Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Challenge of the Elders- The Ramsey Elders

Creating a world where so much is known about the characters; before the first setting is put into place, is not an easy thing to do. Yet this was but one of the challenges that awaited me once I accepted reader requests to create Book of Scandal- The Ramsey Elders.

In this series pre-quel, readers are taken into the world of the Ramseys- the world of the elder Ramseys before they were elders. Series readers already know of the drama the elders have roused. These readers also know how this growing drama affects the younger Ramseys and their love interests.

What readers haven't been given a glimpse of however, are the origins of the scandal and those responsible when they were somewhat...innocent (I use that term very lightly, for current readers know 'innocent' in no way pertains to certain characters in this series).

Another challenge was bringing realism to a world that; before Book of Scandal, was only hinted at by characters in the main series through dialogue and memory. It was both a challenge and an adventure to actually flesh out these occurrences from their onset.

As the author, I discovered new dimensions to my characters. I'm often asked about my inspiration for the series. Most often my response is: the characters, as this is truly a character-driven storyline. Discovering new dimensions, new facets to character persona goes even farther in making them real for me. Inspiration indeed.

I mentioned earlier that much is already known about many of the characters in Book of Scandal. The elders play pivotal roles in the main series which focuses on the younger generation. With that said, staying true to what's already been revealed was another looming challenge. During the creation of this story, I knew readers would be especially interested in Marcus and Houston the two Ramseys most responsible for the upsets shaking the family to this day.

Readers wanted to know why Marcus was so evil. Was he traumatized as a child? Was he simply born that way? In relation to Houston-Marc's younger brother-speculation revolved around his obvious character defects. What allowed him to be so easily coerced? Delving into Houston's background/persona was most important as he is the catalyst for what occurs in the prologue to book one: A Lover's Dream. The murder of Sera Black spawns the unraveling of the scandal when author Michaela Sellars arrives to research her biography on the mysterious Ramseys of Seattle.

We are quickly approaching the bottom of the rabbit hole. The next and final stage of the saga focuses on the Ramsey women with revelations no one will expect or believe.

Look for "A Lover's Shame" in 2011.

Until next time,

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Erotic Freedom

Writing Erotica, reading Erotica. Regardless of what side of the story you're on, I think we can all agree that you know when you've got Erotica in your presence.
I've been on both sides of Erotica and have experienced different emotions each time. Minds out of the gutter people! I'm talkin' intellectual emotions.
Seriously though, as any traditionally published author knows, following the house guidelines is essential to the creation of the story. Quite simply, depending on the genre there are things characters can't do and words, phrases an author can't use. Still, there are guidelines when writing Erotica- things that are considered taboo.
However, there is a freedom within the genre. It was that freedom that drove me toward my alter ego T. Onyx. Remember that 'intellectual emotion' I spoke of earlier? Well, as I started my journey into Erotica as reader, I knew at once that I wanted to experience the genre from an author's perspective. I wanted my characters to have more sexual freedom and I wanted to know what it'd feel like to write those freedoms.
For instance, my debut title: Truth In Sensuality. The main characters Lucilla Fairchild and Ryken Gabrielle are stars of an 'adult' drama who come to the realization that they aren't just acting for the camera. Chisulo Nkosi, the hero of my second Erotic Romance: Ruler of Perfection was exciting to create as a shape-shifter.
Now, I'm not saying stars of adult dramas and shapeshifters don't exist in contemporary romances, but remember those freedoms I spoke of? They were the next layer of my interest in writing for this genre. That descriptive element, the explicit nature of erotica are characteristics you'd be hard pressed to find elsewhere.
Most times, I like to take on a new challenge just to see if I can do it. Writing Erotica has allowed me to challenge myself- to take my writing into unexplored territory.
And I had/have such a great time with it! Using that blunt, explicit lingo that brings the heat not only to the sex scenes but to the dialogue has been very refreshing. Coming up with outrageous plot twists and shocking myself with how far I can take a love scene...I'm really enjoying this...
And I hope you'll enjoy a little Erotic Freedom the next time you curl up with a T. Onyx...

New by T. Onyx in 2011 "Pleasure's Powerhouse"

Until next time,

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Layers of Trouble, Deceit and Hate

If you're not a member of my Yahoo webgroup LoveAlTonya, then you've probably never heard mention of the Layers series. Some may be wondering why I'm calling it a series already as it presently consists of only one book.
My original intent was to craft three short stories to culminate with a full length novel. The final story would bring to a head all the revelations uncovered in the first three installments and how they are handled by the main characters Huron Base and Kamari Grade.

