Literary Legends Celebrate the Holidays

25 Nov

Literary Legends Celebrate the Holidays
Read all of the interviews at Black Pearls Magazine, view here!

Gwynne Forster was born in North Carolina, grew up in Washington, D. C., and has lived, studied and worked in New York City ever since she came of voting age. She considers herself a humanitarian, a perspective that she inherited from her mother, a high school principal, and which she also attributes to her work and education in the social sciences, more specifically, demography. Her fiction writing reflects her training in the sociology of the family and her understanding of inter-personal relations. It should not be surprising then, that quite a few of Gwynne’s novels and novellas are set within the context of the family.

How do you celebrate the holidays?
Always by gathering together with lots of family members, laughing and talking, and eating way too much food! What are the “traditions” for your family? Preparing my mom’s cornbread dressing, her baked macaroni & cheese, cheese potatoes & smoked turkey—we prepare many other dishes, too, but those four items are a must for all of us.

What are you most thankful for today? What message does all your book have in common?
I am most thankful for Jesus Christ in my life and for the health and well being of my family and myself.

My books have different messages, but everyone of them demonstrates the importance  of loyalty and common decency and the rewards of reaching for a higher goal. Website:

Victoria Christopher Murray always knew she would become an author. Victoria has written eight novels: JOY, Truth Be Told, Grown Folks Business, Temptations, A Sin and a Shame, The Ex Files, Too Little, Too Late, Lady Jasmine: A Novel and was a contributor to the first Christian fiction anthology, Blessed Assurance. She was also the Contributing Editor for the Aspire Women of Color Bible published by Zondervan in 2007. All of her novels have continued to be Essence bestsellers. In addition, Victoria has received numerous awards including the Golden Pen Award for Best Inspirational Fiction and in 2006, she was awarded the Phyllis Wheatley Trailblazer Award for being the pioneer in African American Christian Fiction. Victoria splits her time between Los Angeles and Washington D.C. In Los Angeles. Full bio found here. Website:

How do you celebrate the holidays? What are the “traditions” for your family?
Like everyone else by eating. Isn’t that what we all look forward to? Just being together is tradition for us, but “remembering” the reason for the season is a common practice. My father instilled in us the joy and celebration and reason we have what we have.

Kwanza  is the President and CEO of First Fruits Publishing, a publishing company dedicated to Christian writers. Kwanza knows that writing is her God blessed talent and with her heart, and mind and mind planted firmly in her faith her writing is her ministry. Speaking the uncompromising word of God through her characters, Kwanza uses real life pains and struggles to reach and encourage believers and non-believers alike. . Kwanza is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but she currently lives in Owings Mills, Maryland with her husband and children. Website:

What was your most memorable holiday from the past?
Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, not only because of the gifts, but because of the memories of anticipation leading up to the day. I particularly remember Christmas Eve – the house dimly lit with flickering lights from the Christmas tree. Me and my siblings leaning over the banister trying to sneak a peak of Santa putting some goodies under the tree.

Marissa Monteilh (Mon-tay), a former model, talk-show host, Fox-TV news reporter, and commercial actress, is the best-selling author of eight mainstream novels and two novellas. Marissa also writes erotica under the pseudonym, Pynk. Originally from Los Angeles, she lives with her family in Atlanta, Georgia. Visit Marissa at or at

What was your most memorable holiday from the past? 
Christmas of 2002, celebrating after the birth of my first grandchild!

How do you celebrate the holidays? What are the “traditions” for your family? 
Our holiday tradition is to gather together as a family on Christmas morning for Xmas breakfast, which I prepare. We come together on New Year’s day for gumbo, prepared by my daughter.

What are you most thankful for today? What message does all your books have in common?
I’m most thankful for my kids and grandbabies, that we’re all healthy and happy. The message my books have in common is to cease judgment – and to love, above all else. 

Vonda Howard, wife of 13 years and mom to 2, native Washingtonian (DC),  has been writing since she was 10 years old. She currently still resides in the DC area with her family. She has 3 books to her credit so far; her first self published novel, “Diamond Lives, Platinum Lies”. Her second self published novella, “It’s always the Pretty Ones”, and her upcoming novel under Anexander Books, the first installment to her “D-cup Divas” series. She is currently the owner and lead designer of her own graphic design firm, Cupcake Creative Studio which services scores of well known authors and business owners. Website:

What was your most memorable holiday from the past?
Christmas is always the most memorable for me. My younger brother and I never got a wink of sleep! We would drift in and out all night long! My mom made it clear that were not allowed to go into the living room until at least 6 am. We would always try to peek, but my mother (don’t ask me how), would always get it to be pitch black in the living room so we couldn’t see a thing! I sometimes miss sitting in the room with my brother talking about what we think we got.

How do you celebrate the holidays? What are the “traditions” for your family?
Well now that the kids are older we can really start some traditions. This year we’ll be making some cookies. We always watch “The Christmas Carol” together. On the 23rd I read “The Night Before the Night Before Christmas” by Natasha Wing and Mike Lester to them, and on Christmas Eve I read “The Night Before Christmas”. 

Please join in the discussion by leaving comments or congrats below.
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