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Is it too late to be “anonymous”???

Yup, I killed the anonymous option a very long time ago.

When I started this blog years ago, it was ONLY to participate in the WordPress Writing 101 course.

I didn’t know anything about the world of blogging but I FELL IN LOVE with the exchanges with fellow writers and the creative writing itself reignited my love for what I had buried six feet under for almost 2 decades due to OPOs (Other People’s Opinions).

But I’m still here, still writing and still wanting to publish the stories rolling around in my head if I can get over my procrastination due to..fear?

Yeah, I said it but I digress…

In looking around at other indie authors, I realize that lots of them use pen names or initials as part of their published names.

Maybe it’s because these internet streets can get crazy weird and keeping your true identity anonymous is the smart thing to do.

Maybe it’s because an author can reinvent themselves and pick a name that’s crazy sexy and cool (I like that idea).

Or maybe it’s because lots of female authors use initials to have more street credibility, like JK Rowling and many others.

So…

I’m thinking that even though YOU already know who I am, maybe I’ll still follow suit with a different name or initials when I actually do publish something.

But it will likely be difficult to choose something that rolls off my tongue or that I really, really like.

Do you have a pen name? And if so, how did you choose it?

Bisous,

M

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We all have problems and a pandemic to deal with.

I love to escape by diving into the pages of a good book as a way to do it.

It’s a chance to forget my personal ish and revel in a fictional character’s dramatic life for a little while.

Whether it be a romance, contemporary fiction or a combination of both which is my preference, I’m in.

What about you? What’s your escape?

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Just enough intensity …anticipating what will happen next …before diving deeper…visualizing just how …

love girl kawaii heart hearts

I think that the definition of “romance” may have changed when I wasn’t looking.

A while back, I started (and stopped) reading a number of books on Kindle Unlimited after just a few chapters, either because lots of Easter Eggs and back story were given away within the first few pages OR because the book was simply a string of sex scenes strung together by an anemic story line.

Call me old-fashioned but great sex scenes in a novel require more than sexually explicit words tossed carelessly onto a page.

Or a bed.

In my opinion, writing a great sex scene requires effort, patience and some kind of love thrown into the mix in order to give the characters a happy ending.

That pun was totally intended! 🙂

But there was one e-book that had me shaking my head at just how quickly things unfolded and then deflated.

The breakdown of the book?

4% : Female character (FC) tells her boyfriend that she’s pregnant and the boyfriend dumps her.

6%: FC gets upset, storms out, has a minor accident and is helped by a sexy rugged stranger who takes her home because he lives nearby.

11%: FC tells sexy man her entire story and that she is pregnant. There’s a storm brewing so sexy man insists that she stay in his guest room.

13%: FC and sexy man fall into bed. He declares his love for her and tells her that he is ready and willing to love her and her baby.

Really?

All of that at the 13% of the book? Isn’t that a little quick? Where could the rest of the story possibly go?

I was curious enough to speed read through the rest of the 87% so I really can tell you where the rest of the story went:

Spiraling fast downhill until it crashed and burned.

  • No tense sensual build up between the characters.
  • No slow burn towards that first kiss.
  • No flirty moments between the two characters.

Nothing. Nada. Nein.

I’m not looking for the chaste vanilla of the Harlequin romance books my Granny devoured or the BDSM of Fifty Shades of Grey. There’s nothing wrong with themthey just aren’t my preference.

I can do without the 20 different words to describe the same body part and the blow-by-blow accounts of which body part went where and at what frequency…

I like my “romance” with just enough intensity between main characters that leaves me anticipating what will happen next between them. Romantic scenes that make me want to read and reread certain scenes before diving deeper into the book. Visualizing just how a scene would unfold in my mind.

Less is more.

And a little imagination is good for the soul…

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews.

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WTF.

The way my head spun around must have scared that lady to death because she froze with her mouth wide when she saw me staring at her.

Or maybe it was the stink eye I gave her, I don’t know.

“Yeah, I heard that this novel is really good but the author’s Black so I don’t think that I’d relate…

That’s what she said right before she noticed me standing there. And when she did, she was quick to scurry off with her friend like a rat in the light to the far end of the bookstore.

It’s a good thing she did because I might have said something unpolitically correct standing in the middle of the “Romance” aisle.

Mira… [I have no clue why my brain always reverts to Spanish for this word instead of English]

Everyone, including that woman is entitled to think what she thinks and to feel what she feels. We are all entitled to our preferences.

I mean, stories that involve vampires, space, historical ship or urban street fiction don’t float my boat so naturally if the book cover represents any of that, I will likely pass.

But never NEVER have I looked at an author’s profile picture on a fiction book and said that I wouldn’t be able to relate to it because of the author’s color or ethnicity.

If anything, because of the “default White” book world in which I grew up reading, I’ve always looked beyond that default – Isabel Allende, Pico Iyer, Amy Tan and the list goes on. Not being from someone else’s cultural background has never stopped me.

