Out Raleigh 2017

 

I am pleased to announce that I will be returning to Out Raleigh May 6, 2017. Out Raleigh is a special event for me because this is where I first met D. Jackson Leigh, Yolanda Wallace, and Larkin Rose way back in 2013. It was quite an adventure for this introvert to travel six hours away from home to meet total strangers and promote my very first book Healing Hearts.  For any of you that have read Larkin Rose’s books, you can imagine I received quite a hazing, but only in the sweet “we’ve got you now” kind of way. These authors took me in as the newbie and made me feel like a part of a family, and they each hold a special place in my heart.

Each year changes, and sometimes our little group can’t always stay together, but we’ve been pleased to be joined by other authors such as VK Powel and Erin Dutton from time to time along the way. This year will be no different, and I can’t wait to start out the summer “Southern Crawl” with a visit to Out Raleigh with D. Jackson Leigh and Yolanda Wallace. After the much missed welcoming hugs and catching up, we will set up the Bold Strokes Books Tent and get down to real business, meeting and getting to know the wonderful readers who come by to see us.

Out Raleigh is different from the other events I attend each year. This isn’t your usual Pride event. Out Raleigh is about celebrating out LGBT families. I don’t think I have ever been to any other event that could rival the number of LGBT couples with baby strollers. It is such a breath of fresh air to see people come together to celebrate the unity of LGBT relationships and the commitments we have to one another.

With a little luck the weather will be bright, sunny, and warm. Unlike that first event in 2013 when I swear I got frost bite. But not to worry I will be prepared this time with my parka and a pair of shorts just in case. I will have copies of all my books for sale, including my new release Unbroken.

So, if you happen to be in the area, or like me feel like making the drive, come out to see me, D. Jackson Leigh, and Yolanda Wallace on May 6, 2017 at Out Raleigh. I look forward to seeing you there.

Just for fun, here is a photo of our little group from 2013. My how time has flown.

Unbroken, The Book That Almost Wasn’t.

 

So, I think I mentioned in my last post that writing Unbroken was a bit of a challenge and I actually took a year away from these characters to write Love’s Redemption. Here’s what I think happened. I wasn’t listening to my characters. In my work as a therapist I once heard a story of a young child who had been receiving counseling and wasn’t progressing. She changed therapist and made some pretty big disclosures. When asked why she hadn’t talked about these things before, she simply answered, “my therapist wasn’t ready”. I tell that story now to punctuate the problem I was having with this book, I wasn’t listening to my characters, I wasn’t ready for their story.

After the year away from Unbroken I was able to come back and really get into making this story what it was supposed to be. Because I took the time to let it unfold, I was able to invest in these characters the way they deserved to be known and understood. It was refreshing to me to have Jackie and Kayla lead me through their love story. I am so glad I took the time to do that.

What was different about writing Unbroken compared to my other books? First, I realized I wrote this book without a playlist. I hope I never try that again. When I have a list of songs that I feel takes me into a story, the repetitive listening keeps me grounded. I didn’t have that with Unbroken so I spent a lot of time chasing squirrels. Second, I didn’t have a quirky pet in this story. I love my quirky pets. I learned a lot about myself and what works and doesn’t work for my writing. When I get stuck now, I know it is because I am not listening to the story. Writing is easy, until it gets hard.

I hope you will take the time to read this story and get to know these two wonderful characters. They are funny and people I would like to know. I’m glad they didn’t give up on this writer. I know I’m glad I got to know their story. Just so you know, just because I don’t have a quirky pet in this book, doesn’t mean there aren’t some interesting animals. That seems to be one of my signatures. Ah the things I’m learning about myself along this wonderful journey or writing. I hope you enjoy the adventure too.

Unbroken is available on preorder at Bold Strokes Books and Amazon, and will be released in May 2017. I hope you’ll read Unbroken, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. The book that almost wasn’t turned out to be pretty darn sweet.

Just for fun, here is one of my favorite quirky pets. This is Lily, my crazy beagle. Her full name is Lily Get Down Damn It, but we just call her Lily Bug most of the time. She’s my old girl and not doing so good these days. She’d appreciate some healing thoughts and love her way if you have some to spare.  Thanks everyone. Happy reading.

walking in the Smokies