Rhonda M. Lawson is the award-winning author of Cheatin’ in the Next Room, A Dead Rose and, most recently, Putting It Back Together. She is also an Army journalist, garnering various journalism awards, including the 1997 Training and Doctrine Command Journalist of the Year. She is a sergeant first class stationed at Fort Stewart, Georgia, where she works in Army Public Affairs, and just recently returned from Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn. Perhaps even more impressive than her seventeen-year career as a soldier is the proud role she plays as a single mother of a young daughter.
Without any thoughts of publication, Rhonda began writing when she was twelve. "I just knew I loved to write," she says. "Today I still write purely for the love of it." Unlike some authors who emphasize entertainment over content, she readily acknowledges that she has something to say and is doing so via her writing: "I want to touch people with my stories. All of my books are entertaining, but have a message." That message has not been lost on Rhonda's readers, who write to her about how they identify with her characters and their situations. "This is why I write," Rhonda says. "And this is why I say I write real fiction for real people."
Rhonda's journalism career began at Loyola University in her native New Orleans, Louisiana, where she served a short stint on the campus newspaper. When she left college and joined the Army in 1994, she continued her journalism career. Her first duty station was Fort Knox, Kentucky, where she edited all sections of Inside the Turret, the post newspaper. During this tour, she earned awards for both commentary and feature writing.
In 1997, she moved to Fort Story, Virginia, and served as Fort Story Bureau Chief for the Fort Eustis Wheel newspaper. Awarded Journalist of the Year and Noncommissioned Officer of the Quarter, she began pursuing her first love, fiction, and started working on her first full-length novel, Cheatin' in the Next Room. Rhonda's career as a Soldier-journalist has taken her to various parts of the world, including Japan, Hawaii, Korea, Afghanistan, and Egypt. Her work has appeared stateside in various Army and civilian publications, including Soldiers Magazine, The Seattle Times, and The Army Times.
An active member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.-Chi Pi Zeta Chapter, Rhonda holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from the University of Maryland University College and a Master's in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma. She is also a member of the Divine Literary Tour, an organization made up of authors who are members of African-American fraternities and sororities, and the U.S. Army’s Sergeant Audie Murphy Club. She has contributed to six different anthologies: Second Chances, Crimes of Passion, Gumbo for the Soul, The Heart of Our Community, Surfacing, Heart of a Military Woman and the recently released Color of Strength: Embracing the Passion of Our Culture.
- Richmond Hill, GA
- writing, reading, socializing
- Favorite noveling music:
- U.S. Army
- Favorite books or authors:
- James Patterson, Eric Jerome Dickey, Toni Morrison