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Q&A with Trice Hickman

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Open the pages and take an unforgettable journey with Victoria Small, a smart, savvy sister who’s fresh off a year-long, self-imposed hiatus—from men! Now that she’s ready to start dating again, she gets more than she bargained for when Ted Thornton and Parker Brightwood enter her life.

Ted, a powerful blue-eyed CEO, is drawn to Victoria, igniting a friendship that both delights and shocks her out of her comfort zone. Then she meets Parker, a talented surgeon who showers her with tenderness, helping her to mend her once-broken heart.
In her struggle to rationalize her growing feelings for the white man who loves her, and forge ahead in her relationship with the ebony prince who fulfills her, she resurrects a painful secret she thought she’d buried long ago, and finds herself doing things she never thought she’d do. Along the way she’s joined by a colorful cast of friends and foes as she tests the boundaries of love, race, class and where she fits in.

Unexpected Interruptions is a sophisticated, thought-provoking novel you won’t soon forget, packed with both touching and humorous moments that will make you laugh, cry and jump with surprise!

Q&A with Trice Hickman, Author of the debut novel "Unexpected Interruptions"

 

 

Q:  When did you decide you wanted to write?

A:  I’ve loved reading and creative writing for as long as I can remember, and have always wanted to write a book. But when I’d sit down to write a story, nothing would happen. I could only form a few frustrating pages, so I’d go back to reading and continue to dream about writing a book. It didn’t come together for me until nearly four years ago when I sat in front of my computer one morning and committed to doing it.

Q:  How many novels in all have you written?

A:  Unexpected Interruptions is my first novel, but there are many more to come.

Q:  How long did it take you to write your first novel?

A:  It’s funny, after all the years of “starts” and “stops”, once I committed to my writing, it took me less than five months to complete the novel. 

Q:  Where do you get your inspiration for your stories? Are the characters based on real people?

A:  Great question—I get my inspiration from my characters. As a writer develops characters, those characters tend to take on a life of their own and ultimately help the writer to shape the story. Oftentimes, as in the case for my first novel, the story you start out with in your head isn’t the story you end up with once you listen to your characters. My characters do resemble a few people I know, either physically or emotionally. For instance, my sister, Melody, was the physical inspiration for my main character (she’s also the beautiful woman on the front cover of the book!). But I try to stay away from writing about my personal life, or that of my friends and family. I rely on my imagination and my characters for that.

Q:  After writing your first novel, did you self-publish?? If so, how was that experience?

A:  Like many successful authors, after receiving several rejections from agents, I decided to self-publish because I believed in the work I’d created and wanted to share it with readers. I formed my publishing company, Platinum Books (www.pb-platinumbooks.com) and never looked back. I’m so glad that I self-published my first novel because it allowed me to have complete creative control of my book, from deciding on the tone of the story to choosing the cover and interior book design. Now, I’ll tell you, as rewarding as doing your own thing can be, self-publishing is a grind. You gotta get your hustle on to make your book move! Sending out galleys, promotional materials, scheduling book signings, getting media coverage—it’s all on you, and it requires time and financial resources to be done correctly. That has been the biggest challenge of self-publishing.

Q:  What feedback have you received from fans?

A:  The feedback has been overwhelming! Early reads of the manuscript from friends, colleagues and a few Essence bestselling authors yielded a good amount of buzz, which translated into doubling the number of pre-order sales I’d expected. Many readers have told me that they can relate to the characters, and couldn’t put the book down because of the interesting plot twists. That’s music to a writer's ears.

Q:  What authors do you admire? Did one of them inspire you?

A:  Wow, there are so many! But if I have to narrow it down to a few they’d include; Tananarive Due, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Amy Tan, Trisha R. Thomas, Walter Mosley, Tina McElroy Ansa, and the writing duo of Donna Grant & Virginia DeBerry. I believe that all of these strong writers influenced me, if not because of their written words, because of their actions, and their dedication to quality writing.

Q:  Is writing your only passion?

A:  It’s just one of them. I’m passionate about cooking and entertaining—I love to throw a good party! And I’m passionate about being active in my community as well as in local and national politics. My husband and I are community volunteers and are committed to making our DC neighborhood cleaner and safer. Being civic-minded is very important to us.

Q:  Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

A:  I see myself with at least two national bestsellers under my belt. I’d also like to publish at least two new authors in that time. I want to give other writers an opportunity to share their unique voices with the world.

Q:  What advice would you give aspiring authors?

A:  Never ever give up! Always believe in yourself and in the story you’ve written, even if others don’t—especially when others don’t! Do your research and network with other writers. Also, it’s critically important to learn all you can about the book industry. Seek out a mentor and ask for guidance. You’ll be surprised by how many writers are willing to help you.

Q:  What would you like readers to learn from your stories?

A:  I would like readers to learn that black people have lots of different stories to be told, and I’m just telling one of them. We are not a homogenous group of people; we’re fierce from The Hood to Wall Street! After reading my book, I want readers to learn and know that love, family and a good life are not sentimental, over-rated fantasies, but they are realities that we can have and enjoy.

Q:  Are you working on another novel? If so, What is it about?

A:  Yes, I’m currently finishing up the sequel to Unexpected Interruptions, and I’m half-way finished with the third novel. I’ve also developed story lines for two additional books.

Q:  Where can people purchase your books? Do you have a website?

A:  Glad you asked! Unexpected Interruptions, can be purchased through my website www.tricehickman.com, Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, Bordersstores.com, and in independent and chain bookstores nationwide. If you go into your local bookstore and it’s not on the shelf, ask the manager to order a copy! Also, I’d love for readers to visit me on my website at www.tricehickman.com, because I love hearing from them.

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