Beverly Jenkins – The nation’s premiere writer of African-American historical romance, Bev has over 35 published novels and many awards, including two Career Achievement Awards and a Pioneer Award from Romantic Times Magazine, and a Golden Pen Award from the Black Writers Guild. She grew up in the Motor City; in the 4th grade she was the editor of her elementary school newspaper. She also speaks NFL and gardening. www.beverlyjenkins.net
Q&A with Beverly Jenkins
Beverly Jenkins is both a historical and contemporary romance novelist. She made her name on historical romance focused on African Americans. She was recently featured by CBS This Morning, talking about the impact of romance novels. She will be joining us again for A Rally of Writers. She checked in with us to answer a few questions. www.beverlyjenkins.net
Question: Why are conferences like A Rally of Writers, that bring Michigan writers together important?
Answer: I think one of the highlights of a community based writing conference is being with your tribe. Writers are odd; not everyone gets us but other writers do. Being able to spend a day not only honing your craft but interacting with people who speak your language and understand your goals and aspirations can be inspiring.
Question: You really do a great job of staying in contact and dialoguing with readers using social media. Why did you decide to engage?
Answer: Interacting on social media lets you rub shoulders with other writers and venture into the places where readers gather like Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads etc. My sales began climbing once I opened a FB page and grew even more as I learned to navigate Twitter. Readers want to know their authors: what your days are like, when pre-ordering is live and what’s in the pipeline. You get to decide how much or how little you want to share, but I find social media and what it can offer exciting. If you’re not on social media seriously consider doing so.
Question: Do you always start a novel with the character or are you fully a plot-driven novelist?
Answer: Each story is different. Sometimes they begin with a character, and other times it’s sparked by a piece of history.
Question: In addition to writing and reading romance, we know you also love science fiction. Who inspires you? And can we expect to see you dip your toe in the Science Fiction writing pool soon?
Answer: I love sci-fi but my heart beats for fantasy. I fan girl over Jim Butcher, Ilona Andrews and Patricia Briggs. I’ve always wanted to do my own stories so, later this year I’ll stick my toe in the water with a novella titled: Transformation. We’ll see how it goes.