I recently had the opportunity to chat with contemporary fiction author Sheryl Mallory-Johnson about her newest novel, “Love & Regrets.” The book takes you on a journey into the lives of three everyday women – Carmen, Tempest, Dana – delving deep into their individual struggles with commitment, love and betrayal.
After reading the storyline it is hard not to become curious about what wealth of knowledge lies inside the head of the woman behind the depth and emotional escapades of the characters in “Love and Regrets.” I was dying to know what Sheryl’s thoughts were on one of the most complicated issues in relationships – commitment.
When one thinks of commitment they automatically think of infidelity. No one can convince me that there is a man or woman on this planet who has not had to deal with the temptation to stray before. It isn’t uncommon to occasionally drift into an imaginary rendezvous, stepping out of a committed role to have a taste of ‘greener pastures.’
The story of Tempest stood out to me because of the intimate look behind the scenes of a professional athlete’s love life through the lenses of his soon-to be trophy wife. Naysayers can bear down heavy on a relationship between regular folks, but when the media takes things to the next level, how does a couple who is in the lime light deal with the pressure? It’s as if one must become blind sighted, I mean we are all familiar with the drama of Kobe and Vanessa Bryant, the embarrassment Demi Moore recently endured and we even threw pity parties for Halle Berry on several occasions. When Sheryl and I spoke about celebrities dealing with infidelity, she simply stated, “Denial is the worst approach to deal with infidelity.”
HB: What is the best way to deal with nagging suspicions of your mate cheating? Is it better to ignore the hype or to do whatever is necessary to find out if your partner ‘talks the talk’ with others?
SMJ: The best way to find out the truth is to allow the truth to come to the individual….That is, if you are open to the truth.
HB: I guess this means no snooping, no prodding, or interrogations, beauties.
SMJ: Women often rationalize their way out of the truth. They should always be prepared to accept the truth. Deleted and prepare for
HB: Does this mean women should constantly have their guard up? What types of things can one do to prepare for the truth?
SMJ: Preparing for the truth is similar to wearing a seatbelt: you wear a seatbelt not because you want to die, but because you know there are reckless drivers on the road. This is also an important conversation to have with your partner. Talk about what would happen if either one of you cheated.
As much as it would be nice to find a quick fix solution to tell if we are being played or not, there really is no sure fire way to prevent infidelity. There is however power in a change of perspective. Instead of being crowned Miss Insecurity 2012, rummaging through phones bills, credit card bills and hacking into email, opt for open conversation and most importantly, a mind open to receiving the truth.
We concluded our very sisterly chat, with Sheryl explaining to me how she comes up with seductive page-turning storylines.
SMJ: I like to write about who we are when the doors are closed and the lights are out.
Curl up with some hot coca, a nice warm throw and check out, “Love & Regrets” available on Amazon, and at Barnes & Noble. Many readers, including myself are anticipating the spinoff of Carmen, Tempest and Dana’s stories, who knows maybe one day we’ll see the characters come to life on screen.
A lucky Hello Beautiful winner will win a copy of “Love & Regrets” autographed by Sheryl Mallory-Johnson. Tweet @hellobeautiful for a chance to win. Only tweets with the hashtag #loveandregrets will be considered.