JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Reshonda Tate Billingsley, author of Holy Rollers
Lifelong friends Coco, Nita, and Audra have spent years looking for love in the arms of flashy pro athletes, hoping to land a baller but ending up with a stream of failed relationships. Now that the women are approaching thirty, theyâ€™re finding it harder than ever to compete with the pro groupies.
Determined to change the game and find some worthwhile men, Audra hatches an outrageous plan. Soon the trio is “holy rolling,” masquerading as God-fearing churchgoers at a local conference for young ministers in the hopes of snagging a prominent pastor.
But will their big gamble pay off? Men of the cloth are still just men, after all. As the three friends meet their potential life partners, they will have to decide how far they want to take their holy rollers schemeâ€”each risking heartbreak while taking a chance on finding a reliable, responsible man to love and cherish, flaws and all.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Holy Rollers?
Reshonda Tate Billingsley: A friend actually called me and said she was somewhere and it was a bunch of women hanging out trying to catch ministers. Then, a few weeks later, I was in a hotel on a book tour and there were women hanging out like it was happy hour. Turns out it was a young ministers conference. And my mind just started churning.
JP: What sets Holy Rollers apart from other novels in its genre?
RB: Although a lot of people think I write Christian Fiction, I donâ€™t. My books, while faith-based, deal with reality, so youâ€™ll see some ugly truths.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to Holy Rollers getting out to the public?
RB: Aside from telling a good story, I am a tireless promoter. I donâ€™t sit back and complain about what my publisher isnâ€™t doing. If they tour me, great. If not, Iâ€™ll tour myself.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish Holy Rollers?
RB: It takes me about three months from start to finish. I donâ€™t have a process, although I just make sure I write every single day.
JP: What’s next for Reshonda Tate Billingsley?
RB: I have a teen book coming out in November called Drama Queens. Then my first romantic suspense novel, A Good Man is Hard to Find, comes out in Dec. In April 2011, I have a collaboration with Victoria Christopher Murray coming out called Saints and Sinners.
Then, in July, the sequel to Everybody Say Amen, Say Amen, Again comes out. Followed by another book in Dec. 2011. In the midst of all that, working on my movies. Let the Church Say Amen is coming to the big screen, and we just sold the rights to my teen series.
A much sought-after public speaker, ReShonda Tate Billingsley has won numerous awards for her journalism, fiction and poetry writing skills. She is a five-time winner of the National Association of Black Journalists Spirit in the Words competition.
Considered one of the top Inspirational Fiction authors in the country, her books have appeared on the Essence Bestsellerâ€™s list more than 20 times, as well as The Washington Post and Dallas Morning News Bestsellerâ€™s lists. Her books have also been featured in USA Today and Ebony Magazine as Summer Sizzlers.