Male Authors, Female Characters and the Wonders of Writing Sex

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I have read many social media posts and articles from women expressing shock and frustration on the ways some male authors describe female characters and sexual encounters in their writing.

Here is one example.

Yeah, the dude wrote that women’s insides are “mazes” and men “conjure up” pee.  There are far worse. This one just gave me so many giggles when I read it that I had to share. Some of my other favorites include: Continue reading “Male Authors, Female Characters and the Wonders of Writing Sex”

The Non-negotiable Writing Exchange

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What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?

For people dedicated to the craft, writing is an impactful part of their lives and identities. I mentioned in another post, “I acquired and honed skills to interpret and craft words, using a range of prose (and a tiny bit of poetry) to harness the resilient power of language for liberation and resistance.”

Endeavors to generate words can be powerful and empowering, making writing a tool and art form requiring commitment. 

Dedicated writers pick up their pens [or fire up their keyboards] to share their perspectives and stories. The better ones know that wordsmithing involves layers of composition, drafting, editing and revising—all of which require development. Only deluded writers think that their skillsets are fine and they don’t need to hone them. 

Two mistakes many new writers make are thinking that all writing is the same and it will not take that much work.  Continue reading “The Non-negotiable Writing Exchange”

Book Writing, A Numbers Game

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How many hours a day do you write? How long on average does it take you to write a book?

When I saw this week’s Open Book Blog Hop prompt, I laughed because it coincides with some realities I have had to face while participating in NaNoWriMo this month. The month-long writing challenge is meant to get writers to sit themselves down and finish a set goal during November.

Although I signed up for NaNoWriMo years ago, I had not participated. Why? That’s for another blog post. This year, someone encouraged to consider using NaNoWriMo as a tool to complete book four in the Brothers in Law romance series. Brandon and Hawwah want their story out there,  so I agreed.  I am half-way through the challenge and only have a little over 4k of my 50k goal achieved. I have been writing but not just the manuscript.

nanowrimo

Continue reading “Book Writing, A Numbers Game”

Word Aversion–Conquering Reader’s Block

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Have you ever gotten reader’s block?

Okay, I had no clue what the term reader’s block meant. Once again, Open Book afforded me an opportunity to explore a new area of literature. Thanks, guys.

After a few Google clicks, I got the gist of the circumstance. Reader’s block is when one finds it hard to read, sometimes even making picking up a book difficult.

Your eyes glaze over, and you can’t get past the first paragraph on the page. Or perhaps you can’t will yourself to pick up a book in the first place. – Mental Floss

The reasons for reader’s block may include layers of motivation, comprehension, time constraints and volume. Continue reading “Word Aversion–Conquering Reader’s Block”

Feeling a Character: Why Toni Kent Tore into Me

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Original Post: Feeling a Character: Lyndell Williams’ novel Sweet Love, Bitter Fruit 10/5/19 – Just Contemporary Romance

I am thrilled about the release of my new novel, Sweet Love, Bitter Fruit. It is the second book in the Brothers in Law Romance series and the most difficult to write.

The characters in my books face realistic issues that impact their falling and staying in love. In Sweet Love, Bitter Fruit, Toni must deal with the pain of infertility while watching her sister-in-law have baby after baby. She was successful in concealing her anguish the first time, but with a new pregnancy comes renewed pain and desire to be a mother. She needs to decide if she should stay quiet and suffer in silence or try again, something her husband, Marcus doesn’t want.

Marcus loves Toni and works hard to make her happy. Seeing her in any pain tortures him, so he decides that they just shouldn’t try to have a kid anymore. Unfortunately for him, the infertility demon doesn’t play fair. Toni vacillates emotionally; he feels helpless, and their marriage begins to fall apart. Continue reading “Feeling a Character: Why Toni Kent Tore into Me”

Weaving Stories Readers Want

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Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Authors frequently discuss notions of originality and fulfilling reader expectations. I have read posts all over social media and on blogs, all with writers seeking to draft texts that pristine from anything else written under the sun and that will satisfy a mass of readers worthy of their artistry. Both are exercises in futility.

Defeatist? No. A powerful storyteller resolves to the realities that neither is their story completely untold nor will it enchant every pair of eyes (ears hearing, fingertips touching) gracing it.  At the crux of any good story is the distinctive style and voice of the weaver of the tale, which is the primary way an author can create something that is theirs to share for people to connect with and respond.

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Continue reading “Weaving Stories Readers Want”

Know Marcus Kent #urbanromance #contemporaryromance

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Originally Posted on   by 

Know the Hero from Sweet Love, Bitter Fruit by Lyndell Williams @laylawriteslove #RLFblog #urbanromance #contemporaryromanceLyndell Williams, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. I’m Kayelle Allen, author and owner of this blog. Happy to have you here! We’re excited to find out more about your hero…

Know the Hero from Sweet Love, Bitter Fruit

It’s late, he’s bored. What does he do?

