Monday, June 29, 2009

Carleen Brice

Carleen Brice was named 2008 “Breakout Author of the Year” by The African American Literary Awards Show for her debut novel Orange Mint and Honey, which was also a selection of the Essence Book Club. She is also the author of Walk Tall:Affirmations for People of Color, and Lead Me Home: An African American’s Guide Through the Grief Journey and edited the anthology Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife. Her new novel is Children of the Waters.

From a Q & A at her publisher's website:

OW: CHILDREN OF THE WATERS touches on so many issues—chronic illness, family secrets, interracial relationships, challenging pregnancies, holistic healing, self-esteem. May we ask how you came to write this novel? Did any characters or storylines jump out at you above any others?

CB: Well, the nugget of the story–the relationship with Trish and Billie–is based on a true story. One of my sisters-in-law is biracial and her family put her up for adoption and kept her older sister who is white. In real life she was adopted by a white family, so when her white birth sister found her, race wasn’t much of an issue. (And unlike Billie she was actually immediately very close with her birth sister.) There was also a young woman who worked for me years ago who discovered at a young age that her birth mother was Native American. Those two stories fascinated me. And truth be told I have a half sister who I’ve never met, and yet here I’ve written two books with characters who are half sisters. We’ve recently been in touch and I hope we’ll meet one day soon. As far as interracial relationships go, my husband is white.

One brother was married to a biracial woman and all his in-laws were white. My other brother is married to a Latina. Our family is, like many, many families in this country, quite a mixed bag. I’m fascinated by reconciliation and how the past affects us even if we don’t think it does. So family secrets and dynamics are something I’m just naturally drawn to.[read on]
Read more about Children of the Waters.

Visit Carleen Brice's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue