New from Simon & Schuster

Author Revealed

About Donna Grant

Q. What is your birthdate?

A. 10/14

Q. Previous occupations

A. advertising sales-NY Daily News; plus size model; managing editor-Maxima Magazine

Q. Favorite job

A. writing

Q. High school and/or college

A. South Shore High School, Brooklyn, NY, Barnard College, New York University graduate

Revealing Questions

Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?

A. Endlessly evolving, sometimes challenging, frequently surprising, uniquely engaging.

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. Of course I can

Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?

A. I gave up perfection quite some time ago--too limiting. Happiness comes in different ways on different days. Could be canoeing with my husband, listening to jazz at a club and sipping a Manhattan, snuggling in flannel sheets on a chilly morning, with no place I've got to be any time soon. The important thing is to make time for it, which is something I've had to learn.

Q. What’s your greatest fear?

A. Pain I can't bear.

Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?

A. On a beach where nobody was looking for me, sans Blackberry. St. John, USVI would work--at least for a couple of weeks.

Q. With whom in history do you most identify?

A. Identify is tough. I am fascinated by those ancestors who were brought from places in Africa I am unable to identify, survived Middle Passage and sit at the base of my gene pool, giving me what I need to move forward today.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

A. Nelson Mandela comes to mind--Someone who sacrificed his own comfort and well-being for the greater good without being consumed by bitterness.

Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?

A. 'Cool' and 'I'm fine' come to mind.

Q. What do you regret most?

A. Regret is boring. I try to learn from the situation and move on.

Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

A. Playing the cello well.

Q. What is your greatest achievement?

A. Remaining whole and continuing to grow.

Q. What’s your greatest flaw?

A. procrastination

Q. What’s your best quality?

A. Empathy

Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?

A. I'm sticking with myself. I gotta see how this works out.

Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?

A. I have no idea. Ask my friends.

Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?

A. Self-centered people who are oblivious to others around them.

Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?

A. Observing

Q. What’s your fantasy profession?

A. Musician/composer

Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?

A. Honesty, Common Sense, Humor

Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?

A. Eggs--chicken eggs specifically

Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?

A. This is completely impossible for me to answer. The list would change endlessly, then I'd have to get into whose version of the songs. . .

On Books and Writing

Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?

A. Another Impossible List: Sula Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man The Sound and the Fury Push Ragtime

Q. Is there a book you love to reread?

A. For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf

Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

A. Be honest--both in your storytelling and in your accessment of your work.

Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?

A. It's a toss up between 1) I can't tell there are two of you writing the same book or 2) I relate so much to your characters

Q. How did you come to write Gotta Keep on Tryin'?

A. Gotta is the sequel to our 1997 novel, Tryin’. From the very beginning, literally days after publication, we began receiving letters and emails from readers wanting to know what the characters were ‘doing’ after the book ended. As though Pat, Gayle, Marcus, and Ramsey were friends they had come to know and care about. It is quite an honor when readers become that intrigued by your characters-- their challenges and triumphs, their friendship and growth-- but it makes the idea of continuing the story a bit daunting. Yet ten years and several books later readers still wanted to know what those characters were up to, so we decided it was time to continue their story.

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