Friday, March 30, 2018

Never Leave You Lonely

I've been neglecting the blog...AGAIN as I add more and more content to my Patreon page for my subscribers. (Click this LINK to subscribe at whichever tier you can afford. The Bronze tier is ONLY 50 cents a week. It's worth it.) But, I still want to share things that are written in my notebooks here as well. I'll continue to post ALL of my writing tips, short stories and flash fiction there but, I'll still save some things for here as well.

Never Leave You Lonely

I can’t get you off of my mind, no matter how hard I try and as guarded as you may be, I can’t leave you lonely. Other men want you but they don’t know you like I know you, and not because I own any of your secrets either. Those are all still yours, safely locked away from the prying eyes of those who don’t deserve your truth. I know you in ways that they don’t know you because I actually see you. I see you clearly, even with my eyes closed. They can’t get close to you because to them, you’re like a ghost, intangible and hard to see clearly but the strange thing is, I can FEEL you, even when we’re not close. They ALL assume you’re mean but I can feel your hopes and your dreams…just like once upon a time, YOU felt MINE. You saw what I COULD be and encouraged me. I still remember that energy and although I’m not quite there yet, I swear to you that I won’t forget.

No matter how distant I seem, I won’t leave you lonely. I’ll always be there if you call on me. For me, you’re different than anybody and everybody else. You’re not them and they’re not you. By now, after all this time, I know this. Even if I tried, I can’t pretend that someone like you isn’t real, or forget that you exist. That is the truth…the raw reality for me…and now, YOU know it too.


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Writer Wednesday with Diana Rose

Good afternoon folks. I'm proud to feature one of my author friends this week, the talented Diana Rose! Enjoy her interview, get to know her and support her new book!


Author Diana Rose

Author Diana Rose
Q. When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer?
Honestly, it was a suggestion....let me explain. When I was twelve years old, I met a woman who used to be a doctor in Russia. Her name was Irina Danilchenko. One day, we were talking and she said, "You have so many ideas in your head. Why don't you try writing them down so you don't forget them?"
That struck me as brilliant at the time so at twelve years old with a limited vocabulary in English, yes, I am a Russian native, I started writing in short paragraphs at first. As I continued to do that, I realized that I liked writing. But it was when I read my first Danielle Steel book, “Journey,” that I realized I wanted to write, become an author and build a career.

Q. Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Writing energizes me. I can write and feel fulfilled. This is what I dreamed to do since I was a teen. But what exhausts me is promoting. I like it but doing it every day and not having time to do what I love-writing- is hard and exhausting. 

Q. Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
I believe all people have emotions and it doesn't have to be emotions, it can be a belief, a thought, an idea you want to express and argue. Yes, I believe anyone can write, you just need to find what feels right to you. Some people can write short stories but not novels. Others can write novels but not short stories. Another thing I know...write what you know. If you feel something is wrong, write about it. It doesn't have to be a strong feeling, just a feeling is fine too.

Q. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Oh, I might have a lot to say, knowing what I know now. But, most importantly I would say, "Never stop believing in your writing.  Keep writing because one day all those words will bring you to something great.  Dream big and never give up on yourself. " I would have never have dreamed that my writing could take me as far as it did when I was starting out with an idea in my head, two names, Princess Amy and Prince Darien and two places: The Moon Kingdom and Earth Kingdom. 
No, sir, I couldn't have dreamed that those unconnected things would turn into a book and my book would turn into a series. Back then, I thought I was just writing for myself. But now....everything I dreamed came true.

Q. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
An early experience with language would have to be when I was reading Danielle Steel's book Sisters, in the book she wrote about a car accident that left a girl blind but that did not stop her from doing what she wanted, to travel to Paris. Another experience was with Nicholas Sparks' The Notebook, though I only watched the movie, it still shocked me to my core to see the kind of love in a movie.

Q. How many hours a day do you write?
I usually write as much as I can unless I'm upset and then I can write longer hours into the night. Usually, I write two three hours or four hours. But when I am not upset, I try to write at least a few hours a day and if inspiration hits hard, more than a few hours. 

Q. What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
Ah, the dreaded male point of view!!! I'm a woman, I have no idea what men think. In my first book, Book 1: Forbidden Love, I had a little hard time getting into Prince Darien's mind at some moments because men are typically all about action and no emotions (apologies to the men who read this). Also finding good motives for the male characters is harder because I had to really think on what kind of motivation would make a man have to do what he is going to do.

