JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Victoria Christopher Murray, author of Sins of the Mother
(Simon and Schuster, Touchstone/Fireside)
Sins of the Mother is the story of Jasmine Bush finally having to pay for the sins sheâ€™s committed in her past. When her daughter is kidnapped from a new mall during the Christmas season, Jasmine has to wonder if her past has finally caught up to her? Will her daughter be found or will Jasmine pay the ultimate price.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Sins of the Mother?
Victoria Christopher Murray: I lived in New York in the late seventies, early eighties when a young boy by the name of Etan Patz disappeared. It was the first time any of us had heard about a child abduction. (Itâ€™s much too common now.)
I remember praying for days and weeks for not only the young boy, but for his mother. I couldnâ€™t imagine how she was able to put her head down at night, how she could have any other thoughts besides those of her son. And since he was never found, I wondered what her life would be like as the months and years passed. This was a subject I wanted to explore.
JP: What sets Sins of the Mother apart from other novels in its genre?
VCM: Wow, interesting question. I guess that I write my novels, and other authors write theirs. We all bring our own styles, experiences, strengths. Many would say that my novels are edgier than most. Iâ€™m not sure that I know what that means. Yes, thereâ€™s sex in my books, but isnâ€™t there sex in life? Yes, I have people who do outrageous things, but donâ€™t we all have at least one outrageous person in our life?
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to Sins of the Mother getting out to the public?
VCM: The first thing is that I stay in touch with my readers throughout the year. I stay engaged, whether or not I have a new book. I do this through newsletters and social networks, especially Facebook. The second part of my success is my publisher. Years ago, Simon and Schuster assigned a publicist to my novels, and Iâ€™m still working with Shida Carr. She is amazing and works very hard on getting the word out about my novels.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish Sins of the Mother?
VCM: I usually get only about a year to work on a book. Now, thatâ€™s not all writing…I spend most of the time thinking about the novel, working the characters out in my head and working on the outline. Actual sit down and write, probably four months. But most of it has already been worked out.
JP: What’s next for Victoria Christopher Murray?
VCM: My next novel, The Cougar (working title), is about a woman whoâ€™s been offered five million to give up her husband (to another woman) for a weekend. That book comes out in June, 2011.
I have been blessed. My first novel, Temptation, was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature (2001). Joy is the winner of the Golden Pen Award (2002). Have also won several African American Literary Awards including: Best Christian Fiction, Best Fiction, and Author of the Year.