Saturday, April 25, 2015

Behind the Scenes: STAND YOUR GROUND

I have been a fan of Victoria Christopher Murray for years. I am proud to say I have read ALL of her adult books. There so many standouts: Joy, Temptation and Never Say Never top the list. But, never have I anticipated a read as I have with Stand Your Ground.

I am a mother of two teenaged sons. I watched the Trayvon Martin trial and felt fear. Throughout the trial, social media was a venting ground for many. Many of us had never heard of Stand Your Ground law. 
So, when I heard the title of Victoria's upcoming novel, I was intrigued. This was her debut in using her gift to teach and address social issues. With Stand Your Ground set to release June 30, 2015, I decided to ask Victoria TWO questions. I'm honored to share her compelling responses.

Me: What made you write Stand Your Ground?

Victoria: (After the verdict in the Michael Dunn case, social media blew up.)
"It was that night and those reactions that started the seed of this novel to grow inside of me. I so wanted to get people to understand that the law was the problem. I wanted people to understand the law better, I wanted people to know that Stand Your Ground is not a defense in itself, it is part of self defense. And though I had never been through anything like this myself personally, I wanted people to really think about the families in these situations. Maybe all of that would get us to finally stand our ground...stand up and do something. Do something that would matter, do something that would count. And while this idea began to brew inside of me, one of my friends on FaceBook said, "Victoria, you should write a book about this." Others agreed, saying they believed that I could teach something. That was when I knew that I did have a platform to reach thousands of people about this -- I could do it through entertainment; I could do it through a book. It was my editor who challenged me to add layers to this story and to show both sides of this tragedy. It was my publisher who gave me the title."

Me: How has Stand Your Ground changed you as an author?

Victoria: "Never before can I say that a book I've written has changed me. But writing this one did.It wasn't writing this book alone that changed me -- it was that I was half-way through writing this book when Eric Garner was choked to death in New York, and then Michael Brown was executed in the streets of Ferguson. I wrote this novel while those incidents and the aftermath played as background music in my mind.
And I changed. I wrote and I changed. I wrote and I became an Angry Black Woman...I was able to worksome of that anger out in the pages of this book. Now, I hope that I'll be able to work that anger out in a way that will help to change America -- for the better. And that begins with repealing Stand Your Ground. We must know the facts. We must never forget.... "

And, with that, I say, Order Your Copy NOW.


From the #1 Essence bestselling and award-winning author Victoria Christopher Murray comes Stand Your Ground, a new novel about two women who are faced with the same tragedy.
A black teenage boy is dead. A white man shot him. Was he standing his ground or was it murder?
Janice Johnson is living every black mother’s nightmare. Her seventeen-year-old son was murdered and the shooter has not been arrested. Can the D.A. and the police be trusted to investigate and do the right thing? Should Janice take advantage of the public outcry and join her husband alongside the angry protestors who are out for revenge?
Meredith Spencer is married to the man accused of the killing and she sees her husband and the situation with far more clarity than anyone realizes. What she knows could blow the case wide open, but what will that mean for her life and that of her son? Will she have the courage to come forward in time so that justice can be done?

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