In My Fuzzy Neighborhood is today is author Rhonda Bowen. Rhonda knew she would be a writer as early as eighth grade when she wrote her first novel with a classmate in a dollar notebook. While waiting for the day to come she completed a degree in Communications and spent a few years working in Public Relations and Event Planning. Throughout this time however, her desire to write stayed alive. She eventually completed her first novel, Man Enough for Me, which was released under Kensington Books’ Dafina imprint in February 2011.
Several years and a career switch finds her still writing. She has written several romance novels and her books have been featured in PUBLISHERS WEEKLY and LIBRARY JOURNAL. Her latest novel Under My Rules was released March 2016 and is the third book in the City Girls Series. When not writing or teaching Chinese elementary school students, she enjoys sampling foods she can’t pronounce and enjoying the great outdoors.
Let’s get to know a little more about Rhonda Bowen:
FF: Can you tell us four words that describe your writing style?
RB: Spontaneous. Inspired. Down-to-earth. Emotional
FF: Do you have a writing process? If yes, briefly explain.
RB: Usually I get an idea for a story. It could be anything from a woman leaving the country days before her wedding to a woman sneaking into a politician’s home and getting arrested (both of these are stories I have written by the way!) Then I go backwards from there, trying to figure out what would motivate a person to do something like that, and what kind of person she would be. From there the story develops in my mind. But I won’t start writing until I have the first scene fully developed. Then I just write as the ideas come. I am not really an outline type of writer. Even when I outline it never ends up the way I planned!
FF: Why do you write books?
RB: I write because I feel that it is what God has called me to do. He has given me this love of words and the ability to put them together and He expects me to use them, so I must. I also write because I can’t not write. It is my therapy and my way of dealing with things in my life. In fact, most of my books have pieces of my life or the lives of people I know woven into them!
FF: What genre do you write in? Why do you believe this genre chose you?
RB: I write African American Christian Fiction, because I am a Christian and I identify as African American. I can only write about being black because that is what I am. And because Christ is the center of my life, it would be very difficult to write something that didn’t have elements of faith in it.
FF: Describe your ideal place of escape to write your books.
RB: The desk in my room with the door closed near a window that opens out to a park or somewhere with sunshine.
FF: Tell us about your current book.
RB: My latest novel is Under My Rules. It is about Portia Wynters, a young woman who has managed to become a successful business owner despite a struggle with an eating disorder. She has finally got her life in a place she is happy with, when Kai enters. He is a picture of chaos in her carefully ordered world and someone she thinks she should avoid. But the attraction between them is undeniable and the more time they spend together the more they learn how good they are for each other. But there are several obstacles that they both have to overcome in order to be together and it makes for an interesting ride.
FF: What is one tip you would give authors on how to show appreciation for their readers?
RB: Be respectful. I once had an author be rude to me on Facebook and I have not read another of her books. Respect is important. Another tip is to answer emails and messages. It is a privilege to have someone take the time to read your work and when they make the extra effort to write you about it, you should show appreciation.
FF: If you could collaborate on a book with any author, who would it be and why?
RB: I don’t know. There are a lot of amazing authors out there. I would be open to working with almost anyone who was serious about the craft and had a great idea for a project.
FF: What is your favorite thing to do before a book signing?
RB: Chat with my family. They always help me get rid of any nerves.
FF: What city would you love to have a book signing or speaking engagement?
RB: I am from Toronto, so I don’t have many opportunities to do things in States, but I think I would love to do a signing or author event in Atlanta.
FF: What is your favorite drink or beverage?
RB: Root beer
FF: Are you a early bird or night owl?
RB: I now an early bird by force of habit…lol
FF: What advice would you give your younger self?
RB: Don’t say that. There are so many words I wish I could un-say.
FF: What is one thing you would change about your life?
RB: Nothing. Everything happened to bring me to where I am now, and I am in such a crazy exciting place, that I wouldn’t want to mess up the chance of being here.
FF: What is your motto for life and career?
RB: This year: It’s all about faith.
FF: What is your favorite scripture or quote?
RB: “And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.” – Isaiah 58:11
Under My Rules – March 2016
Portia Wynters has finally gotten her life under control and she is not letting anyone take that away from her. Not the financial analysts and their predictions for her company; not her brother and his bad business decisions; not the voices in her head; and definitely not Khai no-last-name, even if he did get rid of her stalker neighbour and is too handsome for his own good. No. She is absolutely never ever dating Khai. At least not again…
There’s not a problem that Khai can’t fix. Except when it involves getting Portia to go out on a second date with him. The beautiful, generous, headcase of a woman is everything he wants. But having her means facing a faith he has spent the better part of his life running from. Khai tries to resist, but it turns out God wants Khai’s heart even more than Khai wants Portia’s. And neither is willing to take no for an answer.
Purchase the other books in the series