A warm welcome to author Harper Miller joining us today to talk about new release Complexity. Harper offers us part 3 of her dialogue , shares and excerpt and there is a giveaway to participate in!
Welcome Harper 🙂
Author: Harper Miller
Series Title and Number: The Kinky Connect Chronicles Book 4.
Cover Artist: Taria Reed Digital Artist
Release Date: July 8, 2016
Writing While Black (Part 3)
By Harper Miller
In my last post, I introduced my issue with the concept of colorblindness and why it can be more harmful than helpful. Colorblindness isn’t a lens in which we should view people. We are all different, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with acknowledging our differences as long as we don’t let personal biases impact how we treat other people. A few bad experiences with a person does not make the entire race associated with the wrongdoer bad.
In Complexity, Manny touches on this a bit. He knows that people view him differently because he comes across as “street” or a “thug” to some despite being an educated and successful business owner. None of it matters. Some people see him and automatically assume negative things about him. This is a factor that people of color have to deal with every day. You can be the most highly educated person, with an abundance of money, be well spoken, and dress nice but if you’re perceived as suspicious or a threat to someone in a position of power, none of that matters. In the blink of an eye, accolades have no bearing on what happens to you.
I mention a concept called code-switching in Complexity. It’s a form of adapting the language to those who surround you (for shits and giggles do a Google search for the Key and Peele skit on code-switching. Pretty hilarious stuff.) Anyway, multilingual people do it as a form of acceptance and bonding with peers, and people of color do it as a means of maintaining professional integrity. Manny’s love interest Chris even calls him out on it.
With Chris, Manny is unfiltered and has a habit of speaking in slang terminology, but when they’re around other people, Manny’s mannerisms reflect that of someone who is more toned down and articulate. He realizes that if he were to not put on airs in the company of others, people would think less of him.
Many people of color do this in their day to day lives, as well as in their professional lives. I wrote Complexity with Manny as the narrator, so the reader gets a sense of what it’s like to be him. His speech is pretty potent and for the most part, I took a risk by writing a book entirely in a character’s dialect. It may come across as annoying to some readers, but it is who Manny is.
Remember in my previous post I mentioned how books can become tools for learning? Sometimes characters in books can teach us to become a little less judgmental and a bit more receptive to people who differ from us.
And the dialogue continues…
Follow me for Part Four (The Conclusion) of Writing While Black on Boy Meets Boy Reviews on July 19
Fairy tale endings weren’t made for people like me. Happy for now usually ain’t in the cards, either.
The dents on my wall from where my headboard kept knockin’ against the same spot was the first clue that I needed to calm my ass down. At the rate I was racking up notches and plowing through hookups, I wasn’t ever gonna find nothing real. Guess I kinda jinxed myself. I created my circumstances. You can’t get what you want if you keep falling back into the same pattern of bad habits. But then things changed. I stumbled onto somethin’ I never in a million years expected to happen. You gotta understand, I’m never the guy who wins. It was supposed to be just sex, but that shifty, rhyming and scheming bastard, Cupid, pulled a fast one.
I may have changed some stuff to protect a couple of people. But before you go believing the tabloids, make sure you understand that you’re gettin’ the lowdown straight from the source.
I needed to get this off my chest and it’s only fair that you at least get my side of it all. At some point, I might regret telling you any of this, but for now, you need to know.
*Disclaimer* This is a novella. Not a short story, novelette, or novel. This tale features an M/M pairing. If gay erotica/erotic romance is not your cup of tea and you are offended by same-sex relationships or crass language, you should bypass this story. Content is intended for a mature audience, 18+.
Complexity is the fourth installment in The Kinky Connect Chronicles. The Kinky Connect Chronicles are short erotic stories/novelettes all wrapped up in neat little bows. These stories are standalones. No cliffhangers in the lot!
“Ain’t no easy way to say this, so I’m just gonna say it. You can ask me whatever you want after. Cool?”
Marisol looks up from the phone, and Juan shifts her on his lap, asking, “What’s up, Emmanuel?”
I take a deep breath and let ’er rip.
“I wasn’t seeing a girl, a woman. I was um . . . dating a guy. His name is Chris. I’m bisexual, and we were involved for a bit before things got too serious and I . . . we . . . called it off.”
Both Marisol and Juan stare at me, stunned. Juan’s mouth is parted in an O, but he quickly closes it.
He scratches the back of his head with this goofy-ass look on his face, and Marisol looks down at the tablecloth, her cheeks flushing. Moms and Lucia are quiet.
“Now’s the time to speak up if you got some shit to say, Juan. Let it out.”
Moms frowns at me. She hates when I curse.
“I-I had no idea you were gay, um, bi.”
“Not something I go around shouting since who I fu . . . uh, have sex with is nobody’s business.”
“Moms, you and Titi Lucia are quiet. Too quiet. You knew?” he asks.
Moms nods at Juan. “Sí.”
My mother grabs my brother’s hand and gives it a little squeeze. “Juan, I love you both no matter what. Manny is an adult and he’s living his life. He knows I care about him protecting himself and being safe more than anything. Doesn’t matter if he’s with a woman or a man. A mi no me corresponde, ni es mi derecho, juzgar a alguien a base de su orientación sexual.”
Moms is saying that judging me, or anybody, on the grounds of their sexual orientation isn’t her business nor her right. I’ve never loved my mother more than I do in this moment. She let everyone in the room know that her job is to love me, and never judge. Moms displayed exactly what unconditional love is.
Titi Lucia chimes in, “He’s your brother. Nothing about him has changed. He’s the same guy you grew up with. The one who made you breakfast, helped you with your homework when your mother was working, washed your pissy sheets when you wet the bed, taught you how to fight and how to shoot a basketball. He was the father you should’ve had if yours wasn’t a deadbeat loser. Manny loves you no matter what, and you’d better feel the same, Juan.” Lucia’s voice is threatening as she wags a finger at my brother.
“Okay, okay, let’s chill out and let Juan process this for a sec. We cool or what?” I ask, staring at him. Marisol lifts off his lap and excuses herself. Lucia follows her and Moms takes a seat at the table.
Harper Miller is a thirty-something native New Yorker. She’s traveled the world and lived in a variety of places but always finds her way back to the Big Apple. A lackluster love life leaves time to explore new interests, for Harper it is writing. The Sweetest Taboo: An Unconventional Romance is her debut novel. In her mind, the perfect Alpha male possesses intellect, humor, and a kinky streak that rivals the size of California.
When she isn’t writing, Harper utilizes her graduate degree in the field of medical research. She enjoys fitness-related activities, drinking copious amounts of wine and going on bad dates.
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July 11 – Kimmers’ Erotic Book Banter
July 12 – Cryselle’s Bookshelf
July 13 – Back Porch Reader
July 14 – Prism Book Alliance
July 14 – 3 Chicks After Dark
July 15 – Gay Guy Reading
July 16 – Love Bytes Reviews
July 17 – Dirk Greyson’s Blog
July 18 – Romance in Color
July 19 – Boy Meets Boy Reviews
July 20 – Andrew Grey’s Blog
July 21 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Minds
July 22 – Attention is Arbitrary
July 23 – Alpha Book Club
July 24 – Bayou Book Junkie
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