We’re heading to ‘Georgia’ for a visit with Celeste O. Norfleet to discuss her latest book.
Tell me about your latest book, One Night in Georgia.
Set in summer 1968, One Night In Georgia is a historical novel that takes place as the country is still reeling from the tragic assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Amidst civil unrest and the struggle for civil rights, the novel centers on three young women traveling by car from New York to attend their senior year at Spelman College in Atlanta Georgia. Their journey begins pleasant enough, but then quickly turns dark and very dangerous. It’s an emotional story with many facets. It’s joyful, disheartening and at times very, very painful.
Why did you decide to write it?
I decided to write One Night in Georgia because I just couldn’t get it out of my mind. The basic storyline of this novel came to me in a dream. It was so real and engrossing and the characters so powerful that it stayed with me for days. The plot was different from anything I had previously written, but knew I had to write it.
What has been the most surprising thing about your writing career?
I think the most surprising thing about my writing career is that it is constantly evolving. I began writing long romance novels for BET Arabesque, then I wrote shorter Kimani romances and then Kimani TRU young adult novels. Now I’m writing women’s fiction. I’m not sure what genre I’ll be writing in next, but I’m excited to continue the journey.
What do you want readers to learn from One Night in Georgia?
One Night in Georgia is a heart-stirring novel with many powerful messages. 1968 was a traumatic year fraught with brutality and racial unrest. I see a lot of similarities in the current climate. We need to learn from out past.
Who is your favorite established author and why?
I have so many favorite authors. Choosing just one is impossible, but I’ll begin my very long list with Candice Poarch, Michelle Monkou, Maureen Smith, Beverly Jenkins, Brenda Jackson, Adrianne Byrd, Chandra Sparks Splond, and the list goes on and on. They are all amazing storytellers.
Who is your favorite new author and why?
I just read a novel from a new author, Jeremy Jones. The book is entitled Alone I Stand. His writing is very visual, and his storytelling is amazing.
If you could have any profession other than being an author, what would it be?
I would probably go back to my original life career and be an artist. I was an advertising art director for many years, but this time, I’d be a gallery curator.
What’s next for Celeste O. Norfleet?
I have three women’s fiction novels and a romance novel in the works. I’m not sure which will come out first.
Is there anything you would like to add?
Yes, One Night in Georgia will be released June 18. Make sure to pre-order and get your copy. Also, I’d like to thank you, Chandra, for this opportunity. As my first professional editor, you taught me so much about this wonderful profession. Thank you for everything.