Rolling Out

L.R. Jackson explores forbidden romance and second chances in new book

L.R. Jackson uses suspense to her advantage in ‘The Accidental Queen’

L.R. Jackson loves to leave her readers on the edge of their seats, and her book The Accidental Queen is bound to do just that. In this latest novel two former lovers cross paths and are looking at exploring a second chance at romance, but both are hiding secrets as they try to resurrect their relationship.

Jackson spoke with rolling out about the book and several examples of forbidden romance.

What inspired you to write this book?

What’s funny is this story actually came to mind when I was a kid, maybe around age 12. I always loved movies about kings and queens, things like that, but I didn’t see anyone that looked like myself. It just was a yearning to see us in that world. As you get older and you start doing your own research on the history, you realize that there were Black kings and queens, it just wasn’t taught in school, and so it kind of all built from there. Then one day, I just sat down and got started on this story.

Tell us a little about the book.

The book is a forbidden romance. That’s my thing. Most of my books are forbidden romances and second-chance romances. I’m a huge fan of anything that’s forbidden. I think there’s so much suspense and fire and spunk around it which is why I enjoy writing in that world. The book basically is about two people who were in love at one time and things didn’t work out, and the stars aligned for them to be able to have a second chance but they both have secrets. There are secrets on both ends and then they’re thrust into this royalty world set in Africa. I created a fictional African country because I’ve never been and I don’t ever want to offend anyone from Africa, so it was pretty nice to be able to create my own world there.

What is forbidden romance?

In this story, it’s forbidden because one of the characters is a king, so he is supposed to marry who they arranged for him to marry. It’s forbidden for him to marry outside of his culture, and his country. I have other forbidden romances. I have two twin sisters, one falls in love with the other. I have a man who falls in love with his best friend’s wife. I have all these forbidden worlds. I’m all about scandal but my characters aren’t just doing this just because “Oh, she looks good and I’m just gonna completely hurt my best friend and sleep with his wife.” There are certain reasons for the way the story is written. It’s not written where the reader leaves the story absolutely hating the characters because they’re asking “How could you?”

How do you endear the characters to readers in these precarious scenarios?

In a story I wrote called In Love with His Wife, the first step was that they were best friends, however, they were best friends in college and they lost contact. When he sees the wife, he doesn’t initially know who she is, because he hasn’t seen his best friend in some time and has never met his wife. Secondly, the wife is being abused. This story is very heavy and it circles around domestic abuse. The best friend turns out to be a man that he does not recognize, she goes in with an attempt to try and help her because he grew up seeing his mother being abused. It’s something that is just very near and dear to him. He tries to help her out of this situation, especially with him and the friend reconnecting. He can’t talk any sense to him. He’s like, “OK, let me just hire her and give her a job. Maybe she’ll be able to save some money and leave.”

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