The Letters of Infertility- Dear Body

Content Warning!! Suicidal thoughts; Blood; Graphics Content; Miscarriage; Pregnancy loss; Infertility

This one may be the scariest that I’ve posted. Below you will find two poems. My poetry is very personal to me, so posting this is very difficult. These are going to be serving as the open letter to my body. The body that I hate most days. The body that doesn’t work. The body that is broken. This body.

Wasteland

A wasteland so bareen 
A dry and dusty hue
Nothing has sprouted
Nothing had grew

Tears used as water
Blood to nourish
Heart providing warmth
But nothing will flourish

Will life be seen?
Will cries be heard?
Will the world come alive?
Will growth be stirred?

It matters not
The death the land bleeds
Gone is the life
The end of the seeds

Blood turns to dust
River paths run dry
Flesh gave away
To live you must die

Growth may never return
1095 days to see something bloom
Only to be gone
Taken from the world too soon

The wasteland is still barren
Gray, sad and alone
The nights and days blend
The maiden becomes the crone

Blood

Is it life or is it death? 
This blood that flows through my veins
It gives life
It carries your breathe
It keeps you alive
As long as you don't loose too much
Because then you die
Once a month, I die a little
I bleed and hate myself
Twice last year, I blead for days
I lost a potential life
Blood means death
It means loss and heartache
I ask myself
Why can't I bleed in my more constructive manner?
Why can't I bleed in a way that will allow me to truly die?
Instead, I have to live with half deaths.
Blood that kills my soul but not my body.
It makes me loose my heart but not its beat
Blood means both life and death
And once a month, I die.

I know these are very difficult to read. I know they can be triggering. They are dark. My poems tend to be, but I hope they resonate with someone. You are not alone.

Please follow me on my social media accounts below. I also beg you to please donate to our go fund me to start IVF treatments. Please. I want to stop hating my body. I want to stop hating myself. I want to give life. I don’t want to always be a wasteland.


Others in this Series

Letters of Infertility- Dear Pregnant Stranger

Letters of Infertility- Dear Pregnant Best Friend

Letters of Infertility- Dear Husband

Finding My Sexuality Through my Religious Guilt

Content Warnings: Mentions of self harm and suicidal thoughts

This blog post is going to be very difficult for me. It is a very personal subject, and I’m not sure if I’ve ever shared the whole story. I am a very private person. I don’t share my life or myself with everyone, but I’m learning that I need to step out of my comfort zone because sharing my experiences can help others.

It is no secret that I grew up in a conservative Christian family. I went to church every Wednesday then twice on Sunday with my mom, dad and two sisters. We said grace before every meal. I had a bible with my name engraved into it. I went to Sunday school. 

The earliest memory I have of the word ‘gay’ was when my mom used to watch the show Three’s Company. The male character on there said he was gay so that he would be allowed to live with the two female characters. I remember asking my mom what it meant. She said I was too young to understand, but I was smart enough to figure it out. 

As I got older, I began really listening to the preacher on Sundays and Wednesdays. That’s what my parents told me to do, after all. I remember a few sermons very distinctly because they stuck with me so much. One was about homosexuality. I actually wrote my memories of that serman into Born in Sickness 

“So if you know someone who is suffering from the disease that is homosexuality, bring them in and let the Lord’s saving grace heal them. May He lay His healing hands on their skin and repair their mind to His ways. Through Him, they will see light and salvation. So pray for them. Pray that they see the flaw in their filthy ways and seek out the Lord for deliverance.” 

Born in Sickness

Even then, I didn’t really understand why it was so wrong. Why something happening between two consenting adults was wrong. What was wrong with love? I kept asking myself this over and over, but I couldn’t find an answer. I even asked my mom, and she didn’t have an answer for me either. She just said that God said it was wrong, and we don’t question Him. That was wrong though. I had been questioning Him for quite some time. 

When I got to high school, one of my best friend’s came out to me as bisexual. He was so scared when he told me, whispering the words like God himself was going to come and squish him into oblivion. He swore me to secrecy, fearing for his life because we were from such a small, rural town. Being openly gay or bisexual was just unheard of. I gave him a hug, told him I love him, and kept his secret. 

