best way to kick off adult summer reading is to get inspired. What
better way to do that than chatting with best-selling inspirational
drama author Victoria Christopher Murray. She is the author of nine
Essence best-selling novels, including The Ex Files; Too
Little, Too Late; and Lady Jasmine.
She is also the author of the DIVA teen series, winner of the African
American Literary Award for Fiction, and Author of the Year. Her newest
novel, Destiny Divas (Touchstone), releases this
What was your
inspiration behindDestiny Divas?
I had this idea back in 2002.
Kim Roby and I were driving to Iowa
and I told her just the germ of the idea. I wanted to write a story
about people who talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk. So we talked
about it for a while and worked through the plot. But still, the story
hadn’t “matured” in my heart until last year.
synopsis in fourteen words or less.
is about three evangelists who talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk.
this novel what interesting things did you learn
about our current gospel music climate that you decided to include in
Actually, I didn’t learn
anything. I did speak to a couple of
popular gospel singers, but I didn’t learn anything new . . . or juicy!
:-) I just asked about touring and how that worked.
What is the
spiritual takeaway of the novel?
You know, when I write novels, I
don’t sit down and plan the
spiritual message. Truly, I just write the book, and the message shows
up. I don’t know how that happens, but it always works out. In this
novel, I think different people will receive different messages, but
some of the messages are quite simple. One is that God will not always
fix your mess. If you know what you’re doing is wrong, when you get in
trouble, God’s not always going to work it out. Another message is that
the truth will always come out, and last, whatever is done in the dark
will come to the light.
What would you
want readers to experience from this novel?
The first thing I want readers
to experience is fun! When I write, I
write first to bring enjoyment to readers because no one will receive a
message if no one wants to read the book. After that, I hope people get
whatever message they need at that point in their lives. I have truly
found that God meets people on the pages on all of our books. He gives
readers what they need. He’s just using our fingers.
novels are suspenseful and contemporary. What advice would you give on
writing compelling and relevant fiction?
That’s a nice thing to say. I
would advise new writers to study
everything contemporary. Of course, authors must read! I read about
fifty books a year, and once I month, I choose a book that’s on the NYT
list. Also, watch popular (but not stupid!) television shows. Some
shows have amazing writers. I’ve watched shows like Grey’s Anatomy,
Desperate Housewives, and now Scandal for the writing. And another
place: the news! There is no better place to find out about what’s
going on than the news. Authors have to be aware of everything that is
going on around them.
anything you would like to add that I haven’t asked?
Two things: In this market, it’s
important for readers to support authors they enjoy—especially
during the first week of a book’s release. And everyone can read the
first chapter of Destiny’s Divas on my website at
More about Destiny
Sierra, Raine, and Liza are
Destiny’s Divas, a fresh, new gospel
group whose unique blend of singing and testifying has gained them fans
across the country. They tell the world about how good God has been to
them, but off stage, each member is living a life totally opposite to
what she preaches—and each is harboring a secret that could ruin them
Twenty-something Sierra Dixon
speaks about the joy of being single
and celibate, though she is anything but, drifting from one
relationship to another. Although she stresses the importance of
unconditional love within the family, Raine Omari has hit her breaking
point with her mother-in-law and is ready to take drastic steps. And
when Liza Washington discovers that her pastor-husband is in the middle
of a scandal that could bring down more than just their ministry, she
knows she must do something to stop him. One fateful evening their
secrets are exposed, and one diva commits an act that could land her in
prison for the rest of her life. Each has motive—who will crack?