Marcus Kent is never bored. He has an intense schedule at work. When he gets a minute, he will chill with his boys Simon, Faisal, and Quinn and then head home to his wife Toni. For Marcus, twenty-four hours is not nearly enough, so he needs to be strategic about his time so he can fulfill all of the demands on him. He’s all about getting things done with efficiency.

What kind of food would he impulse buy if hungry?

Marcus is a carnivorous alpha. Red meat is his food of choice, especially burgers. He doesn’t eat just any meat. Although he is not Muslim, he prefers halal meat, so he will stop by his favorite halal spot or another one (NYC is packed with them) to grab a quick bite.  Of course, he’ll have to go a little longer on his daily morning run but having some ground beef goodness is worth it.

Describe the kind of clothes he prefers to wear.

Marcus has a walk-in closet with a wall stacked with high-end sneakers. They are his award for working hard at the community center he directs, keeping wife, Toni happy and being there for family and friends. He sheds his business suits as soon as possible and slaps on a pair of those bad boys with some sweats and a tee-shirt to run through Harlem or have a game of basketball, completely elephant trunkin’ it.

Does he know how to fix things?

Continue reading “Know Marcus Kent #urbanromance #contemporaryromance”

Dry Those Writer Tears: Dealing with Reviews

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Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Ah, book reviews. They can send an author’s heart soaring or sink it like a stone into a deep abyss of despair.  Because a writer is often intimately connected to their works, reviews can have a substantial impact on the creative process.

I have warned new authors to be mindful of the effects reviews have on them, particularly negative ones:

All authors get negative reviews. Reading is subjective. There will always be at least one reader who doesn’t like something about a book, and some will express it in reviews. A lot of new authors are simply not ready for people to express any level of dislike.

Mis Quince Años (13) Continue reading “Dry Those Writer Tears: Dealing with Reviews”

LWL Excerpt: The Reluctant Alpha

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The Reluctant Alpha

One of my first experiences publishing a story was “The Reluctant Alpha,” a paranormal contribution to the book Shades of BWWM by Love Journey. Blake has to go back to the life he didn’t want, but will he end up finding what he desires most by returning?

The Summoning

Blake’s white fur shone under the full moon. He lifted his muzzle to the autumn wind rustling through the pine trees and inhaled. Nothing. He sprinted on all fours to a large clearing, scanning the pitch. Where the hell are they? Two beacons flashed on the other side accompanied by a light dinging sound. The breeze carried the titillating scent of the person emerging from the car. He closed his eyes, filled his lungs with the wondrous essence and released a soulful howl. His heart and senses reeled. It was her.

“I’m here, come.” Her sultry tone drifted over the field and fueled his reignited passions.

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Continue reading “LWL Excerpt: The Reluctant Alpha”

Character Building: I Made This

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What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your characters?

I may (or may not—I admit to nothing) base a character on someone I respect or despise, so I will have to be salty and sweet with the response to this week’s OpenBook blog hop post. Let’s start with the people I like.

Sweet

I’ve explained in a Black Glue Podcast interview how the Prophet Muhammad served as inspiration for the male characters featured in the Brothers in Law series.

I reflected on the Prophet (Muhammad’s) life and how he was as a husband … lover … someone out in the community and how he transitioned between those things. What he did when his women were mad at him, and what he did when his women were acting out. [The brothers in law] don’t act exactly like the Prophet, but there are characteristics each one of them has.

Simon is the one who keeps things at a level where it doesn’t get too bad. He doesn’t allow things to get to him as much.  Marcus is the alpha, alpha. He’s the leader. He expects things to happen the way he needs for them to happen because he’s progressing the nation. Adam is that inner reflection.

Continue reading “Character Building: I Made This”

3 Books, 1 Author: Eclectic Reading that Feeds the Mind

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What are the best two or three books you've read this year?

This was supposed to be an easy question but not so much for me. I read a ton of different things over the course of the year. In addition to reading novels, I am always looking for books that will help me improve my writing skills as an author and writer.

I also am constantly gathering titles to read and analyze with my colleagues at the Muslim Anti-racism Collaborative. I am a strong proponent for life-long learning inside and outside of one’s professional spheres. My collection of books that help me develop as an anti-racism trainer, instructor, managing editor, and self-published author grew quite a bit this year. A few of them gripped me, so it is difficult not to mention any of them.

As usual, I will take the convoluted way to answer the blog hop prompt and include a shortlist of three of the best books I have read so far this year in fiction and nonfiction, connecting each to my life’s work. Continue reading “3 Books, 1 Author: Eclectic Reading that Feeds the Mind”

LWL Interview: Aubree Pynn Keeps Her Keyboard Lit

LWL Author Interview (1)Aubreé  Pynn is a writing demon. She pumps out books that capture readers with dynamic characters and plots that make one flip page after page. She already has readers loving main characters Indigo and Taj in her latest book, Indigo Haze. Check out the blurb.

