Fellow author Caroline Bell Foster and I are on simultaneous blog tours this week! 😀
I’ll be sharing insight into Maybe Baby and Maybe Tonight, and Caroline will be giving us the scoop on Call Me Lucky! Get to know us, our books and our characters a little better, and find out what we’ll be up to next. 🙂 We always love to hear from our readers, so check out our tour schedules and pop by!
Other news? I should be getting Maybe Forever back from the editor tomorrow, so soon I’ll now how much of a rewrite is necessary. 🙂 Once that’s done, I’ll finally be able to share a release date with you. 🙂
I’ve had a secret for a few weeks that it’s been hard to keep. No, no publication dates yet…I promise I won’t hide those from you. 😉 No, this is something completely different! Starting tomorrow, you’ll be able to read a new blog I’ve joined–it’s called the Spice Aisle and it’s made up of a group of authors (Xio Axelrod, Veronica Forand, Jami Denise, Sarah Hegger, SC Mitchell, Rhenna Morgan, JR Richardson, Susan Scott Shelley and yours truly) who all love to write romantic fiction (among other things). We’ll be sharing a little of everything with you there–book and film reviews, recipes…general musings and even snippets of our latest works (or soon-to-be-released works).
So make sure you head over to the Spice Aisle–today is our launch day! Check us out, follow us and let us know what you think! 😀
The Christmas spirit must be getting to me–it is Third Advent, lights are twinkling in every window and Christmas isn’t too far off…I have this sudden urge to give away three signed paperbacks of Maybe Baby and I’m doing it through Goodreads.
No trivia questions to answer, no scavenger hunt, just use the link and enter to win. Winners will be picked on 3 January. And why that date? Because it’s my birthday and, as far as I am concerned, it’s an international holiday. This giveaway is open to *everyone*! So no matter where you are in the world, you can enter and if you win you’ll receive your signed copy directly from me. 🙂
The giveaway starts today and ends on 3 January–so head over to Goodreads and give it a shot. You never know–you just might be one of the lucky winners!
The Writing Process Blog Tour
I’ve been tagged!
Before I delve into my post, I’d like to thank multi-genre author Rae Lori for inviting me to join the Writing Process Blog Tour.
I usually don’t think very much about my writing process, so this will be an interesting exercise for me. So let’s get started, otherwise I might end up writing a blog post about my favorite Danish actor or where I think you can get the best cup of coffee in Stockholm. I might even go into a long diatribe about why the cheese steak is so important to Philadelphians.
1. What am I working on?
I’m working on quite a few projects at the same time. I’ve got a serial novella called Maybe Tonight, which tells the story of Mads (the love interest from my latest novel, Maybe Baby) and what happens to him just before he meets Laney and how his life changes when they embark upon their relationship. I’m also working on a follow-up full-length novel to Maybe Baby that is called Maybe Tomorrow. This time the focus will be on Eddy (Laney’s cousin) and Henrik (Mads’s cousin) and what happens when they meet. Mads, Laney and a few other characters from Maybe Baby will be there as well. And then there are two novellas I am working on set in the fictional town of Hunters Grove, the setting for my debut novel, Snowbound. I’ve got a few other WIPs that need a bit of tweaking. I can’t work on one project at a time. 🙂
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Well, lately I’ve been writing about the expat experience. And my expat experience is based here in Scandinavia, so that seems to be bleeding into my writing a lot. And this, I think, is unique because you don’t get a lot of romantic fiction written in English that is told from a black woman’s point of view and set in Sweden. Even though the opening scene in Maybe Baby is set in New York, the rest of the story takes place in Stockholm, Sweden and Copenhagen, Denmark. It deals with the cultural differences, the feeling of rootlessness one develops as an expat, searching for love in a foreign language, the “Lost in Translation” moments, the assumptions we arrive with and learn to leave behind.
