Good Monday Morning, reader friends!
Today, we’re talking with Piper Huguley about her book, A Treasure of Gold.
Interview with Piper Huguley about her book, A Treasure of Gold:
Alexis: Describe the heart of your story, A Treasure of Gold.
Piper: It’s a Black Damon Runyon story of the nanny falls for the father of her charge, who is kind of like Robin Hood.
Alexis: What do readers need to know about Book One and Book Two in your Migrations of the Heart series?
Piper: Book One, A Virtuous Ruby, is about Nettie’s oldest sister. Book Two, A Most Precious Pearl, is about Nettie’s next older sister. If people care about their love stories, then they can read them. They all standalone on their own.
Alexis: What role does faith in God play in the lives of your characters in this book?
Piper: Nettie was a middle child who felt that she was always overlooked in her family. When she recovered from an illness when she was a child, she became intent on pastoring to show her gratitude to Him.
Alexis: Tell us about your story’s heroine Nettie Bledsoe. What’s she like?
Piper: Nettie is a very spiritual person who is intent on helping others, even if it means sacrificing her own happiness. She has to learn how to seek that for herself.
Alexis: Tell is about your story’s hero Jay Evans. What’s he like?
Piper: Jay Evans works on the wrong side of the law because racism prevents him from obtaining a well-paying job that would permit him to make good money, as well as have a sense of dignity. So, even though he is a numbers kingpin, he uses his money to help everyone in the neighborhood improve their lives. Helping people is what they both have in common.
Alexis: Why does Nettie think that Jay is the “most beautiful man she’s ever seen?”
Piper: Cause he is, lol! Think Idris Elba with hazel eyes.
Alexis: Beyond his beautiful looks, what is it about Jay that makes Nettie want to know him more?
Piper: At first she doesn’t! She cares for his motherless child. Then when she sees how similar they are in wanting to help people, she falls for his beautiful heart as well as his beautiful face.
Alexis: What is the core conflict between Jay and Nettie and why does he think she’s a “church do-gooder?”
Piper: Because she is! They think their core conflict has to do with Jay being on the wrong side of the law and Nettie as a church worker. The conflict really has to do with Jay’s estrangement from God and Nettie’s repeated attempts to bring him closer to God.
Alexis: What role does Jay’s daughter Goldie play in this story?
Piper: She helps Nettie and Jay realize their attraction to one another sooner than they would if she wasn’t there. Kids can be brutally honest in that way.
Alexis: What is it about Nettie that makes Jay’s heart break just by the very thought of losing her (after she’s kidnapped)?
Piper: He realizes that his life on the wrong side of the law has cost Nettie her safety. He also realizes that he loves her and that if he wants a life with her, he will have to leave the criminal life behind forever.
Alexis: Paint a picture of your story’s setting, with words. What makes it special?
Piper: The good girl and bad boy is a trope that happens a lot in romance, but I’ve not seen it in a story like this before. I enjoyed writing it and setting it in my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA—where I was able to draw on lessons of Black history and incorporate them into the story.
Alexis: What’s lacking in CBA and how can you as an #ownvoices author help fill that void?
Piper: The CBA is rigid in terms of what it publishes and that is a problem. Diversity in all kinds of stories would help with that. I’m not sure that I could help the CBA unless they were less rigid.
Alexis: In what ways could ABA and CBA work harder to effectively market books and sell stories written by #ownvoices authors.
Piper: I’ve spoken to the CBA situation. The ABA seems as if they are willing to try, at least. Hopefully, they will be more creative with their marketing and reach non-traditional audiences in new ways to help sell #ownvoices authors.
Alexis: Are you happy with the currents state of affairs in the publishing industry?
Piper: No. I’m glad that the ABA seems to be trying to rectify the situation, but really, it’s been disgraceful for a very long time. I hope that they are in it for the long haul.
Alexis: What advice do you have for authors of color who want to write their #ownvoices stories and seek representation from a literary agent?
Piper: Learn your craft and write the best story that you can. If you chose to seek representation from an agent, know that they are not looking for innovation, but they are looking for the “sure thing.” Get an agent you can reach out to, and talk to. I don’t care who the agent is, if you feel afraid to send an e-mail or call, that agent is not for you. Remember that you are hiring the agent, not the other way around.
Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Piper! Do you have closing comments?
Piper: Thank you for this generous opportunity to appear on Diversity Between the Pages!
*Interview conducted by Alexis A. Goring, contributor
About the Author:
Piper G. Huguley is a two-time Golden Heart ®finalist and is the author of “Migrations of the Heart,” a three-book series of historical romances set in the early 20thcentury featuring African American characters. Book #1 in the series, A Virtuous Ruby, won Best Historical of 2015 in the Swirl Awards. Book #3 in the series, A Treasure of Gold, was named by Romance Novels in Color as a Best Book of 2015, received 4 ½ stars from RT Magazine, and won an Emma Award for best historical romance in 2017.
Huguley is also the author of the “Home to Milford College” series. The series follows the building of a college from its founding in 1866. Book #1 in the series, The Preacher’s Promise was named a top ten Historical Romance in Publisher’s Weekly by the esteemed historical romance author, Beverly Jenkins and received Honorable Mention in the Writer’s Digest Contest of Self-Published e-books in 2015.
Her new series “Born to Win Men” starts with A Champion’s Heart as Book #1. A Champion’s Heart was named by Sarah MacLean of The Washington Post as a best romance novel selection for December 2016.
She blogs about the history behind her novels at http://piperhuguley.com. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and son.
About the Book:
When you follow your heart, never count the cost.
Trusting in the One who orders her steps, Nettie Bledsoe is determined not to deviate from her route to the charity kitchen. Don’t stop for anything, her sisters say.
Pittsburgh isn’t like Georgia, they warn. Yet when low moans of unholy suffering drift from an alley, she can’t help but investigate. It’s a man. The most beautiful man she’s ever seen.
Despite his scandalous reputation, something within her responds to his sinfully rich voice. Jay Evans is trying hard to stay on the straight and narrow, and doesn’t want help from any church do-gooder.
But until his wound heals, he needs help caring for his young daughter, Goldie. Especially since Nettie saw fit to fire Goldie’s barely competent nanny.
Despite their mismatched backgrounds, Nettie and Jay fight a losing battle against their growing attraction. But it’s only when Nettie is kidnapped that Jay realizes that if he doesn’t get her back safe and sound, his heart will shatter into uncountable pieces.
Buy A Treasure of Gold on Amazon