Sunday, July 26, 2009

Author Interview with Rhonda McKnight


Okay...Rhonda McKnight is me and I didn't actually interview myself. I was interviewed recently at Pam's Thoughts (a great aspiring author blog by the way) and thought I'd share it for this Sunday's feature. My book is coming out soon and uh, well, I want you to be interested so here goes:

1. Tell me a little about yourself.
I’m an almost divorced working mother of two sons, ages 3 and 17. I love to read Christian fiction and suspense. I rarely have time for television but when I do you might find me watching The Closer, 24, or Criminal Minds. I enjoy upbeat praise and worship by any of the Clark Family, Kirk Franklin, and Fred Hammond. The teaching ministries of Bishop TD Jakes, Bishop Donald Hillard, and Joyce Meyers bless have added to my spiritual growth. I enjoy spending time in South Carolina with my parents and extended family. South Carolina has the best barbeque. My Aunt and cousins actually sell my grandfather's sauce. Visit the site for Sweet Jazzy Reds at www.sweetjazzyreds.com to learn more. (It's good stuff).

2. What is your current profession? I’ve spent the last fifteen years doing work that I love with a large human services agency, specifically, with a federal food and nutrition program. I’ve worn many hats from policy to regional program consultant, but I’m currently a Quality Control Specialist who conducts federal reviews on program accuracy.

3. When did you know you wanted to become a writer and when did you actually begin to write? I’ve been writing since I was a child and I started with books (LOL). I never wrote short stories or poetry like most authors. I always wanted to write a long story about a lot of different characters. I stopped writing in college and then began again in the mid nineties after I read Waiting to Exhale and thought, “I can do that. I’m a writer.” Boy did I learn that it wasn’t so easy. I became serious about finishing a manuscript in early 2003. I joined a great critique group, attended some writers’ conferences and read about 20 craft books.

4. How long did it take for you to complete your first novel? It probably took me about 6 months of actual writing time, but that 6 months was spread over 4 years. I kept putting this particular story down and picking it back up again. Some of the elements were painful for me to write and I didn’t want to deal with it all, so I played the procrastination game.

5. How do you balance your career, family, writing, and other obligations?
Ha! I don’t know if you ever balance it all. I think you just fit stuff in. My career, writing and other commitments fall in around my kids. Sometimes I have to ask my teenager to help with his younger brother while I steal time to write or take time to get work done for my 9-5 which has become more like a 9-7 lately, but mostly I don’t get much sleep. (LOL) I work when they’ve gone to bed or early before the baby wakes, and I rely heavily on my best friend to babysit her godson when I’m under deadline.

6. Do you belong to any writing groups or organizations? I am the Vice President of Faith Based Fiction Writers of Atlanta. We are group of about 18 writers, published and unpublished, that meet monthly to learn about craft, talk about publishing, network , pray, etc. We also critique our work and that was critical in my development.

7. What genre do you write in? I write women’s fiction, but classify myself as a Christian Fiction author. I believe my work will fit into that niche.

9. Share with us a little about your new book; the name, when it is due out, and the date/location of your book release party.

Ah, Secrets and Lies, my first born (book that is) is the story of Jonah and Faith Morgan, a couple who’s troubled marriage is literally collapsing under the burden of…well, secrets and lies. And those lies aren’t all coming from inside the marriage. Old memories and new enemies make for a juicy plot where the characters are really challenged. I mean the heat gets turned all the way up on this marriage. The book comes out November 24th and the book release party will be held in the Atlanta area on December 5th. Still working out the details.

Please visit my website at http://www.rhondamcknight.net/ to pre-order a copy or learn more about me and the book. I also have a blog for the novel, http://www.secretsandliesthenovel.blogspot.com/ It's new and I'm adding content, so visit frequently.

10. What tips can you share with me and others who are aspiring authors? Write, read, network and find a mentor. Then read some more and write. I also suggest developing a road map for your writing. Beginning, middle, end and what’s happening to get there. There are lots of plotting systems out there, find one that works for you. Find a critique group or partner and never become over confident about your writing. There’s always room for growth and improvement.

11. Who are some of your favorite authors to read? I read alot of Christian Fiction because I love it. My favorite authors are Sherri Lewis, Tiffany Warren, Tia McCollors, Victoria Christopher Murray, Jacquelin Thomas, Stacy Hawkins Adams, ReShonda Tate Billingsley, Claudia Mair Burney, Marilynn Griffith, Dee Stewart (she’s not published yet, but she can really spin a tale), the list goes on and on. Why did I try to answer? There are just too many. I also enjoy Deberry & Grant, Walter Mosley, Sandra Brown and James Patterson. The late BeBe Moore Campbell’s work was my absolute favorite.

12. Will you be participating in or attending the National Book Conference at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Atlanta on July 30-August 2, 2009? I won’t be attending NBCC this year. But I know it’s always a blessing for the book clubs and authors who attend, so I’m praying it’s a big success.

The link to the orginal interview is
http://pamisanauthor.blogspot.com/2009/07/introducing-new-author-rhonda-mcknight.html and here's a picture of Pam. Make sure to stop by her blog and say hello. It's one of my favorites.

3 comments:

Sharon Ball said...

It's so cool to see Pam blogging and interviewing writers. She's such a sweet lady and I know she is working on a writing career herself. Great interview, Rhonda. Uh...when you gonna let a sista interview you (on my blog)? :-)

Missy said...

I CANNOT wait to get my book November seems so far away but it will be here before we know it.

Rhonda you have blessed my life in so many ways with your blog, newsletter content, and all that you do. Reading this interview allowed us to get up close and a little more personal thanks for that.

God bless u and Stay in His grip!

Rhonda McKnight said...

Thanks, Missy. Been missing you.

Sharon - I'll be in touch, real soon.