Unwrapped: What a Woman’s Gotta Do

17 Apr
Intimate Conversation with author Evelyn Coleman

Evelyn Coleman, the Edgar nominated, award winning author writes across genres from pictures books, young adult novels to adult thrillers. Her latest books, Freedom Train and the American Girl doll Addy’s new mystery, Shadows on Society Hill have garnered rave reviews. Visit “” to watch James Earl Jones and Amber Rose Tamblyn reading her books, To Be a Drum & White Socks Only. Coleman is a former Georgia Author of the Year, Atlanta Mayor’s Fellow, Parent’s Choice Award and Carter G. Woodson Honoree and past President of Mystery Writers of America, SE and a member of International Thriller Writers.

BPM:  What makes you powerful as a person and a writer?
Hmmm the word “power” doesn’t always appeal to me because it implies other ideas I don’t much like but I prefer to think of myself as meaningful. As a writer I hope to bring energy to readers to accomplish things they dream of doing in their own lives. To understand that change is going to happen whether you do what you want or not, so you have nothing to lose when you take chances.

BPM: Who are your mentors?

My mother, my deceased father, my daughters….my granddaughter and grandson, many, many “play” sisters and brothers have all mentored who I am.

BPM: Finish this sentence- My writing offers the following legacy to future readers…
My writing offers the following legacy to future readers… to look behind closed doors, to think deeply about your environment, to take nothing at face value and to know your own path.

BPM: Introduce us to your book, What a Woman’s Gotta Do, and the main characters.
What a Woman’s Gotta Do — Trying to find out why her man did her wrong and who did him in, this woman isn’t waiting to exhale–she’s ready to fight back.

Patricia Conley considers herself to be a brother’s worst nightmare. A lifetime of hurt has made her fierce. A lifetime of victories has made her proud. And a whole lot of hope keeps her going. Now Patricia’s most daring stab at happiness has come up bad: The man she was supposed to marry has stood her up. Last seen holding hands with another woman, Kenneth Lawson has vanished.

Still reeling from Kenneth’s disappearance, Patricia is stunned by a series of macabre discoveries. Her car is found bathed in blood. A woman is found dead. And another too-good-to-be-true brother is offering his services. Suddenly the tough-talking Atlanta journalist doesn’t know who to trust. Because in a collision of murder, religion, love, and race, Patricia has learned some extraordinary secrets–some about Kenneth Lawson, a few about herself, and one that the whole world needs to know.

BPM: Who were your favorites in What a Woman’s Gotta Do?
All the characters appealed to me in one way or the other. Are your characters from the portrayal of real people? No, not really, they are all made up, of course, they are similar composites of people that I have known in my life on some level reflected in this story.

BPM: What specific situation or revelation prompted you to write your book?
I have always loved “espionage thrillers” and that has been the books I read the most but when it came time to write my own book it seemed everyone was in love with Terry McMillan’s style….(not to infer that this was her only style) so I sat out to mimic that style. When I gave it to one of my best friends and readers Pat Carr, she scoffed. “You are so far from Terry McMillan – sorry but you have penned another thriller type story.” At first I was sad that I couldn’t do the more popular type book, but then I shrugged and begin to just write what I know…. Espionage type thriller books.

BPM: Take us inside the book. What are two major events taking place?
Patricia Conley, a journalist doesn’t believe in love or marriage so when she falls for her live-in lover and accepts a proposal of marriage, she is as surprised as her friends… But on her wedding day, her lover stands her up and is spotted shortly after in a restaurant holding hands with a woman…. This begins the spiral of betrayal, mystery and adventure for Patricia as she tries to unravel all the obstacles to find her man. The second major event is her going to the monastery.

BPM: Who do you want to reach with your book and the message within?

I want to reach all people who love a good thriller. One of the best compliments I received was from a dissatisfied reader on Amazon. I paraphrase here but essentially she complained that the book moved too fast, too many twist and turns and you don’t find out what is the problem until the end of the book. Duh.

BPM: How will reading your book shape the readers lives?
Hopefully it will open minds to all the scientific experiments and discoveries that are taking place under the radar, ones that will ultimately affect their lives.

BPM:  What are some of their specific issues, needs or problems addressed in this book?
How science affects our daily existence. How much the Dogon in Africa contributed to our understanding of the world. And how important it is to pay attention to not only what you do but what others you don’t know do as well.

BPM:  What was the most powerful chapter in the book?
Hmm. I suspect the last chapter because until that chapter I doubt you can guess the full ramifications of the events of the book and how they could change the world.

BPM:  Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
Insight, inquisitiveness, thoughtful reading habits and a better understanding of martial arts and the Dogon of West Africa.

BPM: What do you think makes your book different from others on the same subject?
There are no other thrillers on this subject. In fact when I contacted Marcel Griaule’s daughter Genevieve (both French anthropologists who studied the Dogon extensively) she cried, stating she had been waiting all her life for an African American to take more interest in the Dogon. Of course, she meant popular interest I’m sure as there were already a few African American scholars who studied the Dogon. And one of the happiest moments of my career was to hear from a Dogon scholar who said I truly “nailed” the Dogon in this book and their cosmogony.

BPM: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
I am pondering what to write next. I have to have a subject matter that is not widely known, intriguing and has the potential to affect the world at large. It has been over ten years since I wrote What a Woman’s Gotta Do and I still hear from readers asking me when I am writing another book. All I can say is when the time is ready the story will come….I sure hope it’s soon though.

BPM: How can our readers reach you online?
Share with us your online contact info.  or

There are still great reviews about What a Woman’s Gotta Do online at  and at

My latest book, The Freedom Train is available in bookstores. Get your copy today! Also pick up, Shadows on Society Hill, American Girl, Addy’s new mystery….nominated for an Edgar Award. What a Woman’s Gotta Do, my adult thriller, is still available at  White Socks Only, To Be a Drum and the Riches of Oseola McCarty all are also availabe.

Also check out my friends Angela Benson, Angela Medearis, Nancy Tolson, Linda Trice, Eleanora Tate, Irene Smalls & Margaret Johnson Hodge’s books. Looking for a storyteller try LaDoris Bias Davis at If you get a chance pass on the word about my granddaughter’s group and visit Vistoso Bosses.

For artwork or opportunties for wonderful music played/guitar and original songs, see Sankofa (my daughter).  One more thing, check out my jewelry Ekstasi Designs and my friend’s jewelry at Lady Lucia Designs.  Need something for your hair Saniyyah Naturally provides the best hair care ever. Want something manufactured…. Atlanta Sewing and Patternmaking Service.

Please share this discussion with your network too! Leave your thoughts below.
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