- Happy ninth #BookBirthday, Maybe Baby!by Kim Golden
Can it really be true? I was pretty shocked to realize that Maybe Baby turned nine yesterday. It truly does NOT feel like it’s been nine years since I pressed publish on Laney & Mads’ love story. But this book…which is truly my book baby… is now nine years old. Maybe it’s time for me to give it a new cover?
How it started
If you’ve been following me from the very beginning, you remember how I got the idea for Maybe Baby. It started while I was in Copenhagen one summer, germinated while talking to friends in Sweden and the US about everything from infertility, long-term relationships, IVF and how it affected relationships, and other options for having babies.
All of this was the impetus for Maybe Baby. Add to it imagining Kerry Washington and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as the leads (c’mon, Simpson Street Productions, Ill Kippers or Hello Sunshine, this would be great project for Kerry and Nikolaj to star in!) and you’ve got the story that I focused on to help get me through the start of a very crazy and stressful time in my life.
So what’s it about?
Well, you have Laney, an African-American woman living in a sprawling turn of the century apartment in Stockholm, Sweden with her well-to-do Swedish partner, Niklas. Laney wants to have a baby; Niklas isn’t really interested since he has teenage children from his first marriage. Besides, he’s had a vasectomy – something he swears he’s told Laney about, but it news for her.
Instead of simply accepting the situation, Laney finds out about an alternative fertility clinic/sperm bank in Copenhagen where you can meet your sperm donor before you commit. While she’s in Copenhagen for a work-related project, she decides to visit the clinic – which just happens to be having one of its mingles where prospective clients can meet the sperm donors. That’s when Laney and Mads meet.
And what was supposed to be a simple meet-and-greet ends up leading to an affair and then Laney being forced to make a choice.
One book became four
I never intended for Maybe Baby to lead to a series… But Laney, Mads and some of the other characters in their lives kept speaking to me.
Maybe Baby (told solely from Laney’s point of view) led to Maybe Tonight, a companion novella told from Mads’ perspective. Which then lead to Maybe Forever (which skips a few years into the future of Laney and Mads’ relationship) and Maybe Tomorrow (which focuses on Laney’s cousin, Eddy, and Mads’ cousin, Henrik).
Haven’t read them yet? You can get the three books about Laney and Mads in one collection.
For a few years, I’ve been promising more stories in the series, but life got in the way. I’ve told you before: I left a toxic work environment; my brother and several other people close to died quite suddenly; grief left me feeling like I had no writing mojo… but there are at least two other Maybe… books coming in the future. I promise, I will finish them.
In the meantime, let’s celebrate Maybe Baby. If you’ve read it, what’s your favorite scene in the book? Drop me a line and let me know!
- It should be our day every damn dayby Kim Golden
Shouting out to all the women in the house
Happy International Women’s Day.
It should be our day every damn day.
Women’s history shouldn’t be limited to the month of March. Women have been out here making history every damn day for as long as anyone can remember.
Just like Black history shouldn’t just be limited to February. Our history is history and should be taught every damn day.
To all the women who’ve inspired me
I’m saying thank you to all the women in my life who’ve pushed me to challenge myself, who’ve encouraged me to ignore the barriers that others have set up.
I think most of you know how much you’ve inspired me. A few have definitely NOT inspired me but that’s for another story.
Don’t be upset if your name isn’t listed here. There are just too many to list. But to the relatives, writers, musicians, artists, etc who’ve always inspired me… thank you.
Keep fighting the good fight
Yes, our work is never done. We need to keep fighting for pay equity, mandated paid parental leave, our reproductive rights (that’s right – you don’t want to have an abortion or take birth control, then don’t! But YOU DO NOT have the right to stop the rest of us from doing what feels right for US), ALL our freedoms… keep fighting for them – even the freedoms you think you don’t need.
- Catching up – holy moly it’s soon March!by Kim Golden
How can it already be the end of February? It feels like the month only just started. Maybe I’ve just been too busy with everything from my day job to notice the month whizzing by…? Plus, we were busy with searching for apartments in Malmö (found one – YAY!)…so many things on my mind, so little time. Oh my!
Soon it’s the bookaversary for Maybe Baby
In March, it will be nine years since I published Maybe Baby, the first book in the Maybe… series. I still can’t believe that so much time has passed. I think it’s time to update the cover.
This is the current cover for Maybe Baby. I’ve loved it since 2014 but, after all this time, it’s time for an update.
As much as I still love the original cover, it is time for new typography and a more up-to-date cover image. So, one of my plans for the next few weeks (months?) is finding the perfect image to be the new cover of Maybe Baby.
