The previous post mentions my interview on the RomanceInColor.com website. Here is an excerpt from that interview that covers my comments on the novel that won their Award of Excellence, FOLLOW YOUR HEART:
“[Interviewer]: FOLLOW YOUR HEART received an Award of Excellent from Romance in Color. Why is FOLLOW YOUR HEART so special?”
[My reply:] “FOLLOW YOUR HEART is special because it is a Christian romance that takes place in the real world. I didn’t want to write a Christian romance where everything was all sweetness and light and everyone in it followed a Christian lifestyle. That’s not the way the world is. I wanted my book to show Christian people living in a real world, and having to deal with all the challenges and temptations that entails. I think one of the biggest challenges for anyone who wants to live a Christian lifestyle is all the temptation around them to live otherwise. I think the book very definitely covers the ground of how difficult it is to stick to your beliefs in the face of so very much that is trying to steer you in a different direction.
“Although my main characters are Christians, many of the other characters in the book are most definitely not. The book therefore contains some mild profanity, sexual scenes, and some very un-Christian behavior by some of the characters. FOLLOW YOUR HEART has two villains, and they are the most evil and vicious characters in any of my books.
“There is also a major rather twist about two-thirds of the way into the book and I really heard from a lot of people about that. Most of the response was along the lines of “I didn’t see that coming and I really enjoyed it.” I do, however, remember a letter from one reader who told me I should be ashamed of myself and that she put the book down and absolutely refused to read further after the point of the “twist.” This was a shame, because had she read into the next chapter she would have found out things were not as they had at first appeared.
“The Black Church has been and still is an important part of the lives of a host of black folks. Many readers said they could identify with that aspect of the book, down to the paper funeral home fan on a stick.
“ Many critics and readers have called the beauty shop scene in FOLLOW YOUR HEART “a classic.”
“I have also had any number of readers tell me that they didn’t expect the book to be “good” because the hero is a minister, and that they were amazed to find they couldn’t put the book down. As one reader put it, “It’s a marvelous romance from a Christian perspective, and it proves that Christian romances do not have to be dull, boring and so ‘other worldly’ nobody would ever believe it!”
“Several readers who told me they were not Christians said that they enjoyed the book, too.
“But the way FOLLOW YOUR HEART is most special to me is that it is dedicated to my mother, who was the greatest example of a Christian woman I have ever known. The heroine’s mother in the book is based on my Mama, Lebertis Knight Manees Wright.”