JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Cynthia White, author of Boss Bitch Swag
How does a married woman who has never once been unfaithful to her husband contract HIV?
Meesha Clark, a gorgeous young wife, mother, and budding fashion designer is forced to ask herself that very question when what she thought would be a routine prenatal checkup turns out to be anything but routine. Meesha discovers that Malcolm “Boss” Clark, her heart’s true desire is a well-connected gangster.
Boss is also next in line to head the mob that controls the entire city of St. Louis, so Meesha must make the most difficult decision of her entire young life. When she decides to stand by her man, it becomes painfully clear that, even though she’s the only woman in his heart, she’s not the only woman in his bed.
Certain that Boss contracted the virus from one of his numerous affairs, an emotionally distraught Meesha locks herself in a bathroom with her husband, then proceeds to point his own gun in his face and demand answers. Will the truth set her free, or just keep her bound?
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write Boss Bitch Swag?
Cynthia White: I was reading an article in Ebony magazine about how women of color now make up the majority of new cases of HIV/AIDS. That article sparked something within me, and I began writing Boss Bitch Swag that very evening.
JP: What sets Boss Bitch Swag apart from other books in the same genre?
CW: Boss Bitch Swag is told from the vantage points of the two lead characters. It is a book that men and women can both feel comfortable reading. I tried to be very honest with the dialogue, taking into consideration the differences between the way a woman would say something in contrast to the way a man would say it. The same goes for their actions and their reactions to various situations.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to Boss Bitch Swag getting out to the public?
CW: I definitely have to give most of the credit to my readers and to my current publisher. Marcus Harris and Pulse Publishing have been great about utilizing every single avenue possible to get the word out about this project.
Also, my former publisher gave me a jumpstart into the industry that not a lot of first-time authors get. It would be arrogant of me not to acknowledge that having my first two novels published by them did play a big role in my success.
I don’t take anything or anybody for granted. I even credit bad reviews for pushing me to learn more about the craft and for helping me to become a better writer.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish Boss Bitch Swag?
CW: To be perfectly honest, I really don’t have a writing process. Writing is probably the only area in my life where I have any spontaneity at all. I write whenever I feel moved to do so.
When I am working on a project, I become the character that I am writing for. I have to be in sync with them. It’s hard for me to write a dark scene when I am having a really good day and vice versa.
Sometimes I feel the need to take breaks between projects and sometimes I just go from one thing to the next. I do prefer to write at night. I find that my stories flow best when I’m relaxed, so I try to stay away from my laptop when I’m stressed.
It took me about three weeks total to finish Boss Bitch Swag.
JP: What’s next for Cynthia White?
CW: I will be releasing the next book in the Queen Aaron Series very soon.
I thank my readers for continuing to support me and my work.
3 thoughts on “5 Minutes, 5 Questions With… Cynthia White, author of Boss Bitch Swag”
It’s an honor and a pleasure to finally get to work with Cynthia White again. It’s been a long while since I first came across this author. Back in 2008, I reviewed her book Queen. I was so engrossed with that story, you can find that book review if you enter “cynthia white” in the joeypinkney.com search.
Fast forward a couple of years, and I have her back on the site. This time she is with a new publisher and a new “swag”. I have to admit, I didn’t think that the book’s subject what it was based on the title. But in reading Queen and reading the interview, I see there is a significance to the title being “Boss Bitch Swag”.
I think this is a unique approach to AIDS in the Black community. I’m not saying that AIDS in the Black community hasn’t been approach in contemporary fiction before, but this book does it’s fair share to bring this reality to the forefront while offering a means of entertainment to the book’s readers.
I also think it’s very humble of Cynthia to view her success in perspective of her publishers. Often, when writers go from one publisher to the next, it’s usually done on bad terms. Whether that’s the case or not, White still respects the opportunities that both publishers afford her in terms of her readership.
Thank-you so much, Joey. I truly appreciate all of the support you have shown me over the years.
Great interview Joey! It’s interesting that the author touches on marriage and HIV infection, sounds like it will be a great read.
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