JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Kendra Norman-Bellamy, author of The Lyons Den
Lieutenant Stuart Lyons has a growing son, a fulfilling career and after years of singleness and a promising relationship. He’s a veteran law enforcement officer and head of security at New Hope Church. Life is good.
Sudden pandemonium strikes when Stuart begins receiving threats from someone who only identifies himself as Dr. A.H. Satan. The stalker knows where Stuart lives, works and worships. The blocks of the near-perfect life that he has built begin falling…piece by piece.
Will Stuart’s faith help put an end to his distress, or will the infamous Legend of Shelton Heights swallow him whole?
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write The Lyons Den?
Kendra Norman-Bellamy: All of my story inspirations are drawn from life – those things that I observe around me. Many of them are birthed from something I see or hear in church.
A couple of years ago, one of the men who serves in the security ministry at my church was assigned to provide security at my 40th birthday celebration which was held in the youth facility of the church I attend. At the time, I didn’t know him personally.
After the party ended and the cleanup had begun, he and I stood outside the facility and chatted awhile. I learned that he has not only provided security for the pastor and church, but he was also an active police officer. It made me wonder how many other men and women of God were also public servants, putting their lives in danger to secure our streets on a daily basis.
I wanted to write a book that might embody some of the heightened fears, challenges and perils that a person who serves within a security ministry at a church might face when he or she is on the clock in the capacity of a police officer. Then I wanted to show how that officer would handle these life-threatening situations when he has a personal connection to Christ.
JP: What sets The Lyons Den apart from other novels in its genre?
KNB: As I indicated previously, The Lyons Den is a romantic suspense. I don’t readily know of any other Christian fiction novels that fall into that category. That alone probably sets it apart to a degree. At least that mixes it in with a very small pile of others that might also carry that theme.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to The Lyons Den getting out to the public?
KNB: As clichÃ© as it may sound, it’s the truth. I accredit God for any success that I have garnered over the years. In addition to His favor, I am not a sedentary author. I’m always on the go, promoting my work and meeting my readers at conventions, conferences, book club gatherings, and other literary and church-related functions.
As with all of my novels, I started promoting The Lyons Den long before it released. When it hit bookshelves on April 1st, readers had heard about it for months prior and were ready to purchase. I’m the first to admit that all of the promotion and travel that I do is very time-consuming and tiring, but I love every minute of it. In the end, it’s all worth it.
JP: Which character in The Shelton Heights series has a personality most like your own?
KNB: None of the characters in this series bear much of a resemblance to me aside from their loyalty to God and their families. However, with each of the female leads in this series, there are small similarities to me. For instance, Jade, the leading lady in In Greene Pastures (first book in the series) is a preacher’s kid. Her dad is a pastor, and her mother is a minister as well. That’s my real life testimony as well.
Janet, the female lead in Battle of Jericho (book #2 in the series) has a cousin who is also her best friend and the person she has confided in more than any other. Although mine is nothing like Janet’s, I do have a cousin who I categorize as my closest friend and confidant.
And in The Lyons Den, Candice is like me in that she comes from a small southern town and is the first of her parents’ children to graduate from college. All of these ladies are described as being relatively short in statue, which is also a trait that is a mirror image of me.
JP: What’s next for Kendra Norman-Bellamy?
KNB: That’s a loaded question because I have so much on my plate right now. I’m currently working toward co-authoring a nonfiction book with Ralph David Abernathy III (son of the late Dr. Ralph David Abernathy, who was a civil rights legend and best friend of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.).
In the meantime, my next immediate project is Cruisin’ For Christ, the star-studded annual gospel cruise that I host each summer. This year it launches September 5-12, so I’m working toward finalizing everything for that right now.
My next book will release on January 1, 2010. The title is The Morning After (Urban Christian), and it is the sequel to a previous novel, Three Fifty-Seven A.M. In addition to The Morning After, I have two other titles on the horizon: Fifteen Years (Moody Publishers/February 2010) and Song of Solomon (Urban Christian/June 2010).
http://www.cruisinforchrist.org/ Cruisin’ For Christ – annual gospel cruise
http://www.writershut.com/ The Writer’s Hut – an online community I founded for published authors of African American fiction
http://www.writerscocoon.com/ The Writers Cocoon Focus Group – a support group that I founded specifically as a means to assist all aspiring and new writers
8-time national bestselling author (eight of my 13 titles have made Essence best selling books list)
Walmart bestselling author
Black Expressions bestselling author
Winner of Best Christian Fiction of 2008 (African American Literary Awards Show)
Winner of Best Anthology of 2008 (African American Literary Awards Show)
KNB Publications nominated as Best Independent Publisher of 2008 (African American Literary Awards Show)
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