Interview with Francis Ray

  • When did you start your writing career?
I started writing around 1988. I sold my first short story to a confession magazine in 1990. Odyssey Books bought my first full-length novel December 24, 1991. It was a fantastic Christmas present after trying so long to sell a book. My family celebrated for days.
  • Your titles consistently make bestseller's lists. What's your secret?
I wish I knew the secret. I just try with every book to write the best story I can. Story ideas don't come easily to me, and thus I plot slow and write slower. I'm truly blessed to have gained an audience who like my work. I try to write about strong, intelligent men and resourceful, honorable women that readers can relate to.
  • Do you think that having your book listed as a best seller helps sell more copies of it? Does it open up other ways to market the book?
I'm not sure if 'national best selling' listing helps. Unfortunately, I think, the listings is appearing more and more on books without the data to back it up. For me, it didn't open up other ways to market my books. On the other hand, it's very gratifying to see your name on a list. I still have the print out of FOREVER YOURS, the co-launch for Arabesque in 1994, hitting Essence magazine list for the first time. I'm not sure where I put the print out for the New York Times or USA Today bestseller list with NOBODY BUT YOU. Perhaps because I'm still in shock. I do think the NYT/USA today list makes a difference in the perception of publishers, authors, and readers.
  • What's been the biggest highlight of your writing career so far?
My biggest highlights are (1) establishing The Turning Point Legal Defense Fund for battered women, and (2) making the NYT and USA Today best selling lists.
  • Tell us a bit about your latest book 'AND MISTRESS MAKES THREE'?
AND MISTRESS MAKES THREE is about a recently divorced woman who has to figure out a way to turn her downward spiraling life around. Her ex won't pay child support, their teenage daughter blames her for the divorce, their son needs a father, bills are past due, and her home travel agency business is floundering. She's failed at everything in her life: she's determine that this time she'll succeed. But how?
  • Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
Please visit my web site at While there they can also enter my monthly contest to win free books. They might also consider joining my Yahoogroup at
  • Anything else you'd like to add?
I'd like to thank readers for their tremendous support. It's been fantastic. NOBODY BUT YOU recently won Border's best selling multicultural book for 2008. Readers keep me writing and trying to improve with each and every book. Thank you for the invite.


  1. Excellent interview, Francis and Jo. It never fails to fascinate me on how other writers came to be. Mistress Makes Three sounds great.

  2. Thanks Joylene. As writers, I believe, we can learn a lot from others experiences both writing related and non.
    Some of us, it seems, are writing as soon as we learn how to hold a pen. Others seem to just fall into it.
    I'm glad that others find these interviews as interesting as I do :)


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