JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Rhonda McKnight, author of Secrets and Lies
(One of the first ten people to comment on Rhonda McKnight’s author interview will win a FREE copy of Secrets and Lies from JoeyPinkney.com)
Secrets and Lies is the story of a couple struggling to keep their troubled marriage together after the husbandâ€™s coworker accuses him of the unthinkable.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Secrets and Lies?
Rhonda McKnight: I was deep in marital woes when the pain of this couple came to me. I would say that helped with the realistic, emotional struggle that unravels as you turn the pages, but itâ€™s not my story. That would be boring.
I did the “what if” thing. What if a marriage was bad and then something happened to make it worse? And that something was out of their control? And it not only affected the marriage, but a career? The career of a work-a-holic? I just rolled with the “what ifs” from there until I had the twist and turns.
JP: Marriage is simply complex. What are some of the lessons that can be drawn from Secrets and Lies that can make navigating the difficulties of marriage less of a blind journey?
RM: Communicate. Know that marriage is a union where emotional intimacy is critical to the success of the relationship. Trust your partner with all of you, all of your hurts and pains. Donâ€™t turn secrets into lies. Itâ€™s a betrayal of trust.
JP: How were you able to get so many in depth reviews of Secrets and Lies before it was released?
RM: I think being with a mainstream publisher helped with the credibility of my writing, but I didnâ€™t rely on that. I developed relationships with reviewers. I mean theyâ€™re book lovers just like me, so I introduced myself to them on their blogs and in chat rooms and message boards.
When I put out the call for reviews, people were interested. Iâ€™m naturally out going, and I love to meet people, so that was easy for me. It might not be as easy for an introverted author. Suggestions for them would be to make sure they have a professionally developed press kit. Also, make an effort to publicize some samples of your writing.
I introduced some short stories on a blog way back in February and posted it everywhere. People knew ahead of time that I could tell a story, and they were probably fairly certain they wouldnâ€™t want to throw the book against a wall.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish Secrets and Lies?
RM: Secrets and Lies from start to finish â€“ forever. Four years on and off. Maybe a good year or more of actual hands on the keyboard writing and editing time. I had a baby and finished grad school while I was pecking away at this story.
As for my process, I write the beginning of my story because it comes to me very visually; usually through two or three chapters. Then I do extensive character outlines, so I get to know the people. I follow that with plotting. I like a detailed outline.
I didnâ€™t do one for Secrets and Lies, but I did for my second book and wrote the first draft in less than six weeks. Iâ€™ll never not outline again.
JP: What’s next for Rhonda McKnight?
RM: Iâ€™m promoting this novel and working on several writing projects. I have a book release party scheduled for Saturday, Dec 5th here in Atlanta and on Dec 13th in Manning, SC. (More about those on my website on the events page).
I have several Internet radio interviews and blog features (like this one) scheduled through the end of February. I’m participating in several local booksignings, and then in the March Iâ€™ll do some touring that will last through June. Iâ€™m working on an anthology project that will release Spring 2010.
My biggest event for 2010 will be the annual Faith and Fiction Retreat â€“ June 18 and 19th in Atlanta. Details at www.faithandfictionretreat.com. Iâ€™ll be there with some awesome authors, like Kimberla Lawson Roby, Victoria Christopher Murray , Tiffany L. Warren and more, and then of course our beloved readers. Wouldnâ€™t be any fun without them.
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