Interview: THE REVEREND’S WIFE by Kimberla Lawson Roby

AAMBC gives 5 stars:

The Black’s are back and better than ever in the ninth installment of The Reverend Curtis Black series. The Reverend’s Wife picks up with Reverend Curtis adamant about divorcing Charlotte once their son, Malcolm, leaves for college in a few months. Though both of their philandering ways has brought about children from outside of their marriage, Charlotte’s latest trysts have proven to be even too much for the reverend to handle. Especially since he has put a stop to his own wayward ways—at least in the physical form.


Charlotte’s distress over the future of their existence together drives her back to the bottle, and the behavior she exhibits under the influence draws a bigger wedge between her and the rest of the family. She has even pushed Malcolm, who hasn’t quite gotten over her last betrayal, even further away.


In the interim, Curtis continues to confide in Sharon, a female member of the church, who has developed an unhealthy liking to him and a more dangerous infatuation to Charlotte.


With Charlotte’s unrelenting efforts for reconciliation, she not only becomes more active in the church, but she begins to dote on Curtina, the reverend’s illegitimate daughter that she once despised. Leaning on the power of prayer, and realizing that neither wants to lose the other, the Black’s reach a breakthrough and decide to give their marriage one last chance.


However, Sharon’s obsession may prove too strong as she works overtime to break up their marriage and claim what’s rightfully her spot as the first lady of the church and Curtis’ new wife.


The Reverend’s Wife has a storyline that flows effortlessly and the characters pop with so much life and realism, you can’t help but to become involved—screaming at the pages and talking to the characters as if they can hear you.


Kimberla Lawson Roby has done it again and it’s even better than the last time! The Reverend’s Wife is a guaranteed page-turner with enough drama and surprises to keep you hooked till the jaw-dropping ending.


Exclusive Interview with Kimberla:


  1. When you released your debut novel, Behind Closed Doors, did you ever think you’d become this successful? 

No, not at all.  This has been a wonderfully blessed journey, and I am very grateful for all that has happened.


2.     Of all the Bestsellers Lists you’ve been on, which was the most exciting and why?

The New York Times because it is by far the most respected bestsellers list for books.  Making that list really does do a lot for an author’s career.


3.      Many of your titles revolve around the church. Is this your upbringing? Does it reflect your personal life experiences?

My inspiration to write about problems and scandal within the church stems from the fact that I have been going to church since I was born, and unfortunately, I’ve seen and heard a lot.  I never write about any exact real-life person or scenario, but again, I am very much inspired by them.

 4.   What did you find to be the best advantage and worst disadvantage when it came to self-publishing your first novel?

The best advantage was that the self-publishing process motivated me to learn every aspect of the overall publishing industry.  I read one book after another on every topic, and it truly made all the difference for me.  This is also why, I really don’t see where self-publishing was a disadvantage at all.

 5.    How do you feel about the integrity and future of black literature now that so many are self-publishing subpar novels with poor proofing and little editing?

I believe that no matter how much time passes or how many poorly proofed or poorly edited novels we see, we will always have a good number of talented authors in the industry who actually do care about professionalism, even if they are self-published.


6.      Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, how do you overcome it?

No, not really.  But I think it’s only because I outline the first half of every novel I write before I begin writing the actual chapters.

 7.   I’ve read that you first outline your novels prior to writing the actual book. Is there a specific formula or process you follow when creating your outlines?

Initially, I decide what social topics or issues I want to focus on, then I create my characters, and then I write the outline.  For example, I will write one or two pages for chapter one, one or two pages for chapter two, and then when I’ve outlined fifteen to twenty chapters, I’ll go back and turn those one- or two-page chapter synopses into full chapters.

8.    Drop a jewel on us, what is a writing technique that you have learned along the way, but wished you knew from the start?

Writing much smaller chapters than I used to throughout the entire novel.  I feel like my stories move a lot faster now because they’re much shorter.


9.      The Reverend’s Wife is your latest release. What’s new in the Black family?

As the story opens, Reverend Curtis Black has had enough of his wife, Charlotte, and has made a decision to file for divorce.  Charlotte, on the other hand, is very sorry for her affairs and is doing all she can, trying to save her marriage.  But Curtis isn’t hearing it and is ready to move on.  Worse, there is another woman in the church who desperately wants to become the next Mrs. Curtis Black.

 10.   I hear that the Reverend Curtis Black’s series has been optioned for movie production. Was it your idea to bring this story to the big screen?

Yes, it has been optioned by two producers who contacted me.

 11.    You have an amazing gift of placing enough back-story into your novels so that if someone picked up the sixth book in the series, they would still be aware of what happened in the earlier books. How do you create a balance without there being overkill?

Thank you so much for the compliment.  When I’m writing the next title in the series, I try my best to pay attention to what back-story information is needed for new readers and what back-story details might feel too redundant for long-time readers.  In the end, I’m usually able to find a pretty decent balance.


12.  The Reverend’s Wife is the ninth installment in this series and it’s still action-packed and captivating. How do you keep the momentum so strong?


I think what has helped me the most is incorporating a different social issue with each installment and also being able to center two of the stories completely on Curtis’s eldest daughter.


13.  What can we expect next, Kimberla?  Will you be coming back with another novel in the Reverend Curtis Black series, or will you be releasing a stand-alone title?


In 2013, I’m releasing (3) titles:  a novella entitled, THE PERFECT MARRIAGE on January 8, another Reverend Curtis Black title in May, and a Christmas novella in October.


14.  Lastly, as a veteran in the literary game, what advice can you give to the new author that is apprehensive about releasing their novel?


Hire a professional editor, determine who your audience is, create a marketing plan, and learn everything you can about the business of publishing.


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