May is probably my favorite month of the year, next to Birthday Month (August) and Thanksgiving. Every year I take a trip to one of my favorite places for Mother’s Day: Edisto Island (not to be confused with Edisto Beach. That week-long trip is immediately followed by a weekend of crystal shopping with friend-girls in Franklin, NC. Check my IG for the photo/video dump!
What did you accomplish this month?
I focused most of my attention on getting words on the page for Indigo and Marcelo’s story this month. My initial goal was to have that book finished and while I am as close, I didn’t quite achieve that, but these two are well on their way to having another big misunderstanding followed by make-up sex.
However, I have to put them aside for the next couple of weeks so I can focus on my #20kin5Days project.
Initially, I was going to work on Pretty Memories, which was part of HEA Collective. The rights revert back to me in August, and I always knew that I wanted to expand that 40k novella into a full-length novel when I submitted it, so it was my intention to focus on it for this #20kin5Days. Keesh and Rah deserve a lot more words than they were given, and I can’t wait to dive back in, especially when it comes to adding more suspenseful elements. I worked on their character studies this weekend, but after I finished those, I gave in to the brilliant idea of looking through my random idea file.
Y’all see where this is going, right?
Back in 2020-21, long before I was ever even considering burnout, I used every #20kin5Days as a time for ideation. I would choose an idea that I think has legs. Those stories would get my entire focus for five days, and then I’d just put it back in the file. The idea was that whenever I needed a project to work on, I could just dig up something I already started to finish that. This is one of those stories. I’m not gonna talk too much about this project because burnout has made it hard to write, and I really think I can finish this one during 20k. If I do, it will be with me when I go to One Love Reunion this summer as an exclusive release.
Content on the good ole blog has been pretty steady:
This is More Than A Grudge: Enemies-to-Lovers: Enemies-to-lovers is a popular trope, but I’ve gotta say… it’s one of the most difficult tropes to do well. Readers, myself included, love a good enemies-to-lovers romance. But how can you bring your pair together and make readers obsessed them?
10 Enemies-to-lovers Writing Prompts For Romance Authors: There's something so intriguing about the enemies-to-lovers romance trope. It starts with two characters who just can't stand each other, but as the story progresses, they find themselves falling in love. It's a complex and satisfying journey that leaves readers swooning. So, in this blog post, I wanted to provide you with some writing prompts.
Are Cops (Truly) Romance Heroes?: After our conversation about billionaire romances, I started thinking about archetypal characters and how they’re depicted in genre romance.
10 Reasons Why A Protagonist Might Fall in Love with Their Enemy: If you’re looking to a romance where you can defy romance conventions and push the boundaries of what's expected, an enemies-to-lovers book might be your next project! In these stories, the protagonist falls for someone they should hate, and purse a relationship that compromises or challenges their core values and beliefs. The tension between characters creates a head-shaking, heart-racing, and satisfying read.
Writing Black Heroines Who Struggle With Mental Health: As an author, reading and writing stories is how I make sense of our world. I don’t think I’m alone in that. For that reason, I find it essential to write honestly diverse characters who reflect the realities of life. That’s why I chose to write heroines who struggle with their mental health in one way or another – because depression and anxiety are unfortunately very common and under-diagnosed amongst Black women.
10 Writing Prompts for Characters With Mental Health Challenges: May is Mental Health Awareness Month! Writing characters who live with mental health challenges can be a great way to explore the complexities of the human experience.
Celebrating My Pub-Anniversary of In Her Closet, The Lust Diaries: Book One: Ten years have passed since the release of The Lust Diaries: Book One, and looking back at the book's positive reviews brings back many fond memories. I feel grateful for the support that has come my way from all the romance readers and authors who have read and appreciated my work.
6 Kinky Writing Prompts: Kinky Writing Prompts That Aren't Fifty Shades of Grey
Announced the upcoming #20kin5Days Challenge: The #20kin5Days Writing Challenge in the Wordmakers Writing Community is a quarterly challenge that may be just what you need to jumpstart your creativity and productivity. This unique writing challenge requires you to write 20,000 words in just five days.
5 Tips To Avoid Procrastubation: As a full-time, self-published author and host of a writing community, I’m often derailed by procrastination. There are so many tasks to do that it’s easy for me to make the excuse that I need to focus on my content marketing strategy or create yet another free Trello board instead of meeting my word count for the day.
20 Random Writing Prompts: Every writer, at some point or another, has experienced the dreaded writers' block. This moment of sheer frustration when the words won't come no matter how hard you try, can be devastating. It's like your imagination has run dry, and you're left feeling helpless.
What did I read?
Honestly, I didn’t read nearly as much as I expected to this month. At the beginning of the month I did a deep dive into several craft books: How To Write A Damn Good Thriller by James N. Frey and How to Write Pulp Fiction by James Scott Bell. While neither of these were my favorite craft book reads, I did learn a little something from each that I think I will be able to apply in future stories.
I packed several books for my travels and didn’t crack a single one. I’m not sorry about it, either. I am looking forward to reading All Sinners Bleed by SA Cosby.
What did I watch?
Succession just ended, and… what can I say about this show about fabulously fucked up family dynamics except…bravo. Well, fucking done.
In other news, Mayans is back for its last season, and Clayton Cardenas is still stealing hearts and inspiring pants feelings.
I’m also watching Janelle Monáe’s Lipstick Lover over and over again. The unedited version. Get into it.
And that’s it, fam!
All the things I wrote and did for the month of May. June is going to be a lower content month because I can’t keep up with this two-post-a-week schedule without burning out. June’s theme is going to be all about PRIDE so make sure you check in for that!