Whew! I know it’s been a long time, yet, believe it or not, it’s only been two years since my last romance novel. Well, in that time I’ve had a lot happen to me. I got fired from a job while out sick, I enjoyed a great summer of unemployment (thank you Rochelle!), I met a great guy, got a new job, was initiated into the best Sorority in the world (Delta Sigma Theta), watched my niece graduate from college, starting teaching my love of writing and got married! WHEW! Well, I guess that is a lot, but in that time the characters who roam aimlessly around in my head got some rest. So, during my last conversation with my sister-home-girl, Deatri, who must’ve known my characters were well rested (too well-rested), said to me that it is time to let them loose. So over the next several months I’ve been charged with letting the fine, definitive brothers and sensual, strong sisters run rampant on paper, to live and love and show the world that black love is indeed doing quite well. What a lovely, sexy, warm prospect!
But I am truly excited to have Romance Slam Jam come back to the Midwest – and equally excited to be the host author, working with one of the greatest book clubs I’ve had the pleasure of hanging with – Lovely Ladies Book Club. When you see one of them during Slam Jam, ask them about the one time I brought this guy with me to a book event! Talk about protective of their author – and I’ve loved them dearly ever since for their love of me.
As well, this is a great honor in that many of you know how I feel about RSJ and what it means to us as people of color and having our stories told from our wonderfully diverse backgrounds and cultures. To me, Romance Slam Jam celebrates the greatness in us – in our lives, in our loves and in the romances we read with characters that look like us! Readers of romance written by and about people of color have come to expect RSJ to deliver what few can: a well-organized forum that focuses and celebrates us.
I cannot mention RSJ without mentioning my soul sister Leslie. It was during my first Slam Jam in Atlanta that I met her and was treated to her warmth, her infectious laugh, her bright eyes and her willingness to be there for you – to share her wisdom, her love and her friendship. To have her leave this world in what I selfishly term “too soon” threw me for a loop. When I close my eyes I can still see her gripping the overhead handrail admonishing my driving skills on the streets of Chicago! Her leaving this earthly realm reminded me that time is borrowed and solidified my resolve to live every moment – carpe diem! And now to have the news that Monica Jackson has also left us. What the two of these women left us has touched, molded, informed, entertained, heartened, softened, and strengthened us as we rolled enthusiastically along as they gifted us with their literary creativity. May God grant Leslie and Monica everlasting peace. Amen!
Well, I think I’ve said just enough for now. I pray to see each and every one of you reading this first post of mine (Dee says I gotta write often!) at Romance Slam Jam 2013 as we “Melt in Milwaukee” May 2nd through 5th! Until we meet …
Host Author – RSJ 2013