Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Romantic Times Review for Cuffed by Candlelight

I just keep getting news that I can't wait to share... The Romantic Times review is in for Cuffed by Candlelight the erotic romance anthology that I'm in with Beverly Jenkins and Katherine D. Jones. They gave it 4 stars! Here's the review:

by Beverly Jenkins, Gwyneth Bolton and Katherine D. Jones

RT Rating: 4
Published: February 2007

Since Jenkins is renowned for her historical romances, the scandalous and outrageous sexual romps between the restrained woman who marries a paroled inmate are shockingly titillating. She forces you to shed stereotypes of Southern belles. "Guns and Roses," by Jones, is a mature twist from the horde of hip-hop books about sex and drugs in prison. Bolton's contribution, "Handcuffs Mean Never Having to Say You're Sorry," has several scorching moments. Throughout, the characterization is crisp, and the pace is moderated so precisely that you're primed for more.

Jenkins' "Prisoner" opens our eyes to post-slavery Kansas while dispelling the notion that the joy of sex is relegated to harlots, and decision-making to men. Officer Gunn in Jones' story is torn between ethics and her own blatant prejudices when lustful thoughts of an arrogant inmate's brother persist. In Bolton's story, what happens when "I love you like a brother or sister" is overtaken by carnal desires is exposed, sometimes humorously. -- Robin R. Pendleton

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Hero-Logy for Darwu the Warrior Prince

Okay, I know I said I'd be back in the New Year... But, my author friend Anisa Damien just let me know that she posted the Hero-Logy for the hero in my lasted novel on her blog, Strictly Seductive. So, I had to let you all know where to find him and a new excerpt from Divine Destiny. You can find the Hero-Logy here:

Happy Holidays!


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Happy Holidays!

Here's Fantasia singing one of my favorite Christmas songs. See you in the New Year!


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Tale of Two Writers: Some Thoughts on My Double Life

Normally, I detest dichotomies. I firmly believe that things are never either/or, black or white, this way and never that way. I'd be the first person to argue that things are "more complicated" and there are always more than two sides to any story. So it seems only fitting in an entirely too ironic way that my life seems to have broken down into weird dualities that seem to be in constant opposition with one another.

There are three questions that I get asked all the time that I never really know how to answer. The first question has to do with the amount of reading I do. People always ask, how do you read so much and still find time to write anything? The second question has to do with writing? People want to know how do you move between fiction and nonfiction? The third question is related, but more focused on the career aspect. People want to know how do I navigate being a college professor and a romance writer? Since my first novel was published this past March and I've only been a published romance writer with books on the shelves a little under a year, I haven't been asked these questions a whole lot. (I mean, let's not get it twisted. A sister realizes that she hasn't had tons of interviews and media coverage. LOL.) But these questions have come up enough and the issues they bring up are starting to represent these seeming points of confliction in my life.

Check out the rest of this post on Blogging in Black:

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Kiss and Tell

But first, a word from some hip-hop femcees:

"And you? I ain't mad you a ho. I'm mad you trying to teach my babies how to be a ho. When I ain't home. Taking that video to the dome. While you trying to clone bitches. I'm trying to raise queens…” – Medusa, rapping in Rachel Raimist's film Nobody Know My Name

"What's going on in ya mind, is what I ask ya… But like Yo-Yo, ya don't hear me though…" Queen Latifah, "UNITY"

"And dudes quick to take these groupies to bed. Betta watch out for they write a book about ya like Superhead…" Lil' Kim, "Slippin"

Yes, if we're honest, we can all point to instances where we may not have made the smartest decisions about men. Every girl has her stories. (Or has a stupid girlfriend who never ever seems to learn that self-respect is worth more than having a man between the sheets.) We could probably swap all kinds of stories about being young and dumb. But most of us know better than to put our stupidity on blast. Not so for Karrine "Superhead" Steffans and Carmen Bryan… By now I'm sure you've all heard of Karrine Steffans's book, Confessions of a Video Vixen. It was the hot tell-all book a couple of summers ago in which a former video girl names all the names of all the rappers and basketball stars she's slept with. Now we have Carmen Bryan's book, It's No Secret: From Jay Z to Nas, From Seduction to Scandal--A Hip-Hop Helen of Troy Tells All. In it, she tells all about her love affairs with famous rappers and basketball players. Are ya sensing a trend here…

