Sunday, June 14, 2009

Author Interview with Toyi Ward

Today, I welcome author, Toyi Ward, to share a litle about her new novel, Par For the Curse.

Here's a synopsis of the novel:

The men they love with never love them. The men who love them, they will never love. These simple but ominous words describe the complex situation in the life of Stormy Briggs. The drama in Stormy's life is caused by a curse put on her great-grandmother, Lila, over eighty years ago. The heart line of Grandma Lila's palm was sliced in two which led to a life void of love and lasting relationships. Though her cousins, Riley and Lourdes, accept the lot they have been given in life, an unexpected event forces Stormy to return New Orleans to investigate the origin of the curse. This trip changes her view of herself and her family.

Par for the Curse is unpredictable and not easily put into a box. Breaking the rules of genre, the story manages to make us feel like we are entrenched in reality, with drama that you only want to read about in books. This story was written to shed light on how we often hurt our family members with the best of intentions. Family secrets are most often meant to protect loved ones but instead end up being painful baggage carried for generations. Stormy is determined to rid herself and her family of the curse and the baggage that came along with it.

Toyi, this is your first novel. How long did it take you to write it?
Five years. I had a full-time career. Not a job, but a career as a sales and marketing executive at Johnson & Johnson. I traveled a lot and had a team of people who demanded my attention. I liked what I was doing on most days, but writing was always burning inside of me.

Voodoo, what an interesting topic. Tell me why you chose it for your debut?
It’s not really about voodoo. That’s the back drop of the story. It’s more about the family dynamics and the baggage that people carry from their parents and grandparents. I chose voodoo as a back drop because I’ve always loved New Orleans and had some knowledge of palmistry. My great-grandmother read palms. She lived to be a healthy 102 years old and so I had a lot of time with her growing up.

Is the story based upon your family?
The premise of the story is but not the characters or the plot. My family on my mother’s side was very matriarchal. There are also quite a few husbands among us. Not as many as the Briggs girls, but enough. No one in my family has been married only once.

What do you want readers to walk away with when they finish Par for the Curse?
Well, first I want them to enjoy the story. It’s fiction because I want people to be entertained. I also find that it is easier to digest a tough message if it’s wrapped in fiction. That’s why Jesus spoke in parables. Then, I want people to think about the baggage they carry. Throw it out and don’t recycle.

You say you want to always do fiction with a message. What’s your next project?
I have no idea, exactly. I’ve had a pretty eventful life which has given me an equally active imagination. I can look at someone or something and ask "what if"? That’s how I start my projects. So I’ll take a topic close to me and "what if" it until I get a story.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
I have two very important lessons that will always stay with me. Number one, You must never quit. Number two is a profound lesson I learned. The subject that you dread the most is the one you should write about. Be uncomfortable. It will produce a raw and authentic representation of your voice.

What's next for you? Whatever God has for Toyi Ward, I want it. I'm in a very uncomfortable place because I have no idea what is going to happen in my life from one day to the next. With the radio show, the book, my company, and my civic involvement, God could take me anywhere.

Toyi, how can readers contact you? At my website They may also learn more about my characters at my novel blog

About the author
Toyi Ward is an author & media host. After ten years as a Fortune 100 sales & marketing executive, she pursued her writing career full-time. Her debut novel, Par for the Curse, examines the impact of generational secrets on the family. She is the host of "TOYi Talk-Authenticity with Attitude" on the Blog Talk Radio Network.
Find out more at

1 comment:

Toyi Ward said...

Thanks for taking the time out to interview me for your readers. I'm very grateful for the love.

Miracles and Blessings,

Toyi Ward