While I am at it, I will probably refresh the covers of Maybe Tonight and Maybe Tomorrow. Not sure about Maybe Forever… I still think that cover feels fresh, but you never know.
I still remember working on this cover with Ari from Cover It! Designs. We went through several iterations until we both agreed that this was the best cover image. And we had many discussions about the typography for the cover. Much as I love it, the typography is dated. So, yes, time for a refresh.
Unfortunately, it seems like Cover It! Designs is no longer around. Her website is no longer live and the email I sent has gone unanswered.
So the search for a new cover designer is on.
I’ll keep you posted on my progress.
Sometimes it snows in late February
Yes, I know. I should be used to this. Especially since I live in Sweden. But I moved to southern Sweden back in 2020 and everyone assured us that it hardly ever snows here. I think we’ve had more snow in the 2+ years that we’ve lived here than we had in Stockholm in the last three years that I lived there. Yes, it’s climate change. It’s also that we live in what are called “the highlands of Småland.” We get hit by all the passing rain, all the snow…all the hurricane-force winds. I can’t complain too much. Generally, winters here are pretty mild compared to Stockholm. But when a cold front pulls in…oh boy! Yeah, it’s pretty raw and damp and bone-chillingly cold. In fact, it reminds me a lot of winters in my beloved hometown of Philly.
Luckily I have plenty of clothing to deal with it. I also found a great naprapat (they’re similar to chiropractors but they focus more on joints and muscles than the spine) for those times when I wipeout on ice because I forgot my ice cleats at home. Yes, sometimes, I am dumb enough to forget them at home. I should definitely know better.
Tomorrow it’s my mom’s birthday!
Unfortunately, I won’t be able to travel to Philadelphia to help her celebrate her big day. I had to renew my US passport and it will be a few more weeks until I receive it. According to the US Embassy here in Sweden, it should take around 3-4 weeks to get my new passport, so I will have to wait a bit. I don’t mind. I just want to have it before May so that the Swede and I can celebrate our wedding anniversary with a weekend trip elsewhere.
But…like I was saying, tomorrow is my wonderful mom’s birthday. She’ll be turning seventy-eight but she doesn’t look like she’s anywhere near that age. I am in awe. I like to joke with her about her anti-ageing skincare routine and she just gives me that look. If you have a Black mom, you know exactly what I mean.
My mom doesn’t usually spend a lot of time online, but I want to wish her a happy birthday here anyway. I’m sure my oldest niece or my sister-in-law will show her this post. So, mom, I hope you have a wonderful birthday tomorrow. I wish I could be there with you. When I can finally come to Philadelphia either later in the spring or this summer, I am taking you out for the day and we will spoil ourselves.
- Let’s talk about loveby Kim Golden
When I was younger, I thought love was one big scam. As much as I liked reading about people falling in love, I thought love was just a mind game and, as much as I wanted someone to fall in love with me or vice versa, I was also wary of it. Maybe it was because I was a little scared of how crazy some people became when they said they were in love. All those emotional highs and lows, the earth-scorching devastation when love ended or was snatched away.
That part of it…that scared me.
And, since I was watching my parents’ marriage crumble (even though they kept up the facade of being happy when friends and family were around), I started to believe that love was bullshit, nothing I really wanted.
Then I met the One
I was twenty-three, he’d just turned twenty-four. Everything between us was intense. Then he had to go back to Sweden. While he was doing research for his PhD, he was at CERN in Switzerland, looking for signs of the Higgs boson. He went hiking in the Alps and found edelweiss. He pressed it in a letter he sent, along with lots of Swiss chocolate bars. He didn’t know then how much I loved The Sound of Music…or that he reminded me of a young Christopher Plummer. He also didn’t know what edelweiss signified (devotion). But he thought it was beautiful and he wanted to share it with me.
And he’s still the One.
I write a lot about people searching for their One. People often ask me which of the love stories I’ve written is my favorite. My answer is never the same. It depends on my mood or what’s going on in my life at the time.
It started with an overheard conversation…
The love story I always end up coming back to is that of Laney and Mads. The idea for their story came to me while I was in Copenhagen one summer. I was sitting in the inner courtyard of the Hotel Kong Arthur when a couple sitting near me were talking about their own relationship. They were in a complicated relationship – she was involved with someone else; he was single and just wanted to be with her. They were speaking a mix of Swedish, Danish and English.
Add to this that some friends were telling me about their adventures (and misadventures) in trying to conceive. Some seemed to get pregnant at the drop of a hat; others were struggling and trying everything from accupuncture to IVF to considering using surrogates or sperm donors.
