Shelia, describe yourself for our visitors.
I am quiet and laid back. I love to listen to music and hang out with my family and friends. I’m a devoted daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. I’m a Louisiana native – home of good food and good people (smile). I’m also an alumni of Southern University.
How do you find time to connect with God?
I make time. I don’t wait for “time to be available.” I communicate with Him throughout the day…whether I’m at my desk, in the car or at home. I try my best not to make decisions without taking it to the Lord first.
Do you have a favorite bible verse and or quote you wish to share?
One of my favorite bible verses is Proverbs 3:5. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”
Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?
I’m an avid reader, so I have so many favorite authors. A few include: Victoria Christopher Murray, ReShonda Tate Billingsley, Kimberla Roby Lawson, Kendra Norman Bellamy, Lutishia Lovely, Vanessa Miller, Rhonda McKnight and the list goes on and on.
Tell us about your journey to publication.
I’ve been writing since I was 9 years old. When I was in elementary school, my teachers submitted my poems to Seedlings. In school, I’ve been on the yearbook staff, newspaper, etc. I decided to pursue writing as a career back in 1997. My first book outside of school was actually a collection of poems. It was called Embraced by Love – The Relationship. Writing was always something that I wanted to do, but I originally had planned on waiting until I retired. After losing my dad and hearing of Princess Diana’s death, it dawned on me that life was too short and I shouldn’t wait to pursue my dreams. So, while I was still working, I would write at night, during my break, at lunchtime, etc. When the right opportunity came, it was just the right time to go ahead and put everything I had into it.
Since writing professionally, I’ve been fortunate to have books published in multiple genres. I’m excited about Delilah because not only is it my 10th novel, but it’s my first Christian fiction book.
Tell us about your current book, Delilah.
Delilah is an entertaining novel with a Christian message that is not preachy but allows the readers to see how our choices can affect our lives. The characters face many temptations but there is room for redemption.
Thirty-year-old Samson Judges is a prominent pastor of the Peaceful Rest Missionary Baptist Church. Delilah has fallen in love with him. In her mind, there is only one person standing in her way of getting Samson–his fiancée, Julia Rivers. Samson’s weakness for Delilah, threatens to ruin his relationship with Julia, his parents, and his church. When he realizes the length Delilah will go through to get her man, Samson vows to protect his ministry by any means necessary.
What influenced you to write this book?
I wrote Delilah because I kept hearing people trying to blame others for their transgressions instead of taking responsibilities for their own actions. I decided to take a tragic love story from the Bible and give it a modern day twist.
Delilah is the first book in my “Bad Women of the Bible” series. I’ve chosen women, who from mere appearances, was the cause of several great men downfall. But when you dig a little deeper, you realize the men had choices; just like we have choices in our life. It’s up to each individual to weigh their options before acting or reacting. Our decisions can lead to life or death.
Did you have a favorite character(s)? Who and why?
Delilah was a fun character to write. She makes the mistake of falling in love with her pastor, Rev. Samson Judges. Delilah hasn’t had luck with men in the past but feels her luck has changed when she meets Samson. In her eyes, Samson’s perfect and can do no wrong. Delilah feels if given the chance, Samson could grow to love her. She doesn’t care he’s already engaged to marry someone else. Her relentless attitude is what keeps readers talking. Even with all of her imperfections, Delilah still recognizes the power of God.
Samson was called to preach at a young age but he ran from his calling until after college. During his college years, he was what most would call a player but once he decided to dedicate his life to the Lord, he became celibate. Samson feels that his relationship with God is so strong that he can withstand any form of temptation. Up until he met Delilah, he was able to deal with the temptations of the flesh.
Both characters are dealing with deception in one form or another.
What’s next for you?
I’m currently working on the next book in my “Bad Women of the Bible” series. I’m also gearing up for the February 22, 2011 release of my new suspense novel–Savannah’s Curse. Savannah’s Curse will take you on a roller-coaster ride of suspense as Savannah channels her grief into an unrelenting search for her father’s murderer.
Where can visitors find you online?