Hello Everyone. Praying you all are doing well. I have TWO book giveaways going on at the moment. The first is the Back to the Books Giveaway Hop. If you haven't entered there is still time, however, today is the last day. To enter click on the green Back to the Books Giveaway photo in the upper left hand corner. And from there you will find all the info you need or just scroll down to the previous post.
The second giveaway is the Hill-Briscoe Book Giveaway starting today. One lucky person who comments on this interview will receive a copy of What Mother Never Told Me by Donna Hill.
To enter you only have to do one thing. Leave a comment on this interview post. Then this Friday, September 9th, a winner will be chosen from among all the commenters using Random.org. So please leave a comment and spread the word, you never know your one comment may be a winner. For an extra entry, you can be a follower of this blog (old follower or new follower) share this interview on Facebook or Tweet it. Just put in your comment what you did and you will get an extra entry for each. That's it. Also, leave a way for me to contact you should you win (e.g. your blog url, facebook page, Twitter handle, Email, etc). Good luck to everyone and I hope you enjoy the interview.
And now on to the interview with the talented Donna Hill. 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.
Interview with Donna Hill
As a seasoned author who has written over 50 novels, is there anything you'd do differently or change at the beginning of your writing career?
Thinking back to when I began more than 20 years ago, the literary world was a much different place. I had no idea that when I started out, that what I was writing was laying a foundation for a sub genre in the romance industry. I don't think I was able to see how big it would ultimately become and I didn't look at it as a business that needed to be managed, but simply something that I loved to do. I suppose if I had to do it over, I would have planned better, I would have tried to see the bigger picture.
Three of your books, Intimate Betrayal, A Private Affair and the novella Masquerade from Love Letters, were adapted to television, can we expect any other television adaptions or film adaptions in the future? And what was the experience like, seeing your book adapted for television?
Hmmm, I don't have any plans in the works for the big or small screen at the moment. Having three of my stories made into TV movies was definitely an experience. Of course it was exciting. It was an honor. And it was very much an eye-opener. The television version has little to do with the actual books. But they were made for a specific audience that loved those adaptations. Readers, on the other hand, were disappointed with the portrayals. One thing I knew and full realized through that experience was that when someone else writes the script, your vision becomes their vision and their vision is what gets on the screen. Overall, it was a great experience. Even a few years later, I still get a kick out of seeing one of my movies on television!
You have been known as the pioneer of the African American romance genre. Have you or do you think you will ever try writing in a different genre? And what made you start writing in the romance genre?
I've written in several genres since I began writing in 1990. I kind of "happened" into writing romance because I started out by getting my short stories published in the confession magazines. My editor Nathasha Brooks Harris encouraged me to write my first novel and I based it on the company I was working for at the time and that novel turned out to be Rooms of the Heart. Over the years I've written mainstream fiction: In My Bedroom, An Ordinary Woman, Rhythms, If I Could, Say Yes, What Mother Never Told Me; Mysteries/Suspense; Getting Hers, Wicked Ways, Guilty Pleasures as well as erotic and paranormal short stories in several collections.
Can you tell us about your newest literary projects, including A Chapter A Month?
ACAM is the brainchild of author Victoria Christopher Murray which is based on offering serialized stories from a variety of writers every month for .99 per story. My contribution is The South Beach Chronicles, which is an ongoing, online soap opera that revolves around six women and how their lives intersect. It's fun, kind of demanding trying to keep up with the antics of six crazy women. There is a large selection of authors to choose from with a wide variety of stories at A Chapter A Month.
If you could collaborate on a book with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? And what would the title of the book be called? How do you come up with titles for your own books?
It would have to be Bernice McFadden. I so admire her work and her as a person. I have no idea what it would be called but it would be a great book!! Titles for my books come to me in different ways. I get inspired by a name, an event, an emotion or theme.
With many brick and mortar stores closing, how does this affect writers? And how can readers help authors increase their recognition and book sales?
With more stores closing it impacts writers because publishers will no longer publish as many books because there are not as many outlets available to place them. Less physical books clearly equals less revenue to the author. When the bookstore disappears from the neighborhood, so do the visits from the authors which would give them direct contact with their reader base and potentially new readers. Readers can help authors by supporting the bookstores, coming out to events, purchasing your books from the store. Not sharing your book! Telling others when you enjoy a book, posting reviews on amazon, B&N and other reading outlets.
There was some controversy about the book The Help by Kathryn Stockett (check out my review), many different viewpoints on a non-African American writing about the African American experience during the civil rights era. Can you shed some light on this issue and explain to readers where some of the discontent stems from?
This a long story. At the heart of it, I believe that those who were upset (me included) were upset by the misrepresentation of the facts and the notion that it took (as usual) a white person to tell a black person's story. I wrote a lengthy piece on the novel, prior to the release of the book. It can be found on my blog at Donna Hill Online.
The three WWW's. What have you just finished reading, what are you currently reading and what do you think you will read next?
Well, since I am just finishing up grad school, much of my writing has been required reading. Fortunately my degree is in Creative Writing! I recently finished, Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones (very good) I'm currently reading The Easter Parade by Robert Yates( also very good) and next I will read The Marrow of Tradition by Charles Chestnut.
What would you like to tell readers that they may not already know about you?
I have three incredible grandkids. :-)
Any advice you'd like to share to help aspiring writers?
If writing is truly what you want to do, then be good at it. Study, read, study and read some more. Make what you have to say on the page count!Thank you so very much for taking the time to do this interview. I personally enjoy your books and have them on my bookshelf and I will continue to offer my support to you on your literary journey. Blessings Ms. Hill.
For information about Donna Hill please visit her website at Donna Hill or go to her blog Donna Hill Online.
Don't forget to leave a comment so you'll be entered into the Hill-Briscoe Book Giveaway.
*Winner has 48 hours to claim prize once announced and notified. Or another winner will be chosen.
Stay tuned for the Connie Briscoe interview coming next week and another chance to win a free book for the Hill-Briscoe Book Giveaway. I haven't chosen the book for the Connie Briscoe giveaway yet, so if you have any suggestions please feel free to share them.