Favorite Character Question is Major Author Bait

OPEN BOOK (6)#OpenBook

From all the characters you’ve created, which is your favorite and why?

What kind of f—

Okay, I smell a setup. My kids tried asking me something like this. It didn’t work then either. Which one of my characters got you? Was it Raad?

It was Raad. He’s so narcissistic. It’s bad enough he wrecked my concentration until I got his characterization finished. Now, he’s gotta try to force some sick confession out of me? Sit your butt down, Raad, and wait for me to release Building on Broken Dreams to show your…self to the world.

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I said to sit down!

Maybe it was Zaida. Continue reading “Favorite Character Question is Major Author Bait”

Laughter as Armor and Shield

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#OpenBook

What’s the one thing guaranteed to make you laugh?

Hmm…

Tough question. Is the laughter a sarcastic “you’re an idiot” or a full-hearted “that was hilarious” type of thing?

I laugh for so many reasons, not all of which involve anything being funny. Like when my former boss and her supervisor had me in the office jeopardizing my job because their friend/co-worker didn’t like that I ignored her unprofessional email tantrum. Continue reading “Laughter as Armor and Shield”

#OpenBook: Smell That? The Stench of Child Sexual Abuse

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If your childhood had a smell, what would it be?

One of the things most people remember about their childhoods is the scrumptious mixture of scents of a well-cooked meal at home. They revel in memories of swirls of seasonings in the warm air wrapping them in comfort.

Well, that would not be the smell of my childhood—not totally. For me, caustic fumes of abuse defiled such wonderful aromas, threatening to completely choke out my humanity.

gas-mask-1714087_1920*Alert – Filters Down*

Continue reading “#OpenBook: Smell That? The Stench of Child Sexual Abuse”

Food and Romance – Bean Pies for the Heart

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#OpenBook

Share a recipe for a food that comes from one of your books.

Yay! Food is so a part of my romances. I like to use some of what characters eat as symbolism.

For example, in My Way to You, I have Regina either making or eating eggs to represent the fragile but nourishing nature of the developing relationship between her and Simon. They are so good for each other, but things constantly threaten their ability to be together.

But, I’m not sharing an egg recipe. I’m picking something that Regina’s brother Marcus and his wife Toni eat.

Marcus Kent loves him some Toni. He calls her sweetness, and she is the main person to bring him to equilibrium. Basically, she got him on lock, and he goes out of his way to make her happy.

In one scene of My Way to You, Marcus treks from Harlem to the famous Abu’s Homestyle Bakery in Brooklyn. Abu’s is a historical landmark for New Yorkers, especially African American Muslims like me. They have some serious oven action going on, and whenever I get a chance to travel the 2 hours, I stock up, because the cakes and pies are everything.

Toni has a similar liking for the bakery, so Marcus picks up a box of assorted pies for her.

Check out the excerpt.

Continue reading “Food and Romance – Bean Pies for the Heart”

Failsafe from Failing Students

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What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

Failure, or fear of it, is very effective at making both the timid and bold hesitant. Even just the thought that success won’t be achieved is enough to keep one stagnant. So, having the barrier produced by a fear of failure is refreshing and makes the mind run rampant.  Mine has, and I shall now have at it.

As I went through school as a kid and during my college years, I encountered one disturbing constant. My education was always tainted by implicit and explicit bias and racism from either my fellow students, faculty or administration. Continue reading “Failsafe from Failing Students”

First Time Unboxing

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#OpenBook

When was the last time you did something for the first time?

People often romanticize the idea of the first time, which-ironically-I as a romance writer tend not to do.

Steeped in perfection-only the best parts about doing and/or experiencing something are brought to the front of our memories and shared. Even when the experience is not so fantastic, we tend to tell it as a form of comical relief. Not exclusively, but we frequently do sugar coat and look forward to doing or seeing things for the first time, despite the actual quality of the experience.

The first is not always a good or even the best time a person may experience. Let me see… Continue reading “First Time Unboxing”

Death on a Calendar

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If you had the option to know the date of your death, would you want to know?

Death is something that we as humans generally avoid like—well—death. We spend an incredible amount of time, energy and money during our waking hours keeping the Big Sleep at bay.

It motivates a lot of the things we do and buy.  Billions are spent on pills, potions and procedures. Even after death, more money is dumped into preserving bodies from becoming rotting carcasses. It’s been that way for millennia. I’m looking at you, Egyptian Pharaohs.

Look at those big things, and what they did to the bodies *gag*. That’s how uncomfortable people generally are with the idea of dying. So why the heck would anyone want to know when they’re dying? Continue reading “Death on a Calendar”

The World’s A Stage for Writers Too

Natural Body Scrub150ml _ 5.07oz

#OpenBook

This week’s Open Book Blog Hop question is one I’ve  asked so many authors—”What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a writer?”

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**Side note – I will send the first Open Book Blog Hop blogger who tells me the GIF reference a My Way to You ribbon bookmark :)** UPDATE – Congrats, aurorawatcherak!

Okay, now. It is a staple question on my and many interviewers’ list because it’s very important.

Writers make writers.

Well-written creations offer examples and inspiration for those seeking to make a mark in the world with ink—hence the adage “read good writing to become a good writer. There is also so much to learn from talented writers’ blood, sweat, tears (real ones-’cause writing is no joke) and experiences.

Like most writers and someone who’s been at various layers of the writing process (teacher, writer, editor, author, mentor, etc.), I have a lot of advice, but I think one of the most important things I can tell aspiring writers and authors doesn’t involve the craft—not directly. Continue reading “The World’s A Stage for Writers Too”

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