In high school, I started noticing my own wandering eyes. I had always found women like Alyassa Milano and Shinia Twain attractive, but I always just kind of dismissed that as ‘appreciating the female body’. My female friend and I would hold hands, smack each other on the ass, and I always laughed it off even though it made my heart flutter the same way holding hands with a boy did. 

When I got to college, I finally felt free. My parents were five hours away and so was everyone that knew my name. There was no way anyone would know the activities I had gotten up to. For the first time in my life, I was able to explore the parts of me that my parents had always controlled. I didn’t have my sister calling me a slut everytime I even mentioned a boy’s name. 

One night our dorm neighbor, let’s call her Crissy, invited my roommate and I to tailgate before a football game. I wasn’t going to the football game, but my roommate talked me into tailgating with them. It was the first time I had really drank, and of course I got shitfaced. Crissy said “Do you know what I like to do when I get drunk” and I responded with “No what?” She then told me that she liked to makeout with girls when she was drunk. My response was “I’ve always wanted to make out with a girl”. Before I knew it, I was kissing her. It was sloppy and drunk but, fuck, I’ll never forget that. 

After that, I just did what most girls in college did. I said I was ‘bicurious’ which is just fucking stupid. In hindsight, I know I was scared. Scared to admit who I was and who I was attracted to. I had this teacher though. Gods, she was so fucking pretty. I was alarmed to realize that I had a massive crush on her, and I was sober. 

I remember being on the phone with my friend and quietly admitting it to him at 3 am. Saying it out loud was both scary and liberating. I knew I could never tell my parents, but it was nice to tell someone. Nothing ever happened with the teacher, obviously, but she really helped me understand my sexuality and my attraction to women. 

Eventually ‘bicurious’ turned into bisexual, but you’re probably wondering where my faith came into play with all of this. 

Even though I thought there was nothing wrong with being gay, it still somehow felt wrong for me to be gay or bisexual. Like it’s fine if others do it, but by allowing myself to do it, I was signing my name on the books of Hell. I was starting to lose my faith in god around the same time I was starting to understand my own sexuality. 

I went into a pretty deep depression. Other factors were at play, but sexuality and faith were both in the lead. I started to hurt myself as punishment. I needed to feel something other than the pain in my chest and distract myself from the questions in my head. I wanted to die. I figured may as well go to Hell now and get it over with. I turned to poetry as well. Some of that, you will read eventually but *spoilers*. 

After a long road, I came to accept it. I still haven’t actually told my family, but it’s not something I have kept secret either. I have posted many a bisexual meme on Facebook for my entire family to see. I’m not sure why I haven’t said it out loud to them. It feels scary though. Maybe someday I will.


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The Letters of Infertility- Dear Pregnant Stranger

CONTENT WARNING!! Infertility

Dear Pregnant Stranger, 

I see you out and about, roaming the baby aisle at Target with a purpose while I go through those isle, looking at the contents with longing. You pat your belly, picking up various items, inspecting them with a huge smile on your face. Occasionally you’ll show your significant other, and you will discuss pros and cons. 

A part of me hates you, but then I instantly feel guilty because the truth of the matter is, I don’t know your story. You could have gone through years and years of infertility like me, only to end up spending your life savings on IVF for it to work for you, or you could have gotten pregnant by accident, the result of a night coated with inhibreation and lose inhibitions. 

I don’t know you so I shouldn’t hate you, but I do. I know it’s jealousy, the envy that lives deep inside of us all coming to the surface. I hate it, but I don’t really know how to stop it. I just… I want to be in the baby aisle of Target with a purpose. I want to bicker with my husband about the pros and cons of a certain brand of diaper. I want that, but the American healthcare system has failed me. It’s failed us all really. 

Maybe you are one of the people who spent your life savings on a chance to be a mother. If you are, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that the healthcare in our country is so fucked up that you have to spend somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000 dollars just to become a mother. I’m sorry that it cost twice that to adopt. 

At this point, I have been told that IVF is really our last option, but my husband and I cannot afford it. We don’t have any kind of savings. We don’t have anyone to help us. We have nothing in this battle. Just like everything else in this country, if you’re not rich then you don’t matter. Your wants and needs do not matter. 

