I’m a romance and woman’s fiction novelist, writing coach, and the founder of the Write-it-Right Workshop. I’m on the planning committee for the Black Ink Charleston Book Festival and I’m also on the board for the Christian Book Lover’s Retreat. I live in South Carolina by way of Atlanta but will always be a Jersey girl. I also enjoy vegetable gardening immensely. If I could be anything other than a writer, I’d own a farm.
How long have you been writing or when did you start?
I’ve been writing since I was six but became serious about publication in 2003. I’m a completely self-taught writer. I own about 40 craft books and have probably checked out another 20 from the library. I joined a local critique group with serious writers, attended some writer’s conferences and wrote until I finished a manuscript in 2007. I sold it the same year to Urban Books/Kensington Publishers, and it was released in 2009. I currently have 25 published projects.
What comes first for you — the plot or the characters — and why?
It varies with the book, but I do a deep dive into characters. I spend the most time getting to know my people. They usually tell their story, so the plot evolves.
What’s your favorite and least favorite part of publishing?
My favorite is readers—interacting with them is a joy. My least favorite is marketing—finding them is a chore.
My current work is the 8th story is a series about the Bennett and Ingram families in the fictional town of Forest Hills, Georgia. The title is All She Needs.
Here’s the back cover summary:
Jackson Bennett has no faith in love. When the reclusive multi-millionaire takes a position as interim mayor of Forest Hills, he finds himself drawn to his fiery assistant and reevaluating his life. Meisha is good for him. She sees past his vulnerabilities and isn’t impressed with his wealth. Will he step out of the shadows and into her light or will her current drama push him back to a life of solitude?
Meisha Merriweather was minding her own business when she got arrested. Her boss Jackson Bennett steps up and saves her from jail. Now the media is coming for her, and she's dragging Jackson into the tornado right along with her. Will she find herself out of a job and separated from the man who might be the one she didn't even know she needed?
The 9th book in the series is releasing on December 20th.
What inspired the idea for your book?
My readers have enjoyed the Bennett men and the Ingram sisters, so I’m checking them off my story board one by one.
What’s the trickiest thing about writing characters of the opposite gender?
Making sure you haven’t written a woman who just happens to have a man’s name. Men and women are very different. We think differently and care about different things. The introspective dialogue for a man should not read the same way a woman’s does. I have editors who help with this. In the early part of my career, I had a male friend read my drafts and give me feedback. It was very helpful.
How would you describe your book’s ideal reader?
The people who read my books like a quick read, a conversational writing style, people with deep personal hurts, who don’t know it yet, but they are about to get their life together. Many of my books plunge into deep themes and faith is a crucial element in all my stories.
However, my Bennett series is a little different from all my other titles. I began writing these books during the pandemic, because I wanted to write stories that were purely for escapism and based on the sales, my readers wanted to escape with me. For that reason, they are lighter reads than the other books in my catalog.
What books do you enjoy reading?
I’m a huge fan of historical fiction with Vanessa Riley and Piper Huguley being my favorite authors. I’m always excited to read whatever is next from Vanessa Miller. I have her new release, What They Found In Hallelujah, on my nightstand, and I have the audiobook. Preslaysa Williams’ new release, A Lowcountry Proposal, is right under Vanessa’s book. I’m also pretty excited to read Sadeqa Johnson’s House of Eve in February.
Have you used an app to borrow ebooks or audiobooks from the library?
I love audiobooks. I have an Audible subscription, but I do use the library for other audiobooks. I have over 1,200 books on my Kindle, but for the last couple of years I’ve been buying paperbacks and hardcovers again. I’ve been having a complicated relationship with e-reading.
What would you like to say to your readers?
Thank you for all the support over the years. You’ve made this author thing beautiful.
I know I’ve been writing short novels and novellas for a few years, but those of you who want a long novel out of me, get ready. My women’s fiction novel, The Thing About Home, will be release May 9, 2023. It’s the story of a popular social media influencer whose viral meltdown after being left at the altar sparks a journey of self-discovery where she finds family, culture, history, love, and faith in the lowcountry of South Carolina. The book is available from preorder at this link https://rhondamcknight.com/what-would-you-like-to-see/.
- All She Wants – Dec 2020
- All He Needs – Feb 2021
- All They Want – Apr 2021
- All The Cowboy Wants – June 2021
- All They Need – Oct 2021
- All The Pastor Wants – December 2021
- A Bennett Wedding – April 2022
- All She Needs – Aug 2022
- All For Her – Nov 2022 (pre-order here)