Around the same time, my One and I had given up on trying to conceive. We’d been through miscarriages and didn’t want to go through it again. But I was interested in writing about a woman who was willing to do whatever it took to have a baby…even if her partner wasn’t really as invested in it as she was.
First came Laney…
That’s how Laney came into being. From the very beginning, I pictured Kerry Washington as Laney. Before she played ‘Olivia Pope’ in the mega- series Scandal, she was captivating as ‘Kay Amin’ in The Last King of Scotland and ‘Fatima Goodrich’ in She Hate Me. Whenever I happened upion her in a series or movie, she always stood out and her ability to convey both vulnerability and über-confidence while also holding back a little of herself felt like Laney in a nutshell.
And then along came Mads
Everyone who’s ever read the Maybe… series has their preferences of who should be Mads. For me, it was always Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Even before I’d seen him in Game of Thrones – back when he played ‘Martin’ in the original version of Nightwatch and ‘John Amsterdam’ in the short-lived series New Amsterdam – I’d already started thinking he would make a great character in something I wrote.
When we least expect it
Like so many love stories I’ve read or been told, Laney and Mads meet when neither is looking for love. And where do they meet? At a mingle in Copenhagen hosted by the alternative sperm bank that Laney’s thinking about using to get pregnant. Her partner, Niklas, already has two teenaged kids with his ex-wife; he’s also had a vasectomy that he’s not interested in reversing. Niklas thinks Laney should be happy with the life they have. But she wants more.
Then she meets Mads. And everything changes.
It’s like that with love. No two love stories are the same. Sometimes people get hurt along the way. There’s an old saying that all’s fair in love and war. I’m not sure if I agree with it but I do think that you can’t ignore love when it’s in front of you. And that’s…perhaps… how it was for Laney and Mads. They both felt lost. And somehow, in this topsy-turvy world we live in, they found each other.
You can follow their love story across three books: Maybe Baby, Maybe Tonight and Maybe Forever. You can also get all three books in one volume: Maybe Baby: Special Edition.
I wouldn’t call Laney and Mads’s love story a romance.
It’s a love story and it’s complicated.
- What Kim’s watching: You Peopleby Kim Golden
As a Black author married to a white Swede and who writes about the cultural differences and hiccups that can pop up, I’m always interested in books and movies that portray interracial relationships. I’ve lived in Sweden since 1995 – when Stockholm was having a *huge* problem with Nazi skinheads everywhere and many parents wanted to brush it aside as “a phase” their teenage sons were going through. Flash forward to 2023: those asshole teenage sons are now members of SD (Sverigedemokraterna) – a political party with it roots in the Neo-Nazi movement, even though their party leader would love to have us all forget that.
Unfortunately, too many Swedes seem to have forgotten it since so many of them voted for these racist misogynists… but I digress. That’s a story for another day.
When I first heard about You People, I knew I had to keep it on my radar.
I still remember when I told my own parents about the Swedish guy I was bringing home. I’d had white boyfriends before (and my parents had met them), but the Swede was the first one who was really serious.
So, anyway, on Friday afternoon, I watched You People and I could totally relate to Amira and Ezra‘s path to love. It didn’t matter that neither of my parents were members of the Nation of Islam, as Akbar (Eddie Murphy) and Fatima (Nia Long) were or devoutly Jewish as Shelley (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and Arnold (David Duchovny) were. I could still empathise with Amira and Ezra wanting to have a relationship without the baggage brought on by their parents’ beliefs. They connect, they love each other, they think this will be enough.
But this is 2023 in America and we know, unfortunately, that love isn’t always enough. We have to factor in society, systemic racism, white privilege, unconscious bias, prejudice…you name it. All the things that can destroy love. Especially when you have an interracial couple jut trying to love each other…but their parents are being complete assholes without realising it (or maybe they do realise it and just don’t care?).
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that Something New (starring Sanaa Lathan and Simon Baker) is one of my favourite movies. However, one of my main complaints about Something New – no matter how much I love it – is that we never see Brian (Simon Baker)’s friends or his parents. We never find out how they react to his relationship with Kenya (Sanaa Lathan). We only see her family’s reaction. One of the things that I really enjoyed about You People is that we see *both* families’ reactions.
And it’s not pretty on either side.
Both sets of parents have their own biases that end up affecting the couple – no matter how hard Amira and Ezra try to stay focused on their love.
Does love win out in the end? Well, you’ll have to watch You People to find out, but I can say that I really enjoyed it.
Have you seen it yet? Drop me a line and let me know!