My insurance is more than happy to cover limp-dick syndrome but it covers 0% of infertility cost. That’s right ZERO. Meaning, every single procedure I’ve had in regards to infertility has been paid for out of pocket or billed to me with a lovely little bow. Each IUI cost somewhere between 300 and 500 dollars. That seems like chump change in comparison to the cost of IVF. IUIs haven’t worked though. Nothing works, and IVF isn’t a guarantee. 

So, I guess I will just stand in the baby aisle of Target, looking at the merchandise with longing. I guess I will continue to feel like a failure in this world because my body cannot do the one thing that it is biologically supposed to be capable of. I cannot give life, only death. 

So please, Stranger, cherish your pregnancy and baby. Cherish motherhood with everything you have because some of us are forced to just view it from a distance. Some of us aren’t gifted with the ability to create and hold life. Some of us are just wastelands of dust and sorrow. 

Sincerely, 

A Broken Wasteland

Others in the Series

Letters of Infertility- Dear Pregnant Best Friend

Letters of Infertility- Dear Husband

Letters of Infertility- Dear Body

Sweetness In Innocence- Book Two of the Take me to Church Series

I’m so excited to reveal the cover for the second book! The eBook is already available for preorder on Amazon!

Special thank you to Bibi and Daria for making this cover come to life. They will also be working on the third and fourth, which I am so excited for.

Summary

Luka Thomas is leading a double life. Publicly, he is a God-fearing Christian with a loving girlfriend. What happens in the shadows of his reality tells a different story. Because of one boy, he has begun to question everything.

Harlan Sharp promised himself he wouldn’t fall for Luka, but he doesn’t know how to stop it. Each kiss, each touch, each gentle caress they share only leads him further toward revealing the secrets of his past and bearing his scars.

The nature of their relationship must be hidden from everyone. If they are caught, Luka will be kicked out of his family’s house and disowned. He will lose everything. It’s a sin that Luka isn’t ready to confess. He can try to keep his secret from everyone, but God is all-knowing. This limbo can’t last forever.

The Take me to Church Series is a real depiction of falling in love in high school as a gay teen amidst the rampant homophobia of the south and the mental health issues many people face. It’s explicit in the ways that life is. It’s raw, beautiful and real. Readers will scream in anger and cry in pain but also laugh in joy and healing as they grow with these characters.

Cover Photo by Bibi. Follow her Instagram: @moon_sun_thyme
Cover Design by Daria. Follow her Twitter: @ghostiemedicine

Sweetness In Innocence will be released August 10, 2021! Follow me on my social medias below for more content such as sneak peeks, giveaways, and more!

The Letters of Infertility- Dear Husband

Content Warning! Infertility

Dear Husband, 

I had a dream last night. It wasn’t a nightmare in the traditional sense. It didn’t leave me screaming or jumping out of bed with my heart pounding in fright. It was a bad dream, though. It left me feeling sad with a sense of hopelessness and loss. I’m a logical person. I know it was a dream, but I couldn’t shake it. I spent my morning trying to hold back tears every time I thought about it. 

I dreamed that you had gotten back together with your ex-wife. I was still a part of the relationship because we do have an open marriage. In my dream, she had gotten pregnant a few weeks into your renewed relationship. I overheard you both whispering about it excitedly, talking about your dreams and hopes for the baby’s future. In the dream, I laid bawling in the adjacent room, praying you couldn’t hear me. You had finally gotten everything you wanted, and I couldn’t give it to you. 

I know this is a dream. I know that your ex-wife actually had her tubes tied, and you wouldn’t ever renew that relationship. It was what the dream was truly about that really bothered me. You see, I know deep down inside, you could easily go find a woman that can give you something I can’t: a biological child of your own. The problem has always been with me and my body, not you. 

So… what’s stopping you from doing this? I know, I’ve asked you this before. I know I have shared this deep seated fear of mine with you, and you always say that you love me regardless. If it doesn’t happen with me, then you don’t want it to happen at all. I hear you, and it’s not that I don’t believe you. Fears are just… illogical. 

