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10 Questions for Beverly Jenkins

USA Today best-selling author Beverly Jenkins forever changed the literary landscape of historical romance in 1994 with the publication of her first book, Night Song, and since then, she has gone on to write more than 40 (and counting) historical and contemporary novels that celebrate the power of love and family. In addition to being nominated for the NAACP Image Award in Literature, Beverly Jenkins was the well-deserved recipient of the 2017 Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award.

Who is Beverly Jenkins?

Beverly Jenkins is a Detroit born, African American historical romance writer whose stories are known to be both entertaining and educational.

Tell us about your new book, Wild Rain.

Wild Rain, my newest release, published on February 9, 2021. Set in 1880s Wyoming Territory it’s the story of what happens when a lady rancher who is all sharp edges and barbed wire meets a calm, bookish newspaper reporter from DC. 

What inspired you to write your Women Who Dare series?

The Women Who Dare series grew out of a conversation with my fabulous editor, Erika Tsang. My entire writing career has centered on women who’ve pushed the envelope on gender and race. We just decided to give it a name.

What intriguing facts did you discover while researching the history of African American newspapers in America for Wild Rain?

One of the most interesting facts most Americans are unaware of is that the nation’s first Black newspaper, Freedom’s Journal, began publication in New York in 1827. Between 1827 and the 1890s more than a hundred would follow – some lasting years, others less than a month.

What three words best convey the literary flavor of your writing?

Three words describing my literary flavor would be: intriguing, revelatory, satisfying.

What is/are the book/books that got you hooked on the romance genre as a reader?

I grew up reading everything from Louisa May Alcott to Zane Grey. I can’t point to one particular novel or author that set me on my path to romance. I happen to love a good love story and being a voracious reader helped me become a writer. 

What is the best piece of advice about writing you ever received?

I’ve received two great pieces of advice, and I can’t tout one without the other. The first is from my editor – dig deeper.  The second came from my agent Nancy Yost – slow the story down.

What is one question you wish someone would ask you in an interview that you never get asked?

I’ve been asked so many questions over my 27 year career I can’t think of anything I would like to be asked that hasn’t been. I can tell you one of the best questions I’ve received, and it’s only been asked once: What do I want on my headstone?

What is next for you as an author?

What’s next for me is finishing up Book 11 in my long running Blessings series. Once that’s done, I’m on to the third book of the Women Who Dare series.

How can readers best connect with you and learn more about your books?

Readers can best connect with me through my website, beverlyjenkins.net. If they want to reach out on Twitter, my handle is @authorMsBev.

About the Author:

The Romance Writers of America 2002 Librarian of the Year, Charles has been reviewing romances for Booklist since 1999 and is the author of Romance Today: An A to Z Guide to Contemporary American Romance. After working for the Scottsdale Public Library System for 30 years, Charles retired and went to work for Scottsdale's independent bookstore the Poisoned Pen, where he still gets to push books but has to deal with far fewer computer questions.

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