Fancis Ray

Francis Ray

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
March 1, 2008

Q.    Francis, how did you come about the idea of the storyline for NOT EVEN IF YOU BEGGED?

A.    I needed to clear the way for Justine from IN ANOTHER MAN'S BED to be happy after leaving her adulterous husband. Enter PR guru Traci Evans. Almost immediately, I knew she would be a successful, full-figured woman with a bad attitude about men, and that her best friend would be older and dealing with hot flashes.

Q.    How did you come the idea surrounding the Invincible Sisterhood group?

A.    I've met some fantastic book clubs and modeled the Invincible Sisterhood after them. Their loyalty and friendship is incredible. The name came from the name of the series, the Invincible Women, women who are knocked down by life, but always come back stronger than before.

Q.    How did you come about the idea of having an older women and a younger man in an relationship?

A.    I thought it would be interesting to see how a woman dealing with the emotional roller coaster of "the change" find herself attracted to a younger man. I also wanted to write about an older, mature heroine. As I look around, I see a lot of older, single women. They want and deserve a good man.

Q.    How did you come about the title NOT EVEN IF YOU BEGGED?

A.    The title was probably the easiest part of the book. Not even if you begged is Traci Evans philosophy on men. My publishing house loved the title.

Q.    How did you come about the idea surrounding Traci, her mother and her grandfather?

A.    Family have a strong influence, good or bad, on a child's development. I wanted Traci to have a reason to distrust men in particular and people in general. Her selfish mother was a key factor in Traci's distrust, but her loving grandfather was even more important in helping shape her into a woman with strong work ethics and moral code.

Q.    How did you come about the idea surrounding Elisa?

A.    Elisa just appeared. I was writing and Elisa's character walked into the story - with a distorted reality, wanting love so badly and doing all the wrong things to get it. I really felt sorry for her and have been trying to figure out how I can 'cure' her.

Q.    How did you come about the idea for Maureen going through menopause?

A.    I know a lot of women going through the same thing. Women seem to be going though menopause at a younger and younger age. But menopause doesn't mean you can't have a healthy sex life or want a loving, fulfilling relationship.

Q.    Are any of the characters from this novel in any of your other novels?

A.    Yes, in each of the Invincible Women books, I bring a character/characters into the nest book. From IN ANOTHER MAN'S BED - Justine, Dalton, Patrick, and Brianna - appear in NOT EVEN IF YOU BEGGED. We don't see the owners of Bliss from LIKE THE FIRST TIME , but they're mentioned. Brianna was in ANY RICH MAN WILL DO.

Q.    What do you value the most as being a writer?

A.    The ability to tell the world about wonderful African-American people. I receive mail from many foreign countries. It's wonderful being able to let them see a flattering picture of my people.

Q.    What message would you like readers to receive from reading NOT EVEN IF YOU BEGGED?

A.    If you live long enough, you'll have problems that can knock you to the ground. How you handle that problem will dictate the quality of your life and set the stage for how your react to other challenges in your life.