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May 2018: Debut Novel Inspiration
~ D. Reneé Bagby ~

CTR asked:
QUESTION: What inspired you to write your debut novel?

D. Reneé Bagby said:
The inspiration behind writing and publishing my debut novel Adrienne was the need to see black heroines in my favorite genre — Paranormal and Fantasy Romance. Back when I started writing Adrienne, ebooks were still new and somewhat unknown. The big NY publishing houses were my only source for Romance in any sub-genre, and the majority of their heroines were white.

While fun to read and that will never change, it was reading only. There was no putting myself in the place of the heroine when the hero continually (and sometimes constantly) gushed about heroine’s blue eyes and blonde hair and pale skin. Pretty much everything on offer read the same. There was no “me” in any of the titles available.

Lacking options, I decided to write my own. I’d been dabbling in writing since high school but had never applied myself to actually finishing a story with the intention of publishing it. Decision made, I set out to write a story I would want to read. Like most new authors with their first book, I put a lot of myself in Adrienne. In that way, it was very cathartic.

After writing the story, scrapping it, and re-writing it with a slightly different plot, I submitted it to Samhain Publishing. A friend at the time suggested them to me when I’d complained about receiving several rejections from agents and editors, not realizing at the time that rejections (and lots of them) are normal. Samhain picked it up, and Adrienne was published July 2007.

Unfortunately, Samhain Publishing closed its doors February 2016. They were the first to take a chance on me, and I will forever love them for that because they gave me the launch I needed to pursue this career full time.

Shortly after receiving my rights back, I re-released Adrienne myself with a new cover, but left the content alone, only doing minor grammar tweaks. It was my debut novel, so I didn’t want to update it or change anything because it was a major accomplishment for me. I see it as my time capsule, granting me the chance to look back at where I started and appreciating how far I’ve come every time I read it.

For anyone who wishes to see themselves in the genres they read, I encourage you to take that leap and write the book. Representation matters. If you want it, someone else is bound to want it too and will be thankful you made it available to them.


Adrienne (A Bron Universe Novel) by D. Renee Bagby cover

Adrienne (A Bron Universe Novel)

[Fantasy Interracial Romance, MF]

She’s the queen he will have at his side, even as death threatens to keep them apart.

Coming up on the last spring break of her college career, Adrienne has more than earned a week of rest and relaxation. But a late night on campus leads to an assault by a former classmate who ends up killed by Adrienne’s rescuer… with a sword. Just when she thinks her life can’t get any more surreal, she’s whisked away to a magical dimension where she’s expected to be queen. And turning down the position isn’t an option.

Malik is king, but he won’t be for much longer if the spell he enacted doesn’t find his bride. He’s racing against time to keep his kingdom out of the hands of his enemies. When his bride is located, he doesn’t hesitate to eliminate all obstacles to claim her. But he’s about to learn being an absolute monarch means nothing in a marriage to a woman whose temper and passion matches his own.

The honeymoon has barely started for Adrienne and Malik when a new threat rips them apart. There’s more than one way to steal Malik’s kingdom, and his usurpers have chosen the route over Adrienne’s dead body. This time Malik will need more than magic and a sword to save her. He’ll have to put aside a generation’s long feud and trust his enemy if he hopes to get his queen back alive.

Note: This title was previously published.

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