Introduce yourself to our readers:
R.L. Byrd lives in Atlanta, GA, where he works on his life’s passions—writing and architecture. He is known for writing Contemporary Realistic Fiction with memorable characters and vivid scenes of confronting personal and social issues. R.L. donates his time to many community service programs and is the founder of social media campaign Project H.U.S.H., an acronym for Homicide, Unemployment, Suicide, and HIV/AIDS—issues severely impacting men of color. For more information visit www.richardleonbyrd.com or connect via social media: Twitter at @author_rlbyrd and Facebook at Author-RL-Byrd.
What inspired you to write the “Looking For Sweet Love” & “Black Coffee” books?
First and foremost, thank you for the BE interview. As for inspiration, well, after a flood of one-sided books (and films) hit the entertainment industry, for me (and many others), it was like, “Where are the stories from the black male perspective?” Relationships should be told from both points of view—both female and male—and Looking for Sweet Love (the precursor to Black Coffee) was purposely done to show that there’s always two sides to every story. With that being said, I wrote Looking for Sweet Love—a story of six women (the Love Forum Divas) who blow up the Dallas radio airwaves with their sassy discussions about life, love, and relationships—from the female point of view. In its sequel, Black Coffee, I continued the storyline from the male point of view . . . but with a twist. It’s an emotional (and sometimes shocking) story of black men supporting and relying on each other to get through life’s many struggles.
How do you bridge the exploration of relationships with social issues through your work?
Although we love to read a “love” or “happy” story that lets us briefly escape our own struggles, I BElieve artists are compelled to show the world the injustices, inequalities and ills of society. How can one BE an artist and not, right? With my work, I not only want to take readers on a journey, but show how characters deal with personal and social issues, and how those issues could affect relationships and life choices. And as the saying goes: We can always learn from someone else’s journey.
What is next for you in 2015?
2015 is all about public relations. Engaging and connecting with the audience; marketing and promoting the R.L. Byrd brand and social media campaign, Project H.U.S.H.
How can readers order your books and connect with you through social media?
BE readers can order books through Barnes and Nobles, Books-A-Million, Powell’s and other big box and independent bookstores, or through online retailers such as Amazon. E-books are available for download for the Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Sony and Apple devices.Tweet