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Good Day Wonderful People!
I am so happy to introduce this new weekly venture, “Read A Book” Thursday.
As an author myself, I love reading, and I am sure many of you do as well. I figured it would be great to feature authors who I know have really good books, and introduce them to many of you whom you may not be familiar with their works. Also, if you are an avid reader, you get to increase your library with amazing, wonderful, and exciting new books from some really cool authors. I also want to promote reading. I feel it’s important to expand your mind, as well as enjoy a hobby that engages and stimulates your brain.
I hope you enjoy this weekly feature as it gives authors a platform to introduce themselves to you, and guess what? Yes, they are going to give-away signed copies of their works. Isn’t that awesome!?!
This week’s featured author is a veteran in the game. Her name is Donna Hill.
Donna began her career in 1987 writing short stories for the Confession magazines. Since that time she has more than fifty published titles to her credit since her first novel was released in 1990, and is considered one of the early pioneers of the African American romance genre. Three of her novels have been adapted for television. She has been featured in Essence, the New York Daily News, USA Today, Today’s Black Woman, and Black Enterprise among many others. Her work has appeared on several bestseller lists, including Essence, Emerge and The Dallas Morning News among others. She has received numerous awards for her body of work—which cross several genres– including The Career Achievement Award, the first recipient of The Trailblazer Award, The Zora Neale Hurston Literary Award, The Gold Pen Award among others, as well as commendations for her community service. Donna co-wrote the screenplay Fire, which enjoyed limited theater release before going to DVD. As an editor she has packaged several highly successful novels, and anthologies, two of which were nominated for awards. For the past year, Donna has been a writing instructor with the Elders Writing Program sponsored by Medgar Evers College through Poets & Writers, with a goal of compiling the memoirs of the elders for publication. Donna currently lives in Brooklyn with her family and works full–time, as a writer, for the Brooklyn Borough President’s office.
Donna has a new book out called, What Mother Never Told Me, (Kimani Press). It is a compelling story about Parris McKay. Raised in the Delta by her grandmother, Parris, has the voice of an angel and the promise of a bright, loving future with the man she adores. But everything Parris believes about her life is rocked to the core when she discovers that Emma, the mother she believed dead, is very much alive.
Compelled to discover the roots of this decades-long deception, Parris goes in search of her mother in France, but the meeting only opens old wounds for them both. Hurt and disillusioned, Parris finds solace in two new friends, Leslie and Celeste. Both have difficult relationships with their own mothers, and both, like Parris, are coming to terms with a legacy of long-buried secrets. And as Emma returns to the States, spurring unexpected revelations, the bond that Parris, Leslie, and Celeste forge will sustain them on a journey from heartbreak to healing.
Compelling, candid, and wise, What Mother Never Told Me is an unforgettable story about the power of our pasts to define us—and sometimes to hold us back. It is a novel about abiding love and hidden truths, about family bonds that may be tested but never truly broken, about the lies that tear us apart—and the friendships that can make us whole again.
Check out this brief interview I did with Donna.
TD: How did you become a writer?
DH: That’s an interesting question. I can’t say that I “became” a writer. I was always a part of who I was. For as long as I can remember I was always writing and reading and writing. I would write on napkins, in the corners of paper–anytime I had a thought I would write. I found myself in grammar school writing love letters for my friends to give to their boyfriends by stringing song titles and lyrics together. LOL! As a teen I found myself writing poetry (at one time I thought I would be a poet). Then one Sunday afternoon after coming home from church I sat down and wrote my very first short story. It was called The Long Walk. It was published in Black Romance Magazine in 1987. I really got the hang of it and did a few of them per month. Eventually, my editor told me that I should think about writing a book. Of course I thought she was crazy but I took the challenge and wrote Rooms of the Heart. It was my first novel and it was published in 1990. I guess from there the rest is history.
TD: What inspires you and the types of characters you write about?
DH: Everything inspires me from current events, to issues that I feel are important. Names. Places. Conversations. Music. The world is full of inspiration. And then I craft my characters to fill the roles that come into my head.
TD: Of your books, which character is more like you, the author, Donna Hill?
DH: LOL. I wish I were as interesting as some of my characters! But I would have to say that there is a little bit of me in my heroines. The one who comes close is Regina Everette from my novel, If I Could.
TD: What do you find sexy about romance books, and writing?
DH: Wow, the whole idea of finding someone that is simply perfect for you. I love to create two people that are so right for each other. I think all of us want to find that special someone. I can do it on the page whenever I want and tease the reader’s fantasy.
TD: As a romance writer, what tips would you give women on dating, love, and relationships?
DH: Well, because I write more than romance novels (mystery, paranormal, mainstream fiction) my advice is to be true to your heart. Write your story, not what’s popular. With regard to love and romance… hmmm, don’t settle. Find someone who is deserving of you and most important you must love yourself if you expect someone else to love you. Sometimes it takes being alone and knowing who you are before you are truly ready to be part of someone else’s life.
Donna has agreed to give-away five copies of her upcoming novel, Longing and Lies, and two copies of, What Mother Never Told Me. The first seven persons to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with their Black Planet profile screen name will receive an autographed copy of Donna’s books.