There are a bunch of things I could unpack for you that lurk behind that woman’s words but I’ll leave that for another time.

What I will point out is that I curiously flipped through the novel that woman referred to and it was clear that she simply had assumed the storyline and book would be…uh… “Black”.

But it wasn’t.

The main characters were White, the book blurb didn’t refer to race and neither did the front cover.

I guess that romance and happily-ever-afters are not relatable if you’re from a different ethnic group.

Judging a book by its back cover will only make you miss out on some great reads and that woman surely did.

(By the way, my inside voice is still calling “that woman” by a totally different name… 👀)

Theme Reveal #AtoZChallenge 2020 badge

The A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal for 2020 is here!

Like most of you, I’m doing my part by self-quarantining myself and it’s a good thing.

Whenever you think about how bored you may be or how the kids are getting on your last nerve, remind yourself that you are being a good citizen and contributing to flattening the curve.

I was in England for 4 days last week and since I returned home this weekend, I’ve been busy “de-germing” myself and everything I took with me on my trip, as evidenced on my Instagram Stories.

Let’s just say that my Lysol-equivalent sprays and the “sanitize” function on my washing machine have been my best friends!

Being so busy with all of that, this morning, I realized that yesterday was the A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal so here I am, making this post.

With all that is going on, the challenge may feel a bit trivial now but I’m going to do participate anyways. It will be a pleasant distraction, even if it’s to read what others are doing.

Like I said here before all this mess happened, I had already decided to repost an old A to Z Challenge.

So on that note, I’m announcing the theme for my 2020 A to Z Challenge as:

KARMA

My participation will be in the form of an ongoing little fiction story (I’m currently rewriting it under a different title name on Wattpad) and part of my personal challenge will be to make you forget that it is a fictional story.

This will be my fifth year participating (though last year I vowed my challenge days were over  🙂 ).

If you don’t know what the A to Z Challenge is, you can click here. There is still time for you to sign up and join in on the fun! It’s a great way to meet other writers, bloggers and readers.

Here is a quick teaser.

“Breaking The Mirror” (title subject to change)

Take care and stay safe,

M xoxo

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge

I’m going to drop this post like it’s hot before I change my mind…

I’m thinking about participating in the A to Z Challenge in April 2020.

No, no, no.

I WILL participate in the A to Z Challenge in April 2020.

I know, I know…It wasn’t that long ago that I DECLARED that I was DONE with writing challenges (even if you’re truly bored, please don’t scroll back through my old posts and say, “Yeah, you did say that!”)

So yeah, I’m in.

First, I was thinking about writing a series of 26 “background” posts through the eyes of one of the characters in one of my stories. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized how much work it would be for little personal gain and so I nixed it.

Then, I thought about writing to 26 reasons why I’m writing the Wattpad story I’m still working on. I quickly realized that I wouldn’t be able to be totally authentic and open with that approach and so I nixed that too.

And that’s when it hit me.

As far as I know, there is no rule that says I can’t repost a previous participation. And if there is such a rule, don’t bother correcting me because I’m going to do what I plan to do anyways.

So…

After all that debating with myself, I’ve decided that I will repost a previous A to Z project and then use it as a springboard to ….

well…

…I won’t tell you about that just yet.

I’m still hashing out those details in my head and my head is a crazy space these days.

Stay tuned.

Will you be doing the A to Z Challenge this year? If so, let me know!

Bisous xoxo

What kind of fiction do I like to read?

The kind that could actually happen in real life.

The kind of story that makes me feel as if I could step straight into the pages and almost fit right in.

The kind of tale that can teach me a thing or two along the way or even make me want to visit where the story took place.

And of course, the kind of story that has just enough romantic drama to keep me wanting more.

I always thought my preferred reading genre was considered contemporary fiction but after a little research and one too many Youtube videos on the topic, maybe it’s really considered “realistic fiction“. Or maybe realistic contemporary fiction.

I don’t know anymore and in the end, I guess it doesn’t really matter because I like what I like.

The terms “contemporary” and “realistic” are often used interchangeably so I’m going to call it “contemporary realistic fiction”, okay?

Anyhow, stories that are realistic and set in modern times are my jam (do people still say jam?) and that’s what I like writing too.

Like a story about a woman who goes on vacation and has no clue that the cute guy who has befriended her used to be a big time celebrity. Or a story about a man who dials a wrong number and ends up falling for a woman he has never met. Or like the story I still need to get back to…the one about a woman who receives a life-changing diagnosis and ends up making the most of the time she has left in Hawaii.

These are just three of my stories that are WIPs and that I’m looking forward to diving back into.

So if you ask me what genre I write, you’ll now know – I like to write the kind of stories that I like to read.

What about you? What kind of books do you like to read? Romance? Non-fiction?