What’s The News?

As Mary J. Blige would say, “What’s the 411, Hon?” Well, I am getting it done. This summer has gone so fast and I’ve had my hand in so many pots lately, it is surprising when I look back on it.

 

After a spring of fun writers conferences and book promotions on the Internet, I decided to pursue writing for real. I was tired of carving out little bits of time here and there to satisfy my literary desires. I came back from Romance Slam Jam in Chicago and decided on the life I was working toward. A life of sharpening my literary craft, mingling with other literary addicts and starting an ongoing dialogue about all things multicultural is what it’s about for me.

 

In this vein, I have begun work on my second book, Early Withdrawal and launched a multicultural blog. Thanks to my experience writing with Literary Divas, I rediscovered my passion of writing about women and culture. I will continue to write the articles I love, which involves the impact current events have on the African American community and African American women in particular. However, my blog, Sable Lit Reviews.com will allow me to broaden the focus to all cultures and all people of color. In addition to articles, which will be crossed posted on my blog and Literary Divas, I will also post multicultural events and allow visitors to post multicultural events. Lastly, I will provide multicultural book reviews.

 

Starting September 1st, these reviews will be open to all genres that possess a multicultural theme and/or a cast of multicultural characters. The book, whether in print or electronic format, can be a current release or past release. Yes, nonfiction, LGBT and Erotic themes will have a home here as well. Sable Lit Reviews wants to put a flood light on it all. Authors and publishers, if you’d like to have your book reviewed and showcased on Sable Lit Reviews, visit the site for more information. Literary addicts, please watch it all unfold at SableLitReviews.com

 

My second book, while not a sequel to Mismatched, has very similar interracial themes but with a twist.

 

Early Withdrawal tells the story of Sonia Squires, an African American marketing executive who is 18 months shy of her 35th birthday, the age by which she hopes to start a family. After a routine wellness exam and an equally habitual argument with her long-time boyfriend, Sonia realizes that having a baby is more important to her and may be more realistic than having the marriage and the white picket fence.

Leaving her boyfriend behind and against her family’s advice, she enlists the resources of a local sperm bank to reach her goal.

Newly pregnant, Sonia’s curiosity regarding the paternal benefactor intensifies. When she breaks every privacy act to find him, she discovers he is Caucasian, a detail not accurately reported in the donor profile.

Jacob Rhodes is a 35-year-old language analyst, working for the National Security Agency.  He is battling with a loss of faith in his abilities after superiors ignored his Iraqi intelligence report, which resulted in a U.S. terrorist attack several years ago. 

A man of many secrets, Jacob allows a sperm bank to use contributions to make families whole again. Will one contribution to his Ex and her new husband who also happens to be his best friend, unleash all of his secrets?

Sonia’s on a mission to find her donor. Can she still obtain the love and the family she has always wanted regardless of their differing heritage?

When Sonia’s ex resurfaces and the target of her search falls from site, what choices will Sonia make?

Find out in Early Withdrawal, where fighting your obstacles and claiming the right to your dreams will lead you to a path of the unexpected!

 

Join me on this adventure here at Literary Divas and at the Sable Lit Reviews!

 

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A Different World

April was filled with a series of firsts in my writing career. It was the first time:

  •  I traveled to a new state alone without the intention of meeting family, friends or coworkers.
  • I attended an RWA sponsored writer’s conference.
  • I attended an African American writer’s conference.
  • I visited Chicago, Illinois.
  • I considered truly being self-employed without feeling a panic attack brewing in my chest.

 When I attended the RWA sponsored Desert Dreams conference in early April, I had every intention of comparing and contrasting that experience with my participation in the predominantly African American focused Romance Slam Jam set to take place later in the month.

 These two experiences really reflected the industry distinction between two groups who have the same appreciation  for love and romance but operate on different levels of support.

 At Desert Dreams, which was hosted by my local RWA chapter, I was the only African American author and the only author who wrote interracial romance.  Despite that fact, I felt the readers and writers in attendance really took an interest in my platform, because to them it was unique and different. One Caucasian woman took an extreme interest because her daughter was the product of an interracial relationship. Talking with an editor from St Martin’s Press only solidified my conclusions.

 While Desert Dreams was a great experience, one that I will repeat again in the future, I really felt at home at the Romance Slam Jam conference. There were a lot more readers in attendance who were hungry for great romantic stories and excited to meet the authors of those stories. Even though I was a newly published author, I was an important contributor to these attendees. It was nice to be around people who looked like me and appreciated what I was called to do. While I didn’t have any agent/editor appointments at this conference, I actually had one seek me out. She was an editor at Red Sage and she introduced herself to me because I seemed familiar to her. Upon hearing that I write interracial romance, she invited me to submit to her.

 The conference was nearly a week long and it was great to laugh, learn and party with my sisters and brothers. It was great to put names to faces and personalities. It felt like a reunion although all of those in attendance were virtually strangers to me. I was able to meet some of my virtual critique partners and it was like vacationing with sisters. I made so many contacts and so many new friends that there’s no doubt the next Slam Jam will be even better.

While Slam Jam didn’t have the exposure to the New York publishing market like Desert Dreams did, it is clear that we are garnering attention. Representatives from RWA were there as they were a low-key sponsor as well as Avon and a local Chicago book-club. It becomes obvious that we are growing in numbers and our economic power is being watched when those in mainstream start to take notice.

 On returning to the regular day to day, a raging fire was ignited in me. I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Writing, reading and being around those that appreciate these endeavors is how I see my future and now I have the courage to pursue it with laser-like focus. Since arriving home, I have been up late every night writing and researching ways to freelance full time. It is still my primary desire to write novels, however, freelancing appeals to me as well. I am no longer satisfied being at the mercy of one company no matter the industry. Even in writing, I plan to write in multiple genres for various publishers and companies.

 I’ve search for many years for that one product I would market in order to stake my claim among the self employed, and these conferences have taught me to look within. The product I can promote the best is inside of me.

 As long as there are readers looking for stories that reflect their unique experiences in a world that is not just black or white, I will be striving to meet the demand.