I know that if the roles were reversed, I would say the same thing to you. I would feel the same way. I just don’t value myself the same way I value you. My self worth is pretty much non-existent and every time I think about infertility, it diminishes to nothing. Working on valuing myself, whether I’m able to have children or not, is up to me, not you. 

I know you’re probably sick of me apologizing by now, but I feel so fucking guilty. I’m sorry I can’t give you what you want. I’m sorry my body is broken. I’m sorry your luck was so shitty, you ended up with someone who couldn’t bear you a child. I’m so fucking sorry. I hate myself, and I wouldn’t blame you if a small part of you hated me too. 

It’s truly okay if you do. I am a very understanding person. I do my best to look at things from all perspectives. If one day, you decide you no longer want to be with someone who can’t give you something you want, then how can I blame you? I couldn’t blame you doing something that will make you happy. I would always love you, but I understand you have to do what you must to be happy. I may never be able to make you happy. 

With all my love, 

Your Worthless Wife

Others in this series

Letters of Infertility- Dear Pregnant Best Friend

Letters of Infertility- Dear Pregnant Stranger

Letters of Infertility- Dear Husband

Letters of Infertility- Dear Body

Music Speaks- The Songs that Inspired Born in Sickness

As you know by now, I have always used music as an inspiration to my stories, and this book is no different. Below, I will walk you through each song that inspired Born in Sickness: Book One of the Take me to Church Series. You can also find the playlist I created on both Spotify and YouTube.

Take me to Church- Hozier

Lyrics:

No masters or kings when the ritual begins
There is no sweeter innocence than our gentle sin
In the madness and soil of that sad earthly scene
Only then I am human
Only then I am clean
Amen, Amen, Amen

The reason why this one was included is pretty obvious. The song inspired the series in a lot of ways. Of course, this series took on a mind of it’s own, but the song fits perfectly!

Welcome to my Life- Simple Plan

Lyrics:

Do you ever feel like breaking down?
Do you ever feel out of place?
Like somehow you just don’t belong
And no one understands you

If there was one emo song that defined my teen years, it would be this one. You will notice for this playlist, most of the songs fit into some kind of rock category. I really like this song for the first few chapters, specifically from Harlan’s point of view. He is the classic outcast teen that thinks everyone hates him and nobody understands him. You either were that person or knew that person in high school, don’t lie.

No Me Importa- In This Moment

Lyrics:

You’re so brave from your side of the glass
And you, you can’t compute, you can’t do the math
And you’re, you’re playing god with your remote control
But I already know that there’s a flaw in my code and the
The truth is you silently study me
And there are consequences that you cannot see
And you ask yourself how did I unplug
But the simple truth is that I just don’t give a fuck

Again, this one is mostly from Harlan’s POV. It also refers a bit to Luka’s frustration with not being able to read Harlan’s body language. He doesn’t understand how Harlan works, but he is is trying to, especially early on in their relationship. Harlan is very closed off.

Black Honey- Trice

Lyrics:

I keep swingin’ my hand through a swarm of bees
I can’t understand why they’re stingin’ me
But I’ll do what I want
I’ll do what I please
I’ll do it again ’til I’ve got what I need

This song is mostly referring to Harlan’s desire to do everything he can to help his family, and Luka’s desire to get Harlan to open up a bit.

5. Your God- Stone Sour

Lyrics:

Say something, anything to me
I do believe, but I have doubts
So many reasons to hold on
Conflicting interest, isn’t it?
I guess I’m better off in the end
‘Cause you were always there to blame
I haven’t felt so bad in I don’t know how long, you know

This song is definitely more from Luka’s point of view, and how he really starts to question everything he was taught about religion. This fits that first chapter where a real theological debate between him and Harlan takes place. I thought this song really fit both of their points of views. How Luka is questioning his faith and how Harlan has already lost his and feels as though he doesn’t need Luka’s God.