3. Why do I write what I do?
I think I’ve always written about interracial couples. Back when I was in high school, all of the books about couples never seemed to reflect what was my reality. I didn’t have a segregated group of friends. I didn’t go to a segregated school. I went to a magnet school in Philadelphia that attracted kids of every ethnicity and walk of life and I liked being in multiracial/multicultural environment. But a lot of the novels I read only featured an all-white or all-black cast with the occasional walk-in part by a minority, and this bothered me. I wanted to read books that were similar to what was my everyday experience, and I had a hard time finding them. And then I began to wonder why so few writers were featuring interracial couples in their fiction. I started to write more about them once I was part of an interracial relationship. Some books featured them but either turned their reason for being together into a fetish or an issue. So I continued writing about interracial couples because I wanted to write the books I wanted to read. And I continue to write about them because I like writing about love in all its messy, complicated, blissful, wonderful, infuriating, extraordinary forms.
4. How does my writing process work?
It depends on when I start writing. If it’s November and it’s NaNoWriMo time, I start from chapter one and just write and don’t stop until I have at least 50,000 words of a first draft. I usually spend October preparing for NaNoWriMo. That’s when I decide who my characters will be, write bios for them and interview them so I know them backwards and forwards, and then I write down an outline for the story. That’s how I wrote Snowbound and Maybe Baby. I don’t always follow the outline. It’s just a guideline. If I start a writing project at any other point in the year, I usually spend more time doing things like making an inspiration board on Pinterest (though I did this with Snowbound and Maybe Baby as well), making Spotify writing playlists, procrastinating on Facebook or Tumblr and then I sit down and write. I try to write at least 500 words a day. Sometimes I end up with 2000, sometimes zilch. But the important thing is that I block time in my schedule to write. And I usually get a lot of writing done when I am on vacation.
That’s it for me. Keep following the Writing Process Blog Tour next week when three other writers share their secrets with us. Our next three writers are:
Here’s Nia’s bio from her blog: “I live in Washington D.C. where I am a public policy attorney, spending much of my time mining my experiences for material to write about. My intended audience is anyone who likes what I write, but one of my missions is to speak directly to the experiences of women of color who don’t fit the mold and don’t see themselves represented in gritty urban novels about drugs, guns and the ghetto, but who occasionally want to read something a little more accessible than the lyrical but complex prose of some of our best poets and writers.”
Here’s Claire’s bio from her blog: “Hello! I’m Claire. Writer & all round professional daydreamer currently living in Sweden for no particular reason. Yes that is a rainbow coming out of my head. I write for film and TV – my feature film Guilty is currently in development with Formosa Films – and indie publish fiction series online to my heart’s content! THE MONDAY COLUMN (why yes, I did use the word column because it makes me feel fancy, thank you for asking), where I blog about writing, ex pat life, and other random bits and pieces, posts about when you might expect. SEX, DRUGS & SWING, a blog about the scandals of 1920s Hollywood, posts on Wednesdays. LOVE REFUGEE is a fiction serial which runs on Your Living City, Stockholm (I post the links here!) It tells the story of Ellie, a British ex pat in Stockholm, who is determined to stay single but discovers she has a weakness for Swedish men… (It’s not at all autobiographical. Honest.) You can find completed series Life is Swede, about a woman who moves to Stockholm only to discover that her boyfriend may be a killer, and Identity Part 1, the story of a troubled psychologist who goes undercover to catch a serial killer, on Amazon.”
Here’s Tia’s bio from her blog: “Tia Kelly may be witty and feisty on the outside, but she is a diehard romantic at heart. She likes to bring ‘life moments… one character at a time’ in the contemporary action and is the author of nine books. In addition to her love for writing, reading, playing chef in her own kitchen and traveling, Tia loves to kick back with a glass of wine and a good game on her television screen. And if it’s baseball season, you will probably hear Tia shouting the loudest (or checking out the cuties in the dugout)!”
A few weeks ago, fellow writer and former expat Emily Breunig asked me if she could interview me for her blog. We ended up having a great chat session in which we talked about Maybe Baby, our characters, the expat life and a whole lot more.
One of the things we ended up talking about a lot was this idea of the disconnect and rootlessness a lot of expats feel. I’ve been an expat American for over twenty years now, so I can relate. I love the life I have here in Sweden. I sometimes miss my life in the US but I’ve been away so long that I feel like a tourist when I am there. It’s disconcerting.
