Category Archives: Lotus, Book One

(Blog Challenge, Day 24) The five favorite moments in Lotus.

  1. The first flashback of Lotus and Gabe in his college apartment.  I could envision it clearly. I felt her anxiety as if I was there, eavesdropping on his living room couch with a bowl of popcorn.  I loved every moment of it.
  2. The first conversation between Lotus, Lola and Dakota at Lola’s house.  Even if the conversation was fictional, I’ve had it 1,000 times before in real life.
  3. THE KISS.
  4. The argument between Nick and Lotus in the hospital lobby because the depth of their issues finally began to be revealed.  
  5. The entire Third Trimester.




Kay’s debut novel, Lotus, is now available on, iBooks, and







Please excuse any grammatical or syntax errors in this post.  Take them as a sign that I consider you a friend.

(Blog Challenge, Day 21): The thing I am least afraid of after writing Lotus…

The first time I believed Lotus was finished on May 27, 2013, I felt a sense of bittersweet pride.

The second time I believed it was finished on December 26, 2013, I felt anxiety, excitement, and relief.

The third, fourth, fifth and sixth times I believed it was finished, I felt confident, yet mildly insecure.

The seven and (final) time I believed it was finished, I was just plain old exhausted..

Despite the 187 years that it took me to complete Lotus, my gratitude for it being out there for consumption continues to trump my fear of it not being well-received.  Believing that it was truly my best effort has been an award in and of itself.  Even after rereading the last five chapters of the book today, I noted things that I wish I would have added and things that probably would have served the book better if they were left out.  Yet somehow, none of that seems to keep me up at night, which is an astonishing feat for someone like me.  In a strange sense, my illogical lack of anxiety forces me to believe that writing this story is exactly what I am supposed to be doing at this point in my life.  So whatever comes from this path is much easier to accept than if I never tried at all..



Kay’s debut novel, Lotus, is now available on, iBooks, and





Please excuse any grammatical or syntax errors in this post.  Take them as a sign that I consider you a friend.

(Blog Challenge, Day 20) My biggest fear after writing Lotus…

I love God.

The bio on most of my social media accounts begins with that statement.  The only other things to come close to capturing my emotions for God are my family and all-butter chocolate chip cookies. That being said, my secret fear once I finished Lotus was that some Christians – yes, those type of Christians – will read it with it’s love triangle and PG-13 love scenes and will label me as a trouble-making, marriage-defiling, unsanctimonious heathen.

I’m sure those people are out there, and I’m not going to lie, when I think of being kicked off of Team Jesus by anybody it’s makes me really sad. However, as the creator of this story, I know the long term trajectory of this tale, and am excited to peel back the layers of life, love, loss, friendships and second chances that will come from it.   So don’t fret, just like you and I, Lotus might be a heathen but her whole story hasn’t been written yet.

Like any creative piece, I think that Lotus’ story will be open to interpretation.  For some it will be a fun tale, for others it will be a sad one, for some it will be a fantastical story and for a few, some aspects will hit close to home.  For me, Lotus is simply a story about a woman who finds herself at a point in her life where the crap hits the fan.  At some point in life, no matter how many times any of us go to church, mass or the synagogue, we will all find ourselves in a situation where everything seems to fall apart.  While sometimes these things are caused by forces beyond our control, I wanted to write this story because every now and then, our life-shattering catastrophes are predicated upon the decisions that we have made. These decisions are not necessarily bad decisions, they are simply choices that secretly whisper our inner desires to the universe (read: God) until the universe (read: God) decides to answer back.

It is in these times that we – like Lotus – must decide how to move forward. That’s usually when life get’s most interesting.




Kay’s debut novel, Lotus, is now available on, iBooks, and







Please excuse any grammatical or syntax errors in this post.  Take them as a sign that I consider you a friend.


(Blog Challenge, Day 19) Reviews, manfans, wandering eyes and wandering thoughts

Last week, a good friend she asked me, “You know that your book is really good, right?  Seriously, it’s okay to say that you know that it’s good, okay?”

I hesitated in responding because I didn’t want her to mistake my response for faux humility.  The complete truth is that while I thought “Lotus” was my best effort at writing my first novel, I never ever ever ever EVA assume that any given person will necessarily like it.  Again, it’s not a confidence thing, it’s understanding that people look for different things in what they read.  It’s also understanding that where a person is in their life may greatly impact how they perceive or interpret the book (in the same way that you may not want to listen to a sad song on a sunny, warm and perfectly breezy summer day).

But I had my assumptions on who MIGHT like the book.


Women in their twenties, thirties or forties.

Women who are traveling for the summer.

Women who don’t mind a little drama because drama=passion and passion=emotions and what woman doesn’t like talking about her emotions?

Yet, of the many types of people who I assumed MIGHT like the book, I’m most surprised at the male response to “Lotus”.

My husband and my friend were the first men to begin and finish the book. Believing that was far too fantastical and emotional for the male species, I cautiously listened to their initial opinions.

As married men, it was no surprise that they both hated Gabe and that they both wanted to see greater depth in Nick’s character moving forward.  My husband would have completely changed the last chapter, but in effort to not spoil the end of the book for anyone, I will keep his critique for much later.  Surprisingly, their perspective and insight has greatly colored the way that I look at both of the male characters and I look forward to understanding them more as this story evolves.

However, there was one area where men and women seem to have drastically different opinions and that is on the topic of the main character, Lotus.

For men, Lotus is a cautionary tale of a woman who should have never gotten married, the type of woman who makes men get secret video cameras in their homes.  She committed the ultimate sin of having second thoughts about her marriage and sealed that indiscretion with the lending of her emotions to someone else.  In short, Lotus should be burned at the stake.

For women, Lotus is a fantastical story about a woman who finds herself stuck between her past and her future.  Up until the point where we meet her, she has been a bystander in her own life.  Her insecurities make her relatable, even if her decisions do not. While she has made mistakes, they are understandable, and for that reason you want to know whether this story will ultimately end with her happiness.

A debate that has developed in various coed circles of readers is whether a women’s wandering thoughts are worse than a man’s wandering eyes.  I have my own opinion on that topic but I’ll leave that to you to consider.

As for me, by the end of the book, I was ultimately left with the following unanswered questions:

What does happiness look like to a woman like Lotus, a woman who dared to peek into her past? Can that happiness be found in either Nick or Gabe, or is she the type of person to always seek something beyond her grasp?  We don’t know enough about Lotus to answer this question yet but I look forward to finding out.

Another, and equally important, question is, what really motivates the men in the book?  Both men have virtues and flaws, and it is difficult to paint one of them as the good guy versus the bad guy with a broad brush. Do we know everything about their relationships with Lotus?  Is there something (or someone) from their collective pasts who might reveal something to Lotus that she doesn’t know?  (Men have pasts too.)

I also wonder if any of the characters fought hard enough for what they said that they wanted. For better for worse, I think Lotus was the only one who put it all on the line by the end of the book, I wonder if she will be rewarded for that decision or whether she will come to regret it for the rest of her life.

Finally, I am a deep believer in second chances and the importance of timing in relationships.  My relationship with my own husband had a part one and a part two.  Given the decisions that were made, I wonder if Lotus’ heart will allow itself to begin yet another chapter with either man or will she choose to close the chapter on both men, once and for all?  

Hmmm….I guess we will all have to wait to find out! ;-D

second chances
True for many people. Could this be true for Lotus and Nick? Lotus and Gabe?




Kay’s debut novel, Lotus, is now available on, iBooks, and





Please excuse any grammatical or syntax errors in this post.  Take them as a sign that I consider you a friend.


(Blog Challenge, Day 17) Upcoming Events Schedule

The way I feel about public speaking is the way most people feel about colonic treatments:  I dislike the idea of it even though I know it’s good for me.  Small groups of people are great, especially when there is coffee or wine.  But the idea of traveling to talk about Lotus is already giving me bubble guts.

A writer has to do what a writer has to do, right?  It’s still weird when I hear people refer to me as such, even though that’s all I’ve been striving towards for the past few years.  Perhaps it’s because I secretly feel like I’m just playing the role of a writer until someone challenges my street credibility?  And by street credibility I clearly mean my ability to put together an error-free sentence past 10:00 am.

