Jasmine's Place Issue No. 14 - December 2014 - Page 35

Rhonda McKnight is the author of the Black Expressions Top 20 bestsellers, A Woman’s Revenge (Mar 2013), What Kind of Fool (Feb 2012), An Inconvenient Friend (Aug 2010) and Secrets and Lies (Dec 2009). Other titles include the Second Chances series, Unbreak My Heart (July 2014), Breaking All The Rules (Oct 2013) and Give a Little Love (Dec 2013). She was a 2010 nominee for the African-American Literary Award in the categories of Best Christian Fiction Novel and Best Anthology. She was the winner of the 2010 Emma Award for Favorite Debut Author and the 2009 Shades of Romance Award for Best Christian Fiction Novel. Originally from a small, coastal town in New Jersey, she’s called Atlanta, Georgia home for sixteen years. Here, she shares about the crafts of writing. How do you form your plots? My ideas come from various places, but I form my plots by thinking through the events I want to happen in the story and then expanding on those by creating conflict for the characters. Do you envisage characters before plots or the other way round? I’m not sure I can say one or the other definitively, but I do think I meet the character first and it’s easier for me to shape my characters. The plot work I do is very intensive, but I never really begin writing before I’ve figured out where my characters are going in the story. You've released 7 novels in a short time, and you are planning to release another novel in January 2015. How did you break in to writing and get published? How do you keep the momentum? ’ve been writing since I was a child, but started writing seriously for publication in 2004. I studied the craft by reading books, attending conferences and working closely with a critique group. In early 2007, I submitted a proposal to Kensington Publisher’s Urban Christian Imprint and the novel was acquired. It was released in December 2009. I often feel like I haven’t written enough, but I guess I forget I work full-time and I’m a single parent, so I try to give myself some grace for not having more books on the shelves. As for momentum, I know my writing is a gift, so I try very hard to remember that God wants the fruit of that. JASMINE'S PLACE 35