Hello ladies! I can’t believe that February is ending today! I’d be all like “let’s kill this bitch!” but … Daylight Savings approacheth and I’m saving all my killing for that. >:( *hisses* … Anyway, we’ve got Dee Carney visiting with us today! She’s closing out [Smithsonian] Black History Month! I hope you’ve been introduced to some new authors and new reads!
So without further ado … Dee!
I have a confession to make. The last year in publishing has been extremely rough for me. I got divorced about a year ago and from the six months prior to that event up until a few months ago, I was on a severe dry writing spell. I couldn’t think about romance. All creative juices—vanished. I also felt like a fraud. Who would want to read stories from a romance writer who couldn’t stay married past fourteen years? Where is her happily ever after (HEA)?
Fortunately, I have a wonderful family. My father reminded me that he’d been married for a very brief period prior to marrying my mother. This August they will be celebrating forty-two years of marriage. He said that if he hadn’t gotten divorced way back when, he might not have ever met my mother and had the wonderful life he’s had. <3
So, after wallowing in self-pity for more than a year, I wrote a proposal for one of my publishers and they sent me back a two-book contract. I suddenly went from having nothing to write to damned well better get moving.
I also knew something was different. I’ve been in this business for a while and in my early days, I wrote whatever story jumped into my head and screamed the loudest. Now, several years wiser, I wanted to focus. So let me tell you another confession. (I promise this is all leading to a point. Bear with me.)
My very first published story was entitled Soldier. (Very creative. I know.) Anyway, for the eighteen of you who read it, you have my eternal thanks, but also, recall that not once in that story did I ever describe the heroine other than to say she had dark hair and eyes. You see, when I’d first starting writing, I didn’t think people wanted to read the kinds of stories I wanted to read. I mean, I knew all about Kimani with their very sexy African-American heroes and heroines, but that wasn’t me. I grew up in Miami, one of America’s melting pots. When it comes to relationships and men, I am equal opportunity. I’ve dated white, black, and brown; lusted after yellow. I didn’t think the people I read or wrote about should be confined to dating within their race. So Soldier was an interracial romance, but I never told anyone.
This past year, my coworker introduced me to this insanely daring show about a white politician having an affair with an intelligent, beautiful black woman. Oh, I forgot to mention…he’s also the President of the United States. Whaaaat? I binge-watched the first two seasons over the course of a weekend. I saw Scandal and read up on Shonda Rhimes, its creator, and knew, just knew, I needed to start writing again. I needed to be blazing a path for the readers like me, writing the stories that people haven’t seen yet.
So I’m back because I believe in HEA and know it will happen for me.* I need the stories that I like to read out there because someone else might need to hear that HEA message at a down point in their lives. We all deserve a HEA or at least, have the opportunity to believe in one.
So I’m back and have narrowed my writing focus. I have to stay true to my first loves in the romance genre: paranormal and contemporary. I’m inspired by Shonda’s brazenness and have started a hospital-based serial about a multicultural cast of people, some who will get a happily ever after and a few who will only get a happy for now ending. I’m reading more books with people of color and am wearing T-shirts that say #WeNeedDiverseBooks. I’m as loud and outspoken as I ever have been because my voice is needed in the world. Me and my stories deserve to be here.
I’m back world. Watch out.
*Between me, you and the Internet, I’m currently living a friends-to-lovers real life romance and couldn’t be happier.
About the author: Dee Carney started her writing career in elementary school, creating amazing journeys starring her friends, where everyone lived happily ever after by page five. Since then, she’s been a waitress, a teacher, a scientist and a nurse. Today, Dee is a best-selling, award-winning author of over thirty novels and novellas, including those penned by her alter ego, Morgan Sierra.
Thank you so much for sharing with us, Dee. I’m so sorry you had a difficult ~year. I can’t even imagine, but I’m glad things are looking up for you. And that you’re writing again. Congratulations on the new contract and here’s to many more for you!