We’ve all heard the saying, “the devil is in the details” or some variation of it. I’d like to think that this doesn’t apply to novels because a novel isn’t a house. It’s not an eloquently designed red carpet dress where yes, the devil is in the details. A novel is fluid and needs to flow smoothly. However, what I’ve come to notice is that when it comes to novel writing, sadly, the devil is in the details. These details can and will wreck havoc on your story.
Every book I write has a playlist that I listen to almost exclusively while I’m writing. I spend almost as much time building this playlist as I do plotting the book and writing the character sketches. It’s that important because without the music to inspire me, nothing would ever get written. This is one of my favorite playlists so far…#2 behind the Untitled playlist…so I thought I’d share.
Today is the eighth day that I’ve had to live in a world where my favorite author, my unofficial mentor, my inspiration, and the reason why I write no longer resides. It’s been a long eight days. I’ve finally come to terms with this therefore, today is the day that I’m able to say goodbye to Jackie Collins.
I was twelve when I discovered that life wasn’t all Ramona the Brave and Sweet Valley High. This realization came in the form of Nick and Lauren in American Star.
I fell in love with the way Jackie Collins told a story. I was fascinated by the way she showed the dirty and glamorous sides of Hollywood. I loved her behind the scenes all-access pass she gave her readers into a world most of us could only dream about.Then I met Lucky. Since reading Chances, I’ve chalked up a body count of books high in the thousands but no other character has held my attention like Lucky Santangelo.
I, like thousands of others, had the opportunity to meet Jackie Collins at a book signing. This was when I was writing my first book and was trying to get published. As soon as I walked through the bookstore door, I felt her presence. I was star struck. Her smile was warm and comforting. Her aura was magnetic. I found the courage to ask her what I should do in the face of consistent rejection from publishers and her advice still holds true today.
“No doesn’t mean stop and no doesn’t mean you’re not good enough. No just means you can’t give up. Just keep writing and trying. Someone will love what you do.”
John Mayer once said, “Who I am as a guitarist is defined by my failure to become Jimi Hendrix.”
The same holds true to me as an author. I picked up a pen and pad because I wanted to be the black Jackie Collins. I modeled my career path after hers. It was in my attempt to emulate my favorite author that I found my own voice, my own style, and was able to define Jackie Chanel as an author.
I used to imagine having a one on one conversation with Jackie Collins where we’d talk about writing and Hollywood and she’d share the secrets of her immense success. And I would finally get to say what I’ve always wanted to say. With her passing, I won’t be able to say that in person so I’ll say it now.
Your work awoke a sleeping giant in me. Each time I read a Jackie Collins novel, I want to become a better writer. Your work encouraged me to write more engaging characters, more thoughtful plots, but most importantly, you encouraged me to never ever give up on myself. You didn’t have to know me personally in order to be my motivation and inspiration. I have called you my unofficial mentor since the day we met in that bookstore. It’s a moment that I will never forget and you are a person that I hold very near and dear to my heart. As a reader, a fan, and a fellow author, my life changed as soon as I opened a Jackie Collins book. Thank you for just being the amazing woman that you are.
You will truly be missed.
For those unfamiliar, National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriWo in laymen’s terms, is a big deal for authors. It’s when we try, some of us desperately try, to write a novel of at least 50,000 words in 30 days.
I’ve completed NaNo 3 years running and I plan on keeping my winning streak intact. This year, I’m not only challenging myself to complete a new novel, I’m going to explore a topic that is a scary place for me to visit.
Continue reading “Fictionalizing emotional subjects is a form of therapy.”
I eat, sleep, and breathe music. It’s no secret. Music is the plot of one of my most successful series. And it was music that guided me through the harrowing process of writing A Hustler’s Promise 3. Let me go back a bit…
“I didn’t know you were a Mayer fan.”
“You like John Mayer? Why?”
It’s been asked before. Recently, it’s been asked more frequently since I’ve been posting more on Facebook about music. The questions come from all around. White people can’t believe I rock out to the Mayer regularly and Black people don’t understand why. I have so many blog posts (at least ten) on tumblr about why I am a tattooed John Mayer SUPERFAN. I’m not really big on sharing personal stuff with strangers, but maybe it’s time for my readers to know about something that is very important to me.
Continue reading “I’m not obsessed…really, I’m not.”
Erotic Nights: tales of the newly single
This is a collection of erotic shorts written by me and my little sister Summer Jai. This is our first publishing venture together and I’m sure it will not be our last.