Kimberla Lawson Roby is the New York Times bestselling Author & Speaker of 27 books, which include her popular Reverend Curtis Black Series and many standalone titles that can be found at Audible and Amazon. Go here to see them all: https://adbl.co/2H7Bafd
Kimberla has sold more than 2.8 Million copies of her novels, and they have frequented numerous bestseller lists! She is the 2013 recipient of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction, and she is also a #1 Essence magazine bestselling author.
Kimberla Lawson Roby lives with her husband in Rockford, Illinois.
BPM: How has writing impacted your life?
Writing has impacted my life in so many wonderful ways. It has allowed me to create characters who experience the same problems and issues that real-life people experience in their everyday lives. It has also afforded me the opportunity to connect with thousands and thousands of readers worldwide via my twenty-seven books, email messages, social media, in-person book-signing events and speaking engagements.
BPM: My Black Pearls readers always think of you as a Christian fiction writer. I think of you as a Women’s fiction writer. Which of us is closer?
You’re both right! I am a Christian woman who just so happens to be a writer, which means I can’t help but write about women’s issues in a Christian/Faith-based format.
BPM: How long have you been writing about Curtis Black and his entertaining family?
I wrote the first title in the series, Casting the First Stone, in 1999, and it was released in January 2000. So as of 2018, the first book has been in print for 18 years.
BPM: Do you have any favorite characters/events/situations from your years of wowing readers?
Matthew, Curtis’s youngest son, has always been my favorite character, because no matter what level of shame he’s had to endure because of the many mistakes his parents have made, he never followed in their footsteps or held it against them. Matthew wasn’t perfect, but he’s always had a big heart and tried to do the right thing. Of course, now that Curtis has come full circle and is finally a true man of God, he is one of my favorite characters as well.
Then, in terms of favorite events and situations, there are so many of them, but some of my best tour memories include hearing my readers, nationwide, talking about my series characters as though they’d actually met them in person. I also once did a library event where my husband, Will, was sitting in the auditorium toward the front and right behind a row of book club members. They were talking about Curtis and Charlotte and everything else relating to the storyline, and Will was listening and chatting right along with them.
But then when I was introduced and came out on stage to begin speaking, and soon introduced Will to the entire audience, the book club laughed out loud. Will had been laughing and talking with them the whole time, prior to the start of the event, and they’d had no idea who he was! They’d just assumed he was a reader in attendance! It was such a great moment and so much fun.
BPM: What are your thoughts on completing the Curtis Black series? Are you the least bit sad?
I have to say that this has been more of a bittersweet moment than I was planning on, and I’ve even seen readers at events, shedding tears over it. Even today, someone posted online that they were now reading my “letter to readers” in an advanced reading copy of Better Late Than Never, and how it had brought them to tears. This has been a journey of a lifetime, and while I will certainly miss writing about my Reverend Curtis Black family characters, more than anything, I will miss hearing all the comments from the very kind, loving, devoted readers who have supported me for years—readers who God blessed me with one year after another.
BPM: Your readers are going to freak out! How will you handle this literary melt down?
I have seen so many comments from readers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and also by email, asking me to not end the series. One person even asked me who’d given me permission to make that kind of decision! She was joking, of course, and it certainly made me laughed with joy. I love, love, love my readers, and I am forever grateful to them.
BPM: Tell us a little about this final Curtis Black book and the characters.
Curtis is reunited with his estranged sister who he hasn’t seen since their mom’s funeral nearly twenty years ago, and sadly, she is terminally-ill. Charlotte finally admits that she basically despises being the first lady of Deliverance Outreach and needs a break from everything church-related, and twelve-year-old Curtina is now giving Curtis and Charlotte more problems than they experienced with all their other children combined.
BPM: How challenging was it to end this series without leaving any unresolved issues?
I have been slowly winding it down, particularly through the last three books in the series, which center on Curtis’s adult children. So, ending the series as a whole wasn’t as challenging as it could have been.
BPM: Being a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author time and time again is amazing! How did you make this happen?
