I’m happy to celebrate with my girl Nigeria as she launches the release of her third novel! Today, she’s stopping by to offer some inspiration to fellow writers and to share an excerpt from her latest book, Tempted to Touch. Enjoy!
Every writer has experienced a day or two (or a month) where all you do is look up at the sky, sigh, and ask the Lord, “When is this thing going to happen for me?”
If you get a publishing deal you start doing the happy dance only to find out that your release date is almost ten months to one year after the date you’ve submitted the book. So, you spend another month with a crick in your neck because you’re constantly looking up asking the same question.
I know this because a year ago this was me. I was anxiously waiting for the release of my first novel, Born at Dawn and two years ago I was waiting for the publisher to offer me a contract.
Now fast forward to join me where I presently am in my writer’s journey; my first novel Born at Dawn won the 2015 Phillis Wheatley Award for First Fiction, my second novel, Seasoned with Grace was released in July to some great reviews including a review right here by Faith Simone and in Publisher’s Weekly (Woot! Woot!). I am currently one week away from releasing my third book, Tempted to Touch by my own, yes, my own independent publishing company, Inheritance Books. After only one year in publishing I’ve learned that a lot can happen in 365 days. Here are some of the big takeaways for me:
- You are bigger than you think. Don’t let that newbie author status hold you back. Everyone isn’t going to embrace you because they don’t know you, but them being unaware of the gift that God has placed inside of you shouldn’t stop you from strutting through the door. Keep pushing. Try and unlock the side door if you have to, but don’t avoid knocking on the door because you believe you’re too small. I submitted Born at Dawn to the Phillis Wheatley Award competition and Seasoned with Grace to Publisher’s Weekly for review and found out I am bigger than I thought.
- God’s glory will open every door. I couldn’t bust through those big doors if it wasn’t for His glory on my life. I took the gift He gave me, and gave it back to Him. He hasn’t let me down.
- Listen to the Unction of the Holy Spirit. So, I started this publishing company, Inheritance Books this year, as in 2015. I never considered myself to be a business maven, but while on jury duty I suddenly felt very industrious and started setting up Inheritance Books. After I received my logo I showed my logo to my sister. She liked it, but she asked me why I was creating a publishing company when I already had a publisher. My response was, “I don’t know, but I feel like there’s a hole and I want to fill it.” I genuinely didn’t know why I was doing what I doing until two days after that conversation with my sister when my publisher announced that they were cutting the Christian Fiction line. There was the hole that Inheritance Books was designed to fill and now I’m preparing to publish books that entertain and edify. Starting with our first release Tempted to Touch. We’ll also be hosting webinars (for all kinds of dream chasers) and workshops for authors because I want you to #GetyourInheritance too!
“Is that…?” Onyjie gasped after flipping my laptop open as I tried to press it closed when she entered my office.
“Yes, that’s Quincy, and this is not what it looks like,” I said, pointing to the screen. The mint green lacquer on her nails gleamed in my eyes making it difficult for me to formulate a good lie.
“I hope not.” Onyjie wagged her head and folded her arms across her chest. “It looks to me like you’re cyber stalking him.”
My head shook from side to side. There was no real way for me to make an innocent afternoon of research appear innocent. “No, I bumped into him this morning. He gave me his card.” This would be a great moment for a genie to pop out and shazaam the card would appear in my hand while Onyjie tapped the toe of her metallic silver booties on the floor waiting to find the hole in my story. I don’t know why she went into accounting after college. She has the entire detective thing down pact right down to the cold stare and twisted mouth.
“He’s in the industry now.”
“What industry? The how-to-get-a-divorce-in-ninety-days industry?” she asked, pointing at Quincy’s almond colored face.
“No, the music industry,” I said, laughing to disguise my guilt. I had not so much as called him and Onyjie already had me feeling like I was committing adultery.
“Girl, please. He’s been in the music industry since you met him like fifteen years ago. It turned out that all he did was hand out flyers for Diddy.” Onyjie adjusted her black and white graphic print A-line skirt and parked a quarter of her thigh on my desk.
“Make yourself at home,” I offered, sliding the laptop out of the way. “All that street team stuff is in the past. Now he’s the boss. He runs MacMusic.”
Onyjie shrugged her shoulders and shook her pepper colored pin curls. “Never heard of it. If, and I stress the word, if, this is a legitimate recording company, what do you think is going to happen? You cut a demo and then you’re going to blow up?”
I lowered my head and focused my eyes on a nick in my new desk to hide my smile. Was I being naïve in thinking that a chance encounter with my former lover was the key to living my dreams? Well, he wasn’t quite a lover. Quincy was more like the love you-leave you-then-love you again type.
Onyjie seemingly caught onto my quiet contemplation, or my poor avoidance tactics, and snapped my laptop shut. “You better let the past remain in the past.”
“I have. It’s been ten years since we’ve even seen each other. I entertained him off and on after we graduated, but once Mason and I got married I cut that off. You’re acting like I went and hired a private eye,” I said, swatting her hand off my laptop and popping it back open. “I bumped into him at Joe’s House of Java.”
“Yeah, and Eve bumped into Satan in the garden while she was picking up lunch.” Onyjie folded her arms and the corners of her mouth into a scowl at the same time. “You think you’re the first pretty girl he’s given his card. He probably has two baby mamas and a girlfriend. Don’t be no fool, girl.”
Do you think Kira is going to give in to her flesh or follow the Spirit?
Pre-order Tempted to Touch here to find out:
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Nigeria Lockley possesses two master’s degrees, one in English secondary education, which she utilizes as an educator with the New York City Department of Education. Her second master’s degree is in creative writing. Nigeria’s debut novel, Born at Dawn received the 2015 Phillis Wheatley Award for First Fiction. Nigeria serves as the Vice President of Bridges Family Services, a not-for-profit organization that assists student parents interested in pursuing a degree in higher education. She is also the deaconess and clerk for her spiritual home, King of Kings and Lord of Lords Church of God. Nigeria is a New York native who resides in Harlem with her husband and two daughters.
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Faith Simone says: I’m soooo proud of Nigeria! She stays on her grind and does not hesitate to give God all the glory. Her takeaways from her first year as a published author are awesome. It’s reassuring to hear an author speak from the place of their own doubts, yet still have the courage to step out on faith. People rarely admit that part of the process of chasing your dreams, is getting weary on the journey. The key is to never give up!
Nigeria is giving away one autographed copy of the book and a $10.00 dollar Amazon gift card. Enter below!
Have you ever dealt with a ‘Quincy’? (Haven’t we all!) What are your thoughts on infidelity? Do you think it’s something people just fall into? Or does the possibility creep in slowly? Do you have any questions for Nigeria about Inheritance Books? Ask away in the comments below.