JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Angela Benson, author of Sins of the Father
Successful media mogul Abraham Martin has great wealth, an elegant wife, Saralyn, and a rebellious son, Isaac. He also has a secret: a second family that no one knows about.
Now, after thirty years, driven by the urging of his long dormant conscience, Abraham is determined to do the right thing by finally bringing his illegitimate children into the light and into the family fold.
Sins of the Father is a powerful story of a house bitterly divided — a rich, multilayered family saga of betrayal and redemption, rage and compassion, faith, forgiveness, and ultimately, of love.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Sins of the Father?
Angela Benson: The idea for Sins of the Father came from the biblical story of Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, Sarah’s son’s Isaac and Hannah’s son Ishmael. I wondered how Ishmael felt and what would have happened if Abraham had later claimed him as his son.
JP: What sets Sins of the Father apart from other novels in its genre?
AB: Sins of the Father takes a biblical story and asks a different question about it than the one asked in the Bible. That question shows the relevancy of the story today. Even President Obama has addressed the problem of absentee fathers.
In Sins of the Father, we see an absentee father trying to make amends, but finding it very difficult. We also see how his choices affect both of families.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to Sins of the Father getting out to the public?
AB: I had a good agent (Natasha Kern) who worked hard to place the book with a good publishing house (HarperCollins). I also believe it’s a story that will encourage many hearts, so it had to find a home.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish Sins of the Father?
AB: I’m a last-minute writer. I’m usually writing right up to the deadline. I was about four months late with Sins of the Father. I don’t advise authors to be that late. Three months is about the limit that publishers can easily withstand. I was on shaky ground for a while with this book.
JP: What’s next for Angela Benson?
AB: My contract is up, and I recently submitted a proposal for my next book. I hope to have some news in the next few weeks. I do have a novella in the upcoming Millions of Blessings anthology to be published by Dafina in March 2010. Marilynn Griffith and Tia McCollors have novellas in it as well.
Excerpt of Sins of the Father:
Angela Benson’s numerous novels include the Christy Award-nominated Awakening Mercy, the Essence-bestselling The Amen Sisters, and Up Pops The Devil. She’s also the author of nonfiction writing book, Telling the Tale: The African-American Fiction Writer’s Guide. She is currently an associate professor at the University of Alabama.
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