lashawn-photo-shoot-3Being the oldest of 3 siblings, and the only girl, I always longed for wanting a little sister. I had nothing in common with my brothers, they always annoyed me, but I wouldn’t trade them in for the world. I was always told I was talkative and ready to gab at all times just about anything. So, I figured out a way to put my words to use and that was put them on paper. I started to write everything from rap lyrics, to poems, to short stories which allowed me to escape whatever problems I was going through. You see, before I wanted to be an author, I wanted to be a rapper.

From middle school to high school I entered into talent shows to show off my rap skills, and I even won first place for best rap written for the Vocational Education Program. The longing for wanting to write continued as I started College, taking a major in Journalism. Unfortunately, I deferred my dream by taking the advice of someone else who thought Journalism wasn’t going to get me far when it was time for applying for jobs. Instead, he suggested I take a major in the Legal field and become a Lawyer or Paralegal Assistant because I was guaranteed job opportunities. Sadly, I found his logic to be persuasive and I changed my major. It was the biggest mistake of my life! So while I worked the practical 9 to 5 and continued my studies in the Paralegal field, my passion for writing never died.

I will admit at first I wasn’t a big reader, but being a single mom, working a 9 to 5, and attending college, I needed an escape. I found that peace of mind and enjoyment in reading romance novels. I started saying to myself, “I could do this.” I believed I could write compelling stories such as the ones I was reading. I started coming up with book titles, creating storylines and characters in my head. It was like counting to 3. I had it in me, but it was only one thing stopping me—fear. I met my husband in 1999 and I remember telling him I wanted to be an author writing romance novels. That’s all I talked about and eventually he got tired of me talking about it and felt I should just do it.

Realizing he was right and still not doing anything to pursue my passion; something amazing happened the year of 2009 that gave me the push that I needed to write. The vision for my first novel, Forbidden Fruit came to me in a dream. Going back several years prior, I already knew what I wanted my first novel to be titled. The concept for my storyline was inspired by a 2004 Ebony article titled, Sisters Beware! The 5 Forbidden Fruits. The article provided valuable information warning women about forbidden personalities they should avoid for a romantic relationship. Back to my dream…literally my characters were speaking to me and the scene for my first chapter played out in my head. What amazed me was that I remembered everything that transpired and what was said; so the next morning I put my fingers to work and completed the entire first chapter.

My literary creativity was being released and it was the best feeling I had experienced in a long time. Now it was no picnic in the park. There were many roadblocks that tried to keep me from writing my novel such as writers block, self-doubt, frustration, and fear (there go that ugly word again) and believe me I wanted to call it quits. However, I was determined not to give up. I had a team of family and friends that rallied behind me and gave me support and words of encouragement.

Finally in 2012 I released my debut novel, Forbidden Fruit which has been described as a “wonderful” love story filled with suspense and drama. Forbidden Fruit was published under my own publishing company, Bittersweet Publications, LLC. I accomplished my literary goal and I did it by keeping faith, perseverance, and determination. Forbidden Fruit II followed its debut and was released September 2016. I am currently working on part 3 set to be released fall of 2017.

There you have it. My story. My journey. I love writing romance novels because it’s nothing like creating a story surrounded by erotica, suspense and drama, which portray characters burning with lust, love and passion. So stay tuned because there is more in store for my beloved readers. For now, peace and love!