Thursday, November 19, 2009

Prayer of the Newly Published Author

Prayer of the Newly Published Author

Dear God,
In the last year I’ve “come out of the closet” and admitted I am an erotic romance writer, sold my first book, celebrated my ninth wedding anniversary (my longest relationship outside of…well…You…), received my first book review and have been told my characters suck. Whew! It’s been one heck of a year and all I can say is…Thank you!

Thank You, God, that when I finally gathered my courage and revealed to my father—the pastor—that I write erotic romance he didn’t disown me…or place my name on the permanent prayer list. You know the list, God. The one with the names of people who only show up for church on Easter Sunday and Mother’s Day? Although, when he proceeded to instruct me on the correct way to pen a love scene, including engaging the senses of scent, touch, sound, sight–Well, I would have rather never had to experience that conversation with him, but I’m thankful to You for his acceptance and pride in me.

God, I thank You for my husband. While he harbors no problem with his wife being an erotic romance writer (Hee! Hee! Hee!), he has supported and fostered a dream that originated during our second year of marriage. And not once has he ever told me to let it go. Never has he instructed me to be “realistic” and move on. Sometimes he believed when mine wavered. I thank You, God, for my husband’s sacrifice, his heart, his faith and strength.

And, God, I thank You for loving me. Thank you for reaching out into the great space of Hope, wrapping Your hand of Faith around my dream and bringing it to fruition. Your Word says You aren’t a respecter of persons, and yet, You chose me. That floors me, God…it humbles me. And, so at this time of Thanksgiving—at this time of family, reflection and harvest, I say thank you for the family that supports and loves me, for knowing that all of this has nothing to do with me and everything to do with You, and for the bountiful harvest of dreams and hopes that I continue to reap.

Thank You, Father, for being You.

Naima Simone, an active member of RWA’s Southern Magic Chapter, has been an avid reader all her life. When she finally decided to drag her manuscripts from under her mattress and seriously pursue a career in writing, she discovered she had a lot to learn. Through the mentoring of fellow authors—published and unpublished—her first erotic romantic suspense with Ellora’s Cave Publishing, “Sweet Ultimatum” was released on October 23, 2009. Come visit her at http://www.naimasimone.com!

34 comments:

Debbie Kaufman said...

Naima, your father's reaction is one of the funniest things ever! Talk about blowing up all your stereotypes. Thanks for being with us today.

Tami Brothers said...

Hi Naima! Thanks for blogging with us today. I haven’t read your book, but as funny (and touching) as your post is today, I’m looking forward to it.

I can totally relate about worrying about the family reaction. I was extremely proud of what I’m doing until I had a run-in with an uncle who tore me to shreds (via e-mail). He was overly cruel and it really damaged some of my confidence in what I wanted to do with my writing.

Instead of giving it all up over one person’s opinion, I came up with the idea for this group blog. Who knew better than anyone else what I was going through as I struggled to see publication than other writers who were on this very same journey? It seriously helped. Both mentally and spiritually. My fellow blog sisters have stood beside me as we all struggle to be accepted. Whenever my faith in ME waivers, they are there.

You web site is terrific. AND I LOVE your message on your home page. Again, you make me want to read your book. Guess I’m going shopping…grin….

Great job!!!

Tami Brothers

Katie Reus said...

I love your father's reaction! And that first review telling you that your characters suck is a right of passage, I swear, lol. Sweet Ultimatum is a fabulous book and I can't wait to read more from you :)

Katie Reus said...

*oops, I meant rite of passage...I haven't had my coffee yet :)

Barbara Monajem said...

What a lovely post. Your father sounds wonderful. So does your husband. So does your book!

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Debbie!!
Believe me, my father blows all stereotypes of stern reverends to smithereens!! I must let you hear his "Song of Solomon" sermon one day. Whew! And I'm the romance writer?? LOL!

Thanks for letting me blog today!! I love Petit Fours and Hot Tamales!!

Chicki said...

Naima - Congrats on your release! After reading this, I rushed right over to your web site to find out more about you. The first thing that struck me in your bio was our common "Vin love."

I don't write erotic romance, but it would probably considered erotic by the members of my church ... The idea of getting published and having them read it sends shivers down my spine!


Please stop by my web site and read my "Just for Laughs" article about my decade-long Vinsanity.

