Michelle Manning is a local urban fiction author. Her book “Exposure Behind These Black Walls” is available through major booksellers, with her second, “Lust” coming in two weeks. Both books are appropriate for adult readers. Manning’s 4-year-old daughter is also releasing a book in two weeks, “Breaunna’s Unicorn Adventures.”
Are you originally from the Anniston area?
Yes. My dad, Rev. Curtis Manning, is a minister, and my mother, Brenda Manning — who passed away last year — retired from the public library in Anniston after working there for 23 years. I have been writing for 15 years, and I did ghostwriting in Ohio. I lived there for 22 years, but I decided to move back to Anniston after both of my parents became ill.
Did you study creative writing?
I attended the Ohio State University, where I was a business major, and I also got my social work degree from Cincinnati State Community College. I started off in nursing school, but after three-and-a-half years, I decided it was not for me. I loved business and social work, and I knew nursing was not for me — I did not like needles. I always wanted to work with kids; I come from a large family, and I always wanted to either be a foster parent, adopt kids or do social work. I cannot choose one career.
What got you involved in ghostwriting?
Everyone in my family writes. My brother actually used to write for the Anniston Star Sports section, and my aunt was an editor here. I work in urban fiction. Because my mother was a librarian, writing was a passion for all of her kids. I developed my writing skills as time went on, and I found that I loved writing. Writing became a passion for me; I could go outside and write about the trees. The more I wrote, the more I knew it was something I wanted to do. I started off small in Ohio, and I did ghostwriting for people. My mother passed away last year, and her last words to me was, “Put it on paper.” I decided to start writing again, and I met my co-writer on this book, “Exposure Behind These Black Walls,” Brandon T. Reed of Atlanta. He introduced me to my publisher, Frances Robinson of Ohio. I will be releasing my next book, “Lust,” in two weeks; I wrote it under my pen name, Pleasure.
What types of books do you write?
I write urban fiction and eroticas. I write about a lot of things that some writers are afraid to: the LGBT community and anything that deals with African American struggles and successes.
What is urban fiction?
Urban fiction is African American. Most of them are eroticas. They cover love, deception, drugs, broken homes and more.
What is your book about?
The loyalty, deception and betrayals of people. It talks about the development of women and the fundamental building of families. I am very family-oriented. My mother was the oldest of eight children. My dad has 13 brothers and sisters. This book also showcases death and also the LGBT community.
Why is it important to you to cover those topics in this book?
When this book was released, so many people inboxed me to ask if I was afraid of the backlash, and I was not because these topics are real. Writers need to address things that are real in society. I have friends in the LGBT community that are afraid to come out because they are afraid of what people will think of them. I stepped out on faith, and I will continue to write about tough topics like the drug life, bullying, young kids dying and incest.
Tell us more about your book.
My book was released on May 3 and has reached the U.K., Australia, Africa and Japan. It is also available in the Hobson City Library.
Do you have anything else to add?
I dedicate all of my books to my mother; she was five-stars to me. Her birthday would have been yesterday (Wednesday); she would have been 70 years old. She was the love of my life, and if it was not for her and my daughter, I would not be where I am.
Do you have a suggestion for “Spotlight”? Contact Faith Dorn at firstname.lastname@example.org.