Meet award winning author and playwright, Alretha Thomas. It has been a decade now since her first novel, Daughter Denied was launched and now she is back with a mystery novel, The Women on Retford Drive. You can read the first chapter here.

We had the opportunity to interview the busy Alretha Thomas and ask her about her latest release!


Julia Pritchard, an aging sitcom star making a comeback, and her stepdaughter, Blythe Pritchard, an aspiring attorney, form a pact to start fresh and pursue their dreams. But their plans go awry when Keith Pritchard, Julia’s soon-to-be ex-husband and Blythe’s father, goes missing and is presumed dead, the day they plan to move out of his mansion.

The women are filled with bittersweet emotions when they consider the idea that Keith, a tycoon and functional alcoholic, could be out of their lives for good. Moreover, they fear the police will name them as persons of interest because of the abuse they suffered at Keith’s hands. Julia believes Keith hasn’t met with foul play but orchestrated his own disappearance, hoping the women will be blamed. However, Blythe believes her father is dead. When the police reveal a damning piece of evidence, which could result in one of them being charged with Keith’s possible murder, they join forces to find out what happened to him. Did one of the women go off script and kill Keith, or is another agenda at play, unbeknownst to the women and the police, that’s far more sinister?



1. Tell us a little about your protagonists, Julia and Blythe. I’ll start with Julia. Julia, 40, is someone who would see a homeless man on the street and bring him home, clean him up, and help him get into a program so that he could turn his life around. She’s a beautiful person inside and out. Unfortunately, it was her giving heart that let her see the best in her abusive husband Keith when she met him twelve years ago. So, after six years of marriage when he slapped her in the face with a TV remote and began to abuse her regularly, she was hard-pressed to reconcile the sweet man she had met with the monster he had turned into. Julia’s father was abusive to her mother and her mother stayed in the relationship, so her behavior is somewhat understandable. She had a successful sitcom ten years ago, and she’s vowed to finally leave Keith and make a comeback. She’s determined and tough as nails when she has to be. She’s not perfect. She’ll lie in a minute if she feels it’s justified, and she can be stubborn once she makes up her mind.

Blythe, 22, is someone who would fight ten people ten times her size to rescue a kid from being bullied. She cares deeply for underdogs and the underserved. Her dream is to past the LSAT and to be accepted into Yale Law School. Like Julia, she’s been under the spell of her abusive father Keith Prichard. Her biological mother went missing when she was six, and Julia is the only mother she’s known. Their bond is impenetrable. Blythe mentors disabled children, and her best friend is Shelbie Moore. When Shelbie fell apart after her grandmother died, Blythe nursed her back to life. Blythe remembers a time when her father was amazing, and like Julia, it’s hard for her to come to terms with the evil man he has evolved into. Blythe has her foibles. At times, she can be impulsive to the detriment of herself and others and she tends to speak when she should be listening.

2. How did the plot of the story come about? 
I write from the inside out. All of my stories form within me. It’s almost like I’m channeling people and situations from other times or dimensions. I know that sounds a little out of the box, but it’s true. A story about a mother and stepdaughter who together fight a common enemy just filled my spirit one day. After I created the characters, the entire story crystalized, and I was able to sit down and create an outline and proceed from there.

3. What was your favorite part in the story?
I love when Carla, the maid’s 12-year-old daughter, shows up unexpectedly with a major piece of evidence that helps solve the mystery.

4. If you could describe your latest novel, The Women on Retford Drive with three words, what would it be?
Riveting, Jaw-dropping, Fresh.

5. You’ve been an author for close to a decade now since the debut of Daughter Denied in 2008. Is there a change in the way you write?
Definitely. I have learned a great deal about writing over the years. When I wrote Daughter Denied I was clueless. I have a degree in journalism but writing news copy and fiction are two very different things. I had to learn by trial and error. Working with beta readers and various editors have helped me hone my craft as well. Additionally, I’m an avid reader so that has helped. Overall, I now write with confidence and I have tools that I didn’t have ten years ago.

6. You are a very busy person! On top of writing books, you’re a full-time actress too! How do you find the time to write? 
It is quite the juggling act. However, my auditions and acting jobs are during the day. I usually write in the evenings. Sometimes, I can spend five hours writing nonstop. Once I get going it’s hard to stop, ask my husband. He says the computer is my home within the home! Lol! I’ve never had writers block nor do I procrastinate. When a seed for a story starts to sprout within and begins to develop, I have to get it out or I’ll go crazy. I spend sleepless nights, tossing and turning with character’s dialogue and scenes running through my brain, fighting the urge to run to the computer to get it all out. Now there are times when my author events clash with my acting. Recently I got a call back for a web series. I told the casting director that I was available all days except September 8th because that was the day of my book launch party. And of course, the casting people called my agent and said they wanted to book me, but that they were filming on September 8th. They wanted to know if I could film that morning. Unfortunately, I had to decline. The event was early afternoon and I needed the morning to make final preparations. You’re talking about an event where over one-hundred people would be in attendance and an event that costs close to six grand! The acting job was paying $250. Do the math.

7. What are your goals as an author?
I want The Women on Retford Drive to take the world by storm. I’m in love with the story so much that I have adapted it to the stage. My dream is for it to be produced on stage in the summer of 2019. I’d also like to see one or both of my series to be optioned for film: Cass & Nick and my Detective Rachel Storme Series.

8. Will you be appearing for more events in the future?
Yes. Please check my website at for future events.

It was great having interviewing Alretha Thomas. Do check her website to find out where she will be appearing next. Perhaps you might get to see her in person, despite her busy schedule!

SKAVANSIEUR is now offering author interviews (questions regarding the author) and book interviews (questions regarding your book). Email for any inquiries.

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