ReShonda Tate Billingsley has a busy month ahead.
In between sharing the hilarious antics on social media of her kids, the author/speaker/publisher/movie producer is releasing a new book, and preparing for the release of her latest made-for-TV movie, The Secret She Kept, which premieres on TV One this Sunday at 6 p.m. CST (7 p.m. EST). The prolific author took time to talk to Magic City Momma.
Tell me about your upcoming movie, The Secret She Kept.
It’s based on my novel of the same name, about a woman who meets and marries the man of her dreams, but she and her family fail to tell him that she has severe bipolar disorder.
What do you hope viewers learn from the movie?
That mental illness is very real and it’s okay to get help.
Tell me about your new novel, The Perfect Mistress.
This is about a young lady who learns how to be the perfect mistress—from her father. As a little girl, she accompanied him on his extramarital trysts, proud to keep his secrets, and learning just what it took to be the woman on the side. Her deception has devastating effects on her mother and her own life, once she becomes an adult and finds a love of her own.
Why did you decide to write it?
I wanted to show the generational curses that parents can inflict on their children without even realizing it. I also wanted to show that there really is no such thing as a perfect mistress. I wanted to explore the dynamics of a woman scorned and the child she believes helped break her heart.
What do you want readers to learn from the book?
I want readers to realize first and foremost that forgiveness is possible in all circumstances, but also that we have to be careful of the things we do around our children because we don’t realize the long-term effects that our actions can have.
Why do you think your books are so popular with readers?
Because I write real stories that people can relate to. I also believe in delivering character-driven stories. I want you to care about the people that I write.
How do you juggle being a wife and mom with all the other hats you wear?
I believe every minute you spend talking about what you don’t have time to do could be spent doing it. My children come first, but I make time for my passions—all of them.
What’s next for ReShonda Tate Billingsley?
I’m working on my next novel, The House that Hate Built, and developing screenplays. I have two more movies slated to come out soon, and I’m hoping to play a greater role in the production of those films. I’m also keeping busy running my publishing company, Brown Girls Books.
Is there anything you would like to add?
I’m so grateful to still be thriving in an industry that has taken some major hits over the years. I know I wouldn’t be where I was if it wasn’t for all the readers who continue to support me.