JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Chizelle’ T. Archie, author of The Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Diamond
Posh Manhattan investment advisor Victoria Diamond CartiÃ©r lives a life of ultimate success: owning an affluent estate in Harlemâ€™s Hamilton Heights district, working near the famous 5th Avenue and having the love of her devoted husband Malcolm.
When Victoria discovers that her marriage is a lie, she uncovers a deadly horror that may threaten her belief in healing, second chances at love with Marcel and Godâ€™s providence over her diamond life. Just as Victoria, have you ever asked the question, â€œGod, where are you?â€
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write The Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Diamond?
Chizelle T. Archie: I got the idea to write a book from God. He gave me this vision, and I had no idea of what I was going to write about. Once I began to write, the words just began to flow. I one day realized I was talking about a woman named Victoria Diamond CartiÃ©r.
Now, the content of the story is another thing. I am a nurse. I was beginning to see so many of us as African Americans living life so carelessly, not thinking about our actions It’s got to the point where safe sex was not even an option anymore. Because of that, this is where the story begin.
JP: What sets The Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Diamond apart from other novels in its genre?
CA: The book isnâ€™t your everyday love story. It causes you to think. It leaves you rethinking some things, as well as it leaves you with a sense of accountability. I didnâ€™t want my characters to be your typical around the way, gold diggers and fast money hustlers; I wanted them to be successful in their own right.
I wanted the readers to know that “Hey, thatâ€™s someone I want to pattern myself after.” Although there are some trials and tribulations, I still needed my characters to be strong minded. Furthermore, this book is a book that tackles a heavy topic, HIV/AIDS. It is something that we all need to know about, not just what weâ€™ve heard. We need to learn for ourselves, especially in the one place where it is so many people hurting, the church!
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to The Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Diamond getting out to the public?
CA: Laughing, I always said that if He gave it to me, He would make a way for me. At first, I began to worry about finances because I self published. I would always tell myself, God will never give a vision without provision. I prayed that he would put people in my life that would bless me, not financially, but people that would guide me the right way.
One person has been my publicist, Dee Stewart. I make the joke that I stalked her. She has been a blessing in disguise for me. She has helped market the book to where prayerfully it becomes a well known seller.
Also, Iâ€™ve said it time and again; the person who put it all together is Nathaniel Dyer of Natbo The EDGE, Inc. He did everything for me that the publisher would have and could have done except place the copyright page, and honestly he could have done that as well.
Last but not least, there is one person who saw in me from the very beginning, who decided to take a chance on my novel with only two chapters. That is Jessica Cole of AID Atlanta. I was very fortunate to get an endorsement from her early on in the book. She believed in me, really before I believed I could do it. For that, I love her. I am grateful.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish The Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Diamond?
CA: My writing process was long, five years long, but there was a break in there as well. I must admit, the first couple of years was off and on. I wasnâ€™t too confident I could pull this thing off. The most important thing was that it included so much research. I began to feel as if I was in nursing school again, so I would put it down, pick it up, and began the process over again.
In 2008, six weeks after giving birth to my now two year old daughter, I realized it was not about me. Itâ€™s about the people that I needed to help save, it was for her, and others that would come after her. I knew I had a legacy to leave, and the rest is history!
JP: What’s next for Chizelle’ T. Archie?
CA: The completion of the sequel, His Grace, His Blood, His Mercy! I also have other book signings lined up, September 18th, I will be signing at Nubian Book Store in Southlake Mall, in Morrow, GA, from 3p-4p. I will be sharing with my first Book Club on September 25th in Montgomery, AL, with the Page Turners.