Today, I want to introduce an author who has written many books. Isn’t that exciting? Lyndell Williams has a new book, Sweet Love, Bitter Fruit, that will release on October 1, 2019, but is available to pre-order on Amazon which gives you enough time to check out her other books and fall in love with this author while you wait on that release. Drum roll… Meet Lyndell.
Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.
I write at a computer in the corner of my bedroom, in a house too small for my family busting at its walls. We love and want to kill each other at the same time and constantly swing between extremes of being miserable and having a blast. That’s the way it is with large families. I knew what I was getting into. My husband, the oldest of two, had to adjust.
I have a bunch of balls in the air every day, juggling them until I pass out at night to start it all over again in the morning. People often ask how I do it all. I don’t. I just do as much as I can, writing along the way.
What inspired you to author this book?
Sweet Love, Bitter Fruit wasn’t supposed to be a book. I expected Marcus and Toni to be good little secondary characters and fade into the background, but readers had such strong responses to them, especially Marcus. They either loved him or thought he was crazy. A character like that always demands their story be told.
Readers kept asking if I was going to write a book about Marcus and Toni, and the characters clamored in my head. I knew that their struggle with infertility wasn’t going to be an easy topic to address, but it had to be. I needed to show how something so heartbreaking can impact how two people deeply in love negotiate it. How they are imperfect and real but still hot for each other.
Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?
I wanted the cover to convey the layers of connection Marcus and Toni have. Their love progressed beyond the passionate first stage to generate fulfilling emotional ties strengthening their bond. They can’t wait to see each other at the end of the day to brighten it for one another—hence the bright yellow and green clothes. They make each other shine.
Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?
I read a ton a romance as a teen, exclusively by White women authors. When I got older and someone gave me a Beverly Jenkins novel, my world lit up. It was so liberating to see Black women as the primary love interest and not the sassy best friend, servant, or slave. When authors like Zane and Alyssa Cole came on the scene, that just changed everything.
Their writing gave me the confidence to write romance not simply with Black female protagonists, but with a love plot that reflects the lives of Black women. Romance can be culturally-specific, and there are now a lot of Women of Color authors who are showing the world the myriad of ways people navigate love and romance.
What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?
There were two main obstacles—one external and the other internal. Time is rarely on my side when it comes to writing because I have so much of it to do. In addition to writing novels, I am a professional writer. So, I spend a lot of my days fulfilling deadlines. I also home school my three youngest of six children and teach. Etching out enough time to flesh out Marcus and Toni’s story was a challenge.
I also struggled to really connect with Toni. It may seem weird, but not every character opens up right away, even though they are a product of the author’s imagination. Toni’s struggle with infertility and longing for a baby brought up a lot of the feeling it took a long time to bury. Yeah, I mentioned six kids earlier. They came after five years of trying, failing and falling apart. Having to write about the agony that emerges from infertility was not easy.
Tell your readers about your book.
Sweet Love, Bitter Fruit, is the second book in the Brothers in Law series. It features Marcus and Toni Kent. Readers have already expressed their interest in knowing their stories after meeting the loving duo in book one, My Way to You.
Marcus and Toni are deeply in love but struggle with infertility. After a couple of failed treatments, Toni wants to try again but Marcus is staunchly against it. The impasse, as well as some other turmoil, threatens to destroy everything they’ve built.
Who is your target audience, and why?
I enjoy a spectrum of readers. When I meet new ones, they often say, “I don’t usually read romance…” It’s wonderful that my writing opened people to such a fantastic genre. There are a lot of misconceptions about romance. Some people think it lacks depth, but there are romance authors out there writing some profound stuff about love and relationships.
What do you consider your greatest success in life?
My greatest success is without a doubt the family I built with a wonderful husband for over twenty-eight years. I have spent most of my life with him, and we are raising a house full of kids, ages ranging from 7 to 21 years. As I watch my two oldest head out the door for college while their little sisters read from the same book they did when they were their age, I feel so fulfilled and accomplished.
What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?
I often joke that I am a unicorn. I am a covered Muslim woman writing romance. In this country, that’s a rarity. I work hard to open up tightly-closed minds about the genre and the inclusion of sensual and sexual content, not an easy feat in a cultural environment filled with Puritanical notions about what Muslim authors should and should not write.
I like to integrate social commentary in my books from my social identities. Yeah, other authors do it, but I am a trifecta of unique social perspectives as an African American Muslim woman in an interracial relationship with a Man of Color. I try to show some of the ways societal issues can impact how people love each other.