Now I write erotic romance, so these women's sexual exploits really don't bother me. I'm all for sexual freedom, especially for women since we've been told for so long that boys can and we can't. And, if their books were just about a sista getting her swerve on, that might be different. But the phrase "sucker for love" comes to mind… The claims of love abound in these so-called cautionary tales. These women claimed to love each and every guy that used them and abused them. All of them... For real... Love… In theory, I get it... As much as our community is concerned about little black boys, little black girls are going through some stuff too. I won't go into statistics here. Because we all know that the rising prison rates and HIV/AIDS rates for women of color are kicking our behinds. And as I think of Karrine and Carmen, I can't help but think that we need to do something to help little black girls find the love in themselves so that they don't fall victim to all the bullshit.

As much as Karrine and Carmen paint their stories as cautionary tales, they don't work that way. Let's be real, if you give these books to a young sister thinking you are providing her with a cautionary tale, you will be making a grave mistake. Karrine's book could aptly be re-titled, "How to be a Video-Ho." The critical self-reflection that is a requirement for caution is not present in her book. And Carmen's book could be a connecting book to "How to Sex a Baller Out of His Mind and Money," if they were written by the same author… and if Carmen would have had to have been a little bit more successful at what she tried to do... Come to think of it, would be a kind of crappy how-to book for the way she constantly gets played. (And on a side-note, but totally in theme with my biggest gripe this month, guess which magazine is doing a feature on Carmen Bryan in their new issue… just guess… that's right Essence… anyway…) Neither of these women seemed to have learned anything. They are just recounting their stupid repetitive mistakes. And they are irritating for that reason… (The same reason that the character Robin in Waiting to Exhale got on everyone's nerves until she got some self-respect and a backbone. But at least Robin had a career and a life outside of her quest for a man…)

To hear Superhead tell it, she loved every single guy she screwed. It was like a mantra, "I rea—lly lo-ved Gotti, Ja-Rule… fill-in the blank." Carmen would have us believe that she re-ally lo-ved Jay Z and Nas and Allen Iverson. I posit that these women don't know what love is. And that is really sad. Carmen claims that the whole battle between Nas and Jay Z was because of her. That Jay Z made the diss song "Is That Your Chick" because she accepted Nas's proposal and he was hurt. (But those of us that listen to rap know what Jigga sounds like on wax when his feelings are hurt over a woman. See "Song Cry" and the recent verse in "Lost One" in which he mourns the fact that Beyonce is choosing her career over their relationship. None of these are the scathing and misogynist lyrics we find in "Is That Your Chick." But, I digress…) The point is the men she claims loved her so much that they went to war on wax have both moved on and she is left telling a story that is all too familiar.

So at the end of the day, what do I really think about the "Kiss and Tell" frenzy that we seem to be moving in? I really think that these books tell us things that go far beyond the gossip and the sex. They tell us a lot about the traps waiting for our little sisters and baby girls if we don't start showing them and teaching them what love really is. What do you think? Until next time...

Much love and peace,


Saturday, December 16, 2006

My Dream Cast...

Sheila M. Gross's great post last week on Blogging in Black, "Lights, Cameras...Wait a Minute," got me to thinking about who I'd like to see play the leads if I am ever lucky enough to see one of my books made into a movie. (Side note... I think that if this were to ever happen, I'd probably be so happy that they could cast whoever they wanted in it and it wouldn't bother me. I'd be too busy screaming, 'They're making a movie out of my novel! They're making a movie out of my novel!!)

