5 Minutes, 5 Questions With… Dena Tyson, author of Black Beans ‘N Rice

JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Dena Tyson, author of Black Beans ‘N Rice
(Infinity Publishing)

Spooney was old enough to be her father, but he didn‘t care. It made him feel like he still had it, and that made him feel good. It‘s not all about how you do what you do because Binx was young and didn‘t know any better. She had fallen head over heels for him because he was different.

As Binx applied the finishing touches to her face, her mother walked in and stood next to her, a questioning look in her eyes. She glared from the mirror and said something Binx would never forget: “You too pretty of a girl to be with such a old man. You‘re young and smart… He‘s just taking away all of your youth.” She was quite solemn in the way she spoke.

What her mother didn‘t understand at that time was the damage had already been done. She stayed not because she wanted to but because she had to. She suffered Spooney‘s abuse both physically and mentally, and walking away wasn‘t easy because she was afraid.

Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Black Beans ‘N Rice?

Dena Tyson: It’s actually my story. I suffered an abusive relationship both physically and mentally for a very long time in my life, so I know first-hand the type of impact that has on a person. I wanted to share my story because I survived… I found the strength to walk away and the courage to let go because I am worthy and so is anyone else that’s out there having to go through something like that. “We are worthy!”

JP: What sets Black Beans ‘N Rice apart from other novels in its genre?

DT: The story is fresh, new, captivating and most entertaining. The characters are real. You walk away from this story feeling like you know each and every one of them because of the strong connection that’s made from the very first page.

It’s Old Skool… Chi-town… West Side, taking you back to Gloria Vanderbilt jeans, Candies, Afros and freedom, a saucy sultry seductive story about escaping an abusive relationship and finding real love for the very first time. It takes place in 1980s Chicago West Side, Oak Park, and the Hyde Park area of Illinois.

JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to Black Beans ‘N Rice getting out to the public?

DT: I write both fiction and non-fiction, but all of my stories are real. I’m interested in writing material that everyone can connect to in some way, baring an impact on our lives. Currently I have completed four novels in a little less than a year now. The first book Give Me the Strength was released last May 08, and the second Xceptance was released in July 08.

I started to build a fan base via my website and book signing events as well as the Chicago Black Womens Expo at McCormick Place in Chicago. It took off even more after that, and I was contacted by libraries and schools to come out and speak/encourage students and adults as well.

JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish Black Beans ‘N Rice?

DT: The goal I had in mind was to write two novels a year. It turned out I had actually written four. I’d like to stick with two, so I can take more time to do book signings and lectures, etc.. I started to write Black Beans ‘N Rice in late February 09, and I finished by the end of March 09.

JP: What’s next for Dena Tyson?

DT: In January 2010, I released my fourth title So Said To Be. Emotions run deeply in this suspense thriller taking place in Memphis, Tennessee. Two people finding each other for the first time in the death of their father. The difference was she never knew the man standing next to her was her brother…only he did. I’m also working in future developments bringing my novels to film.

In addition to writing books, I am also an Advocate for Stroke survivors and the creator of the Kuckabug Collection of African Dolls. Right now I live in Illinois with my husband and family.


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13 thoughts on “5 Minutes, 5 Questions With… Dena Tyson, author of Black Beans ‘N Rice”

    1. @Jennifer C. Thanks for stopping in and I appreciate your comment. I was in a complete zone when I started to write and couldn’t stop! Lol God is good and I am glad I was able to receive. Black Beans ‘N Rice was the hardest piece for me to write but I’m so glad I did. I realized I loved myself more than the situation I was in and at 22 finally found the strength to walk away and the courage to let go. I never gave up on life even after I was raped. I’m not ashamed of some of the things I’ve gone through in my life, I feel they made me stronger and helped me to become the woman I am today. I say to anyone that’s had to go through an abusive situation know that you are worthy and even destined for gr8nes.
      @Folake Taylor… thanks for stopping in I appreciate the encouragement!

  1. Hey Dena, I wasn’t aware of your interview with the prolific Mr.Pinkney. I just got back in town since night, but as you already know I did read Black Beans & Rice, and wrote a review on theurbanbooksource. Make no mistake about it, it was a refreshing and well written novel. Great interview, and continue to greatness!

  2. Hey Dena, I wasn’t aware you were being interviewed by the prolific Joey Pinkney. I just got back in town. As you already know, I read Black Beans & Rice, and I wrote a review on theurbanbooksource. It was a refreshing and well written novel. See you at the top my friend and continue to greatness!

    1. @Pathfinder… thanks so much for stopping by Joey is pretty awesome isn’t he? I’m so glad you read and completely enjoyed the book. I still laugh when I think about the discussions we had regarding the story i.e., the friends that were lost -the thrill of the unexpected -and the love that was made with such passion one could only hope to experience in the way she had. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing you at the top my friend as you are quite an outstanding author yourself. I read your book “Fair Game” and it was a truly compelling story, excellent read. Many thanks for your support. “continue2gr8nes!”

  3. Hey Dena,
    Read your book and it was an awesome read! I could not put the book down! I could totally relate to a lot of things that happened within it…(not wanting to give away what happened) but I’m glad Binx found a true love. This book is a must read for those who haven’t read it. It’s comical, sexy and stimulating. I wish you many blessings as you move forward in your writing career. Keep up the excellent work!

  4. I love the catchy titles of these self-published books. That’s where I believe the real creativity is. I have yet to view the book trailer.

  5. @Lisa… Glad you had an opportunity to read and enjoyed my novel “Black Beans ‘N Rice” Love truly is a wonderful thing isn’t it…? Lol Thanks for your words of encouragement and unwavering support!
    My best to you always

  6. @N.S. Ugezene… thanks! I completely enjoy creating my own cover designs and hope I will always be able to play a part in doing so moving forward. Title plays a big part in the creation of my book. First comes title then comes manuscript.(crazy right?) The moment a title hits me I immediately see the entire story unfold in my mind and I start to write. I generally don’t stop until I’m done.
    I appreciate your support.

  7. As a huge fan of Joey’s interviews, I have to say this was rather delightful and informative. Kudos to Dena for writing pieces we can all relate to and sharing your experiences as well.

    Loretta R. Walls
    Author of RENDEZVOUS

    1. @Loretta… thanks so much for your kind words of encouragement my sistah. I appreciate all and I appreciate you as well! “My best to you always”

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