Please welcome with us today, Denise Turney and her book, Love Pour Over Me. Welcome Denise!
Please tell us a little about yourself.
I absolutely love to write and read. In fact, my passion for writing is rooted in my love for reading good books. Although I’m an adult book writer, Pippi Longstocking is my all-time favorite book character! She has spunk! A little more about me . . . I’m the author of the books Love Pour Over Me, Spiral, Long Walk Up, Portia, Love Has Many Faces (sold out), Rosetta’s Great Hope (a children’s book) and “Gada’s Glory” (currently working on). I’m also “Mom” to a wonderful son who’s currently in college. My hometown is Ohio. However, I grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee from the time I was 10 years old until I joined the Navy at 22 years of age. I love cherry pie, being outdoors and meeting new people!
Did you plan to be a writer or did it just happen?
My inner being revealed to me that I was a writer when I was 10 years old. I received a very clear message about that.
What is your favorite non-writing pastime?
Traveling and visiting with family and friends
When did you decide to take that step that made you a published author?
I made the decision to become a published author in 1985. I had been writing since 1972. Amazing when I re-read what I just wrote and see 13 years passed before I took the step to become a published writer. My first attempt at getting published wasn’t successful; instead it was more of a learning experience, learning what and what not to do to get published. My first book, Portia, was published in 1998. Since then I’ve learned that marketing and promoting are a huge part of a book’s success.
Is writing a full-time career for you? If not, how else do you spend your work day?
I am a full-time writer. It’s a dream come true, but it’s a lot of work. I write content for other businesses. I also blog and write, market and promote my novels.
If you had to sum it up the book in 30 or less words, what would you say?
Love Pour Over Me is a book about the power and endless rewards gained when anyone chooses love over fear.
What inspired the idea behind your book?
The story came to me, as some stories do, out of the blue. I was driving home from Pathmark, a grocery store on the East Coast, when the idea about a story that shared the complicated relationship between a father and son popped into my head. However, the friendships, murder mystery and romance the book’s main character, Raymond Clarke, experience developed as the story unfolded.
Do you have a favorite character in the book? Who and why?
Raymond (he’s also the main character). I so appreciate his resiliency and how he overcomes childhood challenges brought on due to his growing up beneath the unforgiving hand of an alcoholic father.
What has been your greatest challenge in writing Love Pour Over Me?
At times it was emotionally difficult to write about some of the hardships Raymond endured as a child. I also wanted Raymond to open up to Brenda’s love more readily. I don’t want to give the story away, but Raymond and Brenda’s relationship is rarely seen in real life or in many novels I have read. I appreciate what they share; it’s beautiful.
Do you have to be alone or have quiet to write?
I can write with or without noise. I have this way of getting into a story until the characters come alive and it’s as if the story is about all there is. I appreciate that I am able to do that, makes the writing process easier.
Is there any place and time in the world and in history that you would like to visit?
Chicago, Illinois in the 1940s. It has a very déjà vu feeling to me. I’d also like to visit Spain, Italy and Africa now, in modern times. I want to explore the historic sites, dine on local, homemade dishes, enjoy a wild animal safari and meet and hold conversation with area residents.
How do you unwind after a long writing session?
I’ll take a walk outdoors or just get up and go do anything other than write. Listening to smooth jazz is always a treat for me.
Who or what has most influenced your writing?
The work of great writers like Joyce Carol Oates, James Baldwin, Gloria Naylor, Gwendolyn Brooks, BeBe Moore Campbell, Bernice McFadden, Nicole Titus, Maxine Thompson, Langston Hughes, etc. have greatly influenced my work. I love their style, pace and voice. I love what they and other talented writers do with words!
What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing Love Pour Over Me?
Love is always worth it, even when it might seem as if it’s not.
A father and son's estranged relationship threatens to destroy the son's only chance at real love. But is a painful childhood enough to choke a young man's promising future? Love will find and heal the most broken hearted, disappointed, abused and ashamed. Love has come. There is no turning back.
Denise Turney is a professional writer who brings more than thirty-two years of book, newspaper, magazine, radio and business writing to a project. She is the author of the books Portia, Love Has Many Faces, Spiral, Rosetta’s Great Adventure, Long Walk Up and Love Pour Over Me. Denise Turney is an internationally celebrated author who is listed in various entertainment and business directories, including industry leaders such as Who’s Who, 100 Most Admired African American Women and Crosswalk. Denise Turney’s works have appeared in Parade, Essence, Ebony, Madame Noire, The Pittsburgh Quarterly and Obsidian II.