Donna Grant

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Donna Grant is the co-author of seven novels, several bestsellers written between 1990 and 2010. In a lighthearted 2010 interview DeBerry and Grant described their books as, "We wreck characters’ lives and put them back together for entertainment ... we wreck characters’ lives, not real people. And we hit them where it counts: their ambition, bank account, politics and family secrets." [1]

A notation on African American Literature Book Club (AALBC) states as follows, "Important Message: Our writing career is officially on "HOLD" (Nov 15, 2012) [2] This was confirmed by the Grant and DeBerry who wrote that writing had become a grind. With publishers demands on types of subjects, faster production, marketing and self publishing on the internet they decided they would cease writing.[3]

Biography[edit]

Before becoming a novelist, she spent more than a decade as a plus-size model, represented by the 12+ division of Ford Models.[1] Grant was featured in catalogs and national ads, on the pages of such magazines as Essence, McCalls, Family Circle and Woman's Day, and has made appearances on Today, Good Morning America, and Live with Regis and Kathie Lee.

During this time Grant met co-author, Virginia DeBerry, who was also a plus-size model vying for the same assignments. Their modeling careers led to the opportunity to launch Maxima, a fashion and lifestyle magazine for plus-size women, where Virginia was editor-in-chief and Donna the managing editor. When publication of Maxima ceased, Virginia and Donna decided to try writing a book together.[1] Best friends for more than 30 plus years, have turned a friendship into the most successful collaboration to date in African-American fiction.

Their first effort, Exposures was published under the pseudonym Marie Joyce (for Donna Marie and Virginia Joyce). It was also published in Spain as Instantaneas. Their next book, written as DeBerry and Grant, was Tryin' to Sleep in the Bed You Made, which was a critical success, an Essence Magazine Bestseller, as are all three of their books, and won the Merit Award for Fiction from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, as well as the 1998 Book of the Year Award from the Blackboard Bestseller List/African American Booksellers Conference-Book Expo America. More than that, it hit an emotional nerve with tens of thousands of readers from all over the world who continue to write to Virginia and Donna ten years after the book's publication. Far From the Tree became a New York Times Bestseller, and Better Than I Know Myself received two Open Book Awards, and was included on the Best African-American fiction of 2004 lists of both Borders and WaldenBooks.

In addition to speaking at book fairs and literary festivals around the country for the past eight years, Virginia and Donna have been keynote, motivational/inspirational speakers and served on panels for a wide variety of meetings, organizations, companies, churches, cultural and educational institutions, including: DELL North America, Women Work!, Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Speaking of Women's Health (Procter & Gamble) & the Texas Conference for Women. Their honest and powerful messages have received praise from literary, business and academic audiences. They have also appeared on CNN, Good Day New York and been featured on the pages of Essence Magazine, Glamour (magazine), American Woman, and Black Issues Book Review. In 2009 they spoke at the first annual California Book Club Summit and were part of a panel discussion on the unease of African Americans about the publishing industry.[4]

In a lighthearted 2010 interview DeBerry and Grant described their books as, "We wreck characters’ lives and put them back together for entertainment ... we wreck characters’ lives, not real people. And we hit them where it counts: their ambition, bank account, politics and family secrets."

In 2008 Donna and Virginia joined with partners Tyrha Lindsey and Tracey Kemble to form 4 Colored Girls Productions. They hoped to make a film of Tryin’ to Sleep in the Bed You Made, based on their 1997 novel, as their first independent feature. They were unhappy with the type of film Hollywood wanted and the film was never made.[5]

Private Life[edit]

Donna, an only child,[6] attended Barnard College and is a graduate of New York University. She is a Brooklyn, New York native and currently lives in the borough with her husband, Hiram.[5]

Bibliography[edit]


Exposures (as Marie Joyce), Warner Books/Popular Library (New York, NY),1990, BackinPrint (iUniverse) 2005.

Tryin’ to Sleep in the Bed You Made, St. Martin’s Press (New York, NY), 1997.

Far from the Tree, St. Martin’s Press (New York, NY), 2000.

Better Than I Know Myself, St. Martin’s Press (New York, NY), 2004.

Gotta Keep On Tryin: A Novel (sequel to Tryin’ to Sleep in the Bed You Made), Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2008.

What Doesn’t Kill You: A Novel, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2009.

Uptown: A Novel, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2010

Awards[edit]

Black Caucus of the American Library Association 1998 BCALA Honor Award in fiction for Tryin' to sleep in the bed you made.[7]

BlackBoard Bestseller List 1998 Book of the Year Award for Tryin’ to Sleep in the Bed You Made [8] It was he best-selling hardcover book among African-American authors in 1997-’98 [9]

Girl Book Club, 1997 New Author of the Year Award [10]
African American Literary Awards Show—Open Book Award, September 29, 2004,

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Interview with Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant 28 March 2010". How did you get there. Retrieved 2 November 2016. 
  2. ^ "[Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant]". aalbc African American Book Club. Retrieved 1 November 2016. 
  3. ^ "The end of this chapter 15 November 2012". twomindsfull blogspot. Retrieved 1 November 2016. 
  4. ^ "California Book Club Summit". International Media TV. Retrieved 2 November 2016. 
  5. ^ a b "My interview with Donna Grant & Virginia DeBerry 13 May 2010". shewrites. Retrieved 1 November 2016. 
  6. ^ "Donna Grant". Sister Sippin Tea. Retrieved 2 November 2016. 
  7. ^ "Black writers recognized among the best of the best 5 March 1998 pge 29". Hoosier State Chronicles. Retrieved 1 November 2016. 
  8. ^ "Virginia DeBerry". Macmillan Publishers. Retrieved 1 November 2016. 
  9. ^ "New Brunswick Jazz Project Marks Five Years on High Note 27 May 2015". PrincetonInfo.com. Retrieved 1 November 2016. 
  10. ^ "Go on girl! Book Club Awards". Go on girl! Book Club. Retrieved 1 November 2016. 

External links[edit]