Kennedy Ryan is back with another book that’s sure to have you hooked. I recently spoke with her about her latest release, Before I Let Go.
Tell me about your latest book.
Before I Let Go is the second chance romance of a divorced couple, Yasmen and Josiah Wade. They run a restaurant together and co-parent their two kids in a fictional Atlanta in-town neighborhood called Skyland. During a dark season of their lives marked by deep loss, they also lost their way and their marriage. They lost each other. This is their journey, not only back to each other, but in so many ways, back to themselves. It’s evident from the beginning and in every interaction that they both still have deep feelings for each other and lots of unresolved issues. There is longing, pining, joy, friendship, healing and recovery.
What do you want readers to learn from the story?
I wanted to tell a love story that feels almost hopeless in the beginning. They’ve been divorced for two years. It’s over, but it’s obvious they still love each other so much. Both of them navigate great personal loss, grief and depression. It’s as they create tools to deal with these issues that they are ready to come back into each other’s lives truly as soulmates, but it’s a journey. I wanted readers to see a love that overcomes adversity, but I also really want readers to know we all have struggles and that it’s okay to need help. That it’s WISE and often essential to seek help. I hope this story goes just a little way in destigmatizing getting help when we need it for our mental health.
What do you want readers to learn from your life?
I don’t know that I’m focused on readers learning from my life in Before I Let Go, except that I navigated some of the same issues with depression that the heroine does. Probably that our mental health is so important. There is no shame in asking for help. It’s okay to not be okay, but we don’t have to endure hard times in isolation. And to be gentle with ourselves. To give ourselves grace when we need it.
If you could pick another profession, what would it be and why?
Probably what I was doing before I started publishing, which was running a foundation focused on resourcing families with kids on the Autism spectrum. I did that for about 13 years. Philanthropic work is some of the most fulfilling I’ve ever experienced.
What’s something readers would be surprised to know about you?
Probably how much I wrestle with self-doubt. I think that’s a writer’s occupational hazard. LOL. Most writers do, but whenever I mention it, readers and even other writers are like NOT YOU! Yes, me. For sure me. Every time I start a new book, I’m afraid I can’t do it. I just push through that and force myself to risk it because I love storytelling too much to NOT do it.
What books have you read lately and loved?
Honey and Spice by Bolu Babalola
A Lady for a Duke by Alexis Hall
The Perfect Crimes of Marian Hayes by Cat Sebastian
The Predator (Dark Verse Book 1) by Runyx
A Caribbean Heiress in Paris by Adriana Herrera
Half-Blown Rose by Leesa Cross-Smith
What books are you excited to read?
You Made A Fool of Death With Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi
Someday, Maybe by Onyi Nwabineli
Happy Place by Emily Henry
What’s next for you?
Before I Let Go, book 1 of the Skyland series, releases November 15. I’m currently writing the follow-up, book 2 about another couple in this world. And I’ll be releasing an Audible first in February 2023. And the follow-up to Reel, book 1 of my Hollywood Renaissance series, Score.
Do you have anything you would like to add? No. 🙂
Use the Black Fiction Addiction affiliate link to purchase your copy of Before I Let Go.
To learn more about Kennedy Ryan, visit her website or connect with her on social media.