I write because once upon a time, I wanted to read certain types of books, but there weren’t enough of them out there. I would often find an author whose work I loved, only to find out that she only had one, or two books, the most. To me, that was so disappointing. I wanted more. If it’s good, then readers want more.
I write because I love a good book. I also know there are millions of people around the world that want the same thing. Like me, they want excitement, and fun. They want drama too, but not in their lives. It’s best on the pages of a book. This way, when it becomes too much, when your heart is thumping too hard, you can take a break. I write because I wanted to be enticed, entranced and enthralled. My dad used to make us look up words in the dictionary. I write because I must use all the words that bounce around in my head.
I write because it’s fun, and frustrating. I re-write because it’s necessary. I delete and discard because some things just don’t go, they don’t fit. They don’t work.
I write because I wanted to see myself, or someone who looked like me on the pages of a book. Decades back, I wanted to read about black and brown women. I wanted to read about smart and sexy black and brown women, not only the mammy’s and the women who took care of everyone but themselves. Sure, I write about those women too, now, because they will always be important, but I started writing so I could see a different type of woman of color on book pages. I wanted to see a woman like me who knew her own self-worth, one who realized she is free to choose whom to love, whom to live with, where to live, where to work, how to get her grind on, her education status, and so many other aspects of life.
I write because I wanted to see these women at the zenith of their careers, but I also want to show them at their lowest points. I want readers to watch them pick themselves up and begin again. I want readers to see women who struggle with infertility, like I have. I want women of color to be on the pages of a book that says this is natural, it is okay. I wanted to see these same women go after what they want in life, and know it is their right to do so. I wanted to see a different skill set in the books that I read, so I began to write. I wanted to see more than just two or three professions. I wanted women to branch out and be fearless – at least on the outside. I wanted to explore the fake-it-till-you-make-it theory.
I write because I wanted to see LGBTQ+ people in books. I wanted to see them portrayed as I knew them. I wanted to see sexy go-getters, people who were unafraid and unashamed to be who they really are. I wanted to see people who made me laugh, because they were inherently funny, and not because they were trying to deflect attention away from themselves. I wanted to see LGBTQ+ people who were designers and hair stylists and movie producers, in their element. I didn’t want to see them slinking along in the shade, living shadowy lives. I wanted them to be like the LGBTQ+ people I knew, mutha-effin fabulous. I also wanted to see what I knew, their struggles and their tears.
I write because I wanted to see the life stories of people who looked like those who surrounded me. I write because I wanted the world to know that media portrayals of us aren’t the norm. I wanted to show that there are fathers in our communities, good fathers, fathers who get up every day and go to work – and their jobs are legit. I got gol-dang sick of seeing the pimps and the hustlers, the dope dealers and the fiends. Sure, they’re there; they show up in my books too, but theirs may be the back story and not the main. They get enough time on TV and in print, therefore, they aren’t my focus.
The epicenter of the stories I tell happen to be everyday people. They may be fab, or not. They may be gay, or not. They may be lesbian or straight. They may be religious or not, they may even be homophobic or not. They may struggle with infidelity or not. They may or may not be many things, but what my characters are is real. I have drawn on real life; although I’d never write about my life or the lives of those I know, my real life encounters are what ground the stories I write. Things I’ve seen, heard and have been privy to makes my characters unique and wonderful, and special, and sad, and quirky, and nerve-wracking. It’s all part of the flava.
Therefore, when asked why I write, now you know. You can say you know some of why April writes. I’ve got tons more reasons, but now you know the basic and intrinsic reasons why I use this gift, this talent that I’ve been given. Now you know why I can’t stop, why I’ll write, or find a way to, until I’m gone, until I pass on to another plane. If possible, I may even wind up the scribe there – who knows?
Oh, and I also write because it’s my way of sharing, with you, my readers. I give to you as I get. It is unfettered and often unfiltered. It’s us in a nutshell, and I love it – you do too – or you wouldn’t be reading me.
Okay, I just noticed the time. I gotta go. Got to get some other writing done, because as you know, it’s what I do. It’s what I love, it’s in my blood.
So, until next time . . .
Happy Reading, my darlings!
Come see me again.