The Day I Gained My "FxCK IT" Mentality - Oh, and Meet Grey.
Pictured is a girl who had one job, WRITE. Unfortunately, this girl began putting in part time work within departments that shouldn't have been of her concern. One being the care and concerns of other's, their happenings, and how they felt about her creations. WRONG MOVE.
We've all been here, at the point in our lives where people's opinions begin to poke at our core and determine how we go about our next move. That was me, for the last few months. I burst onto the literary scene just two years ago, waving my flag and declaring that I was different... much different from the others. Before I knew anything about charts and bestsellers, I had one goal and that was to defy the stereotypes of black love - or the lie that beautiful black love stories didn't exist. SO, I set forth on my journey, depicting the lives of the people that I saw everyday... notably urban-natured characters.
And... My journey continued. My work was recognized by thousands around the world, and given applauds in the form of written reviews on Amazon. For two years this sequence carried on. Then, there came a period that I felt "conformed and conflicted." Storylines began to intertwine, titles duplicated, amongst a plethora of other aspects that made me reconsider my position in the literary industry. More than anything, I became tired of the same ole song. I developed a longing to write more mellow stories that included black men of a different caliber, upbringing, role in the community, family structure, and so forth. I wanted to highlight the love expressed, loss, or yearned for within my characters. I wanted to bring forth the forbidden subject of marriage, divorce, failure, and everything else that accompanied the truths of love. Frankly, I wanted to write ROMANCE.
So, I did. Straight up, I had already embarked on the genre many times before, yet hid my love stories in between Urban covers, characters, and circumstances. But this time... I wanted to write it freely and unapologetically. I did. Story after story, I penned my ideas and wrote out my fantasies of black love. The people went wild.
Gosh darn. Dammit. While in the midst of my love making (to the pen that is), I neglected to remember that though transitioning may have come as natural as crying to a newborn, not everyone is open to change. The backlash I received for altering genres was... (Okay, let me not lie and be truthful) HEARTBREAKING. The readers that I had aided with great escapes in the form of literature scattered like roaches when the lights come on at night.
I'm left screaming, "Hey... Where did you all go?"
Every time I popped those lights on, there were less and less standing their ground and remaining faithful to the artist at work. So, I did what I knew to do in my time of despair. I called on Jesus. For weeks, I buckled down and talked to my God, because I knew that he had a method to this madness. After a while - and continued suffering - he revealed something to me.
1 . I received an email from a fellow author who I've grown to respect and love for her contributions to the literary hub. Though her message was meant to drown out some static that was being placed in my ear, she didn't know that it carried much more weight. It was equipped with enough power to get me to the next message. A few words from her message included, "Your craft isn't for everyone..." and something along the lines of, "Your best revenge is with your pen." Those weren't her exact words, but those messages stood out to me the most.
2. I had a deep discussion with an author that I once published under Mercy B Presents. She expressed to me that people are sometimes hard to please and even harder to see the good in change. We went on and on about the subject in general, and concluded the messages with agreeing that instead of depriving myself of either (Urban or Romance), I should learn to separate the two so that I can have the best of both worlds.
3. He gave me clarity and insight on my position and how to move forward in the future.
See, here's what he revealed...
It wasn't writing Urban that had left a horrid taste in my mouth, it was the fact that it had transformed and I wasn't too fond of the transformation. Just like my readers not being able to accept the changes I had made, I was unable to do the same with the genre that I had chosen to partake in when entering the world of publications. It wasn't that I had a goal to stray from the "hood" love stories, because I enjoy telling them the most. They have a certain zest and fire that Romance simply doesn't possess. I love BOTH. Urban was just beginning to be too much, so I retreated and enjoyed every second of my retreat.
FYI: I enjoyed the diversity and balance of love and streets that authors like Wahida, Terri, Takerra, Sista, and others laced their novels with.
This is my thing... I just want to write black love stories. That's it. I want to dissect the lives of two lovers (or ex-lovers) and narrate their journeys to that pinnacle place. That's all. And here's another thing... it doesn't matter if that love is between a pimp and his hoe, fireman and police dispatcher, kingpin and CNA, or a lawyer that just made partner at the law firm and his assistant. It doesn't matter. As long as their relationship ceases to exist or their desires for one another are newly birthed, I want to talk about it.
With that noted, I decided to lend my ears to the portion of my brain that keeps screaming, "FXCK IT!" With this mentality, I am going to take on that pimp and hoe story, fearlessly. I'm also going to write the hell out of the new partner and his assistant's story as they lose count of the quickies that they've had in the coat closets and on desktops.
The only difference here is the degree of separation. When readers see Mercy B, they think Urban. Fine. I'll let you guys have that. I once conjured a name when I first thought to tap into the Romance genre, but did away with it after a few months of thinking. This name captured the softer side of me, the more rounded and relaxed version of the stories that I love to tell. It was Grey. I tucked the name under the rug and carried on writing Romance under Mercy. Well, I pulled that rug up and snatched her from under there.
From here on out, I am participating in the evolution of black love. The rugged Urban love stories will come from (none other than the amazingly talented) Mercy B, as expected. The more somber Romance stories will be narrated and delivered to your device with the name Grey attached to the cover.
If you're a lover of Romance, please allow me to direct you to the new page dedicated to you. Click the link and you'll land. GIVE ME GREY. Your next love story is in the making and will be released soon!
If you're ready for more of Mercy - and the return to Urban after a five month hiatus - then check out my next release. WHAT'S NEXT, MERCY?
... Here's the cover, anyway. Yes, it's 90s Urban...