By Thadine Quick
What happens when the silent and best kept secret gets out in the church? The Baptist Junkie proves redemption is possible and speaks to lost souls everywhere! Where most preachers’ kids (pk) lose their voice to shame, this book helps them find their way back – all by way of… a sinner’s prayer.
First of all, let me congratulate you on all your recent successes; including your most recent book signing in Flint Michigan with some of the most prestigious gospel greats; ie. Deitrick Haddon, Jessica Reedy, Pastor Seon Thompson and more. Second, the success of your online Courageous Women Magazine, as well as, Church hat off to you for, in the midst of it all, raising and grooming beautiful and talented children who are also navigating, and finding their way through this rocky business of show.
CW: Tell me, have you had a moment to take this all in? And I know “GOD IS GOOD,” but is HE really that good?
TB: Yes, God has been good to me for sure. I’m still taking short breaths trying to keep calm. It’s been a long time coming on this book. I’ve gone through a lot of personal issues in the past few years and I felt God telling me that it was time for me to move forward on everything he has given me. The book is just one thing I have crossed off my ‘To Do’ list.
CW: I understand you have written several musical plays, some of which have received awards accolades, how difficult, if any, was it to make that transition from writing plays to writing novels?
TB: I have to admit at first it was quite scary going from writing interactive dialog to fiction, but I took some time to study the differences and then rolled with it.
CW: Since you are a very busy woman, again, with kids in show business, when do you find the time to write? What’s your typical regiment? Do you like to get into a routine or do you write when the muse strikes?
TB:I don’t have a regiment per say. During the completion of this book, I tried to write for several hours per day to get it done. My schedule is pretty crazy, but I am trying to commit to writing everyday even it’s just a half hour.
CW: Your book, “The Baptist Junkie” touched me in several different ways; including reenergizing my faith. Was that your intent? Is this a religious book, and do you have to be of the “Baptist” faith to enjoy it?
TB:The Baptist Junkie is not a religious book. It is considered Christian fiction. It is simply a story about a Christian family that attends a Baptist church. You don’t have to be a Baptist to relate to this book. It’s common family issues.
CW: I believe we all know someone just like Brenda; however you’re ability to write and show the depth behind her soul was truly inspiring. How were you able to tap into those feelings and convey such an accurate portrait? Is this based on a true story?
TB: I will admit that the story is based on the lives of people I know. I am an emotional writer. I like to write in a way that I feel it will touch souls and hearts.
CW: What do you say to those critics who because of the drug abuse overtones and connotation may decide against purchasing this book? Do you think this book glamorizes adolescent promiscuity?
TB: Absolutely not. In this story Brenda, the lead character is not promiscuous she just makes bad decisions and has to deal with the consequences of her bad decisions, but eventually she gets it together. I hope the story will inspire others.
CW: So is this a Cinderella story? Does Brenda WIN at the end?
TB: I can’t tell too much of the story and I don’t know if I would say it’s a Cinderella story. It is a story of redemption and it does have a happy ending.
CW: What famous author or book, if any, would you compare your style and genre of writing?
TB: I don’t know if I would compare my writing style to anyone else’s. I feel like the new kid on the block who just started kindergarten. Some of my favorite authors are Reshonda Tate Billingsley, Victoria Christopher Murray, and Kimberla Lawson Roby.
CW: To judge it, not necessarily by amount of sales, but what is your vision for this book?
TB: I would like to become a best seller, of course. (Laughs). I would also like to see The Baptist Junkie made into a movie.
CW: Last, what’s next for Mrs. Berry? Where can we find the book?
TB: I am working on producing a faith based movie as well as a few more Christian fiction novels. The Baptist Junkie can be purchased at Courageouswomanmag.com.