But if you have made it this far into this post then you are probably looking for information about upcoming events.  (And yes, even that feels weird to write).  Starting tonight, I am challenging myself to say, “I am a writer. I am a writer,” everyday, throughout the day, until I believe it myself (or until my last event, whichever comes first).  If you live in Maryland, Atlanta or Sacramento, California, please check me out!

September 1, 2015 – Virtual book club discussion on Facebook  

October 3, 2015 – “Love is complicated, spin it out” event at CYCLED in Silver Springs, Maryland

October 10, 2015 – Book’s Ink Writer’s Conference at Carter G. Woodson Library

October 17, 2015 – TBA event in Chicago, Illinois

October 24, 2015 – TBA event in Atlanta, Georgia

January 16, 2016 – Book reading and discussion – Sacramento, California


Kay’s debut novel, Lotus, is now available on, iBooks, and






(Blog Challenge, Day 15) My post book launch Oscars speech


I know that I’m behind on this blog challenge but don’t worry! THE BOOK has officially been launched out into the stratosphere and now lives among the interwebs alongside gossip websites, adult entertainment, and NETFLIX (in case you were wondering).  It will go down as one of the most nerve-wrecking and magical days in my life, primarily because I didn’t expect it to evolve into what it became.  The honest truth, the truth that will probably reveal the extent in which I need to see a shrink one day is this…I really didn’t expect many people who I know personally to buy the book.  I mean, I expected my mother and her bible study crew to purchase it, my older sister’s friends, my brother’s girlfriend, a few cousins in Mississippi and my in-laws in Louisiana to support it, but that was pretty much the extent of my expectations.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe in my book.  It was a joy and delight to write Lotus and I think it’s awesome in the way that awesome things sometimes can make you cry, reflect, and eat chocolate cookies.  It’s just that I also figure that people get sick of being “sold to”, especially when they aren’t looking to buy something.  So I spent weeks deciding to focus my marketing efforts outside of my own networks and that almost proved to be a mistake of epic proportions.

It is only because of the people who I know, that Lotus has already been propelled much farther than I could have ever imagined. It turns out that people around me, physically and virtually, just won’t allow me to be mediocre.  This book has been loved on and supported and passed on by people who have known me before I was born and by people who I have never met.  Whenever I try to do the math to figure out why so many people have been willing to carry this book further than I can see, I still come up short.

So I am only left to thank God.

But before I drop the mic in Jesus’ name, I also think it’s only fair for me to thank a lot of people whose support I couldn’t acknowledge in my book, but who I would like to thank now.  My husband, kids, parents, siblings and best friends have already gotten their shine, so now, my heartfelt thanks go to…

Brooke Martin, who after reading the first version of my first chapter (which was pretty bad) convinced me that my book was going to be made into a movie…

Margaret Diel, for showing me how to give my readers something to see, taste, feel and smell…

Marty Dryk, for the 10 line edits and for allowing me to challenge your use of the Oxford comma…

Julie Vassilatos, for that one conversation you probably don’t remember which encouraged me to go back and rewrite that first bad chapter…

Jimmy Greenfield, for allowing me to win Best Blog Post back in 2012, when I needed desperately to win something…

Akeya for being one of the first people to tell me that I had some writing chops and for connecting me with people time and time again over the years…

To Kim for being one of my many animal spirits (as I am yours)…

To people like Syreta for knowing the power of her “shares”…

To Mia for your love, support and for reminding me to breathe…

Thank you to all the Spelman “Moms” and alumni who literally didn’t think twice before buying the book…

And to my Eta Kappa Sorors who have passed this on in the same way you would for a daughter or sister…

Thank you for the words of encouragement from the phenomenal lineage of BOSSES who have come out of Whitney M. Young High School and Beasley Academic Center…

Thank you to Stradford Stone for designing this very website and to Khalil for taking pictures of me when it was 45 degrees outside…

Thank you to Nisha and Karla for both saying you can’t believe that someone you know wrote Lotus.  That makes me feel pretty official…

Thank you to William for ALWAYS always always always supporting the things that I write…

Thank you to Eddie for your advice on book two and for “debriefing” with me for 30 minutes about book one (#manfan)…

Thank you to my Harris School classmates who have likely eyed my book with great suspicion, but who have purchased it anyway!

