Connie Briscoe has had six novels, one novella, and one nonfiction book published. Her first novel, Sisters and Lovers, sold more than 100,000 hardcover copies and about 500,000 copies in paperback. Her work has appeared on the bestseller lists of the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Essence. A Long Way From Home, the story of her ancestors, was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. Her upcoming novel, Money Can't Buy Love, will be published in June 2011. She currently lives in Maryland with her family.
How did you start out your writing career?
By getting up at 5 a.m. every morning and writing before going into work. I also wrote on the weekends and holidays. Writing was all I did morning, noon, and night--even to the point of sacrificing a love interest or two. Of course, the men I let go couldn’t have been all that important if I gave them up, but it gives you an idea of how consumed I was with getting Sisters and Lovers on paper. I believed in it and I think that you really need that, especially for the first novel.
What did you learn while writing this book?
That I had it in me to be an author.
What did you hope to accomplish with this book?
In Sisters and Lovers, as well as the sequel Sisters and Husbands, I tried to show that even if your man leaves you or hurts you, your sisters will always be there to help out. I also wanted to entertain readers with a good tale. To make them laugh and cry. That’s still true when I write today.
Which character did you have the most fun writing about?
I love all three sisters. They will always have a special place in my heart because they got my writing career started and they were hugely popular. If forced to choose, I would say that Charmaine is my favorite in both Sisters and Lovers and Sisters and Husbands because she’s sassy, passionate, and always says what’s on her mind.
What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
How much we have to market and sell ourselves. And that has magnified tenfold over the past few years.
What aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most?
What I love best is reaching the end of a novel. I don’t think I hate anything about it.
Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?
Learn to write well. By that I mean learn good grammar and sentence structure. I don’t want to find myself correcting your grammar in my head while reading your work. Yes, editors will help but only if you’re 90 percent there when they read it.
What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?
There is no magical formula to writing a novel. It takes talent and a lot of hard work.
If you could be a character from any book you've read, who would you be?
Connie Briscoe in my biography. I haven’t read my biography because it hasn’t been written. But it’s up there in my head. And I wouldn’t trade places with anyone.
When you're not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Travel, hang out with family and friends, and read of course.
What do you do to interact with your readers?
I have a blog and I’m on Facebook and Twitter a lot. Maybe too much. But I enjoy them.
Our theme for this month is INDEPENDENT PUBLISHERS. Have you ever considered self publishing your work? Why or Why not?
I think most authors today have given self-publishing a thought, even if only for a moment. There’s something thrilling about having all that control over your work, from conception to writing to marketing and sales. And keeping more of the money for yourself. But there’s a lot that’s frightening about it, too. Which is why more authors who have been successful with traditional publishing haven’t taken the plunge.
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website).
My blog is the best place to start. http://www.writerrevealed.com/. From there you can e-mail me as well as get to my Facebook and Twitter pages.
Sisters and Husbands
by Connie Briscoe
Ten years have passed since Sisters and Lovers, and
, now 39, is engaged to Julian, a man her family and friends agree is the epitome of a great catch: he's gorgeous, loyal, trustworthy, successful, and very much in love with her. Since this is Beverly's third engagement in the past five years, after breaking off the previous two at the last moment, everyone's happy that she's finally settling down. For Beverly and Julian, nothing could be better than being in love and planning their wedding. That is until Beverly Beverly's oldest sister's marriage falls apart and dampens the mood of what should have been the happiest time in 's life. Now, second-guessing her impending nuptials, Beverly is forced to wonder if marriage really works. Will she stick it out? Or will her fears cloud her judgment once again? Beverly
Money Can't Buy Love
by Connie Briscoe
Lenora Stone used to say if she didn't have bad luck, she wouldn't have any luck at all. At age thirty-eight, instead of socializing with Baltimore's A-list, she photographs them for Baltimore Scene, a glossy magazine filled with beautiful people who, unlike Lenora, never have to worry about car trouble and overdue bills. As much as she'd love to slam the door on her overbearing boss, quitting isn't an option. She's barely making her mortgage payments and, though her condo might not be a palace, it's hers. Lately even things with her boyfriend Gerald haven't been right. They've been together for three years but he can't seem to ask the one question she's been waiting for. But what Lenora doesn't know is that her luck is about to change...
Just when she thinks things can't get worse, Lenora wins the jackpot in the Maryland lottery. In a heartbeat, all her dreams become possible. She quits her job and indulges her every desire-starting with a shiny, silver BMW and a million-dollar mansion. Gerald is finally ready to put a ring on her finger and the city's most exclusive women's group is dying for her to join, officially moving Lenora from behind the lens, into the limelight. But in Lenora's lavish new world, all that glitters definitely isn't gold. Her old friend's are concerned about her sudden changes, and Ray, a sexy, young landscaper Lenora covered for the magazine is looking for more than a purely professional relationship.
As her life starts to come together, the things Lenora holds dear begin to fall apart. Has her world really changed for the better, or does fortune come with a heavy price?
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