Being an author isn’t just about writing a book.  It’s about telling a story.  It’s about connecting a reader to an experience.  It’s art between published pages that go beyond a reader’s eyes.  So when authors share a story they are also connecting with the community, culture, and creativity.  Award winning author, Rona D. Drinkard is making her story known with her recent publication of Friendship Matters.Rona is expressing her storytelling through self-publication while also connecting with her readers in the community.  Representation matters when sharing Black stories and Rona D. Drinkard is shedding light with her new fictional novel.

Many authors struggle to finalize their stories to share with the world.  However, Rona successfully self-published her book and has even earned several awards for her writing.  Her novel resonates with her readers and those within the community in many ways.  In addition to reaching her audience online, she connects with others through events, community programs and more to share her story on all levels. Here’s what Rona shared about her author motivation, Black storytelling, and connecting with her readers:

What motivated your author journey? 

“It started as a way to connect with my family and friends I had left behind in my hometown. Relocating to Maryland, I realized how much I missed them and writing became a way for me to recreate what I was missing. Thus, the setting of “Friendship Matters”, although fiction, is centered in my hometown of Buffalo, New York.”

How does your novel resonate with adult book lovers? 

“What I hear most from book lovers is that the story is relatable, so much so, that many say they forget they’re reading a book. Readers all seem to identify with the characters whether it’s the

sassiness of “Saisha”, the conservative spirit and strong will of “Euniqé”, or the dutiful actions of “Kandace”. “Friendship Matters” has also been described as nostalgic and timeless. The time of the story takes place in the late 1990’s/early 2000’s so the music, the movies, the lack of modern technology such as texting or the mention of answering machines seems to grab those who are all too familiar.”

Why is the art of Black storytelling important for our culture? 

“It’s extremely important because our voices are very much underrepresented yet the most powerful when spoken. This is the very reason why I decided to self-publish. I wanted to ensure

that I maintained my voice and told the story, although fiction, in a manner that remained both authentic and accurate while capturing the essence of Black culture.”

What excites you about participating in author book signing events? 

“What I enjoy most is meeting book lovers, introducing them to “Friendship Matters”; and the

characters that make up this story. Readers are always very excited and encouraging. As an author, we need that.”

How can readers connect with you? 

“I can be reached on IG, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest as @ronadwrites. I’m also on Goodreads & BookBub under “Rona D. Drinkard”. I have some very exciting things coming up as well. I will be a virtual vendor from June 17th – June 19th at the 2022 Juneteenth New York that will be held in Brooklyn. This will be their first hybrid Juneteenth event to have both in-person and virtual vending. I will have giveaways, autographed copies available for purchase and chatting virtually with book lovers. On July 16th, I’ll be one of the authors featured

at the Curls and Coils Summer Pop Up Series held in Baltimore at Urban Reads Bookstore. At the pop up shop I’ll do a book reading, book signing, chatting with readers, and also have giveaways. To learn more about my journey, these upcoming events, read a synopsis or to order your copy of “Friendship Matters” you can go to”

Rona is flourishing in her dream as an author through her storytelling.  She is making herself visible to her community and book lovers by connecting her persona to her acclaimed book.  Writing the book is just half of the story but making connections furthers the art.  Enjoy a great book this summer and give an applause to Rona D. Drinkard for having her #hotauthorsummer!

Writer, Chaundra Scott, is an MSW, Mom, authorpreneur and freelance writer.  Connect with her online at

Photos are courtesy of Rona D. Drinkard.