Author Louise Lennox is here to talk about her latest book!
Tell us about your new book.
Craving a King tells the story of Kofi, a young, good looking Ashanti King dedicated to leading his people and duty-bound to his kingdom, and Ella, a smart, ambitious African-American education expert and leader of a charter school network. They unexpectedly fall in love and a question about Kofi’s ability to rule with ambitious Ella as his queen comes into play. Throughout the story Kofi is presented with the decision to prioritize his woman or his crown.
The novel offers readers the characteristically descriptive lustfulness of romance novels but presents readers with something more –intelligent characters, who are each respected and capable in their own right. Rather than the tired stereotypes of a damsel in distress or the brooding hero in need of emotional coaxing, the characters come to love each other as equals, making their encounters all the more passionate and alluring.
What was your inspiration for writing it?
“Craving A King” is my heartbeat. I wanted my debut romance novel to really explore the themes of love and ambition across the African diaspora. I myself am married to a Ghanaian American man with an Ashanti heritage.
I also wanted to read about characters that I could relate to and respect. Romantic stories of women falling in love with princes and kings are appealing to almost every woman, but most stories never include Black women. That’s largely because the royalty portrayed is generally European. I wanted to change that. Craving a King’s royal is West African and Kofi and Ella are people we want to be or want to meet. Their dreams, hopes and conflicts add complexity to their characters, drawing the reader in, and letting them experience the excitement of every touch, every kiss, every moment.
What are 5 books you think everyone should read (fiction, non-fiction, or a mix)?
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Black Sexual Politics by Patricia Hill Collins
The Wind Done Gone by Alice Randall
Unmerited Favor by Joseph Prince
If you could invite any famous person (in history or celebrity, living or deceased) to have dinner, who would you pick and why? Feel free to pick more than one!
Michelle Obama because she is fierce!
What was the biggest lesson you learned writing "Craving a King?'
That as long as I write what I love, there will always be a book inside me. The moment I stopped trying to write to market is the moment I started to produce books and stories worth sharing!
I know you love to travel. Where are some of your favorite places you’ve been? And which place surprised you the most?
My number one spot is Istanbul! I’ve been twice! Once as a guest on Oprah’s trip of a Lifetime in 2009 and once again with my friends in 2013. Both times were equally amazing and the food and shopping are incomparable.
To be honest Huntington, Beach California surprised me the most! I am a huge fan of southern California and the beaches. I never thought of myself as a beach person until that trip!
What is your writing process? Describe how you get to "the end."
I’m a plotter all the way! Once I have the idea, I find the stock photo of my couple. Then I write out their character profiles. Next, I plot out the story scene by scene in Scrivener. I get to the end by writing for exactly one hour every night. I can write an 80,000-word novel in 6-8 weeks.
What was the book you read that made you want to be a writer? How old were you at the time?
Cynthia Voight’s entire Tillerman saga. Homecoming changed my life when I was ten!
Author of the Landry's True Colors Series, the Cecily Taylor Series, the Star Series, and Dating the It Guy.