From the very first episode of Bravo’s Blood, Sweet, and Heels, one cast member seemed determined not to end up a reality-show punchline: Demetria Lucas. That wasn’t surprising to anyone who had already knew about Lucas’ work as a writer, editor, and author, and for much of the show’s first season run, she often stood as the voice of reason – or main source of contention, depending on whom she was speaking to. Now, on the second season of the show, Lucas finds herself finishing and subsequently promoting a new book while also planning her wedding.
EBONY.com spoke with the newly married Demetria Lucas D'Oyley to discuss what we can expect from her the rest of the new season of BSH, her next literary moves as well as what her own TV future looks like.
EBONY: After the first season wrapped, you were pressed a lot from fans on social media about whether or not you would do another season and you seemed ambivalent. If you were, what motivated you to end up doing another season of the show?
DLD: Once the show was picked up for season 2, I congratulated a couple of my friends from the show and said, ‘Congratulations.’ I knew they were definitely coming back for season 2 if they were asked. The truth of the matter is that our contracts are from season to season and I hadn't been invited back. I didn't know if I was coming back one way or another.
I was a little ambivalent about the show. It's very weird to have someone else tell your story when for the last, I don't know, 8 years that I've had my blog, I've been the only person telling it, and doing my books and such. It was something that I had to get accustomed to. I thought I had more story to tell. I took the opportunity to do that in season 2.
EBONY: You’re now uniquely aware of how much control other people have over the way you're portrayed in this medium. What would you say the show got right about you in the first season, and maybe what they got wrong?
DLD: I think some of my work might've gotten not as much attention as I would've liked it to. I think the harder side of my personality was a lot that they focused on. Me sort of being chipper and happy and all of that might not make for as great TV in their perception. I'm trying to think.
I appreciated that my blog was on there; I appreciated that some of our resolutions to difficult conversations, specifically Geneva and I started off on the wrong foot early in this season. We sat down and we had a grown woman conversation. I loved that that was showed. That friendship has blossomed and continued. You witness that a lot during season 2. I guess that's about it; I would've liked them to show my funnier moments on the show. I have a very dry sense of humor that everyone might not get, but I've learned that they just sort of cut it out; they didn't think people would get it. I think a lot of people would.
EBONY: I noticed that Melissa Ford mentioned in a past interview that they didn't really focus on you two's relationship, because you two are really actually close, but you can't really get that from the first season.
DLD: Melissa and I have known each other for years prior to this show, and we met on the speaker circuit. First time I met her, I think I was doing an event, Women's Empowerment or Self Esteem or something, for Howard University at their homecoming. Melissa was the other person on the panel, and we just had so much in common. We've stayed in touch afterward, bouncing around in different cities and such on speakers’ events. Melissa and I had a great friendship. I didn't like the way that they tried to make it into like a 3-on-3 [loud vs the proud]. I added Melissa. It was very weird that that happened.
EBONY: As a writer, do you have any specific examples of how the show has benefited you professionally, via book sales, more people coming up to you to write, et cetera?
DLD: It's funny enough is I write for the same places that I did beforehand. I wrote for The Root, and I was a columnist there and I had 2 columns a week. I wrote for I wrote for the Grio, I wrote for CNN, the New York Times and The Guardian and all of that. I've continued to do so.
In terms of book sales, there was definitely a bump. Don't Waste Your Pretty has done extraordinarily well. The show hasn't even done the release party and all of that stuff yet. I definitely see a benefit in that sense. I think the biggest benefit is probably speaking engagements and stuff. I get booked more. A lot more people know who I am and know what I'm about. They're interested in hearing what I have to say off-camera. Yeah, that's definitely a bonus to it.
EBONY: I noticed on the show, like last season, you show your fiancé and now-husband, Greg, but you make sure not to air your dirty laundry in a way that maybe some of your co-stars do. Is that a conscious effort? If so, is it personal, business reasons, or maybe a combination of both?
DLD: Of course we have it. I guess that's not how I was raised. More power to anyone else if that's how they feel. As a relationship and dating expert, I give advice to other people, keep people out of your business. You want to have a healthy relationship, you need to work out things with your partner. Even when I was at the height of writing my blog and writing about my personal life on a daily basis, I didn't really write in real-time. Things would happen and I'd write about them months afterward when it was resolved. People were reading about it and you could have a discussion, but I wasn't basing what I was doing on reader feedback or anything. I don't know, that's just not really who I am to put all my stuff out there like that. Especially not my marriage.
EBONY: I noticed the publisher is Books by Belle. Is that your imprint? If so, did you intend to eventually publish under your own banner?
DLD: Yeah. Books by Belle is my publishing company. Did I intend for it? I don't know. A Belle in Brooklyn came out. It was a great process. It was absolutely a learning experience, because I used to be an editor for books for 5 years before I did magazines. Being on the other end as an author was a very interesting experience, but this time I wanted to take it into my own hands.
I wanted to determine everything about the cover and everything about the release date. If the book would be so lucky as to have what happened with Steve Harvey and be turned into a film series, or series of films, or a TV series or something. I wanted to be able to have complete control over that. So yeah, I decided to own, not just create, but to also own this time around.
EBONY: Speaking of, on your blog, you wrote very candidly about the process of having your first book optioned and how exhausting that whole process was. Is that something you're still working towards?
DLD: It's something I'm working towards. I have a production contract with a major person, but it's something we have to work out. I really don't want to say anything about it; I can't give any real details or talk about anything at this point in the game.
EBONY: In terms of being on air after the Blood, Sweet and Heels run is over, what would be your ideal show look like?
DLD: I would love to do something about giving dating and relationship advice. Something very close to Patti Stanger, but sort of a different spin. That would be up my alley. Also, I do a lot of stuff on HLN and CNN. I contribute to a lot of news and pop culture conversations. A contributor spot on an HLN or a CNN would be awesome for me. I would really love that, or eventually maybe my own show there.
EBONY: Are you already working on another book?
DLD: Yes. I have two more books currently in the works. It's Don't Waste Your Pretty 2, so the sequel, obviously, to Don't Waste Your Pretty, then A Bride in Brooklyn, which is the sequel to A Belle in Brooklyn.
EBONY: I read your article on CNN about diversity and you mentioned watching a lead character that drives you nuts. If you had to pick any character from one of those shows (Being Mary Jane, Scandal, etc.) that you could just give advice to about not wasting their pretty, who would it be?
DLD: Oh, dear god. Olivia Pope or Mary Jane. I watched those shows in such frustration sometimes because of the decisions that they make. Some of them are because I've also made bad decisions and I'm so frustrated watching someone else. It's not just like, oh, high horse sort of thing. It's like oh, I know how this ends, girl. Run, girl, run! Other times, Mary Jane can just be so utterly frustrating. David's confused, but everyone else is too. It's you, boo, it's not him.
EBONY: Just curious, do you still talk to former Blood, Sweet, and Heels cast member Brie Bythewood?
DLD: Of course I still talk to Brie. She's doing well. She has a new daughter that she's loving and kissing and hugging on. She's enjoying being a new mommy.