It’s been about four years since the release of my last full-length novel, Losing Control. It’s been a while, I know. To be honest, that’s not how I thought things with go with my works and me. I thought I’d be well on my way to completing my tenth novel by now, but it just didn’t quite turn out that way. That’s not a bad thing, however, but before I go into why I think I ended up in this unexpected hiatus I want to say to those of you who don’t know, that I wrote my first novel when I was 19. I published it by the age of 21.
From a very young age, I had laser-like focus on what I wanted to do with my life and a general idea of how long it would take to accomplish all that I wanted (10 years) with regard to being a novelist. Before I could reach that ten-year mark though, an unexpected jump to another medium of writing took me off course. Playwriting. When I was in my early 20s I never thought of writing plays, but through the relentless pushing of a friend of mine I decided to give it a try and Intimate Chaos the play was born. After a number of successful runs and the blessing of having the show translated to Spanish for a production in Puerto Rico, my heart was pulled toward another story, the true story of Prossy Kakooza. Prossy’s story of escaping an honor killing at the hands of her father because she’s a lesbian tugged deeply at my heart from the moment I heard of it. When I first made contact with her I didn’t know I was going to write a play about her, but over time we developed a respectful friendship and with her permission, Asylum was born. Both of these plays took me further away from novel-writing and I’ve gotten your e-mails. I know you want me to hurry up and get back to writing full-length works. Here’s the thing, I’ve tried. I have tried repeatedly to finish a book that quite honestly has been on my plate for about 10 years. It is the only one of my manuscripts that I struggled to write to the end. It was called Until the Day Breaks. I say “was” because I’ve decided it will be the first of my manuscripts that will never see the light of day. I just can’t love the characters in that story. They’re inspired by people in a chapter of my life that has long-since been closed and are too de-energizing for me to deal with for a year in order to publish it.
This brings me back to discussing my hiatus. I believe the other reason for me having trouble settling down with new characters for a full-length novel is the fact that I started writing so young. Over the last few years while I worked in live theatre I also took some time to have more life experiences. I continue to need more experiences so that when I return to writing books they will be bursting with energy and authentic interpretation of things I see, do and feel. I’ve come to accept that I’m at a point in my life at which I really need to just live. As I was struggling to write my last book, I experienced some frustration with feeling like I was “reaching” for experiences. I knew what I wanted my characters to go through but because I hadn’t directly been through those things or at least knew someone who did, I couldn’t give them the authenticity they really needed. Research is no substitute for feeling. These two work best together for me.
We live in a time where new authors pop up daily, gain some notoriety and quite often disappear after one or two books OR they turn into a machine, churning out novel after novel. I am neither of those. I’m not going anywhere, but I am not a machine either. Novel-writing is near and dear to my heart and that kind of writing, for me, just can’t be microwaved. It can’t be rushed. It can’t be formulaic. It has to keep you up at night. I want your eyes to be glued to the page or screen on which you are reading my text. For that to happen, however, I need a little more time to grow personally and artistically. I need time to travel, rise and fall, help people and to be helped by people, etc. I need time to experiment with my life. This is why you have seen pictures of me riding horses, sitting in private planes, modeling, traveling in luxury, traveling modestly, etc. I am sinking into all of the abundance that life has to offer so that when I resurface I give you everything I have with regard to rich characters and sensational stories. I am doing a little bit of everything that piques my interest all while fully letting my five senses take it all in. I am also running a start-up business with my wife that produces and retails products for children of LGBT parents. So, I’m definitely staying busy! 🙂
I was just a kid when I started writing and I’m steadily growing into a well-rounded woman. I just need a little more time to get to that place where I feel I’m ready to give novels my best. It won’t be too long, but I can’t say that it will be next year either. In the meantime, I am releasing a series of short stories entitled The Beautiful People, which is chock full of fun, travel, erotica and of course, drama. There are even bisexual characters in this tantalizing series. It’s exclusive to e-readers and low cost. The Beautiful People is a different style of writing for me and it may catch some of you off guard, but I ask you to give it a chance. You won’t be disappointed. 😉 In my next blog post I will post a preview to the upcoming installment, which will be set in South Beach!
Thanks for sticking with me and watching me grow. I’ve been meaning to write a post like this for a while because more than a few of you have asked what’s going on, what’s taking so long, when is my next novel going to come out. I’m really humbled that you’re even asking and miss my work. All I can say is, as soon as I can and I won’t let you down once the time is right! If you have anything in particular that you’d like to see me explore in a future work, and this can be anything from characters who are in specific sectors of work to MTF trans characters to anything under the moon, feel free to let me know. You never know, you just might inspire me! Thanks again for your support and your time in keeping up with me. I hope you stay with me and watch me grow. It should be an exciting journey!