Q. How do you select the names of your characters?
Names are generally hard for me since I'm writing fantasy romance.  A good name would have to be something memorable that people can remember after the book is done. Now, choosing my royal family names, it had to fit with the tile of King, Queen, Prince and Princess plus it had to sound good. I mean King Jack, does not sound royal to you, does it? Now, King Gabriel sounds royal.
The royal family names are the most important. Then, I choose the secondary names, the "subjects" the regular people. Though these can be anything, they still need to be easy to remember. 

Q. Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
So far, I only got one review for Book 1: Forbidden Love. It got five stars. Good reviews make me happy, it finally feels like I did something good.
I'm sure I will learn to deal with bad reviews too. But I know one thing, no amount of bad reviews will ever make me want to give up. Being an author is what I love and giving up writing is like not being able to breathe. Of course, this is my first book, I plan to write and develop my skills so bad reviews would happen less if they do happen at all.

Q. What was your hardest scene to write?
I would have to say, the scenes with Pond Water Prince in Book 1: Forbidden Love...where he is talking to Princess Amy and also when Prince Darien fights him. I'm not great with writing bad guys so I hope I don't disappoint my readers with Pond Water Prince's character.  

Q. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Book 1: Forbidden Love took me from when I was twelve to twenty three years old or a little more since I was new to it and I had to rewrite a lot. My original file with all my ideas still exists. Book 2 took me 3-4 years because of the emotions tied into it. But I try to write faster now.

Q. Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yes, yes. I have writer's block from time to time now. In fact you caught me right in the middle of my writer's block period. I do hope I get back to writing soon. In fact, this interview is the most I have written in weeks. Sad but true.

Q. What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
The most difficult part is always getting through edits but I am grateful to both my editors, Susan Ednie, Professor of Psychology at Kingsborough Community College and Alyssa Nand​​ who pushed me to be a better author. These women are my heroes for having to deal with my writing.  Yes, Ms. Ednie saw the truly bad first draft but she encouraged me to write and do better and she is now proudly owning her copy of the book that has been her baby to edit since I met her in 2005.

Q. Does your family support your career as a writer?
Yes, my family does. My grandparents who passed away, my grandma always wanted to see my book but she passed away before it got published. My grandpa wanted me to be successful and now he can be proud even though he passed away two years ago. My mom thought I needed a real job but now she is supportive.

I hope you guys enjoyed the interview. Click the links below to order copies of her latest release!



Sunday, March 18, 2018

The Road


The Road


For the past few weeks, I’ve been so busy working on a screenplay for a movie that started shooting this week, (Hooray! FINALLY right?) that I haven’t updated my blog which is a shame because I’ve had a lot to say. It’s been quite some time since I’ve given you guys a real update on where I’ve been on this journey and where I’m going so, here we go.

The Film

For years, I’ve been aching to put together an independent film but unlike a novel, which is something I can do solo, movie-making requires a dedicated team. A few weeks ago, one of my younger brothers approached me about writing a screenplay so we could put together an independent movie so, I wrote a new screenplay and now we’re shooting a movie.  We were supposed to start filming last Sunday but there was a problem with the location so we shot in a completely different location on Tuesday. I’m glad that we didn’t let that set-back bring the movement to a complete halt. I’m not in the habit if giving up anyway. Otherwise, I might have stopped moving forward with my writing career a long time ago. On Tuesday, when we filmed the opening scene, it went better than I hoped it would so, we’re off to a great start.

