14 Apr

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!

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