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The Voice of the Black Community

Arts and Entertainment

Author Kimberla Lawson Roby gets straight to the action
Meet Roby during May 15 book signing in Charlotte area
 
Published Tuesday, May 13, 2014
by Michaela L. Duckett

PHOTO/WWW.KIMROBY.COM
Bestselling author Kimberla Lawson Roby will be in the Charlotte area May 15 to promote her latest book, "The Prodigal Son.

Author Kimberla Lawson Roby will be in Pineville May 15 at the Barnes and Noble at Carolina Place Mall. In addition to signing copies of her latest release “The Prodigal Son,” Roby will also speak on her experience as writer.

When Roby began her career, she said her work was rejected by every literary agent and publisher she submitted it to. Now she is a New York Times bestselling author with 20 titles under her belt.

What’s the secret to her success? Many of her fans will tell you it’s her knack for creating riveting plots that keep readers engaged from the very beginning. Unlike some authors who waste the first chapter (or three) with tons of backstory and elaborate character development, Roby dives right in from the very beginning.

“I just start with the action,” she said. “I think that is key to keeping someone’s attention right off.”

“The Prodigal Son” stays true to her signature formula. It’s Roby’s eleventh installment of her Reverend Curtis Black series.

For those who don’t know about Curtis, he’s a money-hungry preacher with a passion for cars and well-deserved reputation for being a ladies’ man. In fact, he’s now married to one of his former mistresses.

“The Prodigal Son” is written from the perspective of Curtis’ 20-year-old son Matthew Black. Within the first chapter, we learn that Matthew isn’t exactly on good terms with his father and stepmother. How could he be? After all, his stepmother did try to have his baby taken away by reporting false allegations to child protective services.

We also meet Matthew’s wife Racquel. The sight of her sitting on the couch binge watching reality-TV with her un-kept hair in their un-kept house leaves Matthew regretting the day he foolishly said “I do.” Will he give in to temptation and become a philanderer like his father?

Roby said the Curtis Black series was inspired by her desire to write fiction that would resonate with readers.

“I really wanted this to be about real life social issues,” she said. “I wanted it to be something that everyone would either know something about or have heard something about.”

She said she not only wants to entertain readers with her stories, but she hopes they will also learn something that can help to improve their lives.

“My ultimate goal is to send out a message,” she said. “The message [with the Curtis Black series] is that you reap what you sow. We have to be very careful about all of the choices that we make in life. Even if they are early on in our life, know that they will affect us in some way down the road.”

Roby said her stories, including the juicy ones about Rev. Curtis Black, are often rooted in truth. She often takes bits and pieces of things she’s seen or heard and spices them up a little with her imagination. She also pulls from personal experiences.

For example, her next novel “A Christmas Prayer” is about a woman who has lost the Christmas spirit and has not celebrated the holiday since her mother’s death. She’s struggling with coming to terms with her grief while planning a wedding to a wonderful man whose mother wants nothing to do with her.

“I have felt the same about the Christmas holiday since my mom passed away,” said Roby. “I don’t own a Christmas tree. My husband and I go out and by presents for nieces, nephews and other family members, but for the most part… it just hasn’t been the same for me.”

Be on the lookout for “A Christmas Prayer” when it hits stores Nov. 4. Also, expect the next book in the Curtis Black series, which will be told from the perspective of Curtis’ long-lost-son Dillon, in May 2015.

For more about Roby or her upcoming appearance, visit www.KimRoby.com.

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