Dyers Eve- Metallica

Lyrics:

Dear mother, dear father
What is this hell you have put me through?
Believer, deceiver
Day in, day out, lived my life through you
Pushed onto me what’s wrong or right
Hidden from this thing that they call life

I think the reason why I chose this song is obvious. The song is very much about how parents force their doctrine and religious belief on their children. How they shelter them from life, which in the end, does more harm than good. They push their narrative of what’s wrong and right, and force a certain way of life on their children. Luka goes to the church homecoming with this family, starting to resent his step-dad, Matt. He starts to realize how fucked up his religion really is and open his eyes, even if it’s just a tiny bit.

Natural Born Sinner- In This Moment

Lyrics:

Did you really think by pushing me
I would become what you want me to be?
And did you really think by hurting me
I’d open up and just hand you the key?
I know you’re scared and don’t understand
This is my life, this is who I am
What I do know is come judgement day
Before the lord can you say the same?

This is about the moment Luka begins to take his life into his own hands. The moment he just says “fuck it” and kisses Harlan. He knows it’s wrong. He knows it’s against God. He knows it’s against everything Matt wants him to be, but he just can’t seem to care because he also knows he wants Harlan. He doesn’t want to deny himself of it anymore.

Conflicted- Halestorm

Lyrics:

And I hate that I’m conflicted
This addiction’s got me twisted on you
I’m conflicted, contradictive
Got my body confused
I’m yes or no, I will, I won’t
I’m conflicted and addicted
So come over and make up my mind

Even though Luka decided to kiss Harlan, he’s still conflicted. Simultaneously, Harlan is also conflicted. He doesn’t know if he should trust Luka and he doesn’t want to be his ‘dirty little secret’ or help him cheat on his girlfriend. He is giving Luka a chance to explain himself.

Jet Black Heart- 5 Seconds of Summer

Lyrics:

But now that I’m broken
And now that you know it
Caught up in a moment
Can you see inside?
‘Cause I’ve got a jet black heart
And there’s a hurricane underneath it
Trying to keep us apart
I write with a poison pen
But these chemicals moving between us
Are the reason to start again

This song is about knowing your kind of fucked up, but wanting someone to see it. Loving someone so much that you’re going to let them inside. You want to start with them. Start over with them even, and I think that it really fits the end of the book. They are just starting. They have a long way to go. Their path is probably going to be turbulent, but they may fall in love. They are giving each other a chance.

Recently, I got the opportunity to talk about my musical influences in an interview on the Mando Method Podcast. Listen to it here. Or watch the YouTube video blow:

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The Letters of Infertility- Dear Pregnant Best Friend

It is National Infertility Awareness Week. I started writing this series several weeks ago as a way to deal with all of the loss I have experienced because of infertility. I never intended to publish it, but I thought there was no better week than this one.

I have been very quiet about my struggles, but now it’s time to be open. To any woman reading this who is struggling with infertility, you are not alone. To any woman reading this who has never fought this battle, please understand how hard it is. This series is very raw. Each one features an open letter that I am writing to someone in specific or a group of people.

Content Warning! Topics discussed in this post are as follows: infertility, miscarriage, and pregnancy loss

Dear Pregnant Best Friend, 

We initially bonded over the fact that we were both trying to get pregnant. I found out I was pregnant in March then two weeks later, you sent me a picture of your own positive pregnancy test. I was thrilled to have someone to talk to during such a life changing time. We had already talked every day, and now we had so much more to talk about. Your due date was only weeks from mine. We would get to experience this together. 

We created a group chat with another person who had the same due date as me. In the group chat, we talked about our pregnancies and our hopes for our unborn children. It was a wonderful environment. We talked every day, and we were so supportive of each other. 

When I was 11 weeks along, I messaged you all and explained that I had been cramping with some bloody discharge. I had spoken to my doctor, and she instructed me to go to the ER. I was scared but in good spirits. You both said that you didn’t think it would be anything bad and told me to let you know. 

I walked into the ER that night alone. I couldn’t have my husband with me due to Covid restrictions. They admitted me and took me back to a room where they drew some blood for testing. After a while, they wheeled me to another part of the hospital to do an ultrasound. 

To say I was excited to finally see my baby is an understatement. I had been wanting to see it for several weeks at that point. I hate that it was under the circumstances, but I was so sure that I would hear a heartbeat. I even asked the sonographer if I could video chat my husband. She said I could but to wait until she started to get a reading. 

