Ella Curry, president of EDC Creations, recently had the pleasure of chatting with authors Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant. Please read the special author's feature below.
EDC: Introduce us to your new title.
D&V: In What Doesn’t Kill You, our narrator, Thomasina “Tee” Hodges, recounts her life-altering two year journey from well paid professional, to out-placed ex-employee with her financial life collapsing around her. As she puts it—“I thought I had a handle on my life. Then it broke off.”
Tee’s story is not one we tell from the outside in. Her trip from denial, to anger to acceptance and ultimately to reinvestment in her life is one we know intimately because both directly and indirectly we have lived through it and it wasn’t pretty. It has been a six year long, down, dirty test of personal strength, our commitment to our craft and our friendship. Parts of the struggle are ongoing, but writing What Doest Kill You was a way to begin to take some extremely negative energy and make it into something positive.
D&V: . . .of all the support and encouragement we receive from readers. Before we were writers, we were readers, so we know how much a book can mean to us. Except while you’re writing you sometimes have trouble believing your story could have meaning for anybody at all and you wonder why you’re wasting your time. Emails from, and conversations with readers who encourage us to keep doing what we’re doing because our characters speak to them, for them, entertain, inspire, or remind them of people they know, or who they are, give us the lift we need to keep going.
D&V: Virginia is from Buffalo, NY and Donna is from Brooklyn, NY. They both start with “B” which is pretty much where the similarity ends. We have used both locations in our stories and have enjoyed getting each other acquainted with our homes.
D&V: Talk about, “ripped from the headlines.” We started this book more than two years ago and what with current mortgage foreclosures, business down-turns leading to rising unemployment, and general financial unease, it couldn’t be more current—which sounds like a downer. But we were definitely looking to make lemonade and not stay in the pits. From time to time we all have rain on our parade—sometimes with gale-force winds, floods, power outages. . .
At some point we each have to make the decision to either keep looking for a way out of the storm, or give in and let it carry us away. Despite anger, setbacks, embarrassment, and fear, Tee keeps on trying. We did too, and we hope that readers find encouragement, and laughter in Tee’s saga.
D&V: We hope What Doesn’t Kill You will give them a laugh, because right about now we can all use a chuckle or two. Writing Tee was more fun than we ever expected. She cracked us up regularly, and even though this is the first book we have written in first person, it is also the first time we’ve done a book that almost wrote itself. We want people to be reminded of the things in their lives that are truly precious, and to really take a look at the difference between what we want and what we truly need. And like Tee, we all have people who help us when we can really use it. Eventually she finds a way to say thanks, and gives them a token of her appreciation (she makes it herself, and we’ve included her recipe). We hope readers take a moment to thank the people who have reached out to help when they needed it most.
D&V: Well, we have taken up residence in the writing cave and we’re working on a new book. But we’re also stepping out in another arena.
Along with two partners we have formed Four Colored Girls Productions, and we are producing Tryin’ to Sleep in the Bed You Made—the Movie. We are thrilled to say that award-winning actress Regina King has signed on as our Gayle. We have a script and we are currently working to complete the cast—if you have suggestions for your dream Pat, Marcus and Ramsey, by all means let us know at: email@example.com.
You can keep up with our progress at our website: deberryandgrant.com, and on our myspace page: myspace.com\twomindsfull. We’d also love to have your email addresses so we can keep you posted on our progress.
And while we’re on the movie tip—we are also excited to be involved with the production of Far From the Tree. Their script is ready to go too, and producers Jessica Funches and Sherri James are currently casting. They would love you to stop by their myspace page: myspace.com\farfromthetreemovie.
We consider it an honor that our production company partners, Tyrha Lindsey and Tracey Kemble, as well as Jessica and Sherri, have chosen to bring their time, experience and considerable talents, to bringing our stories to the screen.
Thank you both for joining us for the EDC Creations Intimate Conversations Series
Ella Curry, president of EDC Creations, www.edc-creations.com