“I have a dream…” was the speech delivered more than 47 years ago by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In it, the Nobel Laureate shared his vision for success and prosperity among his people.
Today, King's dream is being realized by more people than he likely could have imagined; one such person is best-selling fiction author Kimberla Lawson Roby.
Perhaps best known for her series featuring the infamous Reverend Curtis Black, Mrs. Lawson Roby treated southwest Atlanta fans with a book signing at the Barnes and Noble in Camp Creek Marketplace.
With a groundswell showing of love and support, the book store had standing room only to the tune of more than 60 people in attendance to hear the author speak and get their copies of her newest release, Love, Honor and Betray, signed.
“I am ecstatic that she is here! I have every one of her books and have followed her from the start; I wish her much continued success,” says faithful supporter Adrianna Hall of Cascade Heights.
“There is something special about her writing; they are like mini-soaps – you get addicted to them, you know,” adds Janice Downing, an Atlanta transplant, and who is another long time follower.
Indeed, Lawson Roby’s influence is profound; she has written 15 books in 15 years and she has frequented bestseller lists, which include The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly and Essence magazine, to name a few.
“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t thank God for everything’s He’s doing for me, everything He’s done and everything He is going to do,” Lawson Roby says of her success.
Raised in the Baptist church by her parents in Rockford, Ill., Lawson Roby has personal identification with the subject matter she writes. She says her mother instilled good values in her, teaching her to study the Bible for herself.
Though she is a very spiritual person, Lawson Roby makes the distinction that she is not necessarily religious. “I try to follow [the Biblical passage] do unto others as you would have others do unto you,” she says of her belief system.
She credits God, first and foremost, and her husband, second, as her support system. In that her books cover an array of topics to include many relationship-oriented themes, Lawson Roby recognizes the importance of a good relationship.
“Wow, this man still makes me laugh – and that’s important to have [in a relationship],” Lawson Roby said of her husband of two decades. She states that he lets her know how important she is to him each day and that she reciprocates. She says they have been friends since day one.
Lawson Roby is an inspiration to many as she endured the painful process of publishing all too common to struggling writers. With a burning desire to write a manuscript, she completed her first novel at the age of 30. After a barrage of rejection letters from agents and publishers alike, Lawson Roby took matters in her own hands.
With the counsel and support of her husband she started her own publishing company in 1995, Lenox Press, named after Atlanta’s own Lenox Mall.
Mrs. Lawson Roby cites her fans as the source of inspiration for her continued work. She regularly enjoys direct interaction with them on social media giant Facebook, where she offers prizes, promotions and contests. As for the fate of Reverend Curtis Black, she has no plans to retire the series anytime soon but says she will continue to explore ways of “switching it up” to keep readers satisfied and engaged.
Fans will be excited to learn that the Reverend Curtis Black series has been optioned for movie production. The details are currently getting worked out as to how the film will be released (big screen or television) but Lawson Roby holds out hope for Blair Underwood to play the part of the Reverend.