Wednesday, August 06, 2008


SIGH….Okay….like….umm….I’m having some issues. Issues about my writing. Issues I should not be having. Luke Stallion’s story has unfolded nicely. You might remember that I wasn’t getting any warm and fuzzy feelings from the last two Stallion men. But I finally like the baby brother. I like him a lot. He’s young. He’s industrious. And, he’s energetic, masterful, and virile just like a twenty-five year old should be. Brother Matthew’s story has been sneaking in and out of my writing when I’ve least expected or wanted it. Matthew’s much more conservative. Matthew continues to be a challenge. The brother is uptight, restrained and so damn pragmatic that he is making me work much too hard. Unleashing his inner animal though has made for some very interesting romantic moments. But the Stallions really aren’t the problem.

Two of my past books have me scratching my head in wonder. In February 2007, my sixth contemporary romance novel, In The Light of Love was released to fairly good reviews. It was the story of Talisa London and Dr. Jericho Becton. The couple encounters each other at an Atlanta hospital fund-raiser and then find themselves working side by side in a war-torn African nation. If I can say so myself, this was a damn good book. It was this engaging tale of faith, commitment, and the spirit of giving and the reviews weren’t half bad at all.

As part of my vision for that story, I pledged to give 50% of all the royalties I earned from the sales for the first six month period to WORLD VISION to be used toward food and supplies to aid the women and children suffering in Darfur, Sudan. WORLD VISION is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. And this is where my issues come in.

I haven’t made that donation yet. I haven’t made that donation because to date, I’m told I’ve not sold enough copies of that book to have earned any royalties at all. None at all. I’m still shaking my head at my last royalty statement. Every book before it and every book after it did amazingly well. It however, hasn’t done much of anything at all.

I have one other book that I thought would have done extremely well and it didn’t. Love In The Lineup was released in August 2006. This was Roshawn Bradsher’s story. You may remember Roshawn was Jeneva (The Right Side of Love) and Bridget’s (Always Means Forever) best friend. Roshawn was the reason there was even a series about those three women because everyone loved Roshawn’s spirited personality.

Now, Love In The Lineup was funny as can be and HOT. I even managed to get a condom on beautiful Angel Rios while the man was skinny-dipping in a swimming pool. That sexual encounter was spontaneous, unplanned, and took some serious maneuvering to accomplish. The aftermath left you breathless!
So what happened? Where did I get it wrong? What could I have done differently? And, how do I keep from making the same mistakes with Luke and Matthew’s stories? I’m a little baffled and admittedly, a lot nervous.

But I’m also still committed to honoring my pledge for WORLD VISION. The crisis that still exists in Sudan follows on the heels of two decades of civil war waged in northern Uganda. The Ugandan conflict left tens of thousands of civilians dead, witnessed at least 20,000 child abductions and displaced more than 1.6 million people. To date, as many as 10,000 people have died monthly since the conflict began in Darfur, Sudan, mainly due to pervasive – and preventable – disease and hunger. The brutal, ethnic conflict has driven over 2 million people into homelessness, their villages pillaged, burned, and destroyed. Health care is extremely limited, and killings and sexual assaults are rampant. With the lives of thousands of women and children threatened, I am hoping to give a gift that will help to provide lifesaving food and relief to these children and families as they work to rebuild their lives.

I know about rebuilding a life. And I know about needing a helping hand. If you haven’t read In The Light Of Love, please do. If you have, and you enjoyed it, buy a copy for a friend.



bettye griffin said...

My advice would be for you not to dwell too long about what you did wrong, Debby. Writing is art. Parents tell their children to avoid careers in the arts because of the iffiness of it all. Talent is often underappreciated or even downright ignored by a fickle public. From what I hear, you're a wonderful writer. Keep telling those stories!

Deborah Mello said...

Thank you, Bettye!

Coming from a talent such as yourself, your kind words are greatly appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Don't dwell on the past, keep going forward. You definitely know about rebuilding a life...Your blessing will come.