The story of Kania Johnson, the third and final friend introduced in my debut novel Unfinished Business, is loading for publishing in the early fall of 2022. I started writing her story sometime in 2017, maybe 2016, when I realized she needed a story. Her character evolved from the friend getting married in Unfinished Business, to the friend who transformed from being career driven to mom driven in my second book, Reconciliation to Hell. Her relationship and marriage appeared perfect, untouchable from the vantage point of her friends. But no marriage is safe from strife and temptation. Kania, and her husband, Kenneth, are no different.
So the question,then, became, what should this well-put together, loving couple encounter to test their marriage? How about a threesome partner, a pastor, and a family secret? Sound juicy? I hope so!
I was having a ball creating this story in the writing software, Scrivener, and just when I decided to a do a copy and paste from that software to Google docs, the software crashed! YIKES!
Let me tell y’all..I was thanking God for the spirit that led me to back up my work or else I would have been starting from scratch. But here I am 3 years later, in the rewrite stage following a developmental edit of the book last summer.
Just to give you a snippet of what it’s like to rewrite based on a developmental edits, here ya go:
But at this mid-point of January, I’m trudging along making progress everyday. I’ve set a had goal to get through the edits by March 1st. I’ll definitely keep you posted.
It goes without saying that the Midwest Delta Authors on Tour was a success! I sold the most books that I have ever sold in one event. Thank God I had additional inventory on the way for the weekend of the event. But for real, I must say I really enjoyed this virtual event as I have all the other events that I’ve participated in since the start on the pandemic. As someone is gets quite nervous when front and center before a crowd, the virtual events are right up my alley! The comfort of home calms my nerves.
However, like any event, though, there are still some takeaways.
Assistance during virtual events is as important as in-person event. Now the committee in charge of this event was aware of this fact. I was assigned as shadow for both days of the event. However, there really wasn’t a need for a shadow on the first day, which was a private event for the authors of local chapter and regional leadership guests. But on the second day, there definitely was. And my shadow was no where to be found. I needed her during the breakout room to manage the chat while I was speaking to the people who joined my room. I still have no idea why she wasn’t there. It may have been something out of her control but I was left to manage alone. Obviously, I missed some comments in the chat but I handled the pressure like a pro. Now, what I didn’t handle so well were my own plans for the event. Since the breakout rooms weren’t going to be recorded, I had the idea to record myself doing a reading of one or both of my books to add to my online media kit. Unfortunately, when those guests started filling up my room, pressing record on the phone was the farthest thing from my mind.
Following directions is key. The participating authors were asked to sign books. I can’t recall if we were asked to do this before the event but that would make sense. While I did begin the process, I stopped entirely too short. Likely due to some self-doubt that I wasn’t going to sell that many books. But boy did I? I’m sure attendees wouldn’t be that upset if they received an unsigned book. However, I didn’t want to take that chance. So I’ve been signing each book before I send it out. Then on top of that, I got the late idea to include a personal note with each book thanking them for their purchase and reminding them to sign up for my newsletter. It’s time consuming but I’m taking full advantage of contact with possible readers and longtime fans of my work.
Prepare for the unexpected. And I’m not just talking losing one’s internet connection or flubbing your prepared presentation. How about your dad, son, and your son’s girlfriend waltzing into the front door, leading into the living room where you’re doing your presentation? And, of course, they don’t come in quietly. Noooo. My Dad comes in announcing that he brought me some fish back from the outing. SMH. He totally looked past the message in my eyes screaming, “Hey!!! I’m in the middle of something.” It wasn’t until that moment that I realized I should have put a sign on the door, “Presentation in Progress”, for the off-chance that they were going to return from fishing before I was expecting them. It was also at the moment that I was happy that the breakup room wasn’t being recorded.
Don’t forget Amazon appreciation day. I don’t know if this day exist but it should. After selling over 100 books, I definitely appreciate the order fulfillment that Amazon provides for my print-on-demand books ordered through them. Because, let me tell you…making multiple trips to the post office over lunch or after work to fulfill these orders is a true labor of love. But I’m loving every minute of it.
The big day has finally arrived! I couldn’t be happier.
I have been a member of the Detroit Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc for nearly 9 years. And as soon as I got the chance, I registered my first novel, Unfinished Business, in the yearly Delta Author directory compiled by our National Arts & Letters Commission of our national organization. When I published my second novel in 2016, Reconciliation to Hell, I included that one, too.
As I a result, I have been invited as a feature author for literary events on two different occasions by two different local chapters. First, the Inkster Alumnae Chapter, followed by the Southfield Alumnae Chapter. But this is my FIRST time being featured by my home chapter, the chapter where I was initiated–the Dynamic Detroit Alumnae Chapter. I am super geeked! It’s nothing like the support of home!
Detroit Alumnae Chapter is the final stop on the National Delta Authors on Tour. There is a private event taking place on Friday, May 1st, in which the featured authors will hobnob (virtually, of course) with national and regional leadership and fellowship with one another. The next day, Saturday, May 22nd is the event for the public to meet and greet (virtually, of course) with the authors and talk about the awesome, exciting, and intriguing books that everyone has written.
If you haven’t had the chance to register, here’s the registration link. If you can’t make the event you can go here to order books.
This book, The Woman God Created You to Be, by Kimberla Lawson Roby, has been on my shelf for several months. I figured, not only because it’s National Reading Month, but also sisterhood month, that I’d read this book selection with my sorority chapter. Am I finished with the Stacey Abram’s book from last week? No. But that’s no reason not to start another one. We don’t just watch one T.V. series at time, do we? The same can be done with books. Just read! You’ll eventually finish the book if it’s good. I haven’t read anything by Mrs. Roby that wasn’t good. I don’t expect this book to be any different!
I’m happy to announce that I am the feature author this month for the Detroit chapter of Rotary Club. They host an author every month and it’s no coincidence that I’m up for National Reading Month. Or is it? Lol!!
Connie Briscoe is another one of my favorite authors. Her novel, Big Girls Don’t Cry, holds a special place in my heart. As I teenager, at the time, I identified so much with the main character, Naomi Jefferson, who was also a teen at the start of the novel. The story followed the character into adulthood, which gave me a vision of the possibilities ahead for me as an adult. I’ve read a lot of books over my life, but very few are as memorable as this one.
I have long gotten rid of most fiction paperback novels in my personal library, but this one, I keep for sentimental value. Even if I ever get my hands on a hardcover copy I still may not toss it. When I checked out her feature books on her website, I’ve read nearly all of them. I’m glad to see she’s turned her attention to helping aspiring writers!