You can find Sheila's post here if you want to find out more on what she has to say about the limited amount of Black novels being made into films:

So, anyway, I started thinking about who I'd like to play the leads in my novels and came up with the following:

I'm Gonna Make You Love Me


Shemar Moore as Darren Whitman


Tatyana Ali as Alicia Taylor

If Only You Knew


Lamman Rucker as Carlton Harrington III


Beyonce Knowles as Latonya Stevens-Harrington

Divine Destiny


Morris Chestnut as Darwu the Warrior Prince


Sanaa Lathan as Kara Millan

Handcuffs Mean Never Having to Say You're Sorry (Novella in the February 2007 release Cuffed By Candlelight)


LL Cool J as Lance King


Malinda Williams as Tamara Downing

Sweet Sensation (March 2007)


Shawn Wayans as Fredrick "Flex" Towns III


Tyra Banks as Deidre "Sweet Dee" James

So if any of you big-time Hollywood Stars happen to be reading this and want to option one of these novels, holla! :-) Until next time...

much love and peace,


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I Puffy Heart Lo-ve Anthologies

I love anthologies. It's not so much that I like shorter reads, but more that I like being able to read something and finish it even when I have a bunch of stuff going on in my life. I can read a novella and finish it without the same amount of guilt that I feel when I take the time to read a full novel. The other thing I love about anthologies is usually you get at least two of your favorite authors in one book, sometimes more. And it's just heaven when you get three or four of your favorite authors in the same book. The other thing I love is that in addition to getting your favorite author, sometimes you get introduced to a new author. I love being introduced to new authors. And I love acquiring new favorite writers.

I just finished reading the anthology, Takin' Chances for the Holidays. It features novellas by three amazing best selling authors, Adrianne Byrd, Donna Hill, and Monica Jackson. The stories are H-O-T! They offer three quick reads by these three very talented writers. The stories were fresh and had a bit of an edge to them. They had a sassiness to them that I loved.

I also finished the novellas in the anthology Vegas Bites: A Werewolf Romance Anthology. And all I can say to this is, YES! I finally got my Black weres! I am so happy that more sisters are writing paranormals. I really loved this anthology. I'd read vampire paranormals by two of the authors, L. A. Banks and J. M. Jeffries and contemporary romances by the other two authors, Seressia Glass and Natalie Dunbar. But what these women did with those Black werewolf packs... Lawd. Have. Mercy.

I have lots of favorite anthologies and I'll be adding these to the list. Do you like anthologies? Or do shorter reads not have enough meat for you? Do you have favorites? What are you reading now? Any suggestions for a good read? Let me know. Until next time...

Happy Reading,


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Brotha Please Awards, 2006

Welcome and thank you for tuning in to the first annual Brotha Please Awards also known as the "boo, negro boo awards." I'm your host for this evening, Gwyneth Bolton, and tonight we'll be honoring three brothas who need to sit their behinds down and shut up. Now, I know that we shouldn't reward bad behavior. But we should have a way to call attention to these brothas in a way that serves to curb that kind of behavior in the future.

So without further ado, the first award of the evening goes to a young man who has been writing for a while. He built his career off of the hard earned dollars of loyal female readers and a few years back had the nerve to stand in front of an audience of women book club members and complain about having majority female readers. You see he wants men to read his books. And he even went as far as to chastise the women for not doing more to make sure their husbands and boyfriends read so that he can have men read his masculine books. Then he wrote and essay in a major black women's magazine (Essence 2/06—I told y'all they have fallen off…) going on and on about how he is such a successful alpha male with so many women adoring him that when his wife is too tired for sex or has a headache it makes it hard for him to keep wanting to be faithful. Brotha Please! Omar Tyree gets the Most Sexist Brotha of the Year Award.