The Love

On Wednesday, I woke up tired and not particularly inspired. Book sales were good at least but, I floated through the early part of the morning on autopilot. To be honest, that day wasn’t really much different from the past five Wednesdays until one link that I was tagged in changed my whole day. For years, ever since I released my first novel, “Water Flows Under Doors,” the struggle has always been the fight to get recognition for the work I’ve been putting in. I can’t lie, at times I’ve felt myself sinking in the quicksand of frustration because of that. I don’t follow trends in terms of what’s selling and my style is unique in ways that often made me wonder if maybe, I might be doomed to remain relatively unknown in spite of how good my books might be, if only readers knew about them. All the same, even if that was to be my fate, I refused to compromise my creativity to chase easy money. I write what I want, with my own voice and if that meant chasing the hard sales, I was always fine with that. Still, it’s always disheartening to literally bleed ink onto your pages but not get the recognition on the scale that you believe you could, if only more people even knew about you. So, on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, when I followed the link that took me to a beautiful write-up showing love and showcasing great, black male authors, my heart soared when I saw my name on the list with legends who inspired me to pursue a full-time writing career. I can’t even explain how it felt to be on a list with Michael Baisden, Omar Tyree, Walter Mosley and Eric Jerome Dickey. It was a kid from Brooklyn’s dream come true to see my novel, “Death in the City” among the covers of books that are bestsellers and considered classics. I know that somewhere, my grandmothers are smiling and thinking, “Look at you son, listed as one of the 11 black, male authors who belong on everyone’s bookshelf.”

CLICK THIS LINK to read the article.










Tomorrow

Tomorrow, I plan to keep pushing in spite of the bullshit that often tries to get in the way. I’ve been at this for a while so it’s too late to turn back now, and even if that was an option, I wouldn’t want to. You see, when it comes to your dreams, you can never let your faith falter or waiver enough to make you give up. The dream is YOURS so cherish it. It is precious so always treat it as such. All of the sacrifices you will HAVE TO make will be worth it. Just remember nothing amazing EVER happens in comfort zones. Just because you’re not rich does not mean that you’re not successful. How many people ever REALLY pursue the things they’ve always wanted to do? If you have, you’re a WINNER, even if you’re still struggling and don’t have millions in the bank. It doesn’t matter who doesn’t believe in what you’re doing as long as YOU believe in you. The reality is, most people don’t respect the struggle. In fact, they look down on it, pass judgment and often project THEIR doubts about your potential onto you, constantly killing your vibe. Brush that off and keep going with irrational confidence if that’s what it takes. (That’s what the fuck I do.) Success is viewed through different lenses and some folks won’t believe in you until you have whatever material things THEY think successful people should possess. But, understand that it’s not up to them to decide whether or not you’ve “made it” or not. Set your own goals and then SMASH them. I KNOW what I’m going to be. I already KNOW what I’m going to achieve.

Like I always say…just watch what I do NEXT! 

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Friday, March 16, 2018

The Hottest Cup - Chapter 5 PREVIEW

Happy Friday folks. I've been trying to catch up on my Patreon posts this week and it's finally time for "Freaky Friday" where I share another chapter from my series, "The Hottest Cup." My subscribers will be HAPPY and if you haven't signed up yet, remember that even though the more expensive tiers have better benefits and perks, even at the $2 tier, you get to read ALL of the exclusive stories I post over there. Here's a sneak peek at what goes on over there.

Sample from Chapter Five

During the ride from the restaurant to Andressa’s apartment, we put on quite a show for the cab driver as we kissed and fondled each other in his back seat. He didn’t seem to mind at all as we saw him watching us in the rear-view mirror more than he watched the road. We were lucky that he didn’t crash and kill us all. We were crazy not to tell him to keep his eyes forward but we were obviously distracted and there was something sexy about being watched by a stranger. Andressa wasn’t bashful and I wasn’t shy. To be honest, I really didn’t care who saw us, not the driver and not the people who randomly rode beside us in other cars. My hands, my eyes, my lips and all of my focus was on Andressa. I was occupied and hypnotized by her soft curves, her warm skin, the taste of her lips and the sweet fragrance of the perfume she had dabbed on the nape of her neck.

***

The cab ride was only ten minutes but it seemed to take forever, probably because of how anxious I was to get Andressa out of that skimpy white dress. When we finally pulled up in front of her building, I paid the fare and tipped the cabbie. She had tried to argue with me about paying but, I insisted.

The doorman out front greeted Andressa nervously with a nervous side-eye which gave me the impression that he wasn’t used to her coming home with company. She pretended not to notice as we cuddled and stumbled inside, arm-in-arm. As soon as I got into the lobby, I began to wonder what she did for a living to be able to afford to live there. We had the elevator to ourselves as we went up to Andressa’s apartment. I roughly pushed her up against the back panel once the doors slid shut behind us. She grabbed the back of my head and kissed me like I was the last man she would ever kiss. I loved it. Her lips were soft, plump, juicy and sweet. I loved kissing her, slowly, gently and then passionately. I put my hands on her waist then moved behind her and squeezed the big, plush cheeks that looked so good in that tight dress. I couldn’t wait to strip her clothes off.

