Category Archives: Vlog

Finding Black Romance Writers in a Small Town

Diversity is a huge hotbed topic these days, especially diversity in literature.  There are more books being published by people of varying races, sexual orientations, and gender identities than ever before. Some people consider it a trend. Others consider it a grand conspiracy perpetrated by the Social Justice Warriors of our time to wipe out white men from the popular narrative.

I say it’s about time.

I don’t understand the resentment people feel when the term diversity is brought up. They act as though they are personally being attacked. I think of literature as an infinite table. And everyone should be able to have a seat there and choose what they want to eat. And for the longest time, only certain literature was served in this country. Now the menu is expanding. The other stuff is still there. There’s just more to sample.

When I think about my mother who is old enough to have experienced desegregation in Maryland when she was young and I think about how her experiences differ from mine, I feel really heavy at heart.

She is not someone who has a lot of access to the many arrays of black authors who write romance. She doesn’t like to online shop. She still prefers to look at the books on the shelves and flip it over to read that back cover.  The books aren’t available in the small bookstore across town. They ain’t at Walmart.  They’re not lining the shelves of the public library. They’re not there. She lives in a small town where there’s only a handful of black people. And there’s still an idea that white people don’t want to read about happily-ever-afters that aren’t about white people. Those books aren’t stocked and she doesn’t get to have a first-hand experience of this awakening in publishing.

So what can be done?

How can we get these books to the small towns where people would like to read them as well?

I made the video below after I posted this on Twitter:


It reads: “Romance readers! I’m looking for more black romance authors to read. Give me your recs!”

And then I had an eye-opening conversation with my Mom about this whole issue.

Afterward, I created this Google Document that you can access. If you have any black female authors you’d like to add to it, please do. I’d like it to go beyond what I’ve learned and be more of a comprehensive list that people can search for and use.

I talk about it all in more depth in this video. Please have a look and forgive me for getting a bit emotional. Sometimes tears happen.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Aloha y’all



Filed under Vlog

Political Correctness in my writing?

reate few pAloha everyone! Let me go ahead and dust all of the cobwebs up in here.

Sorry little buddy...I'll get those for ya.

Sorry little buddy…I’ll get those for ya.

Today we’re going to talk about being politically correct in writing. Have you noticed the trend to curtail people and what they write, in fear of marginalizing people or making them feel uncomfortable? Today I decided I would discuss what I think about being politically correct in my work and a few possible lasting effects for not being PC. Of course most of this in a video. That seems to be my main means of communicating information these days. You know, other than the book. The book. Blood Roses and Honeysuckles. Remember that? The editor and the betas will be getting their copies this weekend. Also, the cover is being created as we speak. Crazily enough…we’re getting closer to a finished produced. Yikes. I’ll give you more info as we get closer. Of course, I tell my newsletter peeps things way earlier. If you want to join up, click here and fill out the form. You’ll get a letter once or twice a month.

But back to the video about being PC in my writing.

What’s your take on it? Let me know down in the comments.

Aloha y’all!


Filed under Vlog, writing

Giant AuthorTube Collaboration

Hey everyone!

I’ve been doing the most, as per usual. New freelance positions, getting further along on the Blood Roses and Honeysuckles edits, meeting new writers, and of course, flying out here to West Virginia! It’s that time of year when we travel (for far too long) to the mainland and remind our family and friends that we exist. I like to think they enjoy the experience as much as we do.

In addition to that, of course, #writestuff is still a thing. Join us every Tuesday at 9 p.m. EDT on the Twitterverse. You can follow me @penpaperpad. We chat about different aspects of writing. It’s nice to take a break, commiserate with each other, and learn. It’s all part of growth and you get to hangout with cool writers.

Speaking of cool writers…

Another project I’ve gotten involved in is AuthorTube. This is a fairly new writing community on YouTube. We’re a bunch of writers who make videos about writing, our projects, books, and other related. I don’t know how often you’ve tried to find writers on YouTube, but it’s pretty difficult. #authortube and #writetube are two keywords to try to find them, just fyi.

Each of us is hosting a question on our channels and some of us answered that question. My question is- What is the hardest part of the writing process. I had a lot of fun answering the question and editing together this video. Do check it out and subscribe if you haven’t already. Let me know in the comments- What do you think is the hardest part about writing?

Aloha y’all! 

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Filed under Vlog