The second award goes to a rapper who began his rap career talking about how many times he'd been shot and also started a war with another popular rapper at the time. Now, there is nothing wrong with attacking the guy on top in order to take his place. Law of the jungle, kill or be kill, whatever… But this rapper went a little crazy with it and couldn’t seem to stop starting trouble with other rappers and just stirring up all kinds of mess. Every new album he releases he has a new beef with yet another rapper. One would think that he wanted to get shot again… But now the brotha has really lost his ever-loving mind. He is going to war with Oprah Winfrey! He's complaining to everyone who will listen (White Media…) that Oprah doesn't like black men and she is no longer black identified, etc… whatever… And he is doing this because he feels that Oprah doesn't have enough rap artists on her show. Hmmm… let me see… last time I checked it was the Oprah Winfrey Show. She can have whoever or whatever she wants on her show. When you get a show then you can have what you want on your show. See how that works? You still don't get it do you? Are you slow? No, you just like starting shit, huh? Brotha Please! 50 Cent, please step up and take your two awards: The Whiniest Brotha of the Year Award and the special So, You Wanna Be Starting Somethin' Certificate.

The third award of the evening goes to my friend and yours… we've talked about him on this blog before. He is also an… entertainer… (The hip-hop purist in me won't allow me to call him a rapper…) He just released an album and he has been seen everywhere promoting it. Luckily he and his long-term girlfriend are expecting twins just in time to help build the hype around his new album. And luckily his momma is a long time friend of Essence Magazine's former editor and iconic presence Susan L. Taylor… (How else can one explain the many covers devoted to this fool over the years, especially the most recent one?) Anyway, there are so many reasons why he should get the Brotha Please Award. But this year he gets it for using his girlfriend's pregnancy to sell records. That's just tacky, tacky, tacky. Pimping your children before they even get here is so not cool. All I can say is Brotha Please! Puffy or Diddy or whatever you are calling yourself these days, come on up and get your Tackiest Brotha of the Year Award.

Now I realize that you might take issue with this year's awardees. You might think we here at Gwyneth's Blog have been too harsh. Or you might think that there are others far more deserving of this award. So, please feel free to voice your opinion and share your thoughts. Also feel free to nominate and even give out your own awards. And before you say I'm picking on the brothas, let the record show that I fully intend to have a Sista Please Award Show soon. Because some of y'all have lost your minds as well… Kim Porter… Essence Magazine… Superhead… Carmen Bryan… New York from the Flavor of Love… all the sistas on Flavor of Love…

So, let us know what you think. Until next time…

Much love and peace,


Monday, December 04, 2006

Writing Erotic Romance

So it's December and it's the release month of my first erotic romance. And I've been seriously thinking about all the hoopla surrounding erotica and erotic romance. And I've been thinking of what I look for in a good erotic romance? As a matter of fact how do we even define erotic romance? Is there a difference between porn, erotica, erotic romance and sexy romance? Well, the special interest chapter of Romance Writers of America, Passionate Ink's president Sylvia Day breaks it down this way:

"Porn: stories written for the express purpose of causing sexual titillation. Plot, character development, and romance are NOT primary to these stories. They are designed to sexually arouse the reader and nothing else."

"Erotica: stories written about the sexual journey of the characters and how this impacts them as individuals. Emotion and character growth are important facets of a true erotic story. However, erotica is NOT designed to show the development of a romantic relationship, although it's not prohibited if the author chooses to explore romance. Happily Ever Afters are NOT an intrinsic part of erotica, though they can be included."

"Erotic Romance: stories written about the development of a romantic relationship through sexual interaction. The sex is an inherent part of the story, character growth, and relationship development, and couldn’t be removed without damaging the storyline. Happily Ever After is a REQUIREMENT to be an erotic romance."

"Sexy Romance: stories written about the development of a romantic relationship that just happen to have more explicit sex. The sex is not an inherent part of the story, character growth, or relationship development, and it could easily be removed or 'toned down' without damaging the storyline. Happily Ever After is a REQUIREMENT as this is basically a standard romance with hotter sex.”