The elevator finally stopped on her floor and we hurried down the hallway to her apartment door. I stood behind her and pressed my hardness up against her soft cheeks as she dug around in the bottom of her purse for her keys. Once she found them, she opened the lock and we stumbled inside. We were all over each other before she even properly shut the door behind us. Before she even put her bag down, I was on my knees planting soft kisses on Andressa’s thighs. She looked down at me with a wicked grin as I ran my hands up her legs and raised her dress until I could see her pink panties. She moaned and let out a sultry sigh in anticipation of what I planned to do next like she could read my dirty mind. Then her cell-phone began to ring relentlessly. She tried not to be distracted by it but I sensed when her body language changed as she suddenly became tense when whoever was on the other line kept calling back. I looked up and watched her shut her phone off completely before she tossed it across the room where it landed safely on her couch.

Andressa closed her eyes and gently caressed the top of my head as I continued to explore her smooth, soft skin with my lips. She began to strip out of her tight white dress when suddenly the landline telephone in her apartment started to ring instead.

“I think I better just answer that,” Andressa sighed.

“Or, I could just rip the phone line right out of the wall?” I suggested.

Someone was definitely trying to kill our vibe but there was no way for me to know whether or not it was intentional. I wondered if maybe there really was some crisis that needed her attention. As the phone continued to ring, and ring, and ring again, Andressa rolled her eyes and put her hands on her hips. With a gently placed finger under my chin, she beckoned me to my feet. I stood up and she kissed me softly on the lips as we both listened to the phone continue to ring.

“The bedroom is straight down the hallway, first door on the right,” she whispered after we parted lips and caught our breath. “I’m going to answer this call and then I’ll be right there,” she promised.

She kissed me again before sending me off.

***

Andressa’s apartment was nice, even nicer and more spacious than mine. It was neat, decorated tastefully with the type of sophisticated elegance that was the result of a woman’s touch. The furniture looked expensive and the photos on the walls told me that she had done more than a bit of travelling. It made me wonder what kind of work she did when she wasn’t in the park eating ice cream.

Once I found my way to her bedroom, I wasn’t sure what to do while I waited for her to come and join me. I thought about stripping out of my clothes so I would be naked by the time Andressa got there but that just seemed like a lame thing to do so instead, I just stood around with my hands in my pockets like someone waiting to be called inside a room for a job interview. The queen-sized bed was neatly made, covered in fine sheets and fluffy pillows. It looked so comfortable that it felt like a sin to sit down on it without permission.

I tried my best not to eavesdrop but I couldn’t help it. I could hear Andressa’s voice raised as she argued with someone named “Courtney” about leaving her alone. As far as I could tell, “Courtney” wanted to come over, Andressa didn’t want her to and I wondered if a threesome was possible if she had decided to let her friend stop by. The hostile exchange of harsh words over the telephone lasted for about fifteen minutes before Andressa finally must have said something to make Courtney give up because she finally stopped yelling and it got extremely quiet in the next room.

***
When Andressa walked into the bedroom, her smile wasn’t as wide as it was before and there was definitely stress and tension written all over her face along with turmoil in her eyes but, it quickly faded when I gently touched her cheek. I placed my other hand on her lower back, just above the curve of her butt and I felt her body language change. She relaxed as she hugged me and then pressed her head against my chest. I let her listen to my heart racing for a few moments before I took her by the hand and walked her over to the bed. I expected to be the aggressor, to be in control but, she shoved me down so hard that I practically bounced when my back hit the mattress.

Andressa unfastened my belt as I took off my shirt and kicked off my shoes. In one, rough motion, she dragged off my pants and my boxer briefs at the same time. Then, she started kissing my thighs as she looked up into my hungry, lust-filled eyes. I read her mind and realized what she wanted to do next but the way she teased practically drove me wild. I grabbed a handful of her hair but she shrugged me off. She wanted to make me wait a little bit more even though I had been ready since we walked through her apartment door.

I hope that you've enjoyed this PREVIEW of what happens in Chapter 5 & if you'd like to read all of the freaky, sexy steamy things that go down NEXT, Click Here to Subscribe to the Patreon page. It's worth it.