If you didn't read the title to this in the key of Tony, Toni, Toné, why are you even here? LOL
Warning: This will likely be a jumble of disjointed thoughts. Welcome to my brain.
All jokes aside, one year ago today I published my first novella, Adore You and the year following has been a helluva ride. A few days ago I Instagramed a video I took of what was my highest ranking to date on Amazon. In the caption of the video I said, "[I am] so abundantly blessed to have been given a talent that has the capacity to be transformative". Sitting here now in a moment of reflection, I definitely still feel this very strongly.
Being a writer has always been a thing I've said I am, but never really felt like I was. I've always been enamored with words, but I stayed pump-faking. I could never get my rhythm, voice, tone, or point of view quite right. Everything felt hollow because I had no direction. AY flowed from my fingertips so organically, that when I finally typed the end? I KNEW I had done something. And it felt good. Didn't matter if aaaaanybody else read or got or cared about it because I had finally done the thing I'd claimed I was going to do for more than half of my life. And I'd done it in an ok manner (to my standards, I'm pretty hard on myself). I knew that it was only the beginning and it would only get better. I can't wait to be reflecting on my writing in about ten years when it'll be light years from whatever level of good it is at currently. Just the thought of it excites me.
Last night I was Marco Poloing with a friend of mine and we were talking about our writing processes and story construction and how we want our stories to be received. We were both pretty much in agreement that our writing is focused on bringing to life characters who are true to themselves and grounded in reality. There is no real...joy...for me anyway...to making someone perfect and/or unflawed. I like to write about super regular, degular, schmegular folks living their lives and finding love along the way.
But speaking of friends, can I say that I am so glad to have joined the ranks for black indie romance authors? Let me tell you this...some of these women I've met in real life; others I've only had the pleasure of knowing as they live in my computer, but the level of support and camaraderie and sisterhood and professionalism and...hell, I'ma just say it...black girl magic I've encountered is unparalleled. Authors who don't know me from a can of paint sharing my works, introducing their audiences to my ridiculousness, and just being genuinely supportive--when I tell you my heart is FULL just thinking about it? SHEESH. I'd be here all day if I were calling out people specifically, but it just makes me smile thinking about the ways in which I've seen these sisters uplift one another and I'm super happy that they've embraced me as one of their own.
And the readers...man...LISSEN. So two very important things happened in the span this year...1:I released the first of my works and b: I did my first real life signing situation. As a reader, I knew how picky folks could be. I know how picky EYE am, so I try crafting my stories with this in mind. But...my readership...gurl, chile, hunty...lemme tell you how DOPE these women are. They are a group of fiercely opinionated women who will not hesitate to tell you in detail how xyz scene or abc character made them feel. They'll lift you up when you're feeling low and drag you when you playin' games with their releases. (Shoutout to every review of Sparks Fly and Smitten that asks about Pat/Dame LOL. I PROMISE they are coming, y'all.).
In just 12 short months, my life has changed in a great number of ways, but the journey that authoressing has taken me on is the most exhilarating. It is a tremendous pleasure to be able to craft story and I am grateful beyond measure for the gift. I'll be authorpersonladying in person a few more times this summer, so if you're coming to Behind the Pen or #BlackGirlPassion, please make sure you stop by and say hello. Details for both events are on the Events tab on this here website.