#MFRW Author: Me, Myself, and The Story-Authors in Their Narratives


read-3048651_1920Putting yourself in the story.

Considering stories are products of writers imaginations, it is hard for anyone to say that they don’t put themselves in their stories.  A good plot, messaging, and character personality requires deep reflection. A simpatico relationship with characters is also a must, so all authors become invested in the narrative at some level.

However, that doesn’t mean that every author injects themselves as an actual character. I have yet to do so, although other people are fair game. But, that’s not the point. I have to admit, that there are elements of my experiences in my stories. Continue reading “#MFRW Author: Me, Myself, and The Story-Authors in Their Narratives”

Problems when Working a Scene

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#openbook

What was your hardest scene to write?

The challenges that present when writing a scene vary from one writing project to another. A manuscript can have multiple difficult scenes taxing authors, making time drag as the cursor flashes or notebook page sits untouched, leaving them all kinds of frustrated.

Scene troubles may involve persistent issues with the plot’s structure, or they may be thematic and restricted to one manuscript. Continue reading “Problems when Working a Scene”

BOOK REVIEW: Winter’s Beast

Review by Lyndell Williams
WINTER’S BEAST
By Twyla Turner
$9.99, 252 pp, paper
$3.99, 254 pp, Kindle (Free, KU)

Love and loyalty frequently clash in life and lead to a big ole mess of emotions. It is the same in the world of romance fiction. People are often conflicted between staying true to one person or following their love, desire, or lust for another.

In Winter’s Beast by Twyla Turner, the main character, Yury, a disfigured henchman for  Ivan, has to watch as his boss/savior sexually torments singer Winter. Ivan, obsessed with Winter’s beautiful voice and albino body, holds her captive and grooms her to become his sex slave and feature in his erotic club. This guy is all kinds of diabolical.

No, I’m not turned on. You are!

Winter initially resists Ivan, but he uses her sexual insecurities and inexperience to groom her into submission. While Ivan is preying on Winter, Yury tries to make life in captivity bearable while he falls in love with the beauty.

The world of kink simultaneously disgusts and enchants Winter, whose sensual history is dotted with sporadic moments of unfulfilling sex. She despises Ivan, but her body responds to his sexual abuse in a way that leaves her confused and titillated.

Yup, homeboy got her all kinds of messed up in the head. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Winter’s Beast”

Why Seasons Matter in Fiction

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#openbook

Do your stories and worlds reference seasons and do they play into the plots of your books?

Seasons provide important time elements to a story’s plot. The environment in which characters interact is significant in setting the tone and helping readers keep track of how much time has passed between plot points.

Time passage within a novel can be large (days, months, and years) or small (a few moments or minutes), and all of it can affect the story’s pacing, grabbing readers’ attention or losing it. A lot of my novels involve events requiring longs periods of time to pass from the book’s beginning to the end.

Anchoring Time

Continue reading “Why Seasons Matter in Fiction”

LWL Interview: Prolific Black Muslim Author Umm Juwayriyah

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I have known about Umm Juwayriyah’s (Maryam Sulivan) work for a while but became a fan after reading her amazing Muslim urban fiction novel, Tried and Tested. Check out the blurb.

A teenage Iman Johnson left home over a decade ago to follow behind a sweet, loving hustler who promised her the world. When that world became too much for her to endure, mentally and physically, she found herself back in Pittsburgh, PA at her Muslim mother’s doorstep, seeking refuge.

Will the Muslim family and community that she’d turned her back on years ago be ready to finally accept her, or is there too much time, emotions, hurt, and secrets built up between them to overcome? Iman will have to find the strength to face her past and relearn the basics if she ever hopes to find the sweetness of faith Allah promises.

She is a prolific author, whose works include poetry and prose. She has penned five books for children, young adults, and adults. I will never forget when she walked on stage at an event—for what everyone thought would be an author’s reading—and started dropping bars like it was nothing.

She is an educator and organizer of wonderful initiatives like the #MuslimGirlsRead literacy campaign. Every year, she raises funds to provide Muslim authored and centered books to urban youth. Yeah, she’s pretty dope.

So, it is clearly understandable why I was thrilled to have the chance to work with her on projects like the Black Muslim Authors event at New York University and the upcoming Black Muslim Reads anthology. I recently asked Umm Juwayriyah about writing and storytelling. Continue reading “LWL Interview: Prolific Black Muslim Author Umm Juwayriyah”

3 Writing Traps for Newbies

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What are common traps for aspiring writers?

Writing is a process rich with possibilities for errors. Anyone taking to the pen and pad or keyboard to share their stories and experiences with the world will inevitably trip, fall, get crushed, or end up a blubbering puddle of frustrations and regrets.

Count on all the above because our humanness makes it inevitable. Things will get messy just like us.

I spent years as a writing coach at a four-year college, where I saw students making the same mistakes and helped them hone their skills. When I ventured into professional writing as a freelancer, the easy transition from academic writing surprised me. I became popular with some online Muslim publications (I only write for them for personal reasons) and launched a cultural platform. Save for a few shifts in tone, I had it easy.

I didn’t encounter many bumps in the road of my journey as a writer until I wrote a novel. My strong writing background did not secure me from making some newbie mistakes, and I found many other authors who expressed that they made them. 

Continue reading “3 Writing Traps for Newbies”

#MFRWHooks- And Baby Makes Four

Book Hooks (2)And Baby Makes Four

A Short Story in Shades of AMBW Winter

Adrianna Kingston is ready to fight anyone who threatens her child’s future, including its father, Toma Matsumoto. and his brother, Sho. The two men don’t know what they’re in for.

Excerpt

And Baby Makes Four_CoverThe tapping sound Toma Matsumoto made by striking his pen against the mahogany desk filtered through the hushed room. He stared up at a pair of oval brown eyes. Streaks of red in the iris and obvious rage didn’t detract from their beauty nor the rest of the stunning brown face towering over him. Full pursed lips and round cheeks glowed in the afternoon light streaming in from the office window behind him. She’s even more beautiful angry. Continue reading “#MFRWHooks- And Baby Makes Four”

Call Me Rufus: Naming Characters

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How do you select the names of your characters?

I recently gave members of my Facebook reading group a chance to help me select a name for the main male protagonist of a Muslim vampire romance I am drafting.

Yeah, you heard right. Just wait for it. Anyway, I had initially selected the name “Rufus” for him. I had my reasons, but readers weren’t even trying to hear any of them. I got all kinds of negative feedback. Some asked how in the world I even thought up such an old-time name. Continue reading “Call Me Rufus: Naming Characters”

Short Stories: An Author’s Staple

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Since short stories continue to be essential to my authorship, I’ve decided to post a Facebook Live interview I did a while back with Muslim urban fiction, author Umm Juwayriyah about the importance of short stories in authorship.

Often overlooked in favor of novel writing, short stories allow authors to share stories that can’t necessarily be told in a novel.

Short stories are a great way for authors to introduce reading to their writing as well as keep them interested in reading their works. Continue reading “Short Stories: An Author’s Staple”

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