Rhonda, describe yourself for our visitors
I’m Rhonda Bowen, daughter, sister, friend, writer, event planner, teacher and child of God. I was born in Jamaica but my home is in Toronto, Canada. I enjoy a good argument, cracking up with my family and getting lost in a good book. Writing is my therapy and I am blessed to be able to share it. I have spent the last six months in Thailand teaching English as a Second language.
How do you find time to connect with God?
I make it the first thing I do every day. I am not really a morning person, but I find that getting up early and spending that hour in prayer and study really centers me for the day and prepares me to face everything good or bad that might be ahead.
Do you have a favorite bible verse and or quote you wish to share?
I love the book of James and all of chapter 1 is pure brilliance. I have especially found solace in James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” The idea that we are not complete until we have had our faith tested makes me look at life through whole new eyes.
Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?
My Soul Cries Out by Sherri L Lewis was one of the first Christian Fiction novels I read and so that has a special place in my heart. But otherwise my reading interests vary. I love all Jane Austen books and other classics. But I also love the work of authors like Tiffany L Warren, Michele Andrea Bowen, Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt. And that’s just on the fiction side!
Tell us about your journey to publication
I have been writing for as long as I can remember. I co-wrote my first ‘novel’ with a friend in high school, each of us taking turns writing chapters until it was done. However Man Enough For Me was born in 2008. I had just finished up some graduate work and was employed part time. So I decided to try my hand at writing something longer than 10,000 words. It took me about a year to finish it, and I sat on it for a while not quite sure where to go next. I was especially discouraged by the fact that most commercial African American fiction is published in the US and I live in Toronto.
Then one day I read an interview of an African American author in Toronto, and how she got her manuscript published. I figured that I might as well send mine out since it would not cost me anything, and at the very least I might get some good feedback on my writing. When I got the call from my current publisher I was so surprised that I hung up the phone! Fortunately that didn’t turn them off from me or my work. The rest as they say is history!
Tell us about your current book
Man Enough For Me is about Jules Jackson, publicist by day, and promoter by night. Jules is passionate about her career, especially her after hours gig promoting new artists. She is also passionate about her family and friends. Even though they bring a lot of drama to her life, she knows she can count on them when it matters most. But most of all she is passionate about her faith and about following the path God has for her.
While working an event one night Jules meets Germaine Williams, a record store and nightclub owner who makes a lasting first impression. She can’t deny her attraction to him, and the fact that he shares a lot of her interests doesn’t hurt either. But the more time she spends around him the more she begins to worry that his motivation comes from a not-so-pure source.
As her relationship with him begins to break down, so do her other relationships and her career. She eventually comes to a junction in her life where she must decide whether she will play it safe, or risk everything for the chance at true love and happiness.
What influenced you to write this book?
A couple things. For one, I have always wanted to write stories about real things that real Christian women go through. I believe that you can remove the illicit sex and immoral behavior and still have stories that are worth reading.
I also had the opportunity to work on a small project with people in the music industry some time ago and the experiences I had with those people inspired the characters in Man Enough For Me. After that the story sort of wrote itself. Of course all names were changed to protect the innocent (wink, wink).
Did you have a favorite character(s)? Who and why?
My favorite characters are Jules, Tanya and Maxine. The friendship between the women in this story is what I enjoyed writing the most. They love each other like sisters and defend each other fearlessly outside the group. But among themselves, they are real enough to let each other know when they are wrong. Each one has something special that the other two are lacking; Maxine is the tell-it-like it is one; Tanya is the diplomat and the peacemaker; and Jules is the practical one who you can count on in an emergency. I think every woman has a friend like each of these women, and if they don’t they should.
What’s next for you?
Right now most of my time is taken up trying to teach cute Thai children the intricacies of the English Language. But when I am not doing that I am working on my next novel. It should be out sometime next year.
Where can visitors find you online?
You can reach me on my website www.rhondabowen.com or on facebook at www.facebook.com/MsRhondie. You can also email me at Rhonda.firstname.lastname@example.org.
View the blog tour schedule at http://bit.ly/ManEnoughForMe