Author Features

MEET: Rhonda McKnight author of “The Thing About Home”

Originally from a small coastal town in New Jersey, Rhonda writes from her South Carolina home.

Last Updated on May 25, 2023 by BiblioLifestyle

author Rhonda McKnight
The Thing About Home by Rhonda McKnight

What was the last book that you read that you’d now recommend?

By Her Own Design by Piper Huguley. I recommend it to anyone who will listen. I’m Piper’s biggest fan. I’ve loved everything she has written.

Have you read any classics lately that you were reading for the first time?

I read Persuasion by Jane Austen a few months ago. I received a beautiful painted edition from my publisher for Christmas. I don’t really read classical literature, but if I did revisit another, I’d read Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston.

Do you re-read books   And if yes, what was your last re-read?

I never re-read fiction. I’m a slow reader so I don’t have time for it. I just re-read a memoir by Sherri L. Lewis. The God Zone. I read it when I need to be reminded of who I am.

What are your go-to genres?

I read a lot of nonfiction, but it’s kind of work-related. I get immersed in fiction – historical, thrillers, mystery, YA fantasy and romance. Everything must be romance adjacent. Well, not must but I like a little love story.

What is your favorite childhood book?

Honestly, I’m so old I don’t remember anything but Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume. Holes by Louis Sachar is my new favorite. I read it with both of my sons.

What books are on your bedside table right now?

The Queen of Exiles by Vanessa Riley. It’s an Advanced Review Copy. I don’t want it to end. The story is wonderful, but what Vanessa Riley novel isn’t? The House of Eve by Sadeqa Johnson, Day Not Promised by Pat Simmons, and Things Past Telling by Sheila Williams.

Do you bookmark or dogear your page in a book?

I usually use bookmarks, but I will dogear a page in a paperback because it’s my book. Who’s going to stop me? 😊

What is your ideal reading setting?

A cozy window seat with views of a vegetable garden. Okay, that’s the fantasy. I like to read in bed.

Tell us about your favorite indie bookstore?

Turning Page Bookshop in Goose Creek, South Carolina. Seriously, who would not love a bookstore in a town named Goose Creek? It’s a forty-mile drive. I trek down there all the time just to smell the books and empty my wallet. It’s my closest indie store.

Rhonda McKnight's favorite bookstore

What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

I wrote my first book when I was six years old. My dad smiled and told me it was really good. He said, “You’re going to be a writer and an artist.” I am visually the most uncreative person I know. I can barely sign my name, so those early illustrations had to be a hot mess. But Daddy said my story was good, so I knew then that words had the potential to make people happy.

What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

I take one every time I go to a bookstore that sells mocha lattes and has couch seating.

Where do you get most of your writing and editing done?

At home, but I like to begin a book at a coffee shop or at the library. There’s no laundry there. I also do writing sprints on Zoom with my author buddies.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

I’m energized by creating characters and outlining a story, but actually putting story words on paper exhausts me. I still enjoy it.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

One. I wrote it two years ago and just need to write a proposal and give it to my agent. I’ve sold or self-published all twenty-five of my books. There are no manuscripts under the bed.

Do you read your book reviews?  How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I read a few when the book is first released and then I go back and read them when I decide I’m going to quit writing, which happens with every work-in-progress. I’m always quitting. Most of my reviews make me happy. Bad ones…eh, I mean my stories and writing style aren’t for everyone. I’m a moody reader, and I don’t like every book I start. I’m the queen of DNFing a book.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

This doesn’t have to be a hobby. This can be what you do.

When you’re not reading or writing, what are you doing?

Reading. Watching the hottest drama from one of the many streaming services I pay for. Watching weirdness on YouTube. Endlessly texting my friends like a teenager.

What are your three favorite things right now?

My garden, my new mug, and my red lipstick.

What is your favorite travel destination and why?

The Emerald Coast in Florida. Green water and sugary sand are a gift from God.

What’s your favorite meal and go-to drink order?

Sushi. The Hwy 9 from Konnichiwa and a Coke.

Rhonda McKnight's favorite food to eat

What six people, living or dead, would you invite to a dinner party?

Jesus is first on the list and hopefully He’ll show up early so we can have a before dinner chat. My maternal grandmother. She died in childbirth when my mother was just two years old. My mother so she could meet her. Maya Angelou, Harriet Tubman, and Victoria Christopher Murray. Victoria is my mentor. I’d reward her with this dinner and then we could write a great book about it.

If a movie was made of your life, what genre would it be, and who would play you?

DeWanda Wise would play me. What? It’s my life, I can pick one of the most gorgeous humans alive. The genre would be historical because I want to be dead and gone when the film airs. I’m boring. That’s not going to be a good movie. LOL.

What’s the last TV show or movie you watched that was really good?

The Harder They Fall on Netflix and 1883 on Paramount Plus, both for the second time. I love westerns. I watched them with my dad when I was a kid, and I’m still hooked. I also enjoyed Unprisoned on Hulu.

You have to sing karaoke; what song do you pick?

I’ve embarrassed myself twice by singing Mariah Carey’s Hero. I’d probably go for Something in My Heart by Michel’le because the 80’s, baby. The decade of one hit wonders had the best music.

If you were being taken to a deserted island and could only bring one book, what would it be?

I’ll need to take the Bible. I re-read that one all the time.

The Thing About Home

Buy The Thing About Home by Rhonda McKnight from: AMAZON / BOOKSHOP


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