Passion, Politics & The Power Of Art: Author Regina Black On Her Debut Novel “The Art Of Scandal”

Kat Harlton

Regina Black Photo: Katie Childs

The Art Of Scandal” (August 1, 2023) the debut novel by Regina Black via Grand Central Publishing is The Good Wife meets Tia Williams, with a dash of Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal, and is perfect for beach reading season.

How much would you risk for love? Rachel is on the brink of divorce from her cheating politician husband and forced to fake a perfect marriage until after his re-election campaign…but she doesn’t expect to meet and fall in love with Nathan, a mysterious young artist who isn’t all that he appears.

Regina Black / The Art Of Scandal

I had the opportunity to chat with Regina about her debut novel, what she’s reading this summer and more.

Kat: What inspired you to share Rachel and Nathan’s story?

Regina: The idea started with Rachel. I wanted to write a book about a woman in the public eye who was privately dealing with a betrayal that caused her to question everything about her life and identity. That led me to high-profile scandals involving women who stood by their powerful husbands while the world speculated about their reasons for doing so. A common question is, “Why would someone stay in a marriage after being humiliated this way?” I wanted to answer that in a fun but also very human way. Deciding to leave someone you planned to build a life with is hard and scary, no matter how big the betrayal might be. And, of course, I made that decision even more complicated with an unexpected romance at the worst possible time. 

Kat: Was there anything challenging about writing this story, and if so, what did you learn in the process?

Regina: I’m not a visual artist or an art historian, so writing a book about it was challenging. I did a lot of research on different art mediums, history, and contemporary artists of color. There’s a huge overlap between developing a voice and vision as an artist and as a writer. That’s what I tried to focus on when writing about Rachel and Nathan’s art. 

Kat: What do you hope your readers take from the story?

Regina: I hope readers have a good time! This book tackles serious themes surrounding race, class, and gender, but it also centers joy and passion in a way that I think is easy to lose sight of as we age. I hope readers enjoy Rachel and Nathan’s journey of healing through the joy and passion they find with each other.

Kat: What romances are you looking forward to reading this summer?

I recently read and loved Mickey Chambers Shakes it Up by Charish Reid. I’m really looking forward to reading An Island Princess Courts a Scandal by Adrianna Herrera and You’ve Been Served by Kristen Alicia. 

Kat: What’s next?

Regina: Another romance! I can’t say much about it yet, but it’s a very different setting and dynamic between the main characters that I’m really excited about. But similar to The Art of Scandal, it centers on a shared creative passion between two people that ultimately brings them together.

Connect with Regina via Instagram:

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