A Warm Welcome to Author La Toya Hankins on The Lez Talk Books Blog Tour…

A Warm Welcome to Author La Toya Hankins on The Lez Talk Books Blog Tour…


I am elated to welcome LA TOYA HANKINS, the second author to be highlighted on The Lez Talk Books Blog Tour!


Meet La Toya Hankins, author of the novels, K-Rho: The Sweet Taste of Sisterhood and SBF Seeking…, and the short story, Three Is the Magic Number.

La Toya serves as co-chair of Shades of Pride— organizer of the annual Triangle Black Pride. She’s an active supporter of LGBT issues and health disparities that affect her community.

Her literary influences include Zora Neale Hurston, Walter Mosley, Anne Rice, and Pearl Cleage. Her motto, borrowed from Hurston, is “I do not weep at the world, I am too busy
sharpening my oyster knife.”

La Toya is a North Carolina native currently residing in Raleigh. A graduate of East Carolina University in Greenville, NC, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with a minor in Political Science. In college, she became a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and later served as second vice president for one of the largest graduate chapters in the state.

She divides her free time between being a proud pet parent of a terrier named Neo and volunteering in her community.


Tell us about your latest novel, K-Rho: The Sweet Taste of Sisterhood.

K-Rho reflects the positive journey of the three main characters’ experiences through their involvement with Kappa Alpha Rho Sorority, Inc. The title is a play on words. K-Rho (Karo) for many people is the name of a popular syrup. For the characters Kiara, Donna, and Gloria, K-Rho is a reflection of the high, lows, and middle grounds life takes you through, and how having the right women in your corner makes it all bearable and better.


When you’re not writing, what do you do for fun?


When I’m not writing, I enjoy reading works of fiction about various topics including vampires, black male detectives in California, and adventures of lesbians of color in the South; volunteering through my sorority, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.; spending time with my partner; and catching up on whatever cooking/designer/Shondaland drama is airing on television. I also enjoy volunteering with LGBT causes such as Shades of Pride, a Raleigh pride organization, of which I am one of the founding members.

How did K-Rho: The Sweet Taste of Sisterhood come to life? Who or what influenced you?

K-Rho came to life as I reflected on my sorority experience. I am an out lesbian with an over 20-year membership in one of the largest historically African-American sororities in the world. I wanted to write about the world I know. For me, sorority life involves women from different backgrounds coming together and finding true sisters who help you overcome and survive life challenges. People have a certain image of sorority life and I wanted to dispel some of those myths. We are not monolithic in our thinking. We disagree and we do not always like each other. That doesn’t or shouldn’t distract from honoring each other. While the majority of my life as a sorority woman has been wonderful, I have been challenged and rejected due to my sexuality. Others have shared that experience and I wanted to put voice to the rejection that takes place due to a sister’s sexual preference. However, I have found friendship and support from women who believe in being Finer Women and embodied sisterhood. I drew my inspiration for Kiara, Gloria, and Donna from my sisters and myself, and I wanted to share that reality with the readers.

What message(s) do you want readers to grasp?

The message I want readers to grasp is to find a sense of sisterhood among women you may dismiss as being too different. The three main characters are distinctive women in terms of their sexual identity, family structure, and favorite pastimes. On the surface, they seem least likely to become close. Yet, they show up for each other for the joys and pains of college and corporate life. They support each other through phone calls, shopping trips, and cyber support sessions. While I focus on the bonding that takes place through sorority sessions and membership, the lessons of ‘forming relationships with people unlike yourself will make you stronger’ applies to most of life’s settings. We all have surface relationships with co-workers, neighbors, church members, and the like. When we reach beyond the one common thing, we often find other things that bring us together and make us stronger.

What’s next? Tell readers about your work in progress.

I’m working on a book tentatively called Waterfront Whispering. It centers on Toni Marlowe, a 25-year-old recent graduate of Winston State University who has relocated to Wilmington, NC, for a job with the county school system. She faces rekindling a relationship with a former college lover stationed in Jacksonville, NC, and exploring a romantic opportunity with a closeted co-worker twenty years her senior. It addresses the in versus out of sexual identification, ageism in the LGBT community, and being on your own in a place far from home. Like all my other works, it features elements of the African-American experience in North Carolina, identifying as a lesbian of color, and sorority involvement. One or two characters from K-Rho: The Sweet Taste of Sisterhood may make an appearance so readers will have to check it out in 2015.


Contact/follow this author:

E: latoya.hankins@yahoo.com

W: latoyahankins.com

Tw: @hankinslatoya

Fb: LaToya Hankins

Book purchase info:


K-Rho: The Sweet Taste of Sisterhood


SBF Seeking…



The LEZ TALK BOOKS BLOG TOUR is a collaborative effort by

black lesbian writers of fiction and nonfiction works.


These writers will also be featured on LEZ TALK BOOKS RADIO.

Visit facebook.com/leztalkbooksradio for details on upcoming shows.


In addition, these writers will be featured on THE CLAUDIA MOSS LIVE SHOW.

Visit Talkshoe.com/theClaudiaMossLIVEShow for upcoming shows.


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