Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Butterfly Memoirs - Defining A Series

If you’ve been following my blog, you know about my journey to become a published author. I have learned it’s not as easy as you think it should be! I have much respect for authors, past and present. There is so much more to crafting a story than having an idea, pen, and laptop. It takes skill as a storyteller and knowing the rules.

Rules, they’re everywhere! But the cool part is, once you know them, you can break them! Do I know all the rules? Nope. But I’ve learned enough to feel confident about my writing and am ready to share it with the world.

During the course of my journey, I have hit road blocks which caused me to seriously reconsider whether my efforts to become an author were a fly-by-night deal or it if was a serious endeavor. I have a history of starting projects and giving them up, no longer willing to put in the work needed to make it successful. Last October proved to be the ultimate test. I put up my laptop, packed away my pen and paper, and did not write for thirty days. Period.

Yep, you read right, no writing at all.

Would I give up writing and move on to something else? Well, obviously I did not, but it was the test I needed to take. During that time, even though I wasn’t writing physically –paper, pen, laptop – the wheels in my head were spinning overtime. My mind did not want to let go of the story. As soon as my time was up, I jumped back into writing with a vengeance. But I still wasn’t on the correct path. In February, I signed up for a Writer’s Workshop at the local Community College. After sharing chapters of my work – class assignment – I walked away knowing my writing was going somewhere after being able to capture my teacher and classmates’ attention. I love my critique group, The Critter Yard, but there’s nothing like having someone who does not know my writing style and is a published author/agent, Valarie Clark, to give positive feedback and direction. Taking the class helped me find my writing voice and my platform, the most important step needed before telling any story. 

The final push I came from meeting New York Times Best Selling Author, Suzanne Brockmann. I had just started reading one of her books before attending the Georgia Romance Writer’s meeting where she was a guest speaker in March. I spoke to her for a moment and listened intently to what she said to the group. I also recorded it and have listened to it several times. She spoke about the steps she uses to establish characters and multiple story lines in her Trouble Shooters series, and I learned a lot! I made it my goal to study her writing, and since then, I have read fifteen out of the sixteen books in her series. I’m currently reading Hot Pursuit, the copy she autographed for me. She is an awesome writer, and I appreciate her willingness to share her writing process with us.

So now, here I am, eleven months since I stepped away from writing. I’m glad I took the time to evaluate my writing goals and discover the path I needed to take. And as a result, The Butterfly Memoirs were born.

What are The Butterfly Memoirs

Butterflies symbolize change, evolution, the shedding of the old and bringing out the new. Some people – women mostly – have marked themselves with colorful butterfly tattoos to mark a monumental change in their lives. This is true of the heroines in my stories. Each woman has or is about to experience a turning point in her life that puts her on a path of change. The same applies to the heroes of the stories (except no butterfly tattoos mark their bodies, lol!)

The definition of a memoir is a story or narration told by a person first hand of their personal experiences.
Hence, The Butterfly Memoirs.

The series is a collection of stories told by the heroine and hero. It is Contemporary/Multicultural Romance and Women’s Fiction, addressing the realistic trials every woman and man face in a relationship. My goal as a writer is to inspire hope, bring comfort, and encourage anyone who may relate to these characters’ stories.

Update: since this post: 7/15/12 

The first book, A Heart Not Easily Broken, has been three years in the making.  Ebony Campbell and Brian Young’s story will be available this fall, through 5 Prince Publishing. Stay tuned for upcoming details as release days grows nearer! 


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