That sounds about right to me. (And that's saying a lot because usually I'm one to cringe at any attempts to define things.) But for this particular aspect of romance, I think a little definition is useful. First, it helps to have some guidelines for all those folks in the romance community that claim that erotica and erotic romance is ruining romance. The funny thing is these people never quite get that the powers that be see all of it as smut and porn for women any way. And the way to combat that kind of ignorance is not to try and stifle erotic romance or to try and define romance as only this and never that. But that's another post… The reason the Passionate Ink definitions work for me in ways that the failed Romance Writers of America attempts to define romance as a story of a relationship between and man and a woman didn't--besides the inherent homophobia in the RWA attempt--is that the Passionate Ink definitions lend themselves more readily to craft and structure. As a writer these work for me when I’m thinking about the kind of story I want to create. I know that if I can take the sex out of my story or tone down the sex in the story and still have the same story then I have not written an erotic romance. Writing erotic romance does not mean add hot sex in abundance and run with it. The sex has to be crucial to the plot and story. As a reader this is also useful, because it made me realize that I read some novels that claimed to be erotic romance when they were really just sexy romance. And I've read some erotica that is really just porn.

There have been lots of conversations about this in the romance community and I'm not sure where I fall in the debate. I do know that at the end of the day I want to read and write great stories, whether they be sweet romances or erotic romances. What do you think about it? Are romances getting a little too erotic for your taste? Too sexy? Where do you fall on the erotic romance may be the death of romance debate? Do you read spicier romances? If so, what draws you to them? If not, why?

And if you are interested in writing them, check out the special interest chapter of RWA, Passionate Ink.

Happy writing and reading,


Friday, December 01, 2006

December Interview with Author Deatri King-Bey

GB: Hi, Deatri! Welcome to my blog and thanks so much for agreeing to be my December author. I'm really excited to have you. I know you're a busy woman. So, let's start with that. You're a mom, a grandmother, a wife, a writer, an editor and I'm sure there are lots of things I have left out. Time management is such a huge factor for most writers who try to continue their craft while juggling family and day jobs. How do you do it all? What's your time-management secret?

DKB: Scheduling, prioritizing, and sometimes saying no.

I love being spontaneous, but with my workload, my spontaneity has suffered. When I first started writing, my children were much younger. I learned I must wake two hours before the household to have my writing time. Now don't get me wrong. I'm still spontaneous at times. I always have a notepad, and my hubby purchased a small recorder so when I'm out at my children's practice for this or that, if a scene comes to mind, I can whip out the recorder and dictate to my heart's content.

When organizing my never-ending to-do list, I prioritize and also consider how much time each task will take to complete. The time factor is a major problem many of us forget to compute into the equation. That's how we end up saying we will do 38 hours worth of work in 24 hours and don't even think about eating and sleeping in the allotted time.

Saying "no" is the hardest part for me, especially when it is something that will only take an hour or so, BUT those hours quickly multiply when you have soooooo many people asking.

GB: How long have you read romance novels? Did you always know that you wanted to write them?

DKB: I REFUSED to read romance novels until six years or so ago. I thought they were all mushy stuff. When I want to try an author I haven't read before, I usually ask my older sister to recommend a book. Well, she knew how I'd snubbed romance and recommended a romance book. I grumbled, yet read Indigo by Beverly Jenkins, then had to read all of her books. I was HOOOOOOOKED. In my novel Caught Up, I even reference Indigo by Beverly Jenkins.

I knew I wanted to write, but I'd never considered writing romance novels. But looking back over my old writings, I've always had romances buried within the plots.

GB: I absolutely adored your first novel, Caught Up. It had everything from suspense, intrigue, a little romance, and family drama. It kept me turning the pages and I was amazed at your story-telling capabilities. Do you see this as a continued signature in your work? Will you continue to mix and combine genres to give us such riveting reads?

DKB: Awwww thank you. Yes, my signature is mixing genres, and in romance I seemingly break the rules.

In romance, there is a strict structure you must adhere to, and the hero and heroine must "be" a certain way and "do" and/or "not do" certain things. In my romance novels, I go out of my way to break the mold people believe romance forms while remaining true to the ridged structure of romance. I may create characters you’ve never seen in a romance, such as in my version of Beauty and the Beast. Nefertiti, the heroine, will have everyone re-evaluating what true beauty is. Or I’ll put the characters in situations where authors believe the "rules of romance" say they can't be. In my novel Ebony Angel (Feb 2007), the heroine maintains a relationship with the drug-dealing father of her daughter. I won't lie, it was hard thinking of a way to put her in this situation and not taint her, but I did it to show that it can be done. I love a challenge. I don't break the rules, I just show areas not as explored as other areas (smile).

GB: I look at you and I see this sweet woman. And then I read your work and it's dealing with crime, drugs, the underworld. And I'm thinking, how did this nice Mid-western girl come up with all this! Your imagination is amazing. Give us a sense of what goes on in that head of yours that has you bringing lies, murder, and mayhem to the page in such stunning ways.

DKB: One of my cousins said she was calling America's Most Wanted on me because I must be up to something. I've always had a very active imagination. Then when we first moved to Chicago, we lived in a drug-ridden area for years. I learned a lot about the drug culture and world in those years. Mix that with my imagination and BAM! You have Caught Up. Ebony Angel is actually set in the neighborhood I lived in years ago.

GB: Your recent release, Beauty and the Beast just hit the stores this month. This is your second published novel. Congratulations! Can you tell us a little bit about this novel? Can we expect the same mix of romance and intrigue in this novel?

DKB: Thank you for the congratulations.

Oh yeah, you know how I love to mix things up, so I'll be laying on a dose of intrigue in every novel. Beauty and the Beast is my contemporary version of the fairy tale. In this novel, the heroine, Nefertiti Townes, was viciously attacked when she walked in during a robbery of her home. The hero, Bruce Maxwell, has always loved Nefertiti, but stayed away because he is considered a beast by most, including himself. He feared if he pursued Nefertiti, he'd drag her into his darkness. While Nefertiti is healing, she stays at Bruce's and the sparks fly between the two. Now you know I couldn’t do a straight romance. The robbery of Nefertiti's home wasn't just a crime gone seriously wrong. The closer to discovering the truth Nefertiti and Bruce become, the more dangerous their situation becomes.

GB: You also have two novels coming out in 2007, Ebony Angel and Whisper Something Sweet. You go girl! Whisper Something Sweet is your first erotic romance. How did you find making the switch from mainstream fiction to romance to erotic romance? What do readers have to look forward to with Deatri King-Bey bringing the spice and heat to romance? Tell us a little something about Whisper Something Sweet.

DKB: Thank you again (smile).

When I decided I wanted to be an author, I began studying several genres and writing in each one. So switching from genre to genre isn't difficult for me. Once I have the characters and basic plot created in my mind, the characters take over and write the story themselves. I'm just glad they understand what genre they belong in (smile). Now I can't write in all genres. I'd love to write some horror, but I can't even scare a mouse.

Whisper Something Sweet is my first erotic romance. When I was first asked to write an erotic romance, I was reluctant. I worried I couldn't make it HOT enough. I went through the catalogue of characters in my mind and didn't have one who would work as an erotic romance hero or heroine. Then my acquisitions editor gave me a treatment for Whisper Something Sweet. A treatment is a basic idea for the plot. I digested her idea and built on it. The next thing I knew, I had Sweetie—the main character. My characters speak to me, and she wanted her story told. According to pre-release reviews, it's definitely hot enough.

Now you know I ALWAYS have to be different. Along with high sensuality, is drama and danger, and Sweetie isn't your everyday erotica romance heroine. She is a plus sized, natural-haired, black beauty. For some reason the publishing industry has a habit of placing caricatures on covers instead of real voluptuous women when the heroine is heavy-set. Authors don't usually get much say so in their covers, but before I wrote word one of the manuscript, I insisted a big beautiful black woman be on the cover, not some cartoon, not just her hand, not a hint of her. I wasn't given any grief and am very pleased with the cover.

GB: It is a really great cover with a big beautiful sister representing for the plus-sized girl! I love it!

