Tell us about yourself.
Thirty-four years old, divorced mom of three: two teenagers and a six-year-old. A native of Atlanta, Georgia, where I currently reside. I am employed as an office manager for an urban planning firm and working on starting my own business on the side that will provide support and services to small businesses. I enjoy a very active social life in which I am apart of numerous, possibly too many organizations. I am a spiritual person and have been a part of my current church for the past four years. I am an avid reader and I have been a part of a book club for the past nine years. To know me is to love me.
How many books do you typically read in a month? How did you develop your love for reading?
Typically, I try to read between three to four books a month. The first is whatever the current selection is for my book club. The second is something biblical or spiritual in nature. The third is something financial or skill development. The fourth is a Cheryl Robinson novel that is currently out! My love for reading I would say started when I was a young girl. Growing up in a rough neighborhood and home, I found my safe haven in the library. Books became an escape from the harsh reality that was life. Needless to say, young adult fiction is my favorite genre.
Do you remember how you first discovered one of my books and what led you to reach out to me?
Absolutely. I was working as an accounting clerk at Spelman College Bookstore and was browsing the newly released novels and spotted In Love With A Younger Man. I immediately grabbed the book because I was involved with a guy that was nine years my junior at the time. I read the book and fell in love with the storyline and the characters. I initially reached out to you on Facebook just to tell you how my life was sort of parallel with the storyline, especially considering my younger man was from Detroit. I honestly didn’t expect for you to respond. But hey you shoot your shot, right? And now, after I am not sure how many novels later, because I have to count the ones on my shelf and in my Kindle, I am a huge Cheryl Robinson fan.
Now, let’s delve into my latest release, Lily. Without providing spoilers, can you tell readers your overall thoughts on the book?
Without any spoilers, that’s always tough to do. I enjoyed Lily very much. I will say that it was very much a page-turner. Each time I finished a chapter, when I would normally take a break, I found myself continuing to the next chapter, curious to find out what was happening next. I think the book was very enlightening and opened my eyes to a time frame and generation that I normally would not have focused on. After reading the book I found myself asking a lot of questions about myself and my view on the world, but overall grateful that I was born in the era that I was.
You were honest with me in a text when you mentioned that Lily’s broken English turned you off, initially. Did it distract you from the story? Why or why not?
Honestly, I read the first couple chapters a lot slower than I normally would have. Going back to re-read sentences to make sure I comprehended what was being said. I think it agitated me because I am such a grammarian with my own kids and make sure that they use the English language correctly so that they are not judged by a few sentences. Lily’s vernacular is in no way a reflection of who she is. Once I was able to get past it, I was able to focus more on the story. It forced me to do some self-reflection on how I may be viewing other people that I meet in my everyday life.
How did you feel about the 1950s time period Lily was set in? Do you prefer to read novels set in the current day?
Typically, I would prefer to read novels set in the present because I can relate to it more. Reading a novel set in the 1950s, as a black woman, almost upset me. With that in mind, it did provide an opportunity to learn a lot and again made me grateful for the time period today. Although not too far off, it’s not as bad.
What type of emotions did you feel while reading Lily?
I would say I experienced a range of emotions. The most prevalent ones were rage and helplessness. I was angry at the time frame and what black people had to endure. I was angry at how black people had to “get along.” I was also angry at some of the social norms. As a single mom, I was turned off by some of them. The helplessness came into play with Lily. I simply wanted to help her. I felt like the world abandoned her and left her to fend for herself, and I only wanted to possess some type of power to help her.
Why do you think someone should read Lily, the first book in the series?
Honestly, it’s a series. The first book lays the foundation and gives you a lot of the back story. If you start the series with the second book, I think you are going to have a lot of questions. The first book allows you to develop your own personal relationship with Lily and the rest of the characters and travel with them throughout the series. You will probably become invested in seeing how Lily deals with life and watching the story unfold.
Thank you, Eboni, for being the first avid reader featured on my blog. I am so grateful that you not only found me through one of my books but that you reached out to me and have stuck with me through the years.
If you are an avid reader and would like to be featured on my blog, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if you are featured, you will receive a $25 Amazon.com gift card.