INTERVIEW | Terrell Williams, Author of But My Soul is Black

Tell us about yourself.

Terrell Williams began life as the 2nd eldest son of 9 children (4 girls and 5 boys) and was reared in less than affluent circumstances. The second in his immediate family to graduate from college, he went on to marry a wonderful woman, and who eventually became the proud parents of 4 children (3 girls and 1 son who is also his namesake).

Mr. Williams enjoys reading and writing poetry, and he has written several plays that have been performed and were well received in Texas. The idea for his debut novel, But my Soul Is Black, lay dormant for many years until Mr. Williams finally finished the novel upon his retirement, fulfilling his dream of becoming a published author. His romantic tale tackles controversial topics such as interracial relationships, generational differences of conceptual thinking about life and love.

This novel seeks to remind the readers of the interconnectedness we share as humans, as well as showing that truly, love transcends all!

How do you find time to connect with God?

I make it a priority before anything else. I build my schedule around it.

Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?

  1. The Bible
  2. The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
  3. Destiny by Tony Evans
  4.  Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson
  5. When Screaming Isn’t Enough by Connie Williams
  6. The One Minute Manager by Spencer Johnson
  7. Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine by Bebe Moore
  8. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
  9. Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell
  10. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Tell us about your journey to publication.

I started writing this book several years ago and wouldn’t publish it until I had an ending that I was comfortable with. That took five years. Once I was ready to publish it, my sister Connie shared with me how she published her book and I followed suit.

But My Soul is BlackTell us about your current book?

But My Soul is Black is about Bobby Selinski. Bobby has high hopes for his new life in Detroit, and he will not, under any circumstances, blow his chances by messing up a prime job opportunity at his uncle’s construction company. But his first meeting with his mentor, African American foreman Jimbo, turns out even worse than expected when it becomes apparent that Bobby is learning the ropes to become Jimbo’s boss.

As Bobby tries to navigate Jimbo’s understandable resentment, he must also wrestle with the misperceptions of Black culture that his Caucasian family has passed on to him. Eventually, the two men become friends as Jimbo recognizes that Bobby doesn’t hold the prejudices of his uncle. But just as things start to smooth out, Jimbo introduces Bobby to the kind, clever, and stunning Karen—Jimbo’s favorite woman to string along.

Confused by his strong feelings for this intriguing woman and frustrated with Jimbo’s flippant treatment of her, Bobby struggles with whether to pursue Karen…at the cost of ending his newfound friendship with Jimbo and sabotaging his future. Taking a candid look at interracial romance and the human experience, … But My Soul is Black reveals the cultural misperceptions that harm us—and the love that heals us.

How did you come up with ideas for this book?

I have an admiration for the beauty of black women and I didn’t like the way that society was devaluing them, so I created a platform in literature form where they could genuinely be appreciated for their unique beauty. I feel that black women ought to have choices when it comes to love. They should be admired and revered by men regardless of their ethnicity.

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

Love is worth fighting for.

What’s next for you?

There may be a sequel to But My Soul Is Black in the future. I’m building an audience, that’s my goal with this book.

Please tell us where we can connect with you online.