I think my character Laney feels a similar rootlessness. For her it is more pronounced: she has no family to go back to the US for–her mother is dead, her father abandoned her. Her only family now is her cousin Eddy, Eddy’s mother and her Swedish boyfriend, Niklas. Is it any wonder she feels so confused about exploring the unknown? Well, that’s for you to decide when you read Maybe Baby.
Emily and I have both written about the expat experience. Her novel, A Ghost at the Edge of the Sea, is out on submission and is represented by the Levine Greenberg Literary Agency. And while Maybe Baby deals with the game of love and an expat woman at a crossroads in her life, A Ghost… deals with ghosts, parallel universes and the afterlife in modern day Shanghai.
I can’t wait for Emily’s book to finally be published. Or maybe she’ll take the plunge and go down the self-publishing road.
I also want to thank everyone who’s contacted me and let me know how much they enjoyed reading Maybe Baby and connected with Laney’s story. A lot of people seem especially enamored with the irresistible Mads (not that I blame them). 😉
The first update for Maybe Tonight is nearly done. My plan is to upload it on Sunday evening. Hope you’ll enjoy finding out more about Mads and his life. Also, the outline for Maybe Tomorrow, the follow-up to Maybe Baby, is nearly done. I’ve already started writing the first draft. Who knows? It could be ready for you by late summer/early autumn. Will keep you posted!
Maybe Baby has been on sale for a little over a week and it’s doing really well. For that, I thank all of you who’ve purchased it and supported my writing dream. Thank you a thousand times over.
So what’s happened in that week? Maybe Baby was (and still is) on Amazon’s Hot New Kindle Releases list for African-American Women’s Fiction. The highest ranking for it was #6. As of the writing of this blog post, it’s at #11 for Hot New Releases and #21 for Amazon’s Kindle Bestsellers List of African-American Women’s Fiction and #97 for the paperback Bestsellers List of of the same genre.
It’s also been around a week since I released Maybe Tonight, the e-short told from Mads’s point of view. I’d initially only planned on Maybe Tonight being an e-short but it’s been so much fun writing from Mads’s perspective that I’ve decided to keep updating it with 3-5 chapters every few weeks until it’s a full-length novel. So you pay 99 cents now for a 22-page story, which gets updated every few weeks until you have a novel. Do you pay anything extra? Nope. Just the initial 99 cent investment.
So what else is in the pipeline? I’m plotting two novels at the same time: a sequel of sorts to the Maybe Baby story (called Maybe Tomorrow) that focuses on Laney’s cousin Edwina (also known as Eddy) and what happens when she meets Mads’s cousin, Henrik; and there are also two standalone novels in the works that are set in Hunters Grove–the town where Snowbound is set. Yes, Mia and Jake will pop up in these novels but the focus will be on other couples.
That’s it for now. If you’ve already read Maybe Baby and Maybe Tonight and liked them, please consider reviewing them on Goodreads, Amazon and Kobo. And thanks again for your support! It really makes my day when people tell me how much they’ve enjoyed my books and connected in some way with the characters and the plot.
Happy reading! 🙂
It’s finally here! Maybe Baby is live for Kindle. I’d originally planned to wait until April, but I started to get impatient to share it with all of you. So now it’s here–Nook, Kobo, iPad, iPhone and paperback versions coming soon.
Imagine finding out you could never have a baby with the man you love…
Expat American Laney Halliwell finds out the hard way when Niklas tells her he had a vasectomy before they met and isn’t interested in reversing it. Why should he? They’ve got his kids from his first marriage and an enviable life in Stockholm.
What if you fell in love in the most unexpected way…?
But Laney wants more. So when a friend suggests she look into an alternative sperm bank in Copenhagen to find a potential father for her baby, things don’t go exactly as planned. Especially when Laney meets Mads and finds herself falling in love.
Happy Reading! 🙂
Thanks so much to everyone who participated in last’s week’s cover survey. The majority of you (52%) preferred Cover 1. A little over thirty percent preferred Cover 2 and the rest didn’t like either cover and wanted another hottie. I think I will go in the direction of Cover 1 but look for another image. 🙂
Now, my Facebook author page hit the 900 fan mark last night and to celebrate it I posted a teaser from Maybe Baby. I decided to share the teaser here as well! Hope you like it! 🙂
Hope you all have a great weekend!
Happy reading (and writing)!