Wednesday, September 14, 2011

DEBUT AUTHOR: Regena Bryant

Regena Bryant is a training and organizational development specialist, motivational speaker and registered corporate coach. She holds a Masters degree in Adult and Continuing Education. She has educated and encouraged groups that range in perspectives from corporate executives to concerned parents. She has delivered multiple programs in leadership, communication skills, personal growth and wellness.

In 2004 she made a pact with her nephew, “…if you give me a college degree, I’ll write a book.” For the next five years she actively worked on the craft of writing and her first novel. An active member of the Windy City Chapter of RWA, she serves as the chapter secretary and writes a column for the newsletter, “Letters to my Unpublished Self.” She lives in suburban Chicago with her husband, two children and her nephew’s college diploma gracing the mantle.

How did you start out your writing career?

Writing has always been my strongest skill through school so I can say that writing has been an important part of my professional career. I started writing novels in 2004 when my nephew and I made a pact. If he'd finish college I'd write a book.

What did you learn while writing this book?

I learned a lot about the publishing business and about myself. It is possible to make your dreams come true, but it requires a lot of hard work.

What did you hope to accomplish with this book?

All I really wanted was to keep my nephew on the path to competing his college education. I'm so happy that we were both successful.

Which character did you have the most fun writing about?

Bishop Sutton since he always gets to have the last word. It was fun to write the scenes he appears in because The Reverend Doctor Gates can't debate or talk back to him.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?

I'm still delighted and surprised about the whole thing.

What aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most?

The freedom to create. I hate to proofread because I have a tendency to read what I wrote instead of what's on the page.

What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?

1. How hard it is to get off of the slush pile. 2. I wish I'd known more about the business side of the business. 3. How to properly place a comma.

Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?

Do. Write, just write. Editing can come later. Don't. Don't wait. Get started today.

What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

That writing takes time, lots of time.

If you could be a character from any book you've read, who would you be?

I can't name just one. I just started reading The Heroines Bookself, Life lessons from Jane Austen to Laura Ingalls Wilder by Erin Blakemore. It's really like a conversation with my favorite heroines through the ages and the lessons they have taught me.

When you're not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy providing taxi and fan service to my children. They are involved in lots of sports so I enjoy going to thier games and cheering on their teams.

What do you do to interact with your readers?

Going to conferences, facebook and participating in local forums. I always learn something from the experience.

Our theme for this month is Online Marketing. What online marketing have you found works well for you?

I'm not sure just yet since "Except on Sunday" is my first book. But as I learn more about publishing and marketing I sense that online marketing is an important part of any marketing mix.

This is SORMAG’s 11th Anniversary online. Would you like to offer us anniversary congrats?

Yes congratulations and blessing on having the vision and putting in the hard work to make SORMAG a success.

Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?

That our efforts and hard work are always rewarded, but not always in the ways we plan.

Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?

My next book Believe In Me will arrive in March of 2012.

When David Thornton lands his dream job as executive director of a faith based community empowerment center established by his paladin, Congressman Roosevelt Franklin. This honest hard working true believer must unite a staff divided by the scandal of the pervious director’s departure, while trying to convince the girl of his dreams to trust him.

Kitty Franklin the outspoken, jaded daughter of the politically savvy and slick Congressman Roosevelt Franklin. As her father's personal attorney Kitty’s intimate knowledge of her fathers dealings, have caused her to loose all faith in God, government, and men. And now a viral internet scandal has erupted that threatens to destroy the Congressman’s re-election campaign.

The scandal shakes Kitty’s fragile faith and may prevent her from ever believing in anything or anyone ever again.

How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)

I'd love to hear from readers at my website or via email at


The Rev. Dr. Finus Gideon Gates is the charismatic, intelligent, wealthy and decidedly single, favorite son of his denomination the Baptist Methodist Assembly, where it is a “truth universally acknowledged” by the senior choir that he needs a wife. He thinks his reasons for not dating are a closely held secret. But every single woman in the Assembly and her mother know why he’s not dating and they are working overtime to get him to change his mind.

When Dr. Cassandra Brownley, a shy, sensible high school principal, accepts a consulting project with the BMA, she is caught between two opinions regarding the project’s leader. The Rev. Dr. Gates is pompous and condescending from the pulpit and she can’t stand him. Away from church he’s witty, warm and wonderful. Can she love him-except on Sunday?

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LaShaunda said...


Congrats on seeing your goal through to the end and inspiring your nephew. I wish you much success on your new career and look forward to reading your book.

Unknown said...

I like the concept of "Except on Sunday" OMG to Goodness I am such a book junkie, but I must buy this one also.
What a cool way to inspire your nephew you both did something new and learn something about yourselves I am sure. And on top of it all the end results will bless a community over and over again for both of you.

I live in the Chicagoland area but I'm not familiar with the acronym RWA. Also I will be in touch with Ms. Bryant to possibly grace our book club in 2012 for a meet and greet and possibly a book discussion of Except on Sundays.
I plan to nominate this title as one of our BOTM reads.

I will reach out on Facebook so I can be part of what's next for Ms. Regena Bryant and you can reach out to Readers Paradise (my bookclub)

Thanks for such an enjoyable interview...we love you LaShaunda and ALL you do.

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