Intimate Conversation with Trice Hickman

Trice Hickman, is the award-winning, bestselling author of Unexpected Interruptions, and Keeping Secrets & Telling Lies.  Prior to writing, she worked in management positions for both corporate and non-profit organizations. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Winston-Salem State University, and a Master of Arts degree from Wake Forest University. She lives in Washington, DC, and is currently working on her next novel.

BPM: What makes you powerful as a person and a writer?
I believe what makes me powerful as a person is my love and respect of my fellow man, and what makes me powerful as a writer is my love of the written word. My love of my fellow sisters and brothers allows me to more fully realize the human condition that connects us all, and that in turn enables me to pen the stories I write, which I hope resonates with readers in a viseral way. I love the written word because it is solid and lasting. A well-written story with fully developed characters and an interesting plot can take the reader out of their every day existence, allowing them to escape into an alternate one while still examining very real issues.

BPM: How much of what you write reflects on your outlook on life?
A lot of what I write reflects my outlook on life. Like me, I think most people want and struggle with the same things--love, happiness, security, balancing work and family, and striving for a better life. I write about those things, and I add a twist to shake things up.

BPM: Who are your mentors? Where do you find your inspiration?
I'd have to say my mentors are the women in my family who have come before me. My maternal grandmother (God rest her soul), was a great lady who showered everyone around her with love, and my mother is one of the best human beings I know. She's a cancer survivor, and she's a fierce warrior. I've learned so much from watching how she handles life. I find inspiration from both of them.

BPM: What do you think of the increasingly fortuitous sex in African American literature?
Sex is a natural part of life, and because the characters we create represent real people I think it is fitting to include intimate scenes in a story. But, writing sex scenes just for the salaciousness of it can cheapen the story. If it is germane to what's going on with the characters and it occurs in an authentic way, a good sex scene can heighten the connection readers feel between the characters involved.

BPM: Finish this sentence- My writing offers the following legacy to future readers...
My writing offers a legacy of well-written, thought-provoking stories that feature multi-ethnic characters who wrestle with the human frailties and their place in the world.

BPM: Introduce us to Playing the Hand You're Dealt and the main characters.
Playing the Hand You're Dealt, is the story of two women who are best friends who happen to be complete opposites. Emily's a "good girl" who plays by the rules and does all the right things. Samantha's a rebel who does what she wants without a second thought. Yet, despite their glaring differences they share an unwavering bond that ties them closer than blood sisters. But their long-standing friendship is tested when one friend sleeps with the other friends father!

BPM: Who are your favorites? Are your characters from the portrayal of real people?
Wow, that's a tough question to answer because I love so many of the characters in this book. But, if I have to pick my favorites it would be the two main characters; Emily and Samantha because they grow along the journey they take from the first page to the end of the last chapter. I'm careful not to write directly about people that I know, however, my characters are a combination people, observations and my very vivid and wild imagination!

BPM: What role do you give the " mean-spirited" characters? Do you have such characters?
Oh, yeah! I have "means-pirited" characters in all my books. As one of my characters in Playing the Hand You're Dealt, says, "There are some people who walk this earth with a rotten spirit through and through." It's a sad commentary, but it's also true. The role of these "mean spirited" characters is to present challenges to the good people around them. And those challenges make the protagonist tap into their inner-strength, which helps them to persevere in the face of adversity. I think that's something we can all relate to.

BPM: What was the most powerful chapter in Playing the Hand You're Dealt?
When Samantha realizes that her best friend is having an affair with her father and she confronts them.

BPM: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
As with all my novels, this one evokes the theme of the redemptive power of forgiveness. This story also demonstrates that it's not about what happens to you in life, but rather, how you recover from it.

BPM: How can our readers reach you online? 
I love connecting with readers and book clubs! They can reach me several ways; through my web site at http://www.tricehickman.com/,  on Facebook at  www.facebook.com/tricehickman  on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tricehickman,  or, simply by dropping me an email at tricehickman@yahoo.com
I promise to get back to you!


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