Sunday, January 18, 2009

Interviews with Authors Leslie Banks and Michele Andrea Bowen

Books of Soul ( has posted interviews with Leslie Banks, the 2008 Essence Magazine's Storyteller of the Year, and with Michele Andrea Bowen, bestselling African American Christian fiction author.

Leslie Banks is a New York Times bestselling author, writing over 35 novels and 12 novellas, as well as being a contributor to magazines, newspaper columns, and other commercial fiction for a variety of major publishers. She has won several business as well as literary awards, and writes in genres as diverse as romance, women's fiction, crime suspense, and paranormal. Reflecting that diversity, she is known under a variety of pseudonyms: L.A. Banks, Leslie Esdaile, Leslie E. Banks, Leslie Banks, and Leslie Esdaile Banks.

Banks has written the book series for the popular cable network television series, "Soul Food" and the novelization of the movie, "Scarface." In addition, Banks penned a four-book crime thriller, beginning with "Betrayal of the Trust," under her alternate pseudonym, Leslie Esdaile Banks. From there, Banks transitioned into another hot genre—the world of paranormal fiction, in the form of the 12-book "Vampire Huntress" legend series under the pen name, L.A. Banks, as well as a hot new werewolf series, "Crimson Moon." In her interview, she discusses the support that she receives from her readers, the conclusion of her "Vampire Huntress series" with "The Thirteenth," and what 2009 will look like for her.

Michele Andrea Bowen is the author of three inspirational novels: "Church Folk" (June 2001), "Second Sunday" (June 2003), and "Holy Ghost Corner" (September 2006). Her next novel, "Up At The College," is due to be released early next year. It is the second novel in a three-part series about the lives of contemporary African American church folk who live in Durham, North Carolina. Taking a contemporary view of church-life and its politics, romance, and relationships, Bowen's novels have appeared on Essence Magazine's bestseller lists and have spiced up African American fiction with Christian themes. In this interview, she discusses her writing and Christian fiction.

In addition to these interviews, the Books of Soul website also features its monthly bestseller list of African American books, including children's books and urban fiction, selected from the website. The site mostly recently highlighted an interview with Wayne Jackson, first-time author new book of suspense and horror, "In Lieu of Light," and an article by Dr. Claudette McLinn, who reviewed African American children's books for Halloween in "Witches, Haints, Bloody Bones, and Conjures."

"These interviews provide a unique insight into writing and, more specifically, into writing for the African American reader," remarks Eric Brasley, founder of "We're hoping that reader and writer alike will discover something unique and something enticing.", founded earlier in this year, continues to focus on sharing new and upcoming releases of books and other literary works about African Americans and African cultures and supporting the authors, publishers, bookstores, book clubs, and libraries who share the same interest.

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