Thursday, November 18, 2010

Embracing Change

Embracing Change
A lot of people get left behind because they are afraid to change. The Oxford American Dictionary defines change as to make or become different. I’m not proud to say it but every now and then I fall into that category. Take my cell phone for instance. I’ve had it for about a year and the only things I can do with it is answer it, turn it off and get to Yahoo to check my email. Every now and then I can also manage to take a picture and record a video. The picture I can find easy enough but it’s a mystery to me where all the videos are hiding. The instruction manual that came with it shows that the phone can do all kinds of neat things but I refuse to click on the icons and aps for fear that I might blow the phone up or worse, that I might find something interesting that might take up some of my precious time.
I am a creature of routine. I get up at the same time every morning, take a shower and then turn on my computer and play videos while I dress. This is followed by toasting a bagel and fixing my lunch, and maybe possibly writing something. Somewhere around seven I pack my purse and tote bag, put on my earrings and then watch the news to check out the weather and the traffic while I wait for my ride to arrive.
If the telephone rings or one of the kids ask something usually I’ll stop what I’m doing to answer the phone or answer the kid and then I end up forgetting to do something that I don’t remember until I’m at work. My mind refuses to accept change most of the time and I get angry if I have to deviate for the norm.
Take my full-time job for instance. I’m perfectly happy just sitting at my desk five days a week, eight hours a day answering phones and trouble-shooting computer program or finance problems. But every now and then my supervisor asks me to teach a class or go on a trip. This completely throws me out of my comfort zone. I worry about making a mistake while teaching or dying in a plane crash, you know things I have no control of. My boss thinks this is funny and tells me that she just wants me to get out every now and then and try something new. I usually end up doing it not because I want to but because she won’t get off my back until I do. Forced change is not always a good thing, nor is it always appreciated.
For the longest time most of my heroes were tall, Caucasian males, with dark hair and blue eyes. They had to be rich, drive an expensive sport car and live in a luxurious mansion. They also had to be powerfully built in order to protect the heroine from gangsters, fallen angels, demons and natural disasters. So what’s wrong with that you might ask? Nothing, if you’re a beginner writer, but for us who have been around a little while typical is just plain old boring. So every now and then I get the heck out of my comfort zone and develop a hero that is so far from normal even I wouldn’t mind dating him.
I don’t have a problem with change when it comes to writing. Nor do I have problem shifting genre. I can write a good erotic tale just as well as I can write a tender emotional sweet romance. And I have been known to write a paranormal or horror novel or two. This type of change I embrace with a smile. In Bayou Babe, the heroine Halle is a voodoo priestess whom the entire town whispers about. I could have made her mean and in typical fashion cast a spell over everyone that messed with her but instead I made her a character that just didn’t give a damn about what anyone thought of her.
For In Love with a Dark Stranger, which is set in modern day Egypt, I created four of the most un-orthodoxed characters that I could think of and wrote a tale so hot that even I got turned on reading. Not only does it have a hot dark-haired bandit but as a change I threw in a sexy blond-haired prince to just confuse the heck out of the heroine.
On the Warpath teamed a chauvinistic male Secret Service agent with a half African American/half Native American Indian female who could outshoot, out track and basically kick his butt in everything she attempted. Originally she was supposed to be some frail little secretary type but I changed it at the last moment because his attitude was getting on my nerves and I wanted to teach him a lesson.
I got the surprise of my life one night after watching a Korean drama on my computer. I took one look at the leading man and I started to drool. No one told me that there were so many fine looking Asians just walking around on the other side of that ocean. Now this leading man was far from typical. He was drop dead gorgeous with pale skin, dark almond-shaped eyes and a set of lips to die for. My eyes automatically landed on all that thick black hair, his delicately carved face and that slender frame. Instant arousal. Or, as it’s known in the anime world…a double nose bleed. What was it about this man that caught my attention? He wasn’t very muscular, he didn’t drive a fancy car or have a million dollar home. But he probably could protect the heroine because my warp little mind assumes that just because a man is Asian that he knows martial arts, (so not true).
Then I realized that the change wasn’t in my choice of character but in me. Normally I’m turned on by tall, dark-skinned African American males, with deep voices and smoldering brown eyes. Not so much anymore. I often joke with my fans and friends on Facebook about Imari’s bucket list…the ten men I’d like to do before I die. It came as quite a shock to them and me that the top five were all of Asian descent. Just to make it clear number one is Micky Yoochun from the K-Pop group JYJ. He’s twenty-four with the best hair and best set of lips I’ve ever seen. (Cougar moment.)
I don’t spend as much time on YouTube as I used to drooling over these men. That would be just too big a change for me. But I have done a considerable amount of research on Japanese and Korean culture and customs and watched a lot of videos in the last year or so to have a very good understanding of what they’re like, which brings me to the real meaning behind this blog, I had to change my way of thinking in order to write my upcoming book In Deep Kimchi, that is scheduled to be released by Sugar and Spice Press in January 2011.
Blurb: Erotic romance author Shaundra Morrison thought there was nothing in the world her handsome white boss Harper Kehoe could offer her to get her on a plane bound for Tokyo, including free use of his body for the duration of the trip. Becoming a member of the mile high club intrigued her but not enough to conquer her fear of flying.
Harper Kehoe had money, power and everything his heart desired except for the affections of his best selling author’s Shaundra Morrison. He jumped at the idea of forming a partnership with Japanese mogul Goro Niigata because to Harper business came before pleasure. And what a perfect way to have both than by inviting Shaundra and three of his other successful authors to accompany him to Tokyo to promote the opening of NIKII Publishing. So what if it meant having one of his doctor friends prescribe Shaundra a sedative to knock her sexy ass out for twenty five hours.
Shaundra wasn’t too keen on the idea of being drugged just to fly halfway around the world to help Harper promote his new business, until her senior editor showed Shaundra a picture of Aomori, a group of four J-Pop singers who Mr. Niigata managed and planned to use to help promote his new business. All it took was one look at those beautiful faces, sexy young bodies and all that long black hair to get her to reconsider. The worst thing that could happen to her would be she’d be turned into a junkie before she returned to New York, she mused looking down at the photograph again. The dampening of the panties between her legs assured her that it would be well worth it.
Whew, had I not changed my way of thinking there’s no way I could have come up with that premise or that story. So you see some change is good.
New Orleans born Imari Jade writes for Sugar and Spice Press, Eternal Press, Carnal Publishing, Siren Publishing, Total E-Bound, Phaze, MoonGypy Press, Midnight Showcase Fiction, Wild Horse Press and Mélange.

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