Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Meet: Connie Briscoe, author of SISTERS AND HUSBANDS

Before we get to the next author for me to introduce you to, please head over to Zetta Elliott's blog and read her open letter to the publishing industry. Powerful stuff! (And look for a Q&A with Zetta here soon.)

Also, please take a quick second to vote for book bloggers you may have met here or seen commenting here including Color Online and the Bottom of Heaven. Both are shortlisted for Book Blogger Appreciation Week Awards! Voting continues until this weekend.

Okay, on to introducing you to another excellent novelist! Connie Briscoe is author of many novels with her most recent being Sisters and Husbands.

According to Connie:
I’ve been a full-time published author for more than 10 years, with five novels, one photo-essay book and one novella published to date. I’ve worked with HarperCollins, Doubleday, Ballentine, and Harlequin. My work has hit many major best-seller lists, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, USA Today Weekend, and Essence magazine.

My sixth novel, a sequel to the novel that started it all, Sisters and Lovers, which sold more than 750,000 copies has recently been published. Sisters and Husbands was published by Grand Central Publishing in June 2009.

Ten years have passed since Sisters and Lovers, and Beverly, now 39, is engaged to Julian, a man her family and friends agree is the epitome of a great catch: he's gorgeous, loyal, trustworthy, successful, and very much in love with her. Since this is Beverly's third engagement in the past five years, after breaking off the previous two at the last moment, everyone's happy that she's finally settling down. For Beverly and Julian, nothing could be better than being in love and planning their wedding. That is until Beverly's oldest sister's marriage falls apart and dampens the mood of what should have been the happiest time in Beverly's life. Now, second-guessing her impending nuptials, Beverly is forced to wonder if marriage really works. Will she stick it out? Or will her fears cloud her judgment once again?

My conversation with Connie:
White Readers Meet Black Authors: Describe your work for someone unfamiliar with it. What's your writing style like? What subjects/themes do you explore?

Connie Briscoe: I've written novels, a novella and a nonfiction book. The bulk of my work would probably be considered "women's fiction." It is centered around women overcoming challenges and obstacles, whether professional, romantic or otherwise. How can we make ourselves better, stronger, wiser?

WRMBA: What's your latest novel about?

CB: Sisters and Husbands is a sequel to my very first novel, Sisters and Lovers, which sold three-quarters of a million copies. Sisters and Husbands takes place ten years later, and it centers around Beverly, the youngest of three sisters. She's never been married and her challenge is to overcome a fear of commitment to marriage after having been burned or disappointed repeatedly by the men in her life.

WRMBA: What's your goal(s) as a writer? Do you set out to educate? entertain? illuminate?

CB: All three actually. I believe that learning about ourselves can also be fun.

WRMBA: What's next for you?

CB: I'm exploring different ideas, some outside of writing. The real estate market fascinates me, as do many other things. I'll always write or somehow be involved in publishing. I'm just not sure how after my next novel comes out in a year or two. And that's not all because of me. The publishing market is changing so much, and I don't think we can be sure what it will look like a year or two from now.

WRMBA: What's the best book (or whose the best writer) that not enough people know about?

CB: You, Carleen. I really believe that. But I also see that that is changing, fortunately, as you become better known and appreciated.

WRMBA: Connie, Thank you so much! I'm touched that you mentioned me. And a little saddened and scared by your answer about how publishing is changing. If someone who can sell a million books isn't confident...? It's scary times!


Shauna Roberts said...

Thanks for the interesting interview and the link to Zetta Elliott's blog.

How sad it is that well-loved authors who sell a lot (not just Zetta but some of my friends too) are feeling insecure in today's publishing market. Zetta, I hope you continue to get contracts.

Zetta said...

Thanks, Shauna--I'm just about to sell the rights to my self-published YA novel, so it is worthwhile to persist! And thanks, Carleen, for linking to my post...

Carleen Brice said...

Zetta, That is excellent news!!! On so many levels, glad to hear it!

Zetta said...

Thanks, Carleen! I hope I didn't just jinx myself...still waiting to sign the final contract, but have been in negotiations for the past six weeks and finally hammered everything out.

Shauna Roberts said...

ZETTA, that's great news. Congrats!

CONNIE, I meant to include you in my wishes for a continued publishing career. Sorry I was rude! I can only keep 1/2 thought in my head at once nowadays.

Tyhitia Green said...

Wonderful interview. Thanks for sharing. I'll have to pick this book up. :-D