So I laid on the bed in nervous anticipation. She said I was far enough along to do an external ultrasound and asked me to pull up my hospital gown. She squirted some gel onto my stomach, and it wasn’t as cold as I had anticipated. Maybe I was just too excited to notice. I felt like I was going to throw up as she began to press the probe onto my stomach. 

Her face fell, and I immediately knew something was wrong. She explained to me that she didn’t see anything, so she was going to switch to an internal ultrasound. She said maybe my due date was off. I knew it wasn’t, though. I knew the exact day I conceived. My heart dropped, and I held back tears. 

I spread my legs, and she placed the wand inside of me. I looked up at the screen, silently begging to hear a heartbeat, any sign of life. I heard nothing. The silence was both heartbreaking and deafening. She said that the sac didn’t look like it developed passed 7 weeks, but she wouldn’t tell me anymore. I knew, though. I knew I was miscarrying and the baby I wanted so badly was dead. 

They took me back to my room where I began bawling. I called my husband to tell them what she said, and he cried with me. He couldn’t even touch me. We couldn’t comfort each other because of the pandemic, so I had to tell him over the phone that the baby we wanted was gone. It was the worst moment of my life. 

After I hung up, I continued to just cry in the hospital room. I had never felt so alone. I could tell the nurses wanted to comfort me, but they weren’t allowed to make contact due to the restriction set in place by the CDC. They just looked at me with pity in their eyes. I hate pity. 

The doctor came in and told me that I was, in fact, miscarrying. He discharged me with some pain relievers and instructions to call my doctor in the morning. I was devastated. I just felt numb. I couldn’t believe it. My mind was racing with all of the people I would have to tell now, all of the hearts I would have to break. That’s the burden of being the woman in this, you’re the first to know when something is wrong. You are always the one that has to deliver the bad news. 

I went home and cried with my husband until I finally passed out from exhaustion. The next day I began sending the heartbreaking messages recounting my nightmare from the day before. I told you I was going to leave the group chat because I couldn’t stand the idea of watching you all talk about your healthy pregnancy while I bled. You were understanding. Of course you were because you were an amazing friend, unlike me. 

After that, I tried. I tried to keep up with your pregnancy. I tried to talk to you some and make sure you were okay. I liked your post on social media about your sonogram and how you were having a boy. I looked at the pictures from your virtual baby shower then eventually the ones of your newborn. I was so happy for you, but I just can’t force myself to speak to you. 

You remind me of everything I lost. You remind me of how absolutely useless I feel as a woman and a wife. You have your family now. You were able to give that to your husband, and motherhood looks so amazing on you. I wasn’t able to do any of that because my body doesn’t know how to do a normal biological function like reproduce. I’m sorry, I’m such a terrible friend. I’m so fucking selfish. 

After everything I had been through, I just wanted a happy ending. You got yours while I had to watch mine bleed away. 

Sincerely, 

A Selfish Acquaintance

To read more of our story and donate to our IVF effort, please use the link below:

Others in this series:

Letters of Infertility- Dear Husband

Letters of Infertility- Dear Pregnant Stranger

Letters of Infertility- Dear Body

How to Write Dialogue- Seven Tips

Oftentimes, dialogue is the most difficult thing to write. It’s hard to make it sound realistic and relatable. As writers, we are told not to write like we speak however, that is difficult when writing dialogue. I get asked a lot how to write it and if I have any tips for people who are trying to write good dialogue. Below are my seven tips to writing dialogue. Yes, seven. I’ve never really liked even numbers.

Write First; Fill in Later

If I have a dialogue based scene or if the dialogue is super fucking important in a particular scene, I always write the dialogue first then fill in the details later. I also call this “bare boning” because it’s essentially the skeleton of the scene, then I add the meat later. I feel this helps me keep their conversation more organic and flow more naturally because I’m not having to constantly pause my thought or the conversation in my head to write what they are doing, physically.

Read it Out Loud

Reading it out loud helps me make sure it sounds organic. I know, personally, I have a habit of never using contractions when I write, but they are absolutely necessary in dialogue. Reading it out loud or to someone else will show any awkward phrases.

