Francis Ray

Francis Ray

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
March 2, 2004

Q. What inspired you to write SOMEBODY'S KNOCKING AT MY DOOR?

A. We first meet Rafe and Kristen, the main characters if Somebody's Knocking in Trouble Don't Last Always (formally titled The Turning Point). I received so much mail from readers on Rafe, the heroine's stepson and Kristen, the hero's sister, that I felt compelled to write their story. Rafe, abused as a child and afraid he carried within him the same capacity for cruelty as his father, and Kristen, loved by her family but plagued by insecurities, must conquer their fears to help the other and possibly find love in the process.

Q. How did you come about the title?

A. I must confess my wonderful editor at St. Martin's Press, Monique Patterson, came up with the title. I loved it and it fit. Each of the main characters has reasons not to open the door emotionally to a person they care about.

Q. How did you come about the relationship between Rafe and Kristen?

A. Rafe and Kristen were wounded and insecure in Trouble Don't Last Always. If anyone needed love it was these two. I thought it would be perfect if they could help heal each other. Sounds simple, but both had to put themselves at risk emotionally, something both were deeply afraid of doing.

Q. How did you come up with Maurice's character?

A. In my previous book, I Know Who Holds Tomorrow, I explored the relationship between an older man and younger woman. For Somebody's Knocking I wanted to put a real spin on it and have an older, successful, seemingly self-assured woman married to a younger, self-centered man you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. Maurice came to me fully developed -- sneaky, selfish, and devious. Unfortunately love can blind you to a person's faults, and when you add his wife's strong sense of family honor and duty, you have a woman with a major problem married to a major rat.

Q. What is the title of the book that this one is a sequel from?

A. The Turning Point retitled and reissued in trade as Trouble Don't Last Always.

Q. Why did you choose New Orleans as the setting?

A. New Orleans was actually chosen before I thought of writing the book. When we first meet Rafe and Kristen in Trouble we already know that he probably lives there and she has taken a job there. Since I love the wonderful atmosphere and the city's rich history, it seemed the perfect place for them to discover who they were and each other.

Q. How did you come about Angelique's character?

A. I like shattering preconceived notions. A former exotic dancer working on her doctoral in Psychology appealed to me. I also wanted to show that it doesn't matter where you start out in life, it's what you do with your life that matters.

Q. Will there be a sequel to this novel?

A. I haven't decided if there will be a sequel. I've thought about it a great deal, but none of the characters we met outside of the main ones have intrigued me enough to want to write their story.

Q. What are the titles of the books you have written since writing this one?

A. Since Somebody's Knocking the books are:

    Rockin' Around That Christmas Tree, a holiday collaboration with Donna Hill - December 4, 2003
    Whole Lotta Love, an anthology of full-figured women - Feburary 4, 2004
    Like The First Time - May 4, 2004
    Then Sings My Soul for an untitled Christian anthology for Harlequin Febuary 5, 2004?

Q. Are you currently working on another book?

A. I'm finishing up You and No Other, a romance, and the next anthology for the Living Large series, His Everything Woman. Then I need to start on my next mainstream.

Q. What message would you like readers to receive from reading SOMEBODY'S KNOCKING AT MY DOOR?

A. The message is that you can overcome any obstacle...poverty, betrayal, abandonment, insecurity...but your first step is unshakable faith.