Okay, since I know you as an author I love to read and as an editor who scares me to death--the editor of my first novel who I fondly like to tell folks took me through new writer’s boot camp (smile)--you know I have to ask you an editor question. I've always thought that being an editor must be one of the best jobs in the world to have. You get to read all kind of things before everyone else, shape new talent, and discover new voices. And you're also getting to shape and build a new company that should prove to be a force in the literary industry. So cool! That’s my idealized view of what you do… Can you tell us a little bit about what you do as an editor and the things you love about your job?

DKB: Awww man! The MILLION-dollar question!

I do love being an editor. I'm an objective eye who helps the author shape his/her manuscript into the best novel it can be, taking into consideration plot, pacing, characterization, consistency, showing vs.: telling, voice, point of view… Many times during editing, I know the authors want to kill me because it's not easy when someone starts pointing out flaws in your baby. Even when I receive edits from my editor, my feelings are hurt for a quick second. That's the part of the job I hate. Who wants to hurt anyone's feelings? But I also love to teach. When I can teach an author a new concept or we rework a plot point…whew howdy! Or when they've finished their edits and months later they receive their book for the final read through and LOVE the finished product, that's great, too. And don't get me started on reviews. I love, Love, LOVE when authors come back to me with their good reviews.

GB: How long have you been writing and what was your journey to publication like?

DKB: I started writing when I was in Junior High, but didn't get serious about being an author until about 15 years ago when I left the military. Wow, I can't believe it's been fifteen years. Sheeesh. Where did the time go?

I was in no hurry to be published. I'd been studying the craft for years, working as an editor and was perfectly happy allowing just my family, friends and critique group to read my work. Well, the folks reading my novels were just about ready to revolt. At the time I had six, maybe seven manuscripts completed but stood my ground. I just wasn't ready to be published yet. I was working in the industry and understood the work that goes along with being an author, and I didn’t want my fun hobby to become "work." Well, time passed, the children got a little older, I had more free time, and I was like, okay, let’s do this. I submitted to two agents, just to test the water. A month or so later, both agents contacted me. I decided not to go with an agent and submitted Caught Up on my own. The rest is history.

GB: What's next for Deatri King-Bey novelist and editor extraordinaire?

DKB: There's no telling. I just love to write. I have so many characters in my mind that want their stories told, I can't write fast enough. I'm presently outlining a thriller with author Curtis Alcutt we plan on co-authoring. We are having a BALL. I also want to start working with children. I'm dyslexic and wasn't expected to learn how to read, let alone write and edit novels. When my children were teens, I'd look at their friends' papers and be AMAZED at how awful these children's writing skills were. Yet they were still making passing grades in school. Totally outraged, you know I took my happy butt to the schools and pitched fits and corrected the papers properly and jumped on the teachers' cases for not doing their job. I want to start with junior high children and mentor a few. Helping them learn the boring stuff like the rules of grammar (but in a fun way of course). I'd also like to teach them how to write non-fiction such as research papers to fiction such as short stories and novels. Whew that's a lot of stuff. I think I need to increase the hours in the day. SMILE.

GB: Who are some of your favorite authors and what are you reading right now?

DKB: Beverly Jenkins, Sharon Shinn, Brandon Massey, Isaac Asimov (yeah, I know he passed years ago). I'm presently reading Mama by Terry McMillan.

GB: Oh, I loved Terry McMillan's Mama. Mama and Disappearing Acts tie for my favorite Terry McMillan novels.

But anyway, if you could say anything to aspiring writers to aid in their journey toward publication, what would that be?

DKB: Learn the craft. Get a mentor. Sign up for my newsletter (smile) or at least read through the workshops on my website. Read novels in the genres you wish to write in and study their form, structure, voice…as you go along. Learn as much about the industry as you can before your novel is published. Enjoy writing.

GB: What's the best way for folks to get in contact with you and find out more about your work?

DKB: My website is or my email

Thanks for interviewing me Gwen. This was fun!!!

Thanks for sharing, Deatri!