Happy Tuesday and welcome to my Jaded Eden.
Today, I'm welcoming someone who has many faces, many names, and yet manages to be true and sincere. A woman with a strong personality in short.
Let me introduce to Author Sharita Lira: In one word, crazy. Just crazy enough to have 3 different muses running around in her head, driving her to sheer exhaustion with new plot bunnies and complex characters.
This happily married mother of two beautiful children loves music, computers, reading, and still enjoys reading and writing fanfiction. She’s a proud member of the Erotica Readers & Writers Association, as well as an advocate for rights of LGBT citizens. She’s also a contributor to the heavy metal ezine Fourteeng.net.
The morning, you are tea or coffee?
Actually neither. I have Coca Cola in the morn. ;)
What kind of books do you write?
I write m/m, m/f, sometimes ménage. I’ll do contemporary, paranormal, interracial… whatever the muses say do. *laughs*
Why did you choose this genre?
I love the m/m genre because I enjoy writing about two hot men overcoming obstacles for love. It’s so much more fun than writing straight het.
When you write, are you keyboard or paper?
Are you more motivated to write when the sun shines or when the weather is gray?
Actually either suits me. A quiet house is the best setting for me.
Where do you find your inspiration?
You already know. *laughs* Besides the pretty men on the internet, my own life, my friends, or even things in the news. If it touches me in some way it inspires me.
When you start a book, do you already have the whole story in your head, or is it built progressively?
It really depends on the book. The one I’m doing now has been in my head over a year but it’s a lot different than what I first crafted on paper. It’s evolved into something deeper as I go along.
How do you feel before the release of a book? Fear, joy? And after?
Before? Lots of nerves, fear of people liking the book. After, more relaxation. I usually don’t take time off either. I go to the next book.
Between your first and last novel, do you feel a change? Do you write differently?
I definitely do. I see a lot of improvement. Now I take more time to build the worlds and flesh out my characters. I’m not perfect but I do see a big difference especially since I’ve started reading more books on the craft as well as reading my peers.
They say that writers project themselves into the skin and into the head of his hero / heroine, is that the case for you?
Yes it is. I always try to put myself into their shoes. How would I do this? If it’s my reality then I’ll write it in theirs. Some people don’t like that but I have to write it the way I’m comfortable with it.
You define yourself more like a bookworm, a city mouse or a country mouse?
I’m a city mouse. I love the big city with lights, the fast pace.
Molière said: “Writing is like prostitution. First we write for the love of it, then for a few friends, and in the end for money.” What do you think about it?
If I wrote for the money I’d continue to be poor. *laughs* I write for the love and myself. I enjoy showcasing my art to other people. If they like it, great, they don’t it’s okay too. I’ve made good money writing but not enough to quit the EDJ. But as I said, I don’t do it for that. I love writing and creating romantic stories for my characters.
Your books have already been translated?
No, not yet. I hope someday.
Do you pay attention to literary criticism?
As long as it’s constructive, yes. Don’t tear me down or my book because you don’t like me or it. Give me feedback about why you don’t like it. Too short? I didn’t flesh out my characters? Too much telling? I look for that in reviews.
The days are 25 hours. You spend that extra hour in the garden or in the kitchen?
What is the book you would bring with you on a deserted island?
OMG that’s too tough. Anything by Sue Brown… *laughs* I love all her books.
In the evening, do you turn off the light directly or do you take the time to read?
I try to read every night before bed, even if it’s a short story. Doesn’t always happen but sometimes reading gets me dreaming about my own stories I’d like to write.
Blurb: Calvin is looking to end it all because he feels his family won't accept him as a gay man. Unbeknownst to him, someone is watching, looking to pick him up and rescue him from his negative state. Can Calvin get help before it’s too late?
This is a story of coming out and accepting who you are. Remember, you are normal and you are not alone.
“No one will ever love you or respect you. You can’t be Sam Carroll Junior and be gay! You’ll be rejected, your family will never accept it!”
Samuel squinted. Warm tears streamed down his face, staining his cheeks. With a heavy heart and a lot on his mind, he sat in the driver’s side seat of his car, alone, looking at the forty-five caliber gun he took from his father’s lock box. Sammy blinked back the small droplets and licked his lips. Right now, his mouth was dry like the Sahara and perspiration formed on his brow even with the cool breeze seeping through the cracked window.
