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Feeling the Characters

Where There's Smoke - BL Morticia

Greetings folks. Here’s a blog about writing characters! When talking to an author, you might hear how excited they are about their stories. They tell you about what went into the creating plot, the inspiration behind the story, and then the fun part; how they came up with their characters. In a lot of instances, this character might be made up of someone they know or even an extension of themselves or, it may be a someone they want to know or dream about. A lot of mine are all the above. Their personalities are a mix of someone I know or want to know. If the character is somewhat… Continue Reading Feeling the Characters

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Year in Review 2018 and Goals 2019 – Michael Mandrake/Sharita L

Taken and Crowned - Michael Mandrake

Hello again. I must apologize for completely skipping November. *sighs* I was very busy with Breakable Faith and Taken and Crowned.  Also, my twin, you know, the devilish muse BL, had some writing to do as well. So alas, we didn’t post anything in November. However, now I’m back to post about this year which has proved to be a breakout! Finally. No, I didn’t receive the dream book or movie deal. In fact, I don’t think I’d want it because that means compromising some of my fiction ideas. Oh and no, I didn’t make six figures. However, I did learn something more about getting closer to my writing goals.… Continue Reading Year in Review 2018 and Goals 2019 – Michael Mandrake/Sharita L

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We Writers Are Strange Creatures!

Plot Bunny - Sharita Lira

Greetings. This is Michael Mandrake aka Sharita Lira with a post about being an author and/or writer since they’re more synonymous that you think. Sooo, what about writing? It’s something authors love to do. We keep strange hours, writing when the house is asleep or awake depending on the members in your household. Or maybe you’re a lone ranger. Oh you’re really doomed! *grins* No one to bother you or answer to? Then you’ll spend a ton of time with your characters. And oh, what about those critters? Yes, the ones you talk to and think about while driving. I discuss parts of the story I need to rewrite and… Continue Reading We Writers Are Strange Creatures!

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What Is Dark Romance?

Calisto's Quest - Michael Mandrake - Immortals

What is dark romance? Dark – A place or time with little to no light. Romance – A feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love. Greetings readers! Today, I’m blogging about dark romance. Right now, it’s a hot subgenre in fiction with many authors jumping on the bandwagon. First let’s discuss what is dark romance? Looking at the definitions above, perhaps we could see a feeling of love with very little light involved. I don’t mean actual light, but in a figurative sense. Perhaps you have a hero with questionable moralities. Think a vampire or maybe a demon. Or if you’re not going paranormal, perhaps a mobster, a murderer,… Continue Reading What Is Dark Romance?

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A Missed Opportunity

Mercurio's Mating - Michael Mandrake - Immortals

Hello QRI readers, after two months off, I’m blogging again. I was on vacation in June and then July I had to finish 4 books. *shocked face* I successfully finished all 4 and now I’m ready to chat again. Or actually, the muse is. Michael has thoughts, so  forget about me and allow him to speak.  Michael, you have the floor… Greetings readers! Thanks to QRI for having me again after a 2-month hiatus. Shar and I have been very busy finishing several books, including the last installment of Immortals, Mercurio’s Mating. In all honesty, these books are definitely products of the inmates running the asylum. *grins* What I mean… Continue Reading A Missed Opportunity

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So You Wanna Write a Black Person?

black man - pixabay

Greetings folks. I took April off because of traveling at the beginning of the month. Once I got home, I’d forgotten to post. 🙁 But I’m back, or rather, Sharita is with this very informative blog about writing black folks!  Enjoy! * * * *   So, you’re a writer, huh? You, as a non-black author, want to write outside of your comfort zone and explore someone black, but you don’t know where to start. What are you using for research? Movies? Nope. Not a good source because a large part of movies are stereotypical. Books? Maybe, but not always. There can be books by #ownvoices that are helpful, but… Continue Reading So You Wanna Write a Black Person?

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Only White People Fall In Love #weneedmorediversebooks #ownvoices

Gay Couple - Sharita Lira

(Note: My apologies to the author. The mistake has been corrected. Thanks to a reader for pointing it out.) Got your attention, didn’t it? Yeah, this is going to ruffle some feathers, but that’s okay, they need to be ruffled. We’re all aware that racism is rampant in the world. Plenty of people don’t like anything outside of the straight, white, and cis or their own race which is just as problematic. That’s not okay, but it’s their prerogative. Racism is learned. You’re not born to be hateful on someone just because they’re different than you. Growing up racist or intolerant is definitely a product of one’s surroundings, and whether… Continue Reading Only White People Fall In Love #weneedmorediversebooks #ownvoices

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Back to Nola!

New Orleans - Sharita Lira

As you read this, I’m already in New Orleans, enjoying the sights of Mardi Gras. Here’s an older article I wrote about why I love the Big Easy! Greetings readers. Although I’m in my early 40’s, it’s so easy to revert back to being a kid when it comes to the Big Easy. And most do, especially during Mardi Gras. In February or March, many tourists flock to N’awlins to take in parades, the bars to listen to love music, and drink until their hearts content or right before they puke. *laughs* It’s equivalent to Rio’s Carnivale but in my estimation, a lot more tame. Restaurants, hotels, and any tourist attractions… Continue Reading Back to Nola!

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The Story of the Dueling Muses


Muse:  A person or personified force who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist. Hello Readers! I usually blog on the 7th of each month, or thereabouts, but I decided to wait because of my – *BLMorticia clears her throat* Oh, I’m sorry BLMorticia’s new release Where There’s Smoke. For those who know Sharita well, she writes under several pennames and she chooses the penname for the story based on the characters, subgenres, and or tones, of the story. At times, this complicated process hasn’t exactly worked. For the N’awlins Exotica series, it was a mix of all three at that time. Me, starting out, then BL, doing… Continue Reading The Story of the Dueling Muses

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Queer in Color

Queer in Color

“We need more diverse books!” Books with queer characters have become more popular these days. People are fascinated with the stories about queer people’s lives because, perhaps they finally realized the world isn’t completely hetero. More importantly, they wanted something different than the hero and the heroine or the assumed “straight” characters that dominate fiction. They wanted different, which means more diversity. However, diversity doesn’t just cover queer versus hetero, it also means race, age, culture differences, religion, and able-bodied. That cry should mean we want more stories that represent all kinds of people, not just the majority. As an author of color, I also wanted to see that change.… Continue Reading Queer in Color