It was all through God’s grace and the plan He had for my life. I also think the fact that, since the beginning of my career, I have tried my best to build my readership, one reader at a time and one book club at a time. My readers have always seemed more like friends to me than anything else, and that has meant everything. Additionally, it didn’t hurt that I always wrote about relatable issues.
BPM: Now that you have been writing more than 23 years, what are some things you really love about being a full-time writer?
I love being self-employed and having the ability to write whatever I’m feeling at the moment. Before I write each book, I skim through an old notebook I have where I’ve listed many real-life social issues, and I choose one or two of them to center my story on. I also love being able to write stories that will help at least one person and hopefully many.
BPM: What advice would you give aspiring writers that would help them finish a project?
My advice would be to write at least something every single day, even if it is only a paragraph or a page. Also, no matter what, please write straight from your heart and never worry about someone else’s writing style or genre. Work hard to discover your own writing style and go from there. Additionally, you should study the craft of writing and definitely learn every single thing you can about the business of publishing.
BPM: What are you most proud of when it comes to your writing career?
Early on in my career, I did use a word of profanity here and there, and while it may have only been a couple of words or so in an entire book, I’m not proud of that, because it’s not the kind of language I want to hear or see when I’m reading a book myself. Back then, I thought that using certain dialogue that seemed true to a particular character was needed, but the more I grew as a writer, I realized that it wasn’t necessary to write anything I considered offensive.
And if I could, I would remove those words from all of my first 9 titles. What I am proud of, though, is that before I began writing my 10th book, Sin No More, God spoke to my heart, letting me know that I didn’t have to include words that I didn’t believe was okay to use myself, and I listened to Him. So, for my last 18 books, I didn’t include any of those words.
BPM: What projects are you working on at present? Are you starting a new series?
My next writing project will be non-fiction, and I’m really excited about that.
BPM: What can we expect from your next book? Are the characters as ‘messy’ as the Blacks…LOL?
Currently, I don’t have any plans to create a new fictional series. But again, I am very excited to be writing non-fiction.
BPM: Please share your social media connections because we want to keep up with your latest news.
Purchase Better Late Than Never by Kimberla Lawson Roby
Available: Kindle, Nook, audiobook, print and hardcover
Genre: Women’s Fiction / African American / Christian
KIMBERLA LAWSON ROBY 2018 EVENTS
Saturday, June 23, 2018
10th ANNUAL GREAT MIDWEST BOOK FEST
Nicolet High School
6701 N. Jean Nicolet Road
Glendale, WI 53217
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER TOUR CITIES
Tuesday, July 31, 2018
BARNES & NOBLE
Rockford, IL 61112
Wednesday, August 1, 2018
BARNES & NOBLE
7700 West Northwest Hwy
Dallas, TX 75225
Thursday, August 2, 2018
BATON ROUGE, LA
BATON ROUGE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Magnolia Theater and Performance Arts Pavilion
201 Community College Drive
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70806
Between the Lines Bookstore is the bookseller for this event.
Friday, August 3, 2018
BARNES & NOBLE
Wolf Chase Galleria
2774 N Germantown Parkway
Memphis, TN 38133
Saturday, August 4, 2018
BARNES & NOBLE
Carolina Place Mall
11025 Carolina Place Parkway
Pineville, NC 28134
Monday, August 6, 2018
AFRICAN-AMERICAN RESEARCH LIBRARY & CULTURAL CENTER
2650 Sistrunk Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311
Pyramid Books is the bookseller for this event.
Tuesday, August 7, 2018
BARNES & NOBLE
Edgewood Retail District
1217 Caroline Street
Atlanta, GA 30307
Wednesday, August 8, 2018
ENOCH PRATT FREE LIBRARY
400 Cathedral St.
Baltimore MD 21201
Mahogany Books is the bookseller for this event.
Thursday, August 9, 2018
CHICAGO, IL (South)
BARNES & NOBLE
160 Orland Park Place
Orland Park, IL 60462
Saturday, September 22, 2018
Keynote Speaker | Q & A and Signing to Follow
A LITERARY RETREAT FOR WOMEN WHO LOVE TO READ
Embassy Suites by Hilton
5001 N. Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85250
To register, please visit:
Registration of $169.00 includes One-Day
Conference (Luncheon and Literary Salons)