Interview with Colette Harrell: 'Life is never predictable. You have to learn to roll with the waves life's storms send you'

Colette (Ford) Harrell the author of the debut novel The Devil Made Me Do It is passionate about the written word. Holding a master’s degree, she is a director of human services. Her creation and implementation of a health and energy medical program stands as a best practices model. Her philosophy of service is compassionate care through a spirit of excellence. A motivational speaker, she specializes in customer and human service workshops on state and national levels.  She is cofounder of COJACK Productions, a Christian entertainment company. As an active member of her church, Kingdom Christian Center, she serves in several ministries.

Colette is a wife, mother, author, poet, songwriter, and playwright. Her novel is a delectable read, where romance, suspense, humor, and the supernatural all come together to entertain, educate, and inspire. 

A Detroit native, she currently resides in Ohio, writing with humor and compassion to engage and minister to the human heart. Her motto is: whatever you do, do it “for love alone.”

Her latest book is the inspirational fiction, The Devil Made Me Do It.
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About the Book:

The voluptuous Esther Wiley has always known that she is special. She’s a tiara-wearing, wand-carrying kind of Cinderella princess in disguise. The problem that her very own Fairy Godmother, the Prophetess Mother Reed, struggles with is getting her to live like it.

Briggs Stokes is the reluctant heir to his father’s worldwide, multimillion-dollar televangelist ministry, yet he yearns to be his own man. His past mistakes have caused him a private life of hurt and loneliness.

Esther and Briggs meet and develop a deep soul connection, until tragedy strikes and the two are thrust apart. Their separation leads each down a different path scattered with emotional minefields. While each step they take brings them closer to who they were always meant to be, the devil is on assignment. He sends in reinforcements to usher in confusion and create chaos, and soon no one is safe. The members of Love Zion church reel from the rumors, innuendo, and downright sabotage that is going on around them. 

When others devise evil schemes to seek the destruction of Esther and Briggs through jealousy, greed, and murder, only divine intervention can save them. As an all-out battle for dominion breaks out in the heavens, will Esther and Briggs become a casualty of war?

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  • The Devil Made Me Do It is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
  • Read Chapter One here.
Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life! Now that your book has been published, we'd love to find out more about the process. Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning? Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

I entered a writing contest. I kinda wanted to break out of the old tried-and-true. I looked down at my pages and visualized the romantic journey of the plus-size Esther Wiley, and in my mind, the book was born. The bonus was the way the story would be told—there's a supernatural thread that runs throughout the book that adds to the layers in the story rather than detracts from it. What I love about it is for people who don’t like the supernatural thang, this is so subtle . . . and comical that it’s plain ol’ fun . . . It's the cherry on top of the sundae . . . Sweetttt

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this, and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

When you start a story, and the characters become rich with possibilities, it's difficult to stay with the one story you're telling. We all have more than one area of our lives operating at any one time. You have to put blinders on and ignore the pull of the story going haywire and tell the story with as much fun and sass as you can, keeping in mind the big picture and your message. My mother used to always tell me to leave the party with the one who brought me. So stay true to the story you're telling—or my mother will get you!

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I'm with Urban Books, a division of Kensington publishing. I was very fortunate to have an agent represent me. She found Urban Books. The rest shall be etched in publishing history. At least that's how I'm telling the story.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

The marketing needs are intense. (You mean people are not lined up to purchase The Devil Made Me Do It? Why not?) I need more than my mama buying this book.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on, and when will they be published?

I'm currently working on Tell The Truth, The Devil Won't. I plan for it to release late 2015. Stayed tuned—don't switch the channel!

Q: What's your favorite place to hang out online?

Wow, there are some pretty interesting sites that keep me coming back. My favorite? Whoever is featuring me . . . like you!

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

There are several . . . Life is never predictable; you have to learn to roll with the waves life's storms send you. Even relatively small incidents in your childhood can have a large impact in your adult life. And . . . Not even last, but the last on this list—Love really is a journey with a lot of stops, dips, bumps, and turns along the way.

Q: Thank you again for this interview! Do you have any final words?

Buy The Devil Made Me Do It. You'll love it. You can take my word for it . . . I wouldn't lie to you.

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