Thank you to my Aunt Marilyn in Mississippi who has already purchased four copies to pass around…

Thank you to long, lost friends who picked up their copy too…

Thank you to anybody and everybody who has purchased this book. From the bottom of my heart, I hope you enjoy it.




Kay’s debut novel, Lotus, is now available on, iBooks, and







Please excuse any grammatical or syntax errors in this post.  Take them as a sign that I consider you a friend.

(Blog Challenge, Day 13) Is Lotus too crazy to be likeable?

I struggled with this question for a long time.  The truth of the matter is that Lotus IS a bit crazy (but in a very common way). While you get fleeting glimpses of her confidence, you see more of her neurotic and insecure side in the first book.  I feared that her neurosis would make her unlikable, but I decided not to change her overall persona because I think that the contradictions between her inner insecurities and her outer self-confidence is manifested in most women who I know.

Women, more than any other creature alive, have to wear the mask of perpetual confidence.  To be seen as anything other than completely self-assured is to mark you as undesirable. We are often put against each other to compete for everything, including respect, jobs, men, and even who is the better mother. Being inside the mind of Lotus, I wanted readers to see the fullness of her fragility first, in order to appreciate her evolution once her inner self more appropriately matches that facade that she has become well adapted in putting on.

I wanted the reader to get annoyed with her.  One of the very issues that I have with shows like Scandal (and no shade towards my boo thang Shonda Rhymes) is that just once, I want the heroine to go call a shrink and talk through their issues.  Mental health is not a river in Egypt.  Television is full of women with unresolved issues who stay dysfunctional.  I want my girl Lotus to have everything that she wants, but I also believe that it is important for her to deal with her issues first.  So if you find yourself wanting to yell at Lotus, know that I wanted to give her a piece of my mind as well.

– Kay


Kay’s debut novel, Lotus, is now available on, iBooks, and







Please excuse any grammatical or syntax errors in this post.  Take them as a sign that I consider you a friend.

(Blog Challenge, Day 7): On this day, six years ago…


…I married the funniest, smartest, quirkiest, and most supportive man who I have ever known.  Don’t take this as a brag, because it is not meant to be that way, because he also makes me pull out my hair at least 99% of the time.  His inappropriate humor trumps my inappropriate humor, his OCD tendencies rival my own, irritatingly enough, he is even a better writer than me.

I used to get anxiety about everything.  Before I went to work, before I would catch the train.  Before I flew a plane, as I was driving in a car.  That’s what happens when you have anxiety.  You always manage to think of the worst case scenario.  Even when you don’t want to, it’s difficult to silence the thoughts that ask, “What if this cantaloupe is infected with e.coli because Good Morning America did an expose on poorly run farms?”

(I know that talking about marriage and having anxiety in the same of a post doesn’t seem like a good sign, but just bare with me.)

So the secret is out.  I’m crazy…at least, I used to be.  (More on why I don’t suffer from anxiety later on.)  But my point is that on this day six years ago, when I was at the height of having anxiety, I wasn’t nervous at all.  I was oddly calm and clear-minded.  I was certain.

I thought I knew my soon-to-be husband that day when I walked down the lawn towards him.  I thought I knew his quirks as well as his strengths.  I thought I knew the best and worst sides of him. Time would prove that I had no idea.

What I didn’t know, but what would be proven over the first years of our marriage, is that I married a man who loves me more than I ever knew how to love anyone else.  I married a man who loved me as I changed, evolved and shed some of the things that he thought that he knew about me.  I don’t assume that this was always easy for him, heck, I was pregnant with braces and an afro at one point in time.  I probably would have left me if I was him.

My husband taught me how to love.

…and I thought I was a pretty friggin’ loving person.  I love EVERYBODY (for the most part).  I love telling people that I love them. I love hugs and kisses and cuddles.  I love love.  I love romantic comedies.  I love writing romance books.  I love calling my family everyday and being there for my friends.  I was born with a copy of Pride and Prejudice in my right hand.  I thought love was my middle name.

But the type of love that endures through the good and the bad, I knew nothing about, at least not until my husband showed me how to do it.  And for that reason, on this day, I thank God for him.

Thank you for ordering your coffee ‘Black…with sugar and creme’…

Thank you for waiting until the kