The summer?s not over yet! You still have time to get to the beach and dive into a juicy novel while getting some sun. We recommend Destiny Lingers by news veteran Rolonda Watts.
It is her first novel, but it won?t be her last. Destiny Lingers is the story of Destiny and Chase, two unlikely childhood friends who are forced to separate due to the racial divides of the South. They meet up again, by chance, later in life and when they do, they vow to get it right this time.? ? ?
?My first novel is being celebrated right now. The common thread is that I am a storyteller. I will do whatever I can do to move people and tell a good story that has an impact on humanity. When Dr. Maya Angelou endorsed my book, which was one of her last endorsements before she passed on, she encouraged me to keep that story going. She said she was so mad when it ended and that I should keep it going! It stirred something in me and I see a contemporary romance series possibly coming out of it. We?ll see what happens with Destiny and Chase. Maybe it will turn into a movie and maybe even a TV series,? Watts told TNJ.com in an exclusive interview.?
Watts began her career in broadcast journalism as a local CBS news reporter in Greensboro, North Carolina, before joining New Jersey network WNBC-TV. After that, she worked as an investigative news reporter and as an anchor on WABC Eyewitness News in New York. Later, she launched Rolonda, her own internationally syndicated talk show, produced by her Watts Works Productions and King World Productions. Today, in addition to being an author, she does commercials, speaking engagements and voiceover work. Currently, she can be seen on “Dr. Drew” on the HLN network and recurring episodes of Bounce TV series “In the Cut.”??
?I?ve always had the gift of gab and an insatiable curiosity. From a very young age, I’ve enjoyed stories and I realized the impact of those stories, especially in television, when I saw my family break down into tears when JFK got shot and when MLK got shot. I had never seen my parents cry. I watched the news that came out of that TV box and I knew that it was a powerful place to tell stories,? she shares.
Although she thoroughly enjoyed her career as a news anchor and as a talk show host, saying, ?I loved the power of those hours. I loved that I could tell stories that impacted and changed people?s lives, and changed laws that affect society in positive ways,? she is now focused on telling her own stories.?
?This is the one story that I own,? remarks Watts. ?After covering so many stories over the past 35 years, it was time for me to tell my own story. I also want it to to be a discussion piece where generations can talk about race relations when it comes to love and dating. I’m sure that the generations that came after mine don’t remember the days when it was difficult to date whomever you wanted to date.”
And for Watts, what started out as a hobby, became much more. “Writing this book began as a hobby, and then it started getting legs! It took me a good 10 years to write it because I was doing so many other things. But I was so driven. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but I did it because I was so committed to tell this story. Then for the past 3 to 5 years, I finally started looking at it like a job,” she notes.
She adds, “I workshopped it, took it to writer’s groups, and made sure I had a book that people would want more of.? Now, with Destiny Lingers, I have a good story with a good journalist and a good cop. Anything can happen!?