Fill in the blank: "Reading SUDDENLY SINGLE will make you laugh, cry, and reassure you that the Lord works in his own time to make things happen."
You have 25 words to make readers RACE out to buy SUDDENLY SINGLE...GO!
If you've ever been heart-broken or want an honest take on being single and saved in a secular society, read this book!
What's your favorite thing about SUDDENLY SINGLE?
I love my two main female characters. Vashti (bless her heart) really makes me feel good about my failed relationships because I know that my love life will never be as tragic as hers. I love reading about characters that I don't have to be jealous of. Monique is great, too. She was really fun to create because she says whatever she feels and has some of the best lines in the book. She is definitely a scene stealer!
What are three adjectives that best describe SUDDENLY SINGLE?
Fun, real, uplifting
What are three adjectives that best describe YOU?
Curious (some would call it nosey), creative, and sensitive
What have you done or what do you plan to do - as author - to promote SUDDENLY SINGLE?
I've pimped myself in every way possible. I've done radio interviews, TV, blogs, e-blasts, postcards, newspaper articles, websites, book club meetings, writing workshops, church conferences. You name it and I've probably done it-- twice!!
Shana Burton: THE SOUNDTRACK! What three tracks would make it onto a soundtrack of your life, and why?
My Life (Mary J. Blige) because you have to really look into my life and see everything I've been through and have had to overcome to truly understand me. I think that's true of everyone. Yesterday (Mary Mary) because I am making a conscious effort to let things roll off of me and to put my trust in the Lord. Just Fine (Mary again) because my life is not perfect, but I'm in a great place mentally, spiritually, financially, and everywhere else.
You're going on vacation, and you're only allowed to take three books with you -- what are they?
The Bible, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Native Son
What makes SUDDENLY SINGLE fit into the Christian genre mold?
While Vashti spends most of the book making mistakes, by the end, she has grown spiritually and is well on her way in her Christian walk. By definition, to be considered Christian fiction, the book has to reflect Christian values and the lead character(s) has to be spritually mature (or have shown significant growth) by the end of the book, but that's it. The church doesn't have to be the dominant setting, nor does the plotline have to revolve around church.
Will future books reflect Christian values as well?
Yes, they all will. I'm a Christian, so it naturally comes out in my writing, but I'm also a realist. My characters will never be perfect Christians who always make the right choices. That's neither realistic nor interesting to read.
The main character of SUDDENLY SINGLE, 26-year-old Vashti Hunter is left at the altar and vows to be married within a year. Why do you think women - from young to old - still feel this incompleteness about themselves that only marriage can provide? Or do you think they do?
I think a lot of them do for various reasons. When I was single, I had a son, so I didn't want to be out dating a plethora of guys. I wanted stability for myself and my son, and marriage gave me that. Being the type of person that I am, I don't think I would've felt complete without a family. By the same token, I also have friends who are looking for "financial completeness" and having two incomes provide that. Some want social status, and some are just tired of being alone. Then, of course, there are those who feel "complete" as they are and just see marriage as the icing.
You're a career woman, a novelist, a wife, and a mother: how do you find the time to write?
I make the time. I keep a notebook with me so whenever I have any down time (i.e waiting in line, sitting in traffic), I write. Then there are those times when I have to look the door and kick everybody out for a few days or a few hours because I have a deadline to meet.
Who are some of your favorite writers, and how do they inspire you as a writer?
Zora Neale Hurston is my ultimate favorite. Her writing style and colorful diction is some of the best I've ever read. I love Toni Morrison's style, too. I'm also a big Richard Wright fan. Of course, I do love more contemporary writers as well-- Mary Monroe, Victoria Christopher Murray, Eric Jerome Dickey, Tina Ansa, and Terry McMillian all immediately come to mind, too.
What is one big thing you've learned about the industry since you've been published?
That's it a business first and foremost. While it may be a calling a passion for me, the publishing world couldn't care less about that. They are interested in the bottomline, which is sales.
Dream-on: You've just been told that someone wants to turn SUDDENLY SINGLE into a movie. Who would play Vashti Hunter?
Megan Goode or Lauren London. They are both beautiful, young talented actresses who have the range to pull it off.
What's currently going on in your WRITING LIFE?
I am finishing my third book, which is actually five stories in one surrounding a group of friends and their drama. I don't really have a title for it yet, though. I was thinking about calling it "Bag Ladies" because the ladies have so much emotional baggage and they bond through shopping. The downside to that title is having to explain what it means. I'm also toying with Flaws and All as a potential title.