Suzette D. Harrison

Suzette D. Harrison grew up in a home where reading was required, not requested. Turning her love of reading into a rising literary career, Suzette was first published when her poetry was included in a creative journal in middle school. While she loves happy endings, Harrison pens flawed characters in need of redemption, and loves crafting storylines with intricate layers and depth, often leaving readers with unexpected plot twists.

Harrison pays homage to Alex Haley, Gloria Naylor, Alice Walker, Langston Hughes, and Toni Morrison as literary legends who inspired her creativity. However, it was Dr. Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings that unleashed her writing. Literally. The award-winning author is a wife and mother who holds a culinary degree in Pastry & Baking. Suzette is currently cooking up her next novel…in between batches of cookies. Website:

What is Generations?
Generations is a collaborative series created with my beloved “Twinny Twin”, author extraordinaire, Suzette Riddick. Generations features ten novellas grouped in five sets of two books each. Each set offers one novella that is historical fiction, one novella that is contemporary women’s literature. The historical and contemporary heroines from each set are directly interconnected. Actually, all ten heroines are interconnected because they hail from the small, all-Black fictitious town of Colemanville. In short, Generations is a celebration of our culture (past and present), sisterhood, and the power and strength of Black women.

Why was Generations created?
For years, Twin and I discussed a possible collaboration without knowing precisely what that would look like, or what said collaboration would be. The time never felt right until last year when during one of our monthly telephone chats. We felt divine prompting and decided to stop talking and make it happen. Initially, we planned to each write a contemporary novella based in Colemanville. During our discussion revelation happened, making it clear that we should both write to our strengths.

African-American Historical Fiction is my passion, and Twin was ready to stretch beyond the genre of Romance to take on Women’s Fiction so we modified our approach. That’s how we received the idea to write from two different genres and time periods while connecting our stories through the power of family and heritage.

So each novella is connected to the next?
Yes, directly and indirectly. For example, books 1 & 2 (Forever Beautiful and Wandering Beauty) are directly connected via our heroines. Floretta Coleman-Mercer, the heroine of Forever Beautiful (Historical Fiction) is the ancestor of the heroine from Wandering Beauty, Jillian Hart (Women’s Literature). We’ll see how the past impacts the present – how Floretta’s life and choices inspire and, perhaps, influence Jillian.

The subsequent novellas within the series will interconnect with Floretta and Jillian’s stories, again, by virtue that each heroine has roots in the small town of Colemanville. Also as a side note or nugget, each book title refers back to our heroines and their trades, talents, or passions. It’s a simple but effective way to highlight their divine gifts while also serving as a tribute.

Does a reader need to read every book of the series to have a complete story?
Each novella is a stand-alone narrative. However, the richest, most rewarding way to enjoy them is to, at a minimum, read a set together (if not the entire series) so that references to other stories/characters makes perfect sense and, perhaps, even answers lingering questions.

Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?
Floretta’s story, Forever Beautiful, deals with complex issues such as race, class and socio-economics, colorism within the African-American community, and gender roles and expectations. It examines family obligations, and how such obligations impact personal decisions. It’s historical fiction with elements of romance. But at its core, Floretta’s story is one of Black female empowerment.

How did you and your co-author, Suzette Riddick, go about creating your books?
Twin (aka Mrs. Riddick) and I enjoyed monthly telephone chats and regular texts long before deciding to do the Generations series. After making that decision we increased our chats to twice monthly and used that time to brainstorm ideas including our plots and characters. We utilized specific worksheets for character development, our personal planners for organization, not to mention there were plenty of random phone calls and texts filled with book-related discussions and questions.

We also created shared spreadsheets to log our daily word counts, and to house information on our series. Additionally, we created a Canva board with images and graphs that aided our organization of materials and provided inspiring images as well. Twin and I read each other’s manuscripts to ensure continuity, that our stories were in alignment. The overall process required time and dedication, but our collaborative efforts also made it a joyful experience.

Did you have in-person meetings as well?
Twin and I live on opposite sides of the country so our collaboration was completely virtual. It was comical at times with us living in different time zones. Sometimes Twin was already up and going about her day and I was still in the bed snoring. Or she’d be finished and wrapping up for the evening while I was still trying to get my word count in. Fun times were had.

Tell us more about your heroine, Floretta, and why she resonated with you.
My heroine, Floretta “Flo” Coleman, is on a quest to rebuild her life after the shocking, recent death of her mother. She’s young and determined, but the paternal figures in her life oppose her dreams and she’s impacted by their limiting views. To add more perspective, Floretta’s story takes place in 1949. She lives in the Jim Crow South, and the doors of the world aren’t exactly thrown open for her. She has to contend with not only patriarchy but racism and the challenges resulting from her parents’ “mixed race” and highly problematic relationship. Essentially, Flo has to recreate herself despite all of this and re-fashion her dreams into pillars that support her new and independent reality despite less-than-savory circumstances.

What projects are you working on at the present?
I’m currently working on the next installment, which is Book 3, of the Generations Series. I’m also preparing a proposal for my publisher for two new books so hopefully I’ll have good news to share on that soon.

How can readers discover more about you and your work, as well as support you?
One of my greatest joys as an author is connecting with readers! Readers are welcome to visit to learn more about my books and me, as well as to sign up for my monthly newsletter. Additionally, I love attending in-person book events and book signings. But platforms such as Zoom have allowed me to connect with readers virtually all across the country. So, beautiful reader, if your book club is featuring one of my books and you’d like me to join in the discussion feel free to reach out to me! And as always, Ms. Ella, thank you for this opportunity to share myself with you and your reading community.

Generations Series by Suzette Harrison and Suzette Riddick
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