Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Interview with R.L. Byrd, author of Black Coffee







Title: Black Coffee
Author: R.L. Byrd
Publisher: R.L. Byrd Publishing
Pages: 304 

There are ALWAYS two sides to every story. In R.L. Byrd's debut novel, Looking for Sweet Love, the Love Forum Divas told their side. 


Now it's the Brothers' turn. . . .

 The Love Forum is back and the relationship dilemmas continue within the infamous Dallas, Texas, urban radio station, K103.5. DK "Love" Niles, the popular Disc Jockey from the DK and Melissa Morning Show, takes over the reins of hosting the new Love Forum called The Brothers Speak, and man, are the Brothas talking. DK, in his pursuit to finding good love himself, discusses relationships from a black man's point of view and enlist the help of the husbands, boyfriends and lovers of the Love Forum Divas. Known as the Brotherhood; DK, Quentin, Miguel, Michael, Donnell, Pastor Levine, Dr. Houston and Brass aim to set the record straight and talk about dating black women, marriage, infidelity, personal struggles, what distinguishes a throw-back from a keeper, and answers the question the radio listeners really want to know: What really went down in their relationships? 

Along the way, the Brothers break the silence on some of the most pressing social issues challenging today's black males: Disproportionate homicide rates, unintentional injuries, suicide, HIV/AIDS, and disparities in employment and graduation rates.If you thought the Love Forum Divas were dealing with issues, you may be surprised at what the brothers have to say about those relationship woes. In the end--when all is said and done--one Diva will be asking, "Am I drinking the right cup of Black Coffee?"
 

For More Information

Black Coffee  is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  


Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, R.L. Byrd.  Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

A:  First and foremost, thank you. I’m grateful for this interview with The Writer’s Life. As far as how long I’ve been writing (and a little insight about myself); I’ve been writing ever since I can remember (poems and whatnot since grade school), however, my authorship journey really didn’t start until late 2008.

The backstory to that is that when I was working on my MBA (doing my field residency in Vietnam), the whole overseas experience opened up a new world for me; one where I dropped my conventional beliefs and ways of thinking, to embrace a broader, more accepting way of thinking and belief system. Upon my return to the States, I just so happened to hear a voice on the radio (doing psychic readings for the station’s callers) and said, “Hey, why not.” When I scheduled my appointment with the clairvoyant, she immediately asked me, “Have you been working on something? Something for the last ten years. Writing?” I hesitantly answered, and she told me, “Boy, you’re a writer and you need to write.” And that’s exactly when (and how) my authorship journey began.

Q: Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

A: Black Coffee is the answer to a voice—the Black male voice—that hasn’t been represented (in my opinion) all too well, if not, well enough. It’s the male answer to my debut novel, Looking for Sweet Love: A story of six women (the Love Forum Divas) who blow up the Dallas radio airwaves with their sassy discussions about life, love, and relationships; told from their (the female) point of view. The relationship dilemmas continue (as there are always two sides to a story) when their husbands, lovers and boyfriends, nine men led by DK “Love” Niles, take center stage in Black Coffee.

Quentin, Miguel, Michael, Donnell, Pastor Levine, Dr. Houston, Brass, Magic and DK—better known as the Brotherhood—aim to set the record straight as they talk about (and live out) dating black women, marriage, infidelity, personal struggles, what distinguishes a throw-back from a keeper, and answer the question the radio listeners really want to know: What really happened in their relationships?

It’s an emotional (and sometimes shocking) story of black men supporting and relying on each other to get through life’s many struggles.

Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?

A:  The biggest challenge was the time and effort it took to ensure that all the social issues within the book were accurately documented, portrayed, justified and incorporated in an entertaining way.

Q: Do you have a press kit and what do you include in it?  Does this press kit appear online and, if so, can you provide a link to where we can see it?

A:  Yes, the press kit, containing press release information, author head shots, Black Coffee book excerpts and book covers, and interview information, can be downloaded by typing in the following URL address: www.RichardLeonByrd.com/BlackCoffee_EMK.zip

Q: Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV?  What are your upcoming plans for doing so?

A: I recently did an extended interview on The Black Author Network (BAN) with Ella Curry. I’m also currently on a blog tour, and my publicist is organizing other traditional media interviews on my behalf. Your readers can check my Facebook page, Author R.L. Byrd, for news about upcoming appearances and interviews.  

Q: Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/she is?  If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

A:  I don’t have an agent, but I did hire a publicity firm, based in Los Angeles, to help promote my book. 

Q: Did you, your agent or publisher prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it?

A:  Yes. The main push is on social media—Facebook and Twitter, as well as blogs, internet radio, and traditional media. Because my book has a social message that I call Project H.U.S.H., the social media campaign has really taken off. H.U.S.H is an acronym and awareness campaign for the top social challenges faced by African American males—Homicide, Unemployment, Suicide, and HIV/AIDS. We started a little over two months ago and have already built a following of 1,500+ people on Facebook. That number is growing at a rate of around 200 new followers per week.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

A:  Yes, The Art of Scandal is a fictional story inspired by true events. The storyline continues the dialogue about female and male relationships (as with the first two books) however; the relationship is focused more on business, rather than romantic relations. In a nutshell, the main characters (Marianne and Kristoff) happen to be friends of over twenty years—they know each other’s families, friends, wants and desires, deepest secrets, and have been supporting each other throughout the duration of their friendship. That is until the day one believes they’ve been betrayed by the other; and plots to get their revenge, stopping at nothing (and destroying everyone in their path) to get it.
  
Q: Thank you for your interview, R.L. Byrd.  Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

A: Black Coffee is available at the major retailers (e.g., Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million and Powell’s) and can be ordered through most of the Indie or independently owned bookstores. Readers can find out about me, my work, and Project HUSH, via my website: www.RichardLeonByrd.com. And I thank you, as well, for allowing me the opportunity to interview with you.


For more information about R.L. Byrd, Black Coffee, and Project H.U.S.H., please connect with him at:

Twitter: @author_rlbyrd


 R.L. Byrd was born in the coastal town of Brunswick, Georgia, in a time where America and the South was growing and evolving. His early upbringing there, would shape his world not only as a person, but as a writer. His passion for writing was delayed by a similar passion for Architecture which he pursued by obtaining a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1992. After many years of carrying stories, characters and images in his mind, R. L. found them revisiting him on a more frequent basis as the years rolled by; and beginning in 2007, it wasn’t a day that went by that the pull to write didn’t lure him back to the pen and paper. Looking for Sweet Love (2010) was his debut novel, followed by the sequelBlack Coffee (2012, reissued in 2014).

He is currently working on his third novel, The Art of Scandal (a story inspired by true events), scheduled to be released soon.

  For More Information
  Connect with R.L. on Twitter and Facebook
  Find out more about R.L. at his website