With my next few book releases, I’m diving deeper into the waters of my creativity. This summer, I spent a lot of time working on my craft, studying world building and fictional universes of all things. Honestly, I thought that world building was limited to fantasy genres. You know, Harry Potter type ish. But it turns out, world building can happen in any genre and I’ve fallen head over heels in love with it.
Truthfully, I’ve done world building but at a small scale before this summer. In a lot of my stories, I’d throw in a fictional setting to keep the story rolling during the drafting process and keep the setting while editing if it works well with the plot. Often I used real establishments to authenticate a story but now, I’ll do less of that and will construct a fictional world sort to say, starting with Last Comes Love.
Last Comes Love will be the first of many. It will be my first real contemporary romance novel that narrates the story through two different perspectives. Last Comes Love and the story after it will be the only stories (that I know of so far) told from a third person perspective since the format called for it. These books will act like a link for the books that proceed it. So far, most of the names mentioned in Last Comes Love will show up in my Love is Cure series along with stories in my Forbidden series. As I mentioned in a previous post, the Love is Cure series and Forbidden series will connect at some point. For instance, with Joi’s story from the Forbidden series, her friend will appear in the GREED story from my Love is Cure series. It will all make sense once complete.
Anyway, back to this world building…
While working on Last Comes Love, Forbidden, and Love is Cure, I created a few settings in detail that will appear in a few books moving forward including a fictional basketball team (two actually!) along with a magazine, a university, a restaurant, and bar & lounge. It’s been a lot of fun breathing life into these fictional settings and because I’m me, I went ahead and created logos and a mag cover for a few of them.
Let’s explore a few, shall we?
You’ve seen GrayArea already. It was the restaurant that Joelle met up with her friends at in Indecent Arrangement. GrayArea will play a significant role in certain scenes in my stories. As the name suggests, when people meet here, they are meeting up with some level of uncertainty in their lives that they may or may not know of, or they may have a secret, or the meetup will reveal something essential to the story. Keep that in mind whenever the characters are dining here *wink, wink*.
One of my fictional basketball teams. When I tell you I didn’t plan to write about basketball players, it just happened… that would be an understatement. But honestly, out of all the sports, basketball is the most fascinating and easiest to understand lol. Familiar with a lot of the concepts and the game itself, the characters just kept pushing me in the direction to create stories centered on this team. The first mention of the Bronx Ballers will occur in Last Comes Love, then again in the Love is Cure series, and then once more in Forbidden. More news on that much later.
For The Culture Magazine (FTC Mag)
This one was a familiar one for me. I was a contractor and part-time employee at a few online magazines years ago and am familiar with lifestyle and entertainment writing. In at least one story from my Love is Cure series, one of the main characters is a lifestyle/entertainment journalist who works at this magazine. She is nothing like me, let me just say that lol. FTC is also co-owned by our beloved Amir Jones (Girl Code/Mr. & Mrs. Jones), so he along with Melodee and their baby boy will appear in one book. I wish I could give them another book but they don’t talk to me as much anymore so an appearance is what we must settle for. As the magazine implies, they gear articles toward black women and men. Celebrity editorials, interviews, lifestyle tips, and relationship advice is also their forte. For The Culture Mag is a focus and one of the major settings in ENVY from the Love Is Cure series.
This rooftop bar and lounge gets a few mentions in Love is Cure and appears in Last Comes Love’s prologue. I love going out with friends and family so creating an atmosphere that’s effervescing and full of life just had to happen. I haven’t figured out Blyss’s role in the story besides being a place where friends meet up to discuss things. But like a lot of moments in my book, definitely pay attention to the conversations because they will serve tall glasses of jewels here for sure.
I should note that these “businesses” are black owned including the Bronx Ballers which is owned by a black billionaire. Can’t wait for you to meet him!
I’m sure more places will be created in my new universe as my writing evolves and I hone my creativity. About a year ago, I contemplated creating a series of books centered around The Braxton Hotel – a setting mentioned in the Love, Hate, & Revenge series – and Chateau Luxure, which is still on the table for me to work on at a much later date.
Anyway, I can’t wait to bring them all to fruition because creating this stuff was a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to showing you all that’s coming down the pipeline!