Sometimes taking the writing of a new novel can be approached from a different standpoint for a beautifully creative yield!

I knew I was on to something when I was talking to my mother as I was doing her hair and she asked me how I met someone I liked. When I explained to her all of the happenings, I had to smile to myself because, one, I had to admit how incredibly healing that meeting was for me at the time.  Two, I had to give gratitude for I think I understood 1 Peter 5:7 that encourages one to cast all cares on God as he/she cares.  After the transformational healing that I'd experienced over the last three years, the meeting was a demonstration of that care for me, truly.

Anyway, as I was laying in bed one night, awaken by my normal perimenopausal insomnia, I started to think about my first novel, "Magnolias Bloom in May" and the current novel to be released later this year, "In A Next Lifetime". A realization crawled all over me that, though good, these novels were heavy. Now yes, I can be that deep author, after all healing will always be woven through my novels because the healing of black women is so important to me. But because I discussed some pretty heavy subjects in my first novel, and my next just the same, I longed for light, laughter, and a not complicated happy ending in love.  I remember watching Hallmark movies and wishing they would show a black woman not needing to work hard to just survive, raise her children, be "beat down" by life and 'the man', while also fighting and losing at love.  There was something deep in me that stood up to tell this story different- a black woman in a healed place attracting the love and life that she wanted at the end.  I also needed it to be pithy, spicy, quick, touched with the amazing zing that black women loving one another can give and the sexy swag of a black man loving 'da shit' out of a black woman.

I needed all that.

The next day, driven only by the feel of the novel I created a cover, that will more than likely not be the final. I also delve into the writing, off the cuff- no outline, no character bible, no chapter play by play.  I started out only with a description, with the beginning, middle, and end in mind.  I decided that I would try pantsing the writing of this novel that would be discovered as I write.

Inspired by the writing style of Tia Williams and Kennedy Ryan, I felt a freedom to tell it how I talk.  The first three chapters made me laugh, and in all honesty, surprised even me at what came forward.  It was like my voice came through, and I didn't have to try and write, which, because I live in my head always, I run into this issue often.  What was a pleasant add to allowing my voice to release, it spilled into my current novel as I finish, which, I think will influence the second rewrite of the same. 

For first time writers, if you choose to read other authors novels while writing your own, use their works to give freedom to release your own voice.  Also, allow yourself to start a passion project while working on your current.  As I am trying this for the first time, I have to say that I am loving it over here! The passion from "That Day in August" is spilling into "In A Next Lifetime", which is crucial as I near the end of the first draft. 

I am excited how this novel will turn up and out.  I have a feeling that it will release and build another layer of my writing voice for next works to come.  Stay tuned!


I discuss the joys and challenges of writing next novel "In A Next Lifetime" to debut in fall 2024.

Imagine a love story that reaches back into the past while bringing that love into the present to rediscover each other again? 

Except the main female character is married. With marital issues. 

And the male main character is an angel from a very far past and is haunted by a decision made long ago that affects his present?

I am so excited to write this novel! It came to me while talking to a friend who was in a relationship that was fatally wounded and reeling on its last leg. In its place, a love from the past was surfacing while whispering in her ear that he wanted to love and take care of her like she deserved. At the same time, there was a scripture in the Bible that intrigued me.  To this day I don't remember how I happened upon that scripture.  It was something about melding these two ideas that attracted me, making me want to explore telling this poignant story.

In A Next Lifetime is challenging only because the energy of it is different from Magnolias Bloom in May. While writing Magnolias Bloom in May, it was very much my experience that the novel was already written. I simply had to allow the writing of the story to come through me. With this novel, I am having to pull on my imagination more, as well as allowing my mind to consider and introduce taboos that may be controversial. I am excited about how the spirit of this novel is very different and is demanding to be treated as such.

If there is any advice I would give to new self-publishing indie authors is to give respect to each project, whether fiction or non-fiction. Each novel comes with its own spirit, message, timbre, and language.  As I write this next novel, I am learning slowly to honor the individuality of this work. 

I cannot wait to get In a Next Lifetime to you! If the Muses are willing, the novel is slated to be released in Fall 2024. I'll of course, keep you posted!