When I first found out that new author, Toni Meyer, was actually the “nom de plume” of one of my favorite authors (Trisha Thomas), I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m a huge fan of her work, but a novel without my beloved Venus to cheer on, made me pause for a moment. I read the back jacket: “Seduction, betrayal and second chances…” It sounded interesting, but it didn’t sound like Venus. Who exactly is this new character, Carrie Hemmingway? Well, after the first chapter, I was more than willing to take the ride with Carrie.
You see, Carrie is in a bad marriage, has an insufferable mother-in-law, a high-powered career, and a sassy teenager-we’re talking a mean girl. If this weren’t enough she’s doing all of this in the shadows of her husband’s deceased first wife. Yes, Carrie (like many) isn’t living her life. She’s just going through the motions. Just typing it makes me sigh. But things change when a sexy young man enters the picture. Carrie awakens to new possibilities. But there’s one dilemma-he’s younger. Way younger. Her son’s college roommate younger.
You may think you’ve heard this story before, but I promise you, you haven’t. He doesn’t need a green card or a place to live-he’s got his own. Meyer takes a familiar situation and breathes new life into it. There are enough twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat and wondering what’s next. Fortunately, the author graciously agreed to answer a few of my questions. Here’s her take on One Thing She Knew.
RDD: One Thing She Knew is about a woman who finds love with a younger man. In recent years we’ve heard of younger man/older woman relationships so much so that the term “cougar” was coined to describe it. What made you decide to take on that subject.
Trisha: I don’t like the term ‘cougar’. It insinuates an older woman is a predator, seeking out some young innocent man. The truth is, most times, the younger man is doing the pursuing of the older woman. Women of a certain age become more attractive because of their confidence and overall knowledge of how to take care of themselves. I think the whole myth of not being sexy after a certain age is just another way to sell a bunch of beauty products, the same way the hair industry has everyone convinced if their [hair] is not straight and shiny they should be banished from the kingdom. Beauty is confidence.
RDD: Over the past couple of years there have been a fresh crop of guru’s dispensing advice on women (black women in particular) and relationships. In the story, Carrie has her own group of relationship “healers” chiming in (her attorney, her best friend, Ella, etc.), where do you think women should turn when seeking relationship advice?
Trisha: Advice comes from all sides. You take what you can use and leave the rest. The problem comes when we are swayed too easily and believe everything we hear, versus going with our gut instinct. I know there are a lot of men writing advice books for women and I cringe every time I see a new one coming out. Especially when it’s coming from someone who has yet to make their own relationship work. But women are hungry to figure out what their doing wrong, why they haven’t found their soul mate, and I’m guessing they think they are going to get that magic answer…but from an actor, a comedian, a singer. Why not just pick up Cesar’s Dog Whisperer book. Really? You can’t train someone to love you and treat you with respect. They either find you remarkable in their eyes or they don’t.
RDD: What inspired the title?
Trisha: The title makes me smile. It goes back to following your gut instinct. There’s always that one thing you know for sure, but you try to reason it away with excuses. You know what’s right and what makes you feel good. You also know what makes you uncomfortable. It’s when we don’t listen and ignore it that things go wrong. In this story, Carrie finally shut out the noise and listened to the voice that was telling the truth.
RDD: The lead character is not only at a crossroads in her relationship but also her career, what advice do you give to women who are reinventing themselves/starting over.
Trisha: I love reinventing myself, hence the pen name Toni Meyer. It’s refreshing to start with a clean slate and begin anew. When an obstacle changes our direction, it’s better to go with the flow and see what’s down the new road. It might be an amazing journey leading to the very thing we’ve always wanted and didn’t know how to achieve.
RDD: The consequences of driving under the influence impacts quite a few of the characters lives, why did you choose that subject as a part of this story?
Trisha: Alcohol is completely under the radar as far as the repercussions of over indulgence. I wasn’t trying to point fingers, I just think we need to take it more seriously when we see someone attempting to function normally after drinking. In other words, seeing someone who’s impaired but you still let them drive, or practice in a profession that could harm someone else, is like watching them walk out the door with a loaded weapon. No difference.
RDD: Will we be seeing more of Carrie in another novel? What’s next for you?
Trisha: I’m not planning to make Carrie part of a series. I am writing under the name Toni Meyer to tell all the stories I’ve wanted to tell separate from my Nappily Series. It’s funny because no matter what story I would pitch to my agent or editor, they would ask, “Is Venus in it?” The Nappily Series will continue strong. The Toni Meyer project is just getting off the ground. I’ve got so many stories to write sometimes I feel like there’s not enough time in the day.
For more on the Blog Tour for One Thing She Knew visit here.