By Sarah Batcheller

The ever-glamorous Lea Black has appeared on The Real Housewives of Miami since season 1.  Her charm and sass — not to mention her whirlwind lifestyle among Florida’s elite — have drawn audiences in.  With a steady celebrity marriage and beloved thirteen-year-old son, the reality TV star has also balanced a cherished domestic life with all the glitz. She hosts an annual charity gala to raise money for troubled teens and, in addition to her philanthropic efforts, is the president and CEO of The World of Lea Black, a multi-brand company that offers everything from jewelry and handbags to beauty products.

Now, in her upcoming novel Red Carpets & White Lies, Black has penned a fictional depiction of the scandalous, unpredictable lives of Miami’s top socialites. In this exclusive celebrity interview, we had the chance to speak with the newly-minted author about her book, the Housewives, and her best love advice.

Reality TV Star Discusses Her Glamour-Filled Upcoming Novel

The spunky Texas native believes that the city of Miami is one of the best in the world, so it’s no surprise that she wanted to capture its essence in her novel. “Miami is a very complex city, and it’s very international — there’s a very diverse crowd,” she explains. “So I think it is one of the most exciting cities in the world because it really is a gateway to Central and South America. It’s so multi-cultural; you get everything from the really serious intellectuals to the people who came here wanting to live the American Dream to the riff-raff who come and go and sort of reinvent who they are.”

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Of course, the best people to inspire the characters in Black’s novel were none other than herself and her intriguing social circle. So we had to ask: Are her characters based off of real people? “They all are in a way,” she confirms. “But they’re compositions of people. I would take the personality traits of one person along with the character of another and kind of camouflage them.”

Whether or not we’ll see the The Real Housewives of Miami stars, whom readers may be able to identify in Red Carpets & White Lies, grace the small screen again is still up for debate. The reality TV star says, “Bravo continues to say they haven’t made any decisions, and I think that’s totally true. Our ratings were certainly close to some of the other shows that were renewed, so they could justify bringing the show back.”

The network may be rethinking the cast too. “I think that some of the personalities on the show weren’t as well-received by the audience as they would’ve hoped…and that may include me!” she adds. Having formed friendships with other Housewives, including Lisa Vanderpump, whom she did business with in Los Angeles, and Kathy Wakile, it’s safe to conclude that Black won’t be falling off the radar anytime soon.

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Despite her busy career, her number one focus is always her family. Not only do the jewelry designer and her husband Roy love to have date nights when they travel, but they work to raise their son to be a respectable young man. “It’s funny; I’ve sent my son twice now to etiquette and charm school! As for my husband, he does good and bad, so I point it out to my son when he does something that’s not acceptable!” she reveals with a laugh. “I put a big effort into teaching my son manners. I think if you don’t have an ounce of manners, then later in life, people will view you differently.” As for their summer vacation plans, the family of three are planning to travel to Los Angeles, something they do each year.

Lea Black Shares Best Love Advice

The reality TV star’s happy celebrity marriage can be attributed to her commitment to working at her relationship every day. She believes that communication is key. “You should communicate before things escalate, not after,” she insists. “And you need to be on the same page in life. If you focus on the ‘me’ instead of ‘we’, then that relationship is not going in the right direction.”

The beauty guru believes that, after you find the right person, you need balance. “Once you find the right person, you’ve really got to be committed to having equal power, an equal balance,” she asserts. “That’s why I’m so against guys who make girls sign prenups — because it situates the guy to have more power through money. You have to go in expecting both people to have an equal say.”

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Black also thinks that, if you’re facing disapproval from your friends and family, you need to make a decision about who’s worth keeping in your life. “You have to tell your friends to support you unconditionally. If not, you can be friends with them at a distance and be amicable, but they can’t be in your daily life,” she believes. “If they’re judging your relationship, then it’ll just cause problems. If they’re going to be in your life, they need to be supportive. They don’t get to criticize your spouse unless it’s something very serious that requires an intervention.”

Keep up with Lea on Twitter @leablackmiami and www.facebook.com/LeaBlackMiami. Don’t forget to pick up a copy of Red Carpets & White Lies on May 5th!