INTERVIEW | Shana J. Burton

INTERVIEW | Shana J. Burton

Shana, describe yourself for our visitors.

I’m very much a Georgia Peach! I love God, family, food, and fun. I’m either quiet and reserved or completely over-the-top. There is no middle-ground. I’m not good at being fake, so what you see is pretty much what you get. I’m also extremely sensitive to the needs of others. I can’t stand to see people mistreated or in pain. I’m just really simple and complex at the same time.

How do you find time to connect with God?

I’m a very busy person, but I absolutely have to make time to connect with God. I generally find it easier to do so around 5:30a before everyone gets up and get the day started. I usually spend the first hour of my day with the Lord. I also try to get in an hour at night. Spending that time with God and developing our relationship is the only way I could possibly stay sane with all of the craziness around me.

Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?

My all-time favorite author is Zora Neale Hurston and all-time favorite book is Their Eyes Were Watching God, but I do like a lot of contemporary authors, too. I really like Reshonda Tate Billingslea, Mary Monroe, Rhonda McKnight, Dwan Abrams, Victoria Christopher Murray. I like anyone who can tell a good story.

Tell us about your journey to publication.

I could tell you all about the hours I spent writing, how I was rejected about 100 times before I got a book deal, how I lost my marriage during this process, etc.– and all that’s true– but the bottom line is that I’m here as a published author through God’s
favor and grace, period. I wrote my first book in six months. It was picked up by Urban Christian and in the stores a year later. It was nothing but the grace of God.

Tell us about your current book.

It’s been said that nothing is constant except change, and no one knows that better than the ladies of Mount Zion Ministries. After a turbulent year filled with custody battles, infidelity, and secrets, Sullivan Webb, Lawson Kerry Banks, Angel King, Kina Battle, and Reginell Kerry pick up in my new book, Flaw Less, where all of the drama left off in 2010’s best-selling Flaws and All.

Best friends Lawson, Sullivan, Reginell, Angel and Kina always have each other’s backs, though sometimes they’ve got their claws out. Sullivan’s a First Lady who strayed once—but she has to cope every day with the sex tape that’s plastered all over the internet. Unhappily married Lawson’s insecurity causes her to drive away the people she loves…including Reginell, her younger sister, who’s trying to better herself but feels trapped by her job as an exotic dancer. Meanwhile, Angel feels she’s competing with her husband’s late first wife for his affections, and Kina fears that following her heart will lead her into sin. Facing crisis after crisis, the women must rely on God’s help and their own bonds of friendship to get them through.

How did you come up with ideas for this book?

Since it is a sequel, it wasn’t that hard in that I didn’t have to develop new characters; I just had to think of new drama and situations for them to get themselves into. During the prequel, Flaws and All, I felt like the characters were more or less victims of
circumstance. This time, I wanted their actions to drive the story, so that’s what I had in mind for framing the novel.

What valuable lessons do you want readers to learn from your book?

Wow, they’re so many! I would like for people to learn that our actions do have far-reaching consequences and when act selflessly, a lot of innocent people can get hurt. I want people to grasp the power of forgiveness– be it of self or others. I would like people to know that we can bring life or death to a situation through our words as much as we can through our actions.

What’s next for you?

I’m working on the third, and possibly last, book in the Flaws series, which will be Flawfully Wedded Wives. I say it’s the last, but I’ve come to love these characters, so it might not be!

Where can readers find you online?

If readers want to contact me directly, they can always email me a jatice@hotmail.com. I’m also on Facebook under www.facebook.com/shanajohnsonburton or Twitter –  www.twitter.com/shanajburton