Message From The Author

Author's Message

It's Good to Be Bad


"Did you really come to see me, or did you come to hear about Curtis Black?" New York Times bestselling author Kimberla Lawson Roby often asks audiences at her book readings.

Pastor Curtis Black, the character who has driven four of Roby's books, including this month's Love and Lies (Morrow), is not your typical romance hero, or even like the rogues of Regencies. Black is a corrupt minister, who, throughout the series has impregnated a 17-year-old girl while married and blackmailed church deacons.

And yet readers love him. When Roby penned her first Black novel, Behind Closed Doors, she wrote it as a stand-alone. But that was before she heard from fans.

"My readers wanted to see another book about him," she says. And they still do. "Now people are reading the excerpt for this one and asking when the next one is coming out."

Love and Lies focuses on Black's third wife, Charlotte, whom readers love to hate, and Charlotte's best friend, who is dealing with a problematic live-in boyfriend. Readers are much more forgiving of Curtis' sins than Charlotte's, according to the author.

"It's sort of a double standard," Roby says. "I think that even in real life, if men are sleeping around, they're not looked on the same way as women sleeping around." Whatever the reason, readers are willing to forgive Curtis and are clamoring to hear more of his story.

"What I believe makes him interesting is that there is a Curtis Black in every city in this country. I think he's recognizable to my readers because he exists everywhere," Roby says of Black, who is an amalgam of preachers she has known over the years.

Roby's own pastor is very supportive of her work, and other pastors across the country view Black as a call to arms. "I have received support from other pastors and pastors' wives throughout the country," she says. "They say that it's time that pastors like Curtis Black were exposed because they're misleading so many people." -- Elissa Petruzzi

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