DeBerry & Grant
Official Website of Best Selling Author
VIRGINIA DeBERRY & DONNA GRANT
Virginia & Donna
With seven novels to our credit, we were able to turn a bestfriendship into one of the most successful writing collaborations in contemporary fiction.
We first met more than 35 years ago as plus size models vying for the same assignments. We were both featured in catalogs, ads, magazines and made national television appearances.
Our modeling careers led to the opportunity to launch Maxima, a fashion and lifestyle magazine for plus-size women, where Virginia was editor-in-chief and Donna the managing editor.
When publication of Maxima magazine ceased, we decided to try writing a book together---because modeling and starting a magazine weren't crazy enough ideas. The result, was Exposures, a novel about friendship and the world of fashion which was published in 1990. Tryin' to Sleep in the Bed You Made, came seven years later and was a critical success, an Essence Bestseller, garnered the Merit Award for Fiction from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, as well as the 1998 Book of the Year Award from the African American Booksellers Conference of BEA (Book Expo America.)
But more than that, Tryin' hit an emotional nerve with tens of thousands of readers from all over the world who continue to write to us more than 20 years after the novel's initial publication. In 2000 Far From the Tree became a New York Times Bestseller, and Better Than I Know Myself (2004) received two Open Book Awards. In 2008 Gotta Keep on Tryin'(sequel to 1997's Tryin' to Sleep in the Bed You Made) came out, followed by What Doesn't Kill You which was published in 2009. Our last novel, Uptown hit shelves, e-readers and audio in 2010. We have also re-released our very first novel, Exposures (1990) as an e- book.
Virginia & Donna
Virginia is a former high school English teacher from Buffalo, New York attended Fisk University and is a graduate of SUNY at Buffalo. After almost 10 years in the classroom, she moved to New York and started a successful career as a plus size model frequently featured in catalogs, advertising, magazines and on several television programs. She left modeling after two years and became Vice President of BB/LW, an agency for plus size and petite models and a spokeswoman for Hanes hosiery. Virginia lives in New Jersey.
Donna attended Barnard College and is a graduate of New York University. A Brooklyn native, she currently lives in the borough with her husband. Before becoming a novelist, she spent more than a decade as a plus size model, represented by the 12 + division of Ford Models. During that career, Donna was featured in catalogs and national ads, on the pages of such magazines as Essence, McCalls, Family Circle and Woman's Day, and has made appearances on "Today," "Good Morning America," and "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee."
IN THE PRESS
FAR FROM THE TREE
... the reader is treated to keenly drawn characters, including the three Frazier women and the people around them.
The authors give a remarkably adept description of Ronnie's sad, struggling life in New York--- realistic enough to make the reader cringe.
That two authors could have put together such a seamless work is intriguing in itself. Far From The Tree is a convincing look at realistic flawed characters.
DeBerry and Grant capture timely and increasingly universal themes with this dramatic, epic and often tragic story of triumph and failure. New York and Harlem come alive and the occasional stereotypical characters and a few contrived situations are minor quibbles with a novel that is both relevant and entertaining
TRYIN' TO SLEEP IN THE BED YOU MADE
A sprawling, melodramatic debut ""by and about best friends"" that has enough plot twists and surprises for a season of soap operas...it eventually boils down to one affirmative, "You go, girl."
Driven by believable characters and no little sentiment, the two authors never lay on the molasses too thick. ... this sisterhood-is-powerful first novel seems a natural for Oprah's Book Club.
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