An Author You Should Know (Married Couples Edition)

“An Author You Should Know” is a regular feature of AALBC.com where we promote noteworthy authors on our homepage, blog (see right hand side of this page), social media and monthly eNewsletter.

Writing a book and getting it published is difficult.  Maintaining a marriage is arguably even more challenging.   These couples however make is look easy — obviously  they love their work and each other.

Given the media’s tendency to focus on the most negative aspects of marriage including the disastrous unions between celebrities, and the staggering divorce rates; I thought it was important to provide some balance by celebrating and highlighting a few married writers in the literary world.

This is by no means an exhaustive list.  But I’ve tried to provide a variety of writers.  I’m sure we can discover a book, written by one of the authors described, that we’d enjoy.  I hope you’ll find this list not only informative but an inspiring as well.  If you do, please share this list with others.  Peace, Troy.

The “An Author You Should Know” Married Couples Edition

Tina McElroy and Joneé Ansa

Tina McElroy Ansa is a long time bestselling author on AALBC.com and was voted by our visitors as one of the top authors of the 20th century.   Joneé Ansa is a director, screenwriter and founder of DownSouth Filmworks Inc.  They are working on a film “Baby of the Family” which is based on Baby of the Family the 1989 New York Times Notable Book of the year, written by Tina.

Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due

Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due have won numerous awards and made every major bestsellers list.  The couple has written dozens of books in several genres.  Recently they collaborated on the  first book in the new Devil’s Wake series (Atria July, 2012).  The couple has also teamed up with Actor Blair Underwood on the novel From Cape Town with Love: A Tennyson Hardwick Novel  (Atria May, 2010).

Spike and Tonya Lee

Spike and Tonya Lee were married in 1993.  Together they have combined to create three wonderful books for children.  Spike is also world renowned filmmaker and actor. His 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks has produced close to 40 films over the last two decade.  He has twice been nominated for Academy Awards.

Ashley Antoinette and Jaquavis Coleman

Mr. and Mrs. Coleman are the youngest African American co-authors to appear twice on the New York Times bestsellers list.  Their most recent work is the 2nd book in the Murderville Trilogy, Murderville: The Epidemic (Cash Money Content, July 2012).

Denene Millner and Nick Chiles

Nick Chiles a bestselling author and an award-winning journalist.  Denene Millner is a #1 New York Times bestselling author.  She co-wrote Steve Harvey’s wildly popular book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.   The couple has co-authored 6 books together.   Nick and Denene Milner have also launched a web site called, NorthParan.com.  For every book that is sold on their site, they will donate a free book to a needy black child somewhere in the U.S. or abroad.

Gwen and Willie Richardson

Gwen has published both fiction and nonfiction.  Her most recent book in the novel, The Genesis Files (Cushcity Communications, May 2012).   Willie has not published a book, but he works so hard behind the scenes supporting books, authors and his wife that I could not resist listing this couple.  The Richardson’s founded the National Black Book Festival, which just celebrated it’s 5th anniversary this past June.  They also founded CushCity.com  one of the oldest online markets places for African-American DVDs, Books, Art Prints, Toys, Calendars & More.

Danzy Senna and Percival Everett

Danzy Senna’s debut novel, Caucasia (Riverhead, 1999), was the winner of the BOMC Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction and of a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year.   Percival Everett is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California and the author of more than twenty books, including I Am Not Sidney Poitier (Graywolf Press, May 2009).

Victor LaValle and Emily Raboteau

Emily Raboteau is the author of the novel, The Professor’s Daughter, (Henry Holt, 2005) and the memoir, Searching for Zion (Grove Press, 2013).  The award winning author teaches creative writing in Harlem at the City College of New York. Victor LaValle’s most recent book is The Devil in Silver (Spiegel and Grau, 2012). He serves as Director of the Fiction Concentration at Columbia University’s School of the Arts.

Doug and Jackie Christie

Doug and Jackie Christie are co authors of their book, No Ordinary Love (Infinite Love Publishing, June 2007)  in which Doug, a former NBA Basketball star, and Jackie former fashion model explain how to they sustain a strong marriage.

Richard Wesley & Valerie Wilson Wesley

Prof. Wesley wrote the screen plays for several motion pictures including “Uptown Saturday Night (1974)” and “Mandela And De Klerk (1997)”. Valerie is a former executive editor of Essence Online magazine and has written a many books including the popular Tamara Hayle Mystery series.

Cheryl and Wade Hudson

In 1988, to address the almost complete absence of Children’s book featuring Black children, Wade and Cheryl Hudson founded their own publishing company, Just Us Books.  Since then the couple has published scores of books including Bright Eyes, Brown Skin Just Us Books, November 1990), which is the 1st book written, illustrated, and published by African Americans.   Over the last quarter century the couple has written dozens of children’s books together, independently and with other authors.

Patricia C. and Fredrick L. McKissack

Patricia C. and Fredrick L. McKissack have written over one hundred books about the African-American experience. They have won countless awards and received much critical acclaim, all the while bringing enjoyment and information to young readers.  The book Days of Jubilee (Scholastic, 2003) was a 2004 Coretta Scott King Honor Book.

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About Troy

Troy D. Johnson is the President, founder and webmaster of AALBC.com, LLC (The African American Literature Book Club). Launched in March of 1998, AALBC.com has grown to become the largest and most frequently visited website dedicated to books and films by and about people of African descent.
This entry was posted in African-American, Author Interviews, Authors You Should Know, Filmmakers You Should Know, reading, Troy's Rants. Bookmark the permalink.
  • http://www.facebook.com/gwen.richardson.50 Gwen Richardson

    Willie and I are honored to be listed. Troy, keep up the good work that you do.

    • http://aalbc.com Troy Johnson

      My pleasure Gwen — truly! I’m looking forward to the Book Festival next year!

  • Marc Curtis Little

    Look for Zaundria Mapson Little and Marc Curtis Little to join that group very soon.

  • Monica Carter Tagore

    Wonderful list. There is more positive love and marriage out there than gets credit in popular culture.

    • http://aalbc.com Troy Johnson

      I agree Monica, and the lack of coverage is a shame. I think that if we shared information about the successes if would help redefine the culture setting a standard where success not failure is celebrated.

      The problem is news about tragic divorces attracts much more attention (read: generates more revenue) and that is why the mainstream media focuses in on it so much — particularly when it pertains to Black folks.