Each Friday, this month on Written Voices Blog, we will be highlighting authors who write for teens or young adults. Author Victoria Christopher Murray is known for her books, Temptation, Joy, Grown Folk’s Business and recently, Too Little, Too Late. Today, we will talk to her about her Young Adult series, the Divine Divas.
Victoria, describe yourself for our visitors.
I’m pretty simple – I’m a woman who loves the Lord and His love for me has blessed me to have a wonderful life. I’m surrounded by friends and family who love me unconditionally and who help keep my feel planted on solid ground, even as I pursue this career. I love to read; I read about 35 books a year. (Trying to increase that to 40 this year.) I love to workout – I used to run marathons, but haven’t done that in a while because of the time that must be devoted to training. I spend most of my days writing – and on the weekends, I spend as much time as I can relaxing, reading, and enjoying life with friends! How do you find time to connect with God?
I connect with God on a 24/7 basis. There is not a moment when I’m not conscious of His presence in my heart and my life. I also read my Bible everyday – just a chapter and the commentary. That is so important to me because I have to have something inside of me in order to pull it out of me for my writing.
Who were your favorite authors or books as a teen?
I loved I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Manchild in the Promise Land and all books by Richard Wright.
Tell us about your current young adult book?
My latest teen project (March release) is the third in the Diva series. The title is The Divas: Veronique and is the story of a teen who searches for her father…on the Internet. You know that only leads to trouble. THE DIVINE DIVAS Series They’re fifteen and fabulous and want to be the hippest, hottest new girl group in gospel music. But will boys and other issues get in their way? http://www.thedivinedivas.com/
How did you come up with ideas for this book?
I get asked that question all the time and I don’t really know how to answer. It’s not like I sit down and say, “I need an idea.” I think it’s all part of the gift – God doesn’t give you an incomplete gift. So, He’s given me the ability to write, the discipline to write, the ideas are just in my head already. All part of the gift.
What are the main themes or lessons in this book?
I write fiction. I’m not trying to teach lessons or give messages – not really. What I’ve discovered is that just by putting God in the center, just by making Him a character, gives each reader a chance to get the message that God wants the reader to have.
What advice did someone give you as a teenager that still remains with you today?
My mother told me that I had to be three times better just to be considered equal. My father told me that he only raised Queens! I have succeeded in life because of my parents’ wisdom.
Do you have any embarrassing moments you want to share from your teen years?
Nope. Why would I share an embarrassing moment?
What’s next for you?
I’m writing my last teen book now and getting ready to start on my 2010 novel. My teen novels have been optioned to become a show on BET, so we’ll see if that happens.
Where can visitors find you online?