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Love's Promise, The Next Big Thing

Love’s Promise is the title of my forthcoming short story collection that is just one story away from being complete.

I have been writing this book for a long time, and in fact a few of the stories have been published in journals, one as long as seven years ago.  However, it was only last year that it came together, when the title landed in my head like the petals of an orange hibiscus on my bare thigh.

The book is about all sorts of love, but mainly it explores women’s love: who we love, how we engage in love, what love makes of us, the implicit and explicit promise we extract from love.

This is a collection of stories about strong women, even when sometimes, we are weak and allow men to exploit our love. I see Angela Bassett as one of the leading characters. However, given that these characters are as glass polished by the ocean, they demand actors who have not yet ascended to the spotlight, actors, who like the characters are still being fashioned by everyday life occurrences.

This collection is about love and the various ways that love shows up, and how we bend and yield to its firm, but passionate lure.

I did not know I was writing this collection until last year when I put together all the short stories I had written over the last seven years, and realized that I had a book. Once I looked over all of the stories, many of which were already published, I recognized the common theme. Then, I went on discover what other stories I needed to write to fully encompass the theme and make it a worthy collection.

Initially it was my goal to complete this collection last year, but with my teaching responsibilities and other projects, I didn’t meet my own deadline. I am now determined to be done by the end of February; hands down. 

Those familiar with my previous collections, might be quick to compare this book to Bake-Face and Other Guava Stories, because of the focus on women characters. However, this is all together a different book. Truly, I can’t think of any other collections, by other writers, male or female, that beg such a comparison. However, if a reader appreciates Willa Carther, Nadine Gordimer, Maryse Conde, or Toni Cade Bambara, then they will readily descend into this work, only coming up for air at its conclusion.

The impetus for this book began with flashing memories of various women from my Jamaican community, and wanting to immortalize them; to hold the mirror for them, to show how big they are not just to themselves, but within the world.

The common denominator that pins these stories together is the depth of passion, the web-like emotional landscape of the characters, their ordinariness that transcends the mundane.

Love’s Promise is neither romantic nor nostalgic in its exploration of love.  It is at times, simplistic and straightforward, other times raw and pungent, but also quiet and withdrawn.  Love endures and allows each character to come to herself without illusions.

 

Love’s Promise is seeking an aggressive agent, and a publisher that is willing to make it a best selling classic.

I was tagged in this celebrating each other's project by Shara McCallum, who is a wonderful poet. Check out her new project @the link below.

http://theafterwordatbucknell.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/the-next-big-thing-a-guest-post-by-shara-mccallum/

I tagged Devorah Major, Gillian Royes, Elmaz Abinader, Gloria Frym & Kathryn Takara