Rhonda M. Lawson is the award-winning author of Cheatin’ in the Next Room, A Dead Rose, Putting It Back Together, Some Wounds Never Heal and Twylite. She is also an Army journalist, garnering various journalism awards, including the 1997 Training and Doctrine Command Journalist of the Year. She is a master sergeant stationed in Belgium, where she works as an American Forces Network station manager, and is a veteran of both Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. Perhaps even more impressive than her twenty-year career as a Soldier is the proud role she plays as a single mother of a 15-year-old daughter.
Rhonda’s career as a Soldier-journalist has taken her to various parts of the world, including Japan, Hawaii, Korea, Afghanistan, and Egypt. Her work has appeared stateside in various Army and civilian publications, including Soldiers Magazine, The Seattle Times, and The Army Times.
Without any thoughts of publication, Rhonda began writing when she was 12. “I just knew I loved to write,” she says. “Today I still write purely for the love of it.” Unlike some authors who emphasize entertainment over content, she readily acknowledges that she has something to say and is doing so via her writing: “I want to touch people with my stories. All of my books are entertaining, but have a message.” That message has not been lost on Rhonda’s readers, who write to her about how they identify with her characters and their situations. “This is why I write,” Rhonda says. “And this is why I say I write real fiction for real people.”
Rhonda’s journalism career began at Loyola University in her native New Orleans, Louisiana, where she served a short stint on the campus newspaper. When she left college and joined the Army in 1994, she continued her journalism career. Throughout her career, she edited various military publications, earning a number of awards, including the 1997 Training and Doctrine Command Journalist of the Year. She also taught journalism for two years at the Defense Information School, and serves as an adjunct professor for the University of Maryland University College-Europe.
An active member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., she is the president and co-charter member of Alpha Alpha Theta Zeta Chapter, making Zeta the first NPHC organization to charter a chapter in Belgium. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from the University of Maryland University College and a Master of Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma. She is currently working on her Doctorate in Business Administration with an emphasis in Organizational Leadership at North Central University. She is a co-founder of the Divine Literary Tour, an organization made up of authors who are members of African-American fraternities and sororities, and New Movement Book Club in Richmond Hill, GA. She is also a member of the U.S. Army’s prestigious Sergeant Audie Murphy Club, and has contributed to six different anthologies: Second Chances, Crimes of Passion, Gumbo for the Soul,The Heart of Our Community, Surfacing, Heart of a Military Woman and The Color of Strength: Embracing the Strength and Passion of Our Culture.