I have known Darlene Collier for a number of years. She has been a close friend of my family since I can remember, and for years she talked to me and others about writing a book.
I didn't know alot about her life, and I honestly never asked what the book would be about. We talk alot on Conversations LIVE and even in the magazine about everyone having a story. I was just glad that she was going to be telling her own.
This finally came to past in late 2011 with the release of her memoir MARRIED TO SIN. Co-written with another friend of mine, Meredith C. McGee, the book gives an amazing account of Darlene's challenges, personal demons and the path to real happiness and redemption.
I read the book in less than two days and passed it on to my eighty-eight year old grandmother who read it in less than a week. It's not just a story of Darlene's metamorphosis in life, it is the story of the darkness we all have to go through in order to best appreciate the light.
Talking with her about the book evoked a rollercoaster of emotions. At some points she would smile and laugh. Other times she was choked up with tears. The end result is a conversation that is sure to not just inspire but motivate you along your own path.
Darlene first of all congratulations to you and the accomplishment of releasing your book MARRIED TO SIN. What has it been like to finally let people know you are a published author?
Thank you, Cyrus. It's been really exciting to have the book available to the world. I honestly never would have thought I would have made it this far. The book was ten years in the making, and I'm glad it's finally here.
Well it is definitely powerful, to say the least, Darlene. It takes readers through the high points as well as the low points of life. Was there any hesitation as to what you were going to share?
I didn't have a choice whether I was going to do it or not. I had to do because there was so much happening in my life. I knew that if I could write a book to let people know what happened with me others could be helped.
Did you see the book as a form of your healing from the past?
It has definitely been a form of healing for me, allowing me to move on to something new. I can now be excited about life. The old is gone and the new Darlene is what's here today.
Darlene we learn in the book that you grew up during a time when the world was in a state of change. You share with us in the book that as a child you had to drink from "colored only" water fountains. Now that same country has a black President. What do you think about the history you have been able to see?
I never had time to think about hate. As for Obama, I never thought I would live to see the day when a black man would be in the White House. Now we have Obama. I'm proud of him and where we have come from.
Probably the part of the book that will be the most painful for many to read about will be the abuse you suffered at the hands of your own husband and what your children had to go through.
You're right. Many grow up hearing that what happens in the family stays in the family, but I don't think that's right. My husband told me that he didn't want people to know what was going on in our house, but I have to talk about it. I have to share it, because it's wrong to just sit back and let it happen. If someone can be helped then I will talk about... And as for what was going on with my kids...those were my kids. I wouldn't want anyone to have their kids being mistreated. We have to protect our children, not turn the other way. I tried to give my kids all that I could. I hate what happened to them, but I let them know that I am there for them.
Darlene, going back to your husband, there were signs there that he may not have been the right person for you. Did you think that love would be enough to make the wrong right?
You right, people told me that there was something not right about him and his family, but I didn't listen. I was hard-headed. Yes, I thought my love would be enough. I loved my husband, 'til death do us part. I was warned, but you don't know a person until you get married.
What do you hope people will learn through your story that they can use in their own lives?
I want everybody to know that I always kept faith in God. That was the only way I could have done it. Believe in your faith and don't give up. No matter how things might seem, it will be able to get you through the dark times and into the light.
Thank you, Darlene, for trusting me to share your story. Here wishing you continued success.
Thank you for letting me share it. The sad times helped to prepare me for the person I am today, and that is the person I want others to get to know through my story.
Darlene's book is available online at Amazon.com.