Blue Sky by D. Bryant Simmons — Author Interview

Blue Sky

Women’s Fiction / Coming of Age
Date Published: October 6, 2015

With their turbulent past firmly behind them, Belinda and her daughters are ready to live happily ever after. But before long new threats emerge and things spiral out of control as Belinda fights like hell to keep her teenagers on the straight and narrow. The tighter she pulls the reins the harder they rebel until secrecy, addiction, and wounds from the past send the Morrow girls hurling down unexpected paths.

  • Tell us about this story.[Text Wrapping Break]Belinda, now the mother of six daughters, has three willful teenagers—Nikki, Mya, and Jackie. And her teenagers are determined to drive her crazy! They test boundaries, experimenting with love, sex, and drugs, while Belinda tries everything she can think of to rein them in before they go too far. But Morrow blood runs thick and the tighter she pulls the reins, the more her girls rebel. The story is told from the point of view of each girl and their mother. And it spans 1983 to 1991.

It strikes a different chord from the first book, where I had to stay in character for the entirety of the novel. Blue Sky really gives the reader more of a taste of my writing style. It’s dark fiction with lots of family drama, but I tend to take the dark moments and make jokes out of them. So, there’s a few dirty jokes (PG, mind you) and the Morrow girls are a colorful bunch so jumping from one to the other really underlines that.

  • What living person do you most admire? Living person? If you’d asked me a few years ago I would’ve said Maya Angelou. But alas… That’s hard. I’m gonna go with our president, Barack Obama. And for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with his politics (which I generally agree with). I think he’s a terrible politician because he’s genuinely a good person. Bragging doesn’t come natural to him. Just like confrontation doesn’t come easy to him. I can tell he’s had to work hard to develop those skills. And he’s constantly trying to balance being a good person with being an effective politician. I respect that. It’s hard to take the high road. We need more people who are terrible politicians to become politicians.
  • What is your most prized possession? Easy. My father passed away when I was a girl. He was a photographer. I have an 8×11.5 self-portrait he took of himself. In the midst of a move, I thought I’d lost it and nearly had a nervous breakdown. It’s really the only thing I have that can’t be replaced.
  • Which talent would you most like to have? Other than writing, I wish I could sing.
  • Who is your favorite fictional character of all time? Samantha Jones. LOL. No contest. She’s fierce. I’m such a huge fan of Sex and the City, you can quote any character and I’ll tell you what episode and season it came from.
  • Who’s the favorite character that you created? Well, Jackie Morrow is my nod to Samantha. She’s like Sam meets Olivia meets Meredith—dark, twisty, and hella sexy. I’m knee deep in Jackie’s world right now so she’s on my mind.
  • What’s your idea of perfect happiness? I suppose it would be the opposite of ignorant bliss. Happiness that withstands the truth. To quote Shonda Rhimes, standing in the light.
  • If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Well, it’s a pretty human reaction but I wish fear didn’t paralyze me. The moments in my life that I’m most proud of are when I didn’t let that happen. But when I was a pre-teen there were a couple of moments when friends of mine were in physical danger and I wasn’t able to help them because I literally froze. I try not to deal in regret but I have to say those moments will probably stay with me for the rest of my life.
D. Bryant Simmons is an award-winning author and pens realistic fiction that straddles the line between Blue Sky Authorart and social commentary. She is currently hard at work on The Morrow Girls Series, a family saga that spans three generations of women. Simmons incorporates meaty topics, such as domestic violence, addiction, and mental illness into her fiction. She believes novels can act as agents of change and hopes that her writing will inspire and empower women.

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