Indigo Haze: Thug Love is the Best Love by [Pynn, Aubreé]Indigo Haze: Thug Love is the Best Love

Available at

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Blurb:

Indigo Sims is fighting to break the curse of his environment and not be a product of the streets. Every time he pulls away, something goes array and sucks him back in. A natural-born leader and peacemaker, he gives himself two months to be free from the streets while saving every dollar he can to fulfill the promise he made to himself.

Taj Ali Adams has a bright future ahead of her and an undeniable light that everyone around her wants to protect, especially her older brother. With tragedy lingering around her, the light that shined so bright goes dim. Continue reading “LWL Interview: Aubree Pynn Keeps Her Keyboard Lit”

My Author Ego: It’s Big; Who’s Asking?

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Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

Ego is an often vilified human characteristic.  Regarding one’s self-image, confidence, and esteem, we all need some ego.  Without a healthy ego, a person can become easily manipulated and hesitant to take the risks needed to put herself out there and achieve life’s goals. Self-published authors especially need that last one in spades. 

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Authors take big risks by releasing their work into a world that may be unkind. Writing something that readers may arbitrarily skewer for a plethora of substantial and tedious reasons is damn scary.  I once had someone give my book a lower review because they thought I didn’t show how the main character was Muslim (the character wasn’t) and another because they didn’t like “all of the racism” in an interracial romance.

Yeah, exactly. It takes a humongous ego to read helplessly while people slice and dice away at something that took blood, sweat, and tears—I am not exaggerating—to create.  Continue reading “My Author Ego: It’s Big; Who’s Asking?”

Problems when Working a Scene

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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”

#OpenBook: Pouring out Money to Spill Ink

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What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

I will have to split my answer to this week’s prompt into two categories: 1)writer and 2) author. It may seem like an exercise in semantics, but the distinction is important. In addition to my short stories and books, I do a TON of writing in different spheres that have required me to spend money in varying amounts and capacities.

You guys know how I get. Bear with me.

Continue reading “#OpenBook: Pouring out Money to Spill Ink”

Sweet Love Bitter Fruit Cover Reveal Recap

My Way to You (3)Sometimes, awesomeness prevails no matter what life throws your way.  I am so happy that the cover reveal for the soon-to-be-released novel, Sweet Love-Bitter Fruit [Brothers in Law Book 2] went so well despite some hectic stuff thrown my way.

I had planned ahead and arranged for some fantastic posts and lives with authors and reviewers. Unfortunately, Papa Bear and his cubs had their demands for me, and I found myself rushing around Long Island while authors and readers had a blast with the event. I made sure to let everyone know early in the day about what my beloved husband sprung on me.

Then we were off, starting with a fabulous live interview with author and life coach Halimah DeOliveira. Continue reading “Sweet Love Bitter Fruit Cover Reveal Recap”

Book Review: That Kind of Guy by Talia Hibbert

That Kind of Guy (Ravenswood Book 3) by [Hibbert, Talia]Review by Lyndell Williams
THAT KIND OF GUY
By Talia Hibbert
$12.99, 272 pp, paper
$3.03, 238 pp, Kindle

We all knew it would be like this. I was all excited last week about interviewing romance author Talia Hibbert. So, of course, this week I’m ready to review her new novel That Kind of Guy [Ravenswood Book 3]—Duh.

Okay, so, what do you do when you’re a forty-year-old introvert recently out of a marriage with emotional and physical scars? Why you splurge using that big fat settlement you got—and deservedly so because homeboy was a jackass of the ultimate kind.

You also settle back in your cozy little hometown and do a little of that musing about life and stuff.  Oh, yeah, you also hit one your hot younger friend and make…stuff all kinds of awkward.

That’s how Hibbert sets up some marvelous sexual tension between Rae and Zach. The two are simpatico friend wise, but when it comes to the hot and heavy stuff, they’re a mess.  Rae is feeling all tingly for muscular Zach. I mean, he’s sensitive and fine as hell. Unfortunately for her, the hunky blacksmith—that’s right, blacksmith—is not putting down what she’s picking up.

He’s busy defining and refining his sexuality, which means he has zero time for anybody’s advances. Great for him—bad for Rae. Continue reading “Book Review: That Kind of Guy by Talia Hibbert”

LWL Interview: Talia Hibbert An Author Who Makes Quirky Sexy AF

Mis Quince Años (13)I first started reading Talia Hibbert a year ago. As soon as I read her book Damaged Goods, book 1.5 in her Ravenswood series, I was hooked and had to backtrack to catch up on the series. I was quickly caught up in all of the steam and drama. Really, she has some serious don’t miss reading.

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Talia writes smart and relatable characters who are wonderfully imperfect, which I love. I am looking forward to the release of That Kind of Guy [Ravenswood book three] tomorrow, May 2! Check out the blurb:

That Kind of Guy (Ravenswood Book 3) by [Hibbert, Talia]She wants a fake relationship. He needs something real.
Continue reading “LWL Interview: Talia Hibbert An Author Who Makes Quirky Sexy AF”

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