Sammy tried to get his wits about him, and give himself some courage. Inner strength. It’s for the best. They’ll never understand. They’ll hate you and make your life a living hell! “I know…I wanna die right now! I’m gonna do it…I’m gonna…”
Just when he stretched his shaky hand out, his cellphone startled him, stopping him from grabbing the weapon. He gulped hard, wiped his hand with his sleeve, and plucked the phone from his inside jacket pocket. “Yeah.”
“Sammy?” A tired but concerned voice on the other end sounded through the handset.
“What is it, Brenda?” Samuel turned the key in the ignition until the engine shut down.
“Where are you, bro? Been calling you for the last two hours. Ever since you told me…”
“M’fine, sis. Just thinking, that’s all. I needed some time to myself, you know? To sort out things.”
“Samuel, it’s gonna be okay. I told you, you gotta tell mom and dad. They love you, they’ll…”
“No way,” Sammy shook his head vehemently and interrupted his sister. Just thinking about telling his father about his orientation made him shudder. “No, Bren. Dad makes jokes about homosexuals all the time along with the rest of the men in our family. It’s probably already a dead giveaway that I like to cook and I’m not into sports.”
“Sammy, you stop that nonsense talk now! Plenty of men who aren’t gay cook and don’t like sports. We can get you someone to talk to. The counselors at school…”
“Brenda, all of them are good friends with dad. They’ll tell him and I can’t have that!” Sammy slammed the steering wheel hard with his free hand before running it through his scalp. “I can’t do this, sis. I can’t be a Carroll man and be gay.”
“Yes you can, Sammy. Now please, come home right now so we can talk a little more. I’ve been worried about you ever since we had the conversation a couple of days ago.”
That was most likely true. Brenda was the only person who knew about Sammy’s latest revelation. He knew he could trust Brenda not to tell anyone his secret.
Still, how long would that last? Would Brenda get so worried that she’d tell the counselors or their parents herself?
“Sammy? You still there?” Brenda asked quickly.
“Yeah, I’m coming upstairs. I just pulled into the driveway. Are mom and dad home?”
“No, they went to a church social with Pastor Leahy.”
And yet another person who couldn’t find out about Sammy’s orientation. Pastor Allen Leahy aka bible thumping, bigoted, preacher who constantly spoke against gays and lesbians being children of Satan. Knowing how he spewed that constant hate from the pulpit, his parents would never accept the fact Sammy was gay. He was positive of that. Surely they’d want the pastor to interfere, to pray the gay away or worse, send him off to one of those Christian camps they always sent the sinning young people to. Sammy didn’t need that. He needed support, guidance, and someone to listen to his feelings.
With these adverse thoughts in his head right now, negative reactions from his parents and outsiders would do nothing but make him feel worse. Sammy knew he was right on the edge and needed someone to pull him away.
“M’kay, be up in a bit. See ya.” Sammy slid his phone shut and placed it back in his pocket. His hands were still clammy and trembling from the thoughts in his head about pulling the trigger. Really, he wished there was another way to end it all. Pills? He hated taking them. Self hanging? He wasn’t sure how to tie knots since he never went to Boy Scouts. At least with the hand gun it was simple to do. He’d been out to the range with his dad before. Animals and the targets at the shooting range had been his only victims. Never a human and it terrified him to be turning the weapon on himself.
Despite this, he knew this was the simplest way to get out of this fate worse than death; being a gay man, make that, a gay black man with bible thumping parents who wouldn’t understand being born gay is okay. They had higher expectations for Sammy. To finish college with top honors, start his career, then look for a suitable wife to bear them grandchildren in the near future. They’d said it many times in passing or in any conversations, even trying to fix him up with young women at church.
No, Mr. and Mrs. Carroll would never accept their son as a gay man. It was best to save himself the trouble of disappointing them.
Still shaken from the events of the last hour or so, Sammy ran inside the house, huffing like he’d just ran a marathon. His heart thumped in his chest repeatedly, making this small trek up the stairs seem like he was climbing a mountain top. In a way it was; meeting with a member of his family, telling them about his feelings. This however was the smallest hill to overcome. If Sammy ever decided to tell his parents that would be an even bigger one to conquer.
For the time being, he decided to return the gun to his father’s lock box just so he wouldn’t go looking for it. Still, Sammy kept the key so he could make a copy for himself in the event he’d need to grab the gun to carry out his mission. Besides, where would he keep the weapon with his mom still snooping around his room even at age twenty? How on earth would he explain, stealing his father’s gun from its secured compartment?
For more information, please visit The Literary Triad, and her fan page on Facebook or on Twitter. You can also visit her others sites: Michael Mandrake, BLMorticia, Rawiya, Rawiya Michael MBL.