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Tami!
I know exactly what you mean. I haven't found complete acceptance with my writing because of the content, especially within my church who I consider family. But, with my husband, father and immediate family, not to mention the writers through my RWA chapter and at Ellora's Cave, I have an incredible support system. That makes all the difference in the world. This group blog is a wonderful idea and community because it gives that support to those writers who maybe don't have what we do. And besides, like you said, who knows an author better than another author? Except for maybe a psychiatrist...LOL!

Thank you so much for the compliment on the website and the Home message! Hah! I just thought of it as my actual house! LOL! And, that urge you feel to go shopping...go with that, my child, go with the flow...Hee-hee-hee!!

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Katie!!
That rite of passage was equivalent to walking on coals!! LOL! Thank you so much for reading Sweet Ultimatum and I thank you even more for liking it!! LOL!

I might have my father guest blog for me one day so you all can meet him...Oh he would love that...

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Barbara!!
Both of the men in my life are gems...more precious than any stone. I love them and their hearts are the prototypes for my heroes. Though my hero may look like Vin Diesel, he has my husband's heart...Hee-hee-hee!!

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Chicki!!
Yes!! Vin-lovers of the world unite!! You have to post your website address so I can read the article.
"Vinsanity"!! Hah! I love it! That's hilarious!!

When I found out that Sweet Ultimatum had been bought by Ellora's Cave, all I told some members of my church was that it had been purchased. No details. Then they asked which publisher and I couldn't develop sudden amnesia so I had to fess up. Most had no clue that EC is an erotic romance publisher and I did not enlighten them!! LOL!

Thank you for the congratulations, Chicki!! I love that name!! LOL!

Chicki said...

Sorry, Naima. The URL is http://www.chicki663.webs.com. Leave me a message at the contact link when you're done. Have a great day!

Dianna Love said...

Naima - LOL over how you dealt with your father. I so admire you for following your dreams and holding your faith. Great cover, by the way. Best of luck with your new series.

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Dianna!
Thank you!! My father shocked me--I think my ears spontaneously bled when he said "Oohs and aahs make for a better read, doesn't it?" OMG!! I didn't know whether to laugh or cry!! I think I did both! Just goes to show even the people you love and know well can continue to surprise you.

Thanks again, Dianna! I adore my cover, too, btw! LOL! I'm so modest, like I did it! LOL!

Nicki Salcedo said...

Naima, great words to send us into a NaNo writing weekend. We do have so much to be thankful for. People in war torn, poverty stricken, and desperate situations do not have the luxury to write. What we do is a luxury and a blessing.

And maybe writing erotica is a double blessing:)

Thanks for sharing your time with us today!

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Nicki!
It is a blessing, isn't it? And an honor because with our gifts we can lift someone from their reality for just a little while and show them a world where, no matter the genre, love and goodness prevails in the end.

And if hot sex is thrown in for good measure, all the better! LOL!

Happy Thanksgiving, Nicki!!

Marilyn Baron said...

Thank you for blogging with us today. I really enjoyed your sense of humor and reading about your father's surprising reaction.

Best of luck with your writing.

Marilyn Baron

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Marilyn!
Thank you so much for having me! I've had a ball! Thank you again for the well wishes! Have an awesome Thanksgiving!

Maxine Davis said...

Naima,
Glad you stopped by PF&HT. I enjoyed your post. It was uplifting. I know what you mean: ".. .thank you for the family that loves and supports me . . .

Congratulations on being published!!

Linsey Lanier said...

Thanks for a very comforting post, Naima. I needed to hear everything you said today. Like Tami pointed out, banding together in our sisterhood gives us courage and strength we can't get from others who don't understand what we're doing.

I read the excerpt of "Sweet Ultimatum" on your website. Your characters sound fine to me. And very hot. It looks like a great book. Everybody go check it out.

Good luck with "Sweet Ultimatum" and may many more releases be in your future!

Linsey

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Maxine!
A price tag cannot be placed on family, can it? And often we don't realize how valuable they are until we come against adversity and disappointments and discover they are our foundation. I love all of them.

Thank you for the congrats and for having me today!!

Naima Simone said...

Hey, Linsey!
I'm so glad you received what you needed today! We are a sisterhood. And it's so funny how people perceive writers as solitary. True, the actual sitting down and putting fingers to keyboard is alone, but the process and the community is anything but solitary! From critque partners, to chapter members to other authors who we meet and instantly bond with at conferences, we truly are a unique sisterhood. And the best there is!!

Thank you for the compliment on my characters *sniff sniff*! LOL! And thanks for going by the website and reading the excerpt!! I need you for promotion!! LOL!

Angel said...

Naima, What a wonderful prayer! I've been very impressed of what I've read of your father. And aren't supportive husbands one of
God's greatest gifts?!?!

I found myself outed at a women's Baptist retreat. I spent the whole weekend answering 2 questions: 1. What do you write? Romance. 2. A Christian romance? Um, no. Some women were understanding, a couple enthusiastic. The majority uneasily silent. But I'm proud of myself for not giving in and telling them what they wanted to hear. It was really tough, and I struggle sometimes with the fact that I write explicitly and many who share my faith disapprove of that. But I figure God made me this way for a reason.

After meeting you in person, I'd just like to say you are so sweet and enthusiastic! Congratulations on your first release and may there be many, many more!

Danniele

Christine said...

Naima: your prayer made me get all teary and I am so happy your dad was supportive and ... well, maybe too supportive, bless him... I can only imagine that awkward conversation with his TIPS for writing sex scenes LOL--I will have to meet him.

I am so happy for you that your dream of publication is a reality. You deserve it! And once I get done my crazy GH entry, I am soooo buying the book! I got me a long car drive to TX on Wed. and I need something fun and beautiful to read.

The way you have with words... well you humble me!
(((huggles)))

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Danniele!
LOL! I don't mean to laugh at you getting outed from a Baptist women's retreat, but what a subject line for a blog! I love it. I've encountered what you have as well. I love worship, I love the Word, I love God. And because of that there are people who automatically expect me to write Inspirationals or self-help books. Not that I have anything against those at all, I just don't write them. I ENJOY writing romance, and believe it or not, I ENJOY writing erotic romance. I love describing the sounds, scents and emotions of not only love scenes, but LOVE. Its pains and trials...thank you very much, Daddy. LOL!

I, too, struggle with the disapproval, but like you, I believe God gave me this gift. I also believe God blessed me with the opportunity to be published. He brought so many people in my life at the right time and worked in so many miraculous ways, it couldn't have been anyone but Him! Don't let anyone make you doubt that as well.

I totally enjoyed meeting you at the luncheon! Are you and your daughter still warring over the blanket? LOL!! I'm waiting to read your first release, too, because I believe in my heart it will happen for you. If it can happen for me, it WILL surely come to pass for you!

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Christine!!
I wish I could bottle you up! LOL! You are such an encourager and I love to see you coming whether in person or on a blog!!

My father is one of a kind! Definitely! I think back on that conversation even now and some of his tips...dang! I already use them!! How embarrassing is that?? LOL! I will spare you all what he said about the marriage bed...Forget it! No I won't! If my eyes have to bleed with the internal images, yours may as well, too! And I quote, "According to Paul, the marriage bed is undefiled. So whether it's 69 or 109, what goes on between a man and wife is all good." OMG! I think my left frontal lobe just collapsed just writing that...*shiver* I don't want to reflect on how my Daddy knows about 69! LOL!

Christine said...

I am so chuckling Naima... you are awesome... and I do want to meet your dad....
I am a Christian and I don't write inspirationals either. I toyed with it, but I just can't write a romance without the sex. Darn it. My books tho' are about two souls finding each other and discovering home. And that is what my heart says the relationship with God is: HOME. God, if I can reach at least one person with that message in my "naughty" prose, I will be His instrument. How to explain that to the more judgmental? I don't...

Debra Glass said...

Beautiful post, Naima! I've seen most of your family and they are all so proud of you! And with good reason. Your books are smokin'. Gratitude and support are wonderful things and, I think, the answer to most anything in life.

Naima Simone said...

Christine,
Can I quote you?? Wow, that is beautiful and describes how I feel perfectly!!

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Debra!
That is completely true. My family backs up their words with action!! If I need them they are always right there pitching in with labor and laughs. They're awesome!

Thank you, Debra! I included it in my Acknowledgments, but I'm going to say it again. I'm thankful for you too. Your encouragement, help and time are invaluable to me. You exemplify the sisterhood and community of writers.

Sally Kilpatrick said...

Naima,

That was just beautiful. Thank YOU for sharing. : )

Sally

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Sally!
Thank you!! I've totally enjoyed myself visiting Petit Fours and Hot Tamales! Thanks for having me. Happy Thanksgiving!!

Nicole North said...

Beautiful post, Naima!!! I enjoyed reading it. Your father's response to your writing is awesome! I can't wait to read your book and I wish you much success!!
Hugs!

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Nicole!
Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do yours!!
Happy Thanksgiving!
Naima