One day, someone is going to explain how February is both the longest and the shortest month of the year at the same damn time. I think it has something to do with it being Black History Month and the unofficial Romancelandia Season of Celebration (or ridicule depending on your perspective). It’s just too much. Who can I call to discuss moving one of these things to another month later in the year? Is there a petition I can sign or something? When y’all compile one let me know.
What I’ve been up to:
Well, one thing I haven’t been doing is writing fiction. Burnout is still lingering, and boy howdy, does it make you tired. I feel like I can never get enough sleep! Partly because of a reoccurrence of insomnia, but no matter the cause, waking up tired is not great, y’all. No need to deluge me with remedies. I promise you I’ve already tried most of them. This is just something I have to suffer through from time to time. Needless to say, it’s hard to create under those conditions. I’ve been writing some, but it’s in fits and starts. A thousand words here and one hundred words there. Not enough for me to start talking about upcoming projects or to even call it progress. But believe me, y’all will be the first to know!
One thing that did happen this month on the publishing front is… The Lust Diaries went live on Scribd Audio! The series was narrated by Naomi Del Campo. She did an amazing job at giving one of my favorite characters, Yves Alphonsa Santiago, a voice.
Also, for those of you who are Darcy and Tommy fans that wanted to their epilogue, Pegging Her Fiancé. Free to fans of the Say Yes Duet! Also, if you have any future check-ins that you would like to see from this couple, respond to this post with ideas!
For Authors, I wrote a short workbook - Crafting Your Author Brand.
Here are the details:
The most successful authors in any genre have a well-crafted and easily recognizable brand.
However, your author brand is one of those things that you tend to skip or assume you can cobble together along got away — which some manage to do successfully.
But what if I told you that taking the time to define your author brand would make every aspect of your writing career easier?
Determining who you are, what you enjoy writing, what you do well, and what you want out of your writing career will help you help you bring that writing career into alignment with your true self.
It’s all about consistency!
Consistency is key to finding potential readers, and gaining their trust so they will voluntarily become evangelists for your work!
Your Author Brand is a social contract between you and your readers that guarantees consistency in the content you produce and how you’ll interact with them on social media, in your newsletter, and at in-person events!
What we cover in this workbook:
1. Defining yourself as an author
2. Finding Your Ideal Reader
3. Knowing Your Niche
4. Crafting a brand profile
Crafting Your Author Brand is free for members of Wordmakers. Grab your copy >here<
I also went to Mardi Gras!
My sister and I drove down to New Orleans for the last five days of the season. It was both of our first time so we didn’t know what to expect. We were pretty much ready for any and everything, and New Orleans delivered!
What I read:
I’m still working through my Hoodoo Folklore MFA and this month I reread Their Eyes Were Watching God as well as Mules and Men by Zora Neal Hurston. And I’m currently working my way through Every Tongue Gotta Confess. In light of recent disparagement against my adopted ancestor and Hoodoo saint, I want to recommend you pick up You Don’t Know Us Negroes.
But even if you don’t, I wanted to share some knowledge about Zora. Zora Neale Hurston was an influential author, folklorist, and anthropologist in the early 20th century. She is best known as a key figure in the Harlem Renaissance for her novels which highlighted African American culture, her most famous work being Their Eyes Were Watching God. Hurston used direct experience and knowledge of people she had met over the years to create powerful stories about real issues affecting Black people but especially Black women, at that time. Her use of Gullah speak was intentional. If you find it too hard to understand, that is a failure on the part of the reader, not the writer. To label her dialect heavy dialogue as “ignorant” or “slave speak” is also says more about the reader and how uncomfortable they are with their own Blackness than the choices Hurston made in her work. What she left behind is invaluable and after the life of poverty she lived and died in, the least we can do is respect and honor her in death.
And that’s all I have to say about that.
At the end of this month I’ll be BACK in my favorite southern city for Krewe of Lit with some of my favorite authors, to include Katrina Jackson whom I haven’t seen in person for over a year! I’m bringing all first-in-series books and some cute swag! Hope to see you there!