Wednesday, July 07, 2010
Holy Rollers Blog Tour with ReShonda Tate Billingsley
ReShonda Tate Billingsley is a national bestselling author of 19 books, all published by Simon and Schuster/Pocket Books. In 2000, after numerous rejections from publishers, ReShonda stepped out on faith, established her own publishing company, and self published her debut novel, My Brother’s Keeper. The book caught the attention of one of the country’s top literary agents, who secured a deal for ReShonda with megahouse publisher, Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books.
The rest, as they say, is history.
ReShonda went on to sign one deal after another with Simon & Schuster and to date, is considered one of the country’s top inspirational authors. Her sophomore novel, Let the Church Say Amen, is being made into a movie of which she is Executive Producer and actress Regina King is the director. ReShonda’s literary career is such a success that in 2007, she was able to leave her job as a reporter with Fox 26 News in Houston to write full time.
ReShonda has appeared on the Essence Bestseller’s list more than 20 times, as well as The Washington Post, Dallas Morning News and Ebony Magazine Bestseller’s lists. Her books include The Devil is a Lie, Can I Get a Witness, The Pastor’s Wife, Let the Church Say Amen, Everybody Say Amen, I Know I’ve Been Changed and My Brother’s Keeper. Her inspirational teen novels include Nothing But Drama, Blessings in Disguise,With Friends Like These, Getting Even, Fairweather Friends, Friends ‘Til the End, and Caught up in the Drama. She has one non-fiction title, Help! I’ve Turned into my Mother. ReShonda has won numerous awards for her journalism, fiction and poetry writing skills. She is a five-time winner of the National Association of Black Journalists Spirit in the Words competition, one of Rolling Out Magazine’s Top 25 Women in Houston and H-Texas Magazine’s Top Professional.
ReShonda’s upcoming projects include Holy Rollers (July 2010), Say Amen, Again (July, 2011), the teen novel Drama Queens (Fall 2010), and two travel suspense novels. The Houston native also serves as a freelance editorial and marketing consultant. She has ghostwritten four fiction projects and five non-fiction projects. She is married with three small children and does not hide her addiction to Reality TV and Facebook.
She welcomes readers to her websites at www.reshondatatebillingsley.com.
ReShonda, tell us about Holy Rollers.
Holy Rollers is about three friends who used to chase professional athletes. Now that they’re a little older, they can’t compete. So they changed the game and are going after pastors.
How did you come up with ideas for this book? A friend actually called me and said she was somewhere and it was a bunch of women hanging out trying to catch ministers. Then, a few weeks later, I was in a hotel on a book tour and there were women hanging out like it was happy hour. Turns out it was a young ministers’ conference. And my mind just started churning.
Who are your main character(s)?
Coco, Nita and Audra.
Did you have a favorite character(s)? Who and why?
I loved them all, but had a special affinity for Nita because she says stuff I’d never be able to! Plus she was a bad girl and I had so much fun writing about the bad girl.
Did you have to do quite a bit of research for this novel?
I always try to make sure my characters are true to form, so I interviewed groupies, ministers, and even some holy rollers.
What do you hope readers will learn/discover from reading Holy Rollers?
I hope readers will not only be entertained, but they’ll see that true happiness comes when you learn to love yourself.
Okay, a not-so-fun question. How important are reviews to you as a writer?
I appreciate reviews from actual reviewers. Unfortunately, I’ve had to detach myself some from some reviews because I have some people (usually not legitimate reviewers) who judge me because of what I write and that really bugs me.
About the Book
Looking for Love . . .
Lifelong friends Coco, Nita, and Audra have spent years looking for love in the arms of flashy pro athletes, hoping to land a baller but ending up with a stream of failed relationships. The beautiful and demure Coco has endured years of physical abuse from her boyfriend, Sonny, while Audra, a single mother, has dated her fair share of cheaters and yearns for a stable companion who will be a father figure to her son. And feisty, seductive Nita is tired of being the million-dollar mistress and wants to settle down—if she can find someone worth coming home to.
Changing the Game . . .
Now that the women are approaching thirty, they’re finding it harder than ever to compete with the pro groupies. Determined to change the game and find some worthwhile men, Audra hatches an outrageous plan. Soon the trio is "holy rolling," masquerading as God-fearing churchgoers at a local conference for young ministers in the hopes of snagging a prominent pastor. But will their big gamble pay off? Men of the cloth are still just men, after all. As the three friends meet their potential life partners, they will have to decide how far they want to take their holy rollers scheme—each risking heartbreak while taking a chance on finding a reliable, responsible man to love and cherish, flaws and all.
View the blog tour schedule at http://bit.ly/HolyRollersBlogTour.
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