Well you know what they say about the best laid plans.

The first two stories were submitted for electronic distribution. Unfortunately part 2 was released before part 1. Not good! It was pulled immediately but a few people had already purchased it and a little buzz began (I'm happy to say). Readers were quite interested in the financier who hadn't quite cast off his "thuggish" ways and the lovely troubleshooter who was determined to uncover every secret he had.

I was inspired by the concept of the story because; as anyone whose read my work knows, I'm drawn to secrets and flawed characters. Layers contains a healthy stash of these elements. The only thing more wonderful for me than creating the secrets and putting together the various character 'defects' is crafting the outcomes once those layers are peeled away.

The Layers series will be pretty fast paced. As I mentioned earlier, it will consist of the three stories in the first book (Layers of Trouble, Layers of Deceit, Layers of Hate) The series will conclude with the full length title Layers of the Past.

This will be a riskier storyline especially as it pertains to the main characters. Will they survive as a couple? I encourage you to peel back the layers and discover for yourself.
Until Next Time,

Available in Print and on Kindle:

Monday, July 12, 2010

Those People & Their Problems

If you've ever read any of my romantic fiction- one book, ten, twenty...then you know that I love obstacles. Well, I don't love them but I do put my couples through their fair share.

Yes, even in the blissfully passionate world of the beautiful people, obstacles do exist. I definitely topped it on Julia Kelly and Cortez Wallace in my latest Kimani Romance release As Good As The First Time.

Julia and Cortez are ex-lovers torn apart by the pressures of family, issues of self worth (or worthlessness) and fear. Did I mention Cortez's fiancee (not Julia) and the fact that he lives in Detroit while she's in Los Angeles?

Yes, the obstacles run hot and heavy in this newest story. Why? Why not make it easier on the lovers to find their way back to one another?

The complexities of a relationship are seldom that simple to unravel. Only in the world of fiction however- romantic or otherwise, do those obstacles have the chance to be abolished for good. In reality, we're most often stuck with hurtles that fester and become so unmanageable that they inevitably ruin a relationship.

Fictionally speaking, there lies the chance to acknowledge said obstacles and triumph over them. The journey to reaching that triumphant plateau is the heart of the story (my stories, anyway).

I suppose the twists and turns I set before my couples are my best testaments to a dream relationship. A relationship where past hurts and misunderstandings- no matter how numerous- don't sit and fester, but are confronted and defeated.

I hope you'll enjoy the journey Cortez and Julia take to find out whether their love can be As Good As The First Time.



(I really love my cover.......!)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Balancing Acts

When people talk about balancing acts in terms of their lives, they are usually speaking of tending to several different responsibilities and keeping them on an even keel.

I'm often asked how I balance my day job, my writing career, being a mom, a significant other and now a graduate student. As I thought about this blog, I jotted down these very things and decided I'd write about the parts and importance those things play or hold in my life.

Once those responsibilities were jotted down; however, I realized that these were not items that could be listed and ranked for me.

Instead, it occurred to me that these were items that; while totally different things, they each mixed, mingled and complimented one another-as one.

I believe that's the best answer I have when asked how I balance it all. When thought of as separate responsibilities, I could very well overwhelm myself in trying to rank them or given them all equal attention. Viewing them as moving parts of one thing-my life, is the way I do it.

My work (day job) allows me to support my family. My writing is my passion which fulfills me and enhances who I am as a person, allowing me to be more engaging as a mom and significant other. Graduate school, I hope, will enhance my work which will improve my ability to support my family-thus the cycle continues.

I hope this blog will be yet another piece that will compliment the whole-engaging my readers and making you all more a part of my life.

I look forward to sharing my updates on the new Ramsey/Tesano series as well as upcoming titles written as T. Onyx (my next story will feature 3 friends who discover the benefits of being more than friends). I will also discuss my Young Adult projects. I plan to release my debut contemporary YA title "The Expectation of Beauty" this year. I have also completed the rough draft of my 2nd YA title "Eternal" which will be a mix of romance, fantasy and of course suspense.

I encourage you to add this feed and stay tuned to see how I balance it all.



Latest releases: "As Good As The First Time", "Layers"