Don’t Write like you Speak

I know this may be controversial. My argument is that you aren’t your characters (not really). They probably speak a bit differently than you. They have different experiences. They grew up with different influences than you. They may not even be your age, which means they will probably use different types of slang terminology. Write like your character speaks, not how you speak.

Dialect (AKA Accents)

 I have written characters with a southern US accent, and although you can hear it in all of their words (if they were to really speak which they do in my head), I only select a few words to show their accent in the way they talk. Like, instead of dropping all ‘g’s’ on words ending in ‘ing’, I’ll choose one or two to drop in the sentence. I also try to get creative with it. I show their accent or where they are from in the words/phrases they use. Someone from the Sothern US may use phrases like ‘lick of sense’ or ‘down yonder’ while someone from the UK may say ‘lads’ or ‘mates’ instead of friends.

Don’t Write Small Talk

Your reader doesn’t give a single fuck how the weather unless it is pivotal to the plot. If there is a scene with dialogue, every single bit of it should be pivotal to the plot in some way whether it is a reveal or moving it along. If there isn’t a reason for the dialogue, then do not write it. It gets boring.

If it can be Said in Dialogue, Wait Until Dialogue to Say It

Do not reveal anything in the inner monologue. Anything. This keeps your readers guessing about certain character traits. Does your character have a secret? Don’t reveal it until he says it outload. Is the mother of your heroine dead? Let her reveal that information to someone in dialogue. This helps limit the inner monologue your characters have and keeps the readers more in the moment. It also helps you bridge various conversations to one another so you don’t have random spurts to dialogue.

Avoid Long Text of Dialogue

I know this is sometimes difficult if one character is doing most of the talking. I like to break it up with questions. Let me use my two main characters in the Take me to Church Series as my example. If Harlan is telling Luka his story (he does eventually) it would make sense for Harlan to be speaking a lot in that scene. I break it up by having Luka ask him questions and contribute to the conversation.

I hope this was helpful to you in someway! Please let me know if you have any request on other author tips. Come chat with me on my social medias below. I just posted a video on my Instagram where I read the blurb of my book, Cool for the Summer, in a very dramatic way. I plan to continue this series, so come say hello!

Author Interview- Aila Glass

Today, we are going to do something a bit different yet exciting! I had the pleasure of interviewing Aila Glass for my blog. She interviewed me as well which you can find here. Aila is an Indie Author with a few books out. She mostly writes romance that is more of the taboo side, which we get into in our interview. Find the links to all of her social medias at the bottom of the post!

What are the biggest challenges you have faced as an indie/self published author?

I think the biggest challenge for me, to be honest, is money. I am a bit of a control freak and I love to self publish my books because I have the control that I want but that means I have to buy everything myself and things like an editor I just can’t afford. So if you find typos in my book just know that I tried my best and that I am doing this all by myself. I am really thankful to beta readers for helping me because they will also flag typos as well.

Tell us a line in one of your books that is special to you and why?

“I need her like air, and I am just about done waiting” and “ No sweetness, you are not in trouble. I am” from Dirty Work. These lines made me feel like a legit romance writer. They are from my first book and those lines are what I love to hear in a romance book and the fact that I wrote them means a lot to me. So much so I could just pick one. I couldn’t choose between the two.

Why do you choose to write more ‘taboo’ subjects?

I’ve always read those kinds of books so when it came to writing I wanted to write what I liked to read. I think I like the “you’re not supposed to” kind of feel they have in them. Because it is always people who are like “I want it anyway” I love that attitude.

Have you received any criticism for the taboo topics you write about?

I think my aunt was a little concerned about my books but I would say that my books aren’t known enough to get a lot of people’s opinions, which is great on one hand. So I would say not really. Most people who read my books I think know what they are getting into and if they don’t link it they probably just don’t read it.

When and how did you start writing?

I started writing when I was a kid. I was always writing stories. I just never finished it. Until 202 when I thought since we were in a pandemic and I am unemployed that I would try it. That August I finished my first book and published it. I was so happy. The story meant a lot to me.

What is your biggest piece of advice for those who are just starting on their writing journey?

Write for you. Always. I think people get pretty consumed with “what if people don’t like it?” that they get stressed and it doesn’t become fun anymore. If you always write for you chances are you lift a huge weight off of you. Also, people who read your books might be a lot like you. Your audience and yourself tend to share characteristics so writing for you can hugely benefit you. Your book won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.

Do you plan to branch into different genres in the future?

I have a supernatural/fantasy romance book in the works. I would say judging by the hundred of book outlines I have I have a hard time staying in the lines of “taboo romance” I think a lot of my books have that air to it but I am looking forward to getting into that supernatural vibe.

Do you read the genre you write in?

Most of the time yes. I read a lot of age gap books and “Daddy” books and other books with hints of taboo. I do branch off sometimes.

What book had the biggest impact on you and your writing style?

I don’t know if I could pin it down by a single book but I would say that Alexa Riley had a huge impact. I fell in love with their books. I started writing Dirty Work because of their books. I like their sexy, dirty, and fun atmosphere and they inspired me to write books like that because I also really like reading books like that.

If you had to describe your writing style in three words, what would they be?

Three words-Light, Dirty, and Sweet.

Bonus- Elevator pitch of your upcoming book

So my current work in progress is an age gap, reporter vs CEO. He is a millionaire who is 40 and single. She is a reporter who is 25 and has a boyfriend. But not for long. She ends up interviewing this man and gets a kind of a thing for him. She realized that guys her age don’t know how to treat her right. No cheating. Hot as hell. HEA guarantee.

Aila Glass’ Social Medias

Born in Sickness- Trailer

The lovely, CJ Lopez, made a Trailer for Born in Sickness, Book One of the Take me to Church Series! I love it so much. I wanted to show it to you all then take a moment to talk about the inspiration behind and and the symbolism.

The Music

I wanted the music to be a bit slower to reflect the tone of the series rather than the book. I felt that upbeat music fit this book a bit, but not the series as a whole, so I wanted to go with a slower, more melancholy sound. I wanted it to show the seriousness of the series and set the foundation for what’s ahead. We went though several different sounds. CJ is a saint for putting up with me until we eventually decided on this one. I love the strums of the guitar then the singer coming in with the ‘oooos’. It kind of reminds me of choir music, which is exactly the sound I wanted to go for.

The Opening Scene

I wanted the first scene to reflect Luka’s character and to also show that the story is set in high school. I thought the players running out of a locker room would do just that. Luka plays football through a lot of this story, a football game even coming into play during the end. I thought this particular scene gave a lot of information about his character especially with the lines “they told him he was born sick” laid over the video. That’s the tag line for this book, and it really applies to both male character leads.

The Second Scene

Of course this trailer needed to show an old church. I mean… it’s pretty much a requirement at this point. I think that was one of the things I listed to CJ when she asked what I was looking for. Church is a huge part of this stories as well as the culture that is present in the south that surrounds these Christian communities. I love that it says “being gay is a sin according to his church” here because the church is in the background, and to me it really drives that point home. It’s huge theme of the whole series, believing in a god that you are told will damn you for who you love. The guilt that comes along with it.

The Third Scene

The storm represents the inner turbulence that both characters go through in the book. Luka struggles with his faith and what that means in relation to his attraction to Harlan. In turn, Harlan really struggles with trusting others, especially someone like Luka who reminds him of the very person that betrayed him. I do not shy way from mental health in this series, including in this book, and I think this scene really showcases the turbulence of both the book and the series. The tree in the scene represents growth, and how you need rain, including a storm, in order to grow, which both characters do throughout this book. All of this ties into the line “faith and sexuality will be tested”.

The Fourth Scene

This scene is powerful. A flower is growing among barbed wire with a cross in the background. It shows that even in the worst possible circumstances, with things around them that wants to destroy them, beauty can grow. Despite all of the difficulties of life, with the church watching them, they can still find a way to each other. The reality is that the barbed wire is sharp, and could very easily tear their fragile relationship a part, like a petal being ripped to shreds.

Buy the Book

If this trailer has intrigued you, please take a moment to purchase the book! It is available on many platforms, including Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.