekend and had a long Monday ahead. I went upstairs, leaving the book behind – knowing that if I started it, I wouldn’t put it down until I finished it. A few minutes later, I came back down to get it, promising myself I would only read the first chapter. At 12:38 am, I closed it after reading the last sentence.

Victoria Christopher Murray has done it again. Too Little, Too Late delivers as a fast moving page-turner – a reader’s dream, full of twists and turns, lies and deceit, pure drama. It’s a writer’s manual – perfectly woven with conflict and tension, foreshadowing, great dialogue, and description. I am ever amazed that Victoria’s writing improves with each novel. She perpetually perfects her craft and challenges me to do the same. Now that I’ve enjoyed it as a reader, I’ll go back and dissect it as a writer, trying to discover how she creates the magical world she sucks me into.

When Rhonda asked me for a blurb on Victoria, I told her there was no way I could do that in 80 words or less (which was her orignial request). Like most black Christian fiction writers, picking up Victoria’s self-published copy of Temptation let me know there was a place in the world for my writing. Since meeting her for the first time, Victoria has proven to be much more than the pioneer leading the way. She’s become a mentor and friend. I’m sure much of the reason God has blessed Victoria with favor and success is because of her willingness to share with new and aspiring writers her wisdom about the craft, the industry, marketing, and career building. I’m not talking a few minutes at a book signing table. She makes time for long dinners, emails and phone conversations. She encouraged me over the four years I waited to land a book deal, protecting me from bad career decisions and encouraging me to persevere when I wanted to give up.

When my debut novel, My Soul Cries Out was released, on of the greatest rewards was a personal phone call from Victoria telling me how much she loved the book. But she didn’t stop there. Victoria set up my first real book signing with her, Reshonda Tate Billingsley, and S. James Guitard. I sold out that day. Pure bliss for a newbie. She helped me schedule other dates for my first tour. At a book signing in Little Rock, Arkansas, two carloads of women flooded my table at once. They told me they had been waiting for me to come because Victoria had told them about me on her recent visit there. I’ve gotten numerous emails from new readers from Victoria’s recommendation. Who does that? I mean, really. While on tour for her release, she promotes my novel? Unheard of. But classic Victoria.

Now I greatly anticipate August – the Faith and Fiction retreat where I’ll get to spend some quality time with my Christian fiction shero and godmother. Glean wisdom about the craft and maneuvering the industry. I look forward to one-on-one time to discuss where I am right now and what’s next.

I’m with Rhonda on wanting Victoria on the New York Times Bestsellers List. Tomorrow, I’m going to buy copies of Too Little, Too Late for gifts and give-aways. I’ll be that one-minute publicist and email everyone I know. It’s the very least I can do to celebrate one who has meant so much to me and so many others in our Christian Fiction writing careers.
More about our guest can be found at her online home http://www.sherrilewis.com/


Thanks for stopping by Sherri!


4 comments:

Niambi Brown Davis said...

it's always good to hear of an author's success and of those who reach out to help along the way. As a new author, I've had that experience first-hand. I wish both you ladies much success in all that you do.

Anonymous said...

I read Sherri's debut novel, finally a few weeks ago and just loved it. It was a really well written work but more importantly it taught me a lot about Christians who are struggling with homosexuality. It taught me that I was being judgemental in my attitudes about same sex relationships among God's children.

Idrissa

Rhonda McKnight said...

Idrissa,

This is why I love well written Christian Fiction. My Soul Cries Out taught me the exact same lesson. As Christians sometimes we can be so self-righteous and a good Christian Fiction novel can remind us of that.

Thanks for stopping by.

Blessings,

Rhonda

Missy said...

This is truly the idea of "paying it forward" One God, One Women and her 8 books touching lives over and over again. Then we have a testimony of an author reading "Too Little Too Late" in 4.5 hours which truly is inspirational. I absolutely loved this blog, it reminds me of how awesome our Father is, it placed the idea of true sisterhood in my heart and exemplifies paying it forward which I believe we all should be doing!