Special to the Tri-State Defender
Native Memphian Latrivia S. Nelson sat down in front of her computer in 2008 and wrote her first novel, “Ivy’s Twisted Vine.”
|Latrivia S. Nelson writes interracial romance novels that “women from all walks of life can identify with and enjoy.” (Courtesy photo)
Today, “Ivy’s Twisted Vine” is recognized as the largest interracial romance novel in the black woman/white man (bw/wm) genre to date, with many readers referring to it as the “bible of IR.”
“I write interracial romance novels that women from all walks of life can identify with and enjoy,” said Nelson. “The heroines are strong, beautiful, curvaceous and smart. They know what they want out of life, and they go for it. What man, black or white, wouldn’t want them?”
Sales didn’t soar with her first book, but her dreams did. Since then, Nelson’s following has gone from 500 readers to over 50,000. She has fans in over 38 countries and across the U.S. In 2011, she wrote the number one bestselling novel on Amazon’s Multicultural bestseller’s list, “The Grunt,” from her Lonely Heart Series and stayed on the list for over four months. During that time, she also had a second book on the top twenty list for multicultural romance, “The Ugly Girlfriend” (2011).
Nelson’s love for books surfaced as a child. She wrote stories and regularly recited them to her families. In high school, she once sought her mother’s “true feedback” about one of her books by telling her mother that she’d copied pages from a reference book for a class project.
At The LeMoyne-Owen College, Nelson’s alma mater, she wrote for the “Magician” newspaper. She also served as vice president of the Student Government Association and as president of her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., before she went on to be Ms. LeMoyne-Owen College in 2001 and graduate with honors in 2003. Later, she received her MBA from Strayer University.
With a long history in public relations and development, she has worked for nationally recognized companies such as The Carter Malone Group and Trust Marketing, and for the non-profits ALSAC/ St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, The Memphis Redbirds and the National Civil Rights Museum. And while she was afforded the opportunity to write, her passion was unfulfilled.
Trace Nelson’s inspiration for interracial romance and it leads to family roots.
“As one half of an interracial marriage, I wanted to dispel certain myths and give women and men in those types of relationships something to read that positively highlighted them,” she said.
Nelson married Adam Nelson, a decorated United States Marine in 2005, and the couple has two children.
Highlighted in hundreds of reviews and interviews, Nelson visits readers in myriad places throughout the nation. Her last stop was at the “Beautiful Trouble Eat and Greet” in Winston-Salem, N.Car., and her next appearance will be at the Romance Slam Jam in Little Rock, Ark., where she will be a guest speaker on the interracial romance genre.
“I surround myself with positive people. New York Times bestselling author, Brenda Jackson, is a dear friend of mine, and I look up to her and what she has done for the romance genre as a whole,” said Nelson. “On the home front, I have mentors like Beverly Robertson and Deidre Malone, who have groomed me for years. These women have also taught me to be vigilant in my desire to be the best and do the best that I can.”
In the last four years, Nelson has written 12 novels and novelettes. Five of those titles have been national bestsellers. From the popular romantic suspense series, “The Medlov Crime Family,” her next book will be out on March 28, 2011, entitled “Saving Anya.”
Nelson has ensured a way to get her work out to the world as well as help other aspiring authors. She founded RiverHouse Publishing in 2010 and has offices in the Clarke Tower in Memphis and on Broad in Manhattan, NYC.
“I wanted to give bold authors a chance to let their voices be heard on their own terms,” Nelson said about her publishing company.
And she’s done just that with five authors signed to RiverHouse Publishing, LLC and five new authors set to be introduced this year.
(For more information on Latrivia S. Nelson, visit http://www.latrivianelson.info or http://www.riverhousepublishingllc.com. You can also reach her at 901-322-6191.)