I’m about a handful of chapters away from typing “the end” on the fifth book in my Love is Cure, Vol. 1–Vices & Virtues series, Gluttony, and it’s really got me thinking. While this book has been a real labor of love (I’ll write about that experience once I’m done), I’ve had many other stories challenge me so much I almost didn’t finish them.
One of those stories was Last Comes Love (LCL).
When I combined two separate stories and made them one (Rylee’s story was a solo story and so was Lennox’s), I did so after many months of thinking. A bittersweet love story was uncommon, especially in romance, a genre I predominantly write in. This is one reason I listed LCL under Women’s Fiction instead of Romance on Amazon where it was published.
As someone who empathizes deeply, whether I experience things first-hand or vicariously, the initial idea of bringing this story to life was a decision far from easy to make.
But I did it, boldly, and with foreknowledge that it might anger some readers and possibly land me on some do not read lists. Most romance readers read love stories in search of the coveted HEA. I also enjoy reading love stories for the coveted HEA. However, my soul’s urge was to tell this story for two reasons – representation matters and because I just really wanted to tell this story.
This past Sunday I celebrated 7-years as a self-published author. The journey to here has been a learning experience from the very moment I published my first story. I started this thing knowing nothing and today I can say I know plenty. And even with that, though, there is still so much more I need to learn. But you don’t get through 7-years of self-publishing stories and not learn anything.
Here are a few things I learned in my 7-years of self-publishing (in no particular order).
Like, did we really make it? Did we actually make it through the longest decade masqueraded as the year known as 2020? When this year started, I had so many things planned. The books I wanted to write, the online and in person book events I wanted to host and attend. I had yet to host a giveaway, but I had a few planned too, only for those plans to become just black words on white paper.
I still can’t believe we are at the end of 2019, the end of
the decade! It’s impossible for me to mention the end of 2019 without mentioning
the end of a decade. I started self-publishing in the middle of the decade, in
2015, and if you ask me, I wouldn’t even say that’s when I really started
publishing. There was so much I didn’t know about self-publishing, so many
mistakes made, but those mistakes taught me valuable things. My first story, No
Fraternizing, Pt. 1, wasn’t even supposed to be a part 1. “Part 1” was
supposed to be it. But after almost a year after publishing that story, I
got a few messages from readers curious about how the story continued. I didn’t
even know I had readers before their messages. And that’s what this decade
represented for me… a time of discovery.
This year so far has been a year of growth that has been immeasurable. I’ve dared myself to move more toward challenges instead of moving away from them, poured more of my energy into creative writing, and I’ve spent less time freelance copywriting which was originally a scary idea. I honestly never saw anything past publishing my first story, No Fraternizing, Pt. 1, and it only became a part 1 when I decided to continue to give this self-publishing thing a real try. And I’m glad I did because here I am today, invested and inspired to keep going.
After completing the final story for my Forbidden anthology, which was a last-minute addition (“Divinely Illicit” – Mello’s story), I knew I would continue all the stories. But I wanted to pose the question to readers, give you the option of choosing the story you wanted to see continued. Many have asked for continuations for all the stories, so that is what I intend to do.
I’ve never done an introductory post. You know the kind, telling you all the random things about me that gives you a general picture of the person behind the words. So since I’m late with that, I’ve compiled a list of facts… 33 to be exact. Why 33? Today is my birthday, my 33rd birthday. I have this thing about numbers and 33 is very significant to me for reasons that would take several posts to explain. The short version is that 33 is like a mirror reflection of numbers so something tells me this year will take me deeper into self-reflecting on the inner me. I’ve been doing a lot of that from the start of 2018.
For this post though, I’m telling you all the things I believe you’d like to know or find even a tad bit interesting lol. Starting with…
In two weeks I’ll release my 12th self-published book on Amazon. Well, technically, it’s my 5th actual book since most of what I self-publish are short stories but I digress. The book is Forbidden, and it was one of my most challenging books I’ve worked on. The process was tedious but I’m ecstatic with what I’ve created. Months of research and creating character profiles has resulted in well-told stories that offers the one thing I search for in books, the perfect escape. So, since we’re inching closer to Halloween, the release day for my Forbidden Anthology, I’m ready to talk about the creative process behind it.
It’s been 2-years since I self-published my first story on Amazon, No Fraternizing, PT. 1. This story was never supposed to be a series. It was supposed to be a short novella that brought readers into a different world of characters with a different story concept.
It’s that time again! I’ve started writing a new novella, and this is just not any ol’ novella. It’s a book where I’m writing about two of my favorite characters… Melodee and Amir. I fell in love with these two during the planning and writing process. Now, I love all my characters as I’ve said before but there’s something about the evolution of Amir and Melodee’s love that I admire the most. So, after two months of outlining, researching, blah, blah, blah… I’ve started writing it and I’m more than halfway through it.
When I first wrote this blog post, it was during the outlining phase of the story. Since then, I’m close to finish… yesss! The words have been flowing these past few days and I’ve been surprising myself at how far I’m getting with this work. And trust me, I’m not breezing through it. I’ve been taking my slow ass time. This is what’s baffling. So, I wanted to share what I’m doing hoping it can help another writer who may need tips on getting to their “end.”
Via social media like Facebook and Instagram, if you’re following me, you’ve noticed the hashtag I’ve got going, #MakingMrAndMrsJones. I wanted to try something new and to bring you guys along for the ride of creating this novella. A behind-the-scenes glimpse at what’s happening. This will also help keep me motivated and held accountable to finish this baby of mine.
For the readers, I think it will be fun for you to see a book come to life and evolve from nothing into something. And for my fellow writers, you’ll find the BTS (behind-the scenes) stuff resourceful… or at least that’s what I hope.