My Writing Process: A Blog Tour
My heart was filled with joy and gladness when the insanely talented writer, magician, and monster conjurer Chrishaun Keller, invited me to join the My Writing Process Blog Tour. Batting my eyelashes and bowing in deference, I said, “Me? You want me to join the tour?” I quickly agreed–before she changed her mind–eager to be in such good traveling company.
Chrishaun is working on two novels, The Forgotten Woman and All Your Dogs Belong to Us, both due out in the fall of this year. She lives to write about magic and monsters because it allows her to, “vent the worst of my nature and parse the blindness, brokeness, selfishness, and outright evil of others.” I “met” Chrishaun on Twitter by way of witty wordsmith, Sonya Craig, another fabulous writer. Perhaps association will bring about assimilation as in their writerly abilities will rub off on me. One can hope and stir up the gift!
Okay, more about me, Myesha D. Jenkins. I decided to allow my four friends–who for some reason love to dish about me–answer the blog tour questions on my behalf. I trust them (most of the time) unflinchingly. Prepare to learn more about me and my writing via my bosom friends, Mea Jackson, Maisailfa Jones, Aya Davis, and Solah Lee. They are such beautiful women. When we are together, I think I’m in an episode of “Love in the City” on OWN.
What is Myesha working on?
Hey y’all! My name is Mea. I’ve known Myesha since elementary school. She was a tad obsessed with cornrowing hair at that time in her life, and she used my tresses to practice on. Hmph! That’s probably the reason I keep my hair cut short today. Tee Hee! I am so very proud of her! She’s been wanting to write a novel for some time now. Eureka! She finally did it! Her novel Rapture was published in paperback and Kindle on April 24, 2014. She is very proud of this novel and has been working overtime to promote it. She sometimes gets down in the dumps because she thinks folks won’t read it due to the “subject matter.” Well, it’s a love story about two women who become friends then lovers. I know…I know… like the good friend I am, I told her to get over herself. She can worry the horns off of a billy goat, that girl! Fools rarely read anyway so she is safe, right? She just looks at me, shakes her head, and smiles when I say this.
Her newest project has been rolling around in her head for some time now. She hasn’t quite pegged it yet, but it will have elements of mystery, suspense, the supernatural, and the paranormal. She refuses to give me the details–something about me not keeping a secret–but it, too, is set in Georgia. She’s already started doing research and such. Well, I have to run up the road a piece to see a man about a horse. It’s been a pleasure chatting with you about my best friend, My!
How does Myesha’s work differ from others of its genre?
Salutations! Celebrations! Adorations! I am Maisailfa. Myesha and I met in college. Those were the best of times—ruminating our 19 year old angst, Friday night gospel choir rehearsal, pulling all nighters at the University Center during finals, hiding her roommate’s alarm clock…I could go on but I shall stop there.
I remember Myesha calling me to lament about having to choose the BISAC codes for her book. Basically these are the genre classifications set by the Book Industry Study Group (BISG). She felt the codes were exclusive and marginalizing. The protagonists in her book are African-American women who enter into a romantic relationship. After choosing “fiction,” she disliked the fact that “African-American” was separated out. Why is the inclusion of African-American protagonists enough for a different category and thusly a different part of the bookstore? Add to that the “other sexuality” aspect and you have a decidedly “nichified” and marginalized book. After about an hour discussion, I quieted Myesha down and asked her the following: “Are you trying to publish your book or do you want to take on the Book Industry Study Group? Choose a category and move on, girl!” I am happy to say she did.
Rapture is Myesha’s first novel in the fiction category, but she is not a one genre writer. She plans to dabble in non-fiction as well as some of the other sub categories in fiction. For Rapture, she initially chose, Fiction/Contemporary Women, but later changed to Fiction/African-American/Contemporary Women & Fiction/Lesbian. She added other tags like, “queer, bisexual, marriage, infidelity, and women” to funnel readers to this particular book.
I was intrigued by the way Myesha chose to tell Rapture. She wrote it in a current/past flashback mode. This seemed to give me a fuller understanding of the story and the characters. I would have to say that Myesha’s use of time makes this work different from others in this genre.
Why does Myesha write what she does?
Hi. My name is Aya. I met Myesha through her husband years ago. I needed a wedding planner and he referred me to his wife. At the time, Myesha moonlighted as a wedding planner. We became friends during an important yet, stressful, milestone in my life. But, she got me through it. We have been friends ever since.
Myesha loves to write complex narratives. Her stories are rarely boring. (Don’t tell her I wrote, ‘rarely.’) She is very observant, and honestly, she enjoys mocking people–behind their backs of course unless the person is a friend. She does it quite well. We laugh uproariously at her. She laughs too until we return the favor. In another life, she would have been a hit on a comedy show like “In Living Color,” “Key & Peele,” or “Saturday Night Live”–as a writer not an actor–she would choose the actor role as the better fit. Umm…no.
I think she wrote Rapture because it was just in her to write it. She told me about a time she watched Melissa Harris-Perry interview writer, director, and screenwriter, Malcolm D. Lee, best known for “The Best Man” and “The Best Man Holiday.” Melissa asked him if he would ever include a same sex story to the repertoire. Malcolm became somewhat nervous (by Myesha’s estimation) and declined because he had no experience or knowledge of that (paraphrasing). As is Myesha’s custom, she decided she wanted to write such a story. That’s her. When she finds a gulf, she tries to make her own bridge. LOL.
How does Myesha’s writing process work?
Hola, Everyone! Myesha and I met when we were both active in the PTA at our children’s elementary school. We were co-chairs of the Yearbook Committee 4 years running. We were running too, trying to meet our deadlines. Oh, my name is Solah, by the way.
Myesha’s process…well, I know she likes to be organized and methodical about things. She told me she created a storyboard outline for Rapture, but I know she changed it several times. She also used notecards for the characters and the chapters. I also know that she changed these several times as well. Writing is the one thing Myesha can’t organize and categorize. She tries to organize it (which worked for yearbook) but finally gives herself over to inspiration and the serendipity of the moment, letting the story flow. Myesha loves to walk, usually with her husband and dogs. She’s spoken of ideas popping into her mind fully formed during or after a long stroll. She’s been trying to get all of us together for a book club. Myesha loves to stir people up by asking questions. Then she sits back and observes as they attempt to answer her quasi-philosophical questions.
It’s Myesha here again. Wow! My girls, Mea, Maisailfa, Aya, and Solah know me so well! I am so grateful for their friendship over the years. This blog tour has been a wild ride. I am sad you are leaving my stop, dear readers. Feel free to come back anytime. Peruse my website. Follow me on social media. If you must go, please stop by these next stops on the tour.
JL MORSE’s JUNCTION:
I “met” the illustrious JL Morse in the twittersphere. I was lamenting the woes of raising a teenager, but I stopped my whining when I learned that she was the “mother of two gloriously muddy urchins, capturing adventures and turning them into words to treasure forever.” She homeschools her little ones by day and writes by night. JL has published her first book, The Family Bed: A Poem about Everyone Getting a Goodnight’s Sleep. Her second book, The World of Wickham Mossrite, is due out soon.
HANIFA BARNES’ DRIVE:
The train will then go to Hanifa Barnes whom I met years and years ago when we were both knee high to an ant. We attended the same after school and summer programs in Atlanta, GA. We kept in touch sporadically over the years and recently reconnected on social media. She is a brilliant writer and SuperMom! Visit her website where she waxes eloquent on beauty, health, exercise, parenting, and social issues. She has also published articles on The Feminist Wire.
KELA LEWIS-MORIN’S AVENUE: Kela Lewis-Morin is a colourful, creative, charismatic, compulsive over thinker. His thoughts spurt onto the page in the form of poetry, lyrics, novels, scripts and rants. I shamelessly pilfered the aforementioned description from his website. His work has been published in an anthology. His book, Writing My Wrongs is due out soon. I “met” him in the twittersphere by way of Sonya Craig and Chrishaun Keller.
If you are interested in hearing about their writing processes, please visit their blogs and follow them. They will be posting on the tour very soon. Bon Voyage!