Lez Talk Books Blog Tour Welcomes L. Cherelle!

Lez Talk Books Blog Tour Welcomes L. Cherelle!

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Author L. Cherelle
Author L. Cherelle

 

 

Meet L. Cherelle (i.e. Lauren Cherelle), author of the novels Accept the Unexpected (2011) and The Dawn of Nia (2015) and the short story A Secret Validation (2013).

 

Lauren writes stories that reflect the lives and relationships of Black women in the South and expand the limited meanings of ‘woman’ and ‘sexuality.’

As a developmental editor, graphic designer, and indie publisher (Resolute Publishing), she helps female writers tell and share their stories with readers.

Her next second novel, The Dawn of Nia, is slated for Spring 2015. In the meantime, she’s compiling a (nonfiction) guide for writers. She also has pages upon pages of scribbled short story excerpts and ideas to develop.

She currently resides in Memphis, TN with her partner of eleven years. Together, they aspire to open a community-based nonprofit that serves low-income families and children of color affected by the child welfare and justice systems.

 

Tell us about The Dawn of Nia.

This Black lesbian romance novel (coming this spring) begins with a secret that’s revealed in a cemetery on a scorching July day. In the story, loss begets love for the main character, Nia. Her attitude about love creates shortsighted faith until a trail of lust leads to a promising avenue. The love in this book is a little messy— meaning the line between acceptable and inappropriate is blurred. And there’s a difference between perfection and perfected. Nia chooses ‘perfected’ love because ‘perfect’ love can never meet her expectations. My story isn’t about being in love; it’s about what it takes to fall in love. The ‘falling’ helps Nia truly accept that knowing love is okay. Visit lcherelle.com for a reading sample.

 

How did The Dawn of Nia come to life? Who or what influenced you?

A few years ago, my family experienced a difficult death. Some draw-dropping secrets were revealed the day of the funeral. After that experience, I decided my next novel would include a secret that surfaces at a funeral. I’m sure hurtful or shameful truths that arise during tragedy aren’t unique to my family. So, I took an assumed commonplace occurrence and made it unique to my characters. The first chapter opens at a funeral and closes with a secret.

 

Are there underrepresented groups or ideas featured in The Dawn of Nia?

There are certain aspects of Black lesbian and Black cultural experiences that I made a conscious effort to incorporate. In the Black lesbian genre, readers are often introduced to romantic characters with opposing gender expressions. The Dawn of Nia features a femme-on-femme relationship. Our cultural norms often teach and pressure us to view sexuality as stagnant (e.g. you’re gay, straight, bi, or asexual)— not fluid. The character Deidra represents fluidity. Also, Black folks in America have a special bond with fictive kinship. “Play kin” is an important characteristic of relationships in the story.

 

When you’re not writing, what do you do for fun?

Whenever possible, I like to travel and do new stuff with my partner. I couch-potato (Is that a verb? Is that fun?). Relaxation has become a pleasurable activity— especially when it involves a good book or “The Biggest Loser,” “The Amazing Race,” “Falling Skies,” “Defiance,” “American Horror Story,” or “The Walking Dead.” I also like to lose myself in YouTube. A big part of my fun is spending time with Adobe Creative Suite. I also like to play in my curly hair, and teach women to explore and adore the power of intimacy.

What part of the writing process do you most enjoy?

Editing. I like the process of vetting. I’ve become a writer that embraces editing. It can be challenging and time-consuming to complete several rounds of editing, but you can’t skip them. Editing trims the fat and polishes the gem. Trusted beta readers and an editor or two are essential. Outside perspectives help me consider what I can no longer see. Now, my editing process also includes listening to each chapter. Editing severs the relationship with my baby (the story). I need the separation to help me see my story for what it is— a work in progress. The first draft is nothing. Good editing unearths the story I’ve intended to tell. Good editing unearths the story I’ve intended to tell.
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To pre-order or read the opening of The Dawn of Nia visit lcherelle.com.

 

Contact/follow L. Cherelle:

E: l.cherelle@respublishing.com / W: lcherelle.com / W: respublishing.com
Tw: @respublishing / Fb: facebook.com/lcwrites


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The LEZ TALK BOOKS BLOG TOUR is a collaborative effort by Black lesbian writers of fiction and nonfiction works. These writers will also be featured on LEZ TALK BOOKS RADIO. Visit facebook.com/leztalkbooksradio for details on upcoming shows.

 

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