If you haven't noticed yet I'm challenging myself to blog consistently. I used to love it so much but got away from it due to life happening. I'm committed to getting back to it because I believe it gives you an insight into who I really, truly am. It's not scripted like social media can be. You get the real-real on the blog.
Today I wanted to jump into why I chose the genre, I chose. Albeit a small detail in the grand scheme of things, I wanted to touch on it because it's impactful, especially for anyone thinking about picking up the pen themselves.
When I started in 2017 I was naive to the fact that Urban Fiction wasn't the only genre WOC fit into. ( don't judge me) Granted, a lot of authors wrote in the Urban Fiction genre, it just wasn't exactly where I fit. I just thought because I was black I had to put my books in that category to gain a following and reach the right readers. Big Mistake.
It was a mistake but it taught me something. It taught me to learn more about what I was taking on. Because being an author is not just hitting publish. You've got to know who you are trying to reach. Or it will end up in the wrong hands and your message will be lost in the shuffle. That happened to me with my first couple of releases. I learned a hard lesson through reviews, that had my ears red hot, my heart racing, and me running to tell my husband that people had me f*cked up! "Bae, Get the Strap!" 😂 JK. But seriously I was hurt, I put my all into my work and for it to not go over well is enough to make you want to experience emotions you never expected. I had to learn that my work wasn't for everyone but I could only blame myself because I didn't know who my work was for.
I'm not an urban author. Being black doesn't make me urban, it doesn't automatically qualify me as an Urban Fiction author, it makes me an author of color. An author that likes to write about other things than 'shoot em up, bang bang books'. ( I got that from Author Thea LOL) But seriously, while I love reading all genres I wasn't urban. The aspects of urban didn't fit for me.
I wanted to write about love. Unconditional, reckless, agape, real love. I'd seen enough memes and lived enough to know that I wanted to do the one thing we as POC don't see enough. Real love, love that doesn't require the woman to struggle, be broken down and robbed of her true essence to have it.
I wanted to rewrite my history, per se. I lived struggle love for a long time. You know the love that requires so much from you with very little return. You know the love that requires you to change everything about you until you have nothing left to give. The love that makes you lose weight, hair, and your sanity. But let me add this in here.... none of that was love. It was convenience, it was robbery, it was insanity. It wasn't LOVE!
I got married at a very young age, 19 to be exact to someone I'd known all my life pretty much. I thought what we had was love. But it was convenient. After leaving that situation with my nerves shot and on a quest to find something different. I ran into the same thing in different clothing with different intentions time and time again. I was falling in love with potential. I struggled to find what I now see as a real love for a long time. I almost lost hope. I remember looking at my memories once and seeing a post that read... "Next relationship, I'm going to jail if someone plays with my time and heart."
I almost gave up yall. I had every right to give up. I don't have enough time to tell yall what I went through those first seven years. Of course, if you've read my earlier books you have a good idea of how my relationships went LOL. (Did you think Id Crumble and Serene Chaos) but I'd been played enough, cheated on, lied on, and mistreated. I was done. And willing to fight anyone that ever tried to play with me again.
So when I finally decided to get clear on my why, what, and how, romance was the genre that stuck out the most to me. I've always been a hopeless romantic, believing I could change people like I had damn superpowers or something. I'd always believed in love, believed it was for me. Rom- Com's had always been my favorite. I could probably recite a million love songs. I just love love. And then when I found it my life changed tremendously. And that same hope in love is something black women need. We see enough shows, enough celebrity couples, enough BS when it comes to love that we don't even have a fair shot. Our mind was already clouded! We've already been told by Betty Wright that it's better to have a piece of man than none at all. (BS) We let Mokenstef serenade us about how He's Mine and the whole time he was for the streets! 😂 Should I continue?
Times have changed though, women are changing and I'm here for it. Women are learning their worth and requiring the most from men and they should. I write romance for this reason. I write romance because I want to be a part of the positive influence on love. I want to share the reality about love because no it's not perfect, no it's not easy, but it's worth it when you find someone willing to fight just as hard about you. And be clear I ain't talking about no struggle love. I ain't talking about Tyrone lame ass. I'm talking about someone who understands that to have you they have to come hard and never let up. Love is beautiful and it's out there for everyone. You just gotta look up sometimes and first and foremost love yourself.
Romance wasn't fantasized or really marketed for us, that's changing. It wasn't when I was growing up. But that's my story. My father wasn't in the home, bringing flowers, cooking her dinner, or taking her on dates. And then when I thought I got it, it turned out to be a complete shit show. That's why I'm here writing about reckless love, hood love, country love, self-love, unexpected love, redemptive love, office love, rich love, I got your back love, and the other ish! Because it's needed for women like me that had to find out what love IS NOT the hard way. I pray that my stories can shift the needle just a little bit. I pray my stories can help someone not make the mistakes I made through my twenty-somethings. I pray that my stories about love, remind you that if it's for you, you won't have to bend until you break to have it. I pray my stories can help someone realize that the relationship they are in may not be the one and when you leave there's hope, there's more. And you won't have to be in the streets fighting over it, cutting clothes up, or 'Hey barbara this is Shirley-ing' folks. I also pray as I continue my blog challenge you learn my sense of humor, learn more about me as a person.