Rebekah Pierce

Raised in California, but now residing in Richmond, Virginia by way of service to the U.S. Air Force (1993-1999), I have been writing and teaching English literature for over fourteen years. I have always loved mystery novels which featured protagonists who had their own demons to fight as they saved the day, so to speak. My novel, Murder on Second Street: The Jackson Ward Murders, is a blend of history and fiction. The plot is set during a very pivotal time in American history: 30 days before the infamous Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929 in the historic neighborhood of Jackson Ward in Richmond, Virginia. My second mystery novel, Sex, Lies & Shoeboxes features a troubled woman detective name Bobbie Vale. Her most recent case is digging up a dark past she preferred remained hidden.

 I've also written and directed several award winning full-length and short plays several of which have been performed on Off-Broadway and Off Off Broadway. In 2013, I published my collection of short modern plays, On the Cusp of Humanity.


1. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Rebekah Lynn Pierce, and I am a veteran, author, playwright, motivational speaker and former college English teacher. I love to read mysteries, the classics and other great works of fiction. Writing is a HUGE part of my life; it’s my greatest gift. I am a storyteller across genres, and I feel so blessed to have been chosen to be such. It’s important to me that no matter what I write, it empowers and inspires the reader in some way to be the best they can be and to live their life on purpose. 

2. Describe your book ‘Murder on Second Street: The Jackson Ward Murders (Sy Sanford Series)’ in 30 words or less. 

Easy Rawlins meets "All Quiet on the Western Front" in this bestselling mystery, historical fiction novel featuring the reluctant and troubled investigator Sy Sanford in Jim Crow south, October 1929.

3. What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The hardest part about writing Murder on Second Street was deciding upon the use of dialect for the characters. These are not only Negroes in Jim Crow south, but they are an educated community; they speak proper English, not the uneducated Negro dialect History promotes as the language of all black people from the beginning and up to the early 20th Century. These people owned their own homes, worked respectable jobs and appreciated and respected the value of an education. The historian and one of the few remaining inhabitants of Jackson Ward in Richmond, VA during the 1920s that I interviewed for this novel insisted that I remain true to the attitude and spirit of the people who were very proud of what they had and how they carried themselves. You could not speak improper English as they felt it made the entire community look bad. Simply amazing! 

4. What books have had the greatest influence on you?

I am an English teacher by trade, so this is a really hard question to answer as I have read and taught so many great books over the course of my career. But I will say that the books that I reflected back upon as I was writing Murder on Second Street were the following:

Richard Wright’s Native Son
Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man
James Weldon Johnson’s The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man
Frederick Douglass’ Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, as Written by Himself

5. Briefly share with us what you do to market your book?

I do a few things to market my book, such as submit for interview requests. I am on Twitter and Facebook, so I read the requests for interviews. I also follow the indie book bloggers and research their protocols for interview/review requests. I have invested a few dollars in book marketing sites as well, although I am only seeing small returns/residuals, but I think it’s important for authors to research and see what the best marketing avenues for their work are. Finally, I joined several book clubs/fan pages on Facebook and I am consistent in promoting my work on those pages daily (at least two times a day). As for other social media platforms, I also market my work on Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn. The key is to be consistent and have a solid tagline/pitch for your book.

6. How do you spend your time when you are not writing?

Honestly, I am always writing because I am not only an English teacher, but I have launched my own literary and publishing services agency, The Pierce Agency, LLC ( So, I am working on the book projects for clients most of the time. But I am also a mother and wife, so when I am NOT writing or working on a client’s project, I am chasing my four year old around the house or cheering on my 12 year old at his baseball games. Then, when the kids are down for the night, I am reading. I LOVE to read! My favorite genre is mystery, of course. 

7. What are you working on next?

I have just released a new mystery series called Sex, Lies & Shoeboxes, featuring a female detective with a dark and troubled past as well named Bobbie Vale. This book is set in the early 1990s in my hometown of Stockton, California. I am also releasing soon another historical fiction novel called The Secret Life of Lucy Bosman. “It’s Gone With the Wind meets Incident in the Life of a Slave Girl. Lucy is a shrewd business woman in a day and time not too amenable to the dreams and desires of women - especially colored women. The widow of an ex-slave and well-educated, the mulatto woman had great plans to start over and make a life for herself when she left her hometown of Nashville, Tennessee and headed further South in the spring of 1860. Two years later, Lucy is planted firmly in Richmond, Virginia, running a successful business while passing as a white woman and avoiding the personal attentions and promises of love by plantation owner, Thomas Parker. She has managed to keep her identity a secret from the town and Thomas, but the looming Civil War threatens to change everything. In The Secret Life of Lucy Bosman, nothing is safe from the destruction of war and secrets. Not even the dreams and heart of a single mulatto woman.”

I just won Author Sensei’s ( novel pitch contest for this book, so I will be spending the early part of 2014 working with this agency to publish and market it. I am so excited and humbled to be sharing these unique stories with the world.

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