I think this is one of my favorite posts to write on my blog! It’s an opportunity to be transparent and to bring you into the mind of a writer while discussing my process and inspiration behind the stories I create. I like to share anything that includes readers in my process. I also love sharing tips (if there are any) with fellow writers, tips that can make their writing lives easier. And I am so thrilled to talk about Last Comes Love. This story is one of my favorites and trust me I love all of my stories but this one touched my heart in a special way. The process for Last Comes Love was such an easy one. Something simple inspired me… that’s really it! But not really? Let’s talk about the process.
My Process & Toolkit
I usually research and outline for 2-3 months but with Last Comes Love, it only took me a month to complete the outline and research. The research was simpler because I’d already been researching the area of basketball for my 2020 Love is Cure book series so I had some knowledge about the sport before LCL. Floor trading and the New York Stock Exchange were also areas of knowledge I was familiar with because I used to work as a coordinator at a company that specialized in finance at the NYSE.
I used Scrivener and Aeon Timeline for most of my drafting and story mapping. These two software apps makes writing so easy and I recommend it to writers who ask me what I use to plan and write my stories. I’m not big on endorsing products so know if I say I love these two software apps, I REALLY LOVE THEM! Last, Pinterest boards were used to gather character and setting inspo.
I started writing Last Comes Love at the end of January of this year and finished in February. Once that was complete, it was time to brainstorm the cover.
Before I’d even started writing the story, I knew I wanted the subjects on the cover drawn. Artwork on book covers is something I favor more than actual people, so it seemed only right. But there’s an even bigger reason I lean more toward artwork than actual people. A majority of writer use stock images. They look great and they are affordable. I’m sure you’ve seen the stock images on my covers on other author covers and vice versa. When we find an image we like and that shows a subject in rare form, depicting our story perfectly, we all flock to it and for a damn good reason. Trying to find black couple photos on stock imaging websites is like finding money outside in New York City. It’s rare and a blessing when you do find photos that are… decent. But a quick search on those stock photo websites will show you that finding a photo with a black woman AND man in the same photo, hugging, kissing, doing anything non-work related is almost impossible! There was this one website that offered dope black couple photos but that site has since been out of commission for a while now. To get an original photo or cover, you have to either get creative or spend a little over budget.
So when I started work on the cover, having the subjects drawn was the route I took. The female subject was simple, she was actually who inspired the character, Rylee.
Last summer, I had artwork created for my mugs in my ByBrookelynMosley.com online store. Before sending in my idea to the artist, I hand drew each woman. My version looked decent-ish lol, but I explained to the artist what I wanted and he delivered something beautiful. The moment I saw the completed version of Rylee (her original drawing was with a headscarf), her story just poured out. I even considered creating stories for each Brookelynite, but none of their stories were as clear as Rylee’s. But I put her story on the backburner because I was working on other projects.
When her story seemed like a match for another idea I had (what would soon become Last Comes Love) I combined them, including my vision of what the guy would look like and drew him up for the cover and had my artist bring it to life. In the Last Comes Love, Rylee wears braids for a majority of the book, so I specifically asked for her cover image to represent that. She also owns these doorknocker earrings she loves to wear on her days off so I said, put that on there too.
The braids and the doorknockers present on the cover were deliberate. I wanted to show that for Rylee’s character, being seen as a professional and still maintaining a semblance of herself is very important to her. She doesn’t believe that one has to be sacrificed for the other. Rylee’s appearance on the cover was also inspired by The Crown Act discussion regarding businesses having to be told that they are not to discriminate against people with “ethnic hairstyles.” Why they have to be told that is the Scooby-Doo mystery that’s not a mystery at all, but moving along lol.
The guy, Lennox, in my mind resembled Kofi Siriboe from the show Queen Sugar but I drew him and had his photo refined by the artist to resemble how he appeared in my mind.
The cover’s fonts incorporate rose gold and dove gray marble. They are both very significant in the story, so keep that in mind when you read it. You won’t have to look too hard because the story references both. I wanted the cover to be as original as the story is. Everything on the cover holds significance. It took four months to bring to fruition and it’s a cover I’m in love with since it fits the story perfectly. Which brings me to what you can expect from Last Comes Love.
What To Expect?
Last Comes Love differs from my other stories but not so much. It’s my first real contemporary love story, it’s a novel instead of my usual short story or novella, I narrate the story through the female and male perspective, it ends different from my other works, and the subject matter is unique to friends-to-lovers stories. But this story is a friends-to-lovers story through and through which is why I love it so very much. You get a gist of what the story is about from the prologue.
The prologue is a flashback to ten years prior and sets the foundation for the story. Everything that follows after the prologue is because of the prologue so make sure you read the prologue, it’s significant. I once read comments on a Facebook post where some readers said they skipped the prologue often in books and I almost fell out of my chair. Do not do that, with my books or the amazing books you read from dope authors who take their time to pen their babies. The prologue is usually not there for decoration. THE PROLOGUE IS IMPORTANT! And yes, I’m screaming that lol.
I narrate the story in three parts. Once you read it, you’ll pick up on the pattern.
Now about that different ending…
Keep in mind that this story is a bittersweet love story. I can’t tell you too much of how that applies to LCL since it would give the story away but remember the story is a mix of happy and sad moments and will end in a happily ever after in a rare way. Most of all you can expect this story to make an impact. I made the characters true to form. You’ll talk at them, be convinced them and their situations are real, shake your head at a few of their decisions, you’ll cry because I cried, and your heart will melt because of the poignant moments.
I plan to post the prologue in about two weeks (maybe sooner?) and will post one more teaser along with my vision board. Can’t wait for you to read this story. I’m looking forward to discussing it with you!
Last Comes Love drops October 4th!
I posted another sample this past Sunday. CLICK HERE to read it now!