Tia McCollors, a Conyers resident who has published several Christian fiction books, will be at the Nancy Guinn Memorial Library at 6:30 p.m. on July 24 to sign copies of her latest novel, “Friday Night Love.” (Special Photo)
A busy mother of three, Tia McCollors finds time to pen her novels in the early morning hours before her three children and husband have arisen. Once she’s fulfilled her duties getting them off to work, school and day care, she finds a new setting in which to write, one that won’t be tempting her to dust, or vacuum, or wash the dishes.
McCollors retreats to the public library where, if she gets there before it opens, she can reserve a conference room for two hours. After she’s consumed that time, she finds a quiet nook in the library to write a little more.
“I’ve been doing that since I moved here,” said McCollors, who relocated to Conyers from DeKalb County in 2010.
Now, McCollors is using the library for another activity related to her writing. She’ll hold a book signing and discussion of her latest novel, “Friday Night Love,” on July 24 at 6:30 p.m. at the Nancy Guinn Memorial Library, 864 Green St. in Conyers. “Friday Night Love” is the first in a series, dubbed Days of Grace, published by Whitaker House.
Like the majority of McCollors’ books, “Friday Night Love” centers on relationships, this one between a wife and her husband, who has cheated on her. After the wife spends a year living as a single mother of two, trying to rebuild her life, the husband returns and wants to repair their marriage.
McCollors said ultimately the story is about forgiveness and restoration, using faith in God to push past the hurt and begin to heal.
“I wanted to show not only the painful emotions of a betrayed wife, but also the spark of hope that empowers her to choose to fight for her marriage,” McCollors said.
McCollors is the award-winning author of nine books, including “A Heart of Devotion,” an Essence magazine best seller and a novel which garnered her Breakout Author of the Year by the Open Book Awards of the African American Literary Awards Show in 2006. She has also released titles including “Zora’s Cry, The Truth about Love,” “The Last Woman Standing,” and “Steppin’ into the Good Life,” as well as a devotional book, “If These Shoes Could Talk: Devotional Messages for a Woman’s Daily Walk.”
The 40-year-old former public relations specialist said she enjoys writing about relationships between people, whether it be married couples, parents and children, or friends.
She likes to start her stories with a “what if,” and her tales are inspirational because her characters use faith to navigate the often rocky waters of interacting with each other.
“I like to write about real people, real situations, real emotions,” McCollors said. “We live in a world where relationships are critical.”
While McCollors does base some of her characters on people she knows, the stories she produces originate in her imagination.
“My fiction is someone else’s fact. Every book I’ve written someone has emailed me and said, ‘That’s my story,’ or they’ll say, ‘I felt like I was reading about my life,’” McCollors said.
A native of Greensboro, N.C., McCollors moved to the Atlanta area the day after she graduated from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill with a degree in mass communications and journalism in 1996.
A self-described voracious reader and book lover, McCollors said she never entertained the idea of becoming an author in her younger days and instead chose to build a career as a public relations specialist.
One day in 1999, while between jobs, she took a MARTA train to the Georgia World Congress Center for a job fair. As soon as she walked in the door, the huge crowd of job seekers prompted her to re-evaluate her direction. She turned around, left the job fair, and got back on the train.
“I had one of those Oprah Winfrey ‘A-ha’ moments and thought, ‘You’re going to marry your love of reading with your love of writing,’” McCollors said.
McCollors eventually found a day job, but began to read and analyze books to determine what made them successful, and marketable by publishing companies.
“It takes a lot to go from conception to completion,” said McCollors, who taught herself the art of writing a novel.
Her break came in 2003 when she got a publishing contract with Moody Publishing, a Christian Publishing Company that distributed her first five books. She also had a book published as a mass market paperback by Simon and Schuster.
McCollors married in 2004, and in 2006 after the birth of her first child, she left her job as assistant director for media relations at Emory University, to devote herself full-time to being a mother and a writer.
When asked which book is her favorite, McCollors said she views them as she views her children and doesn’t put one above the others.
“I love them all for different reasons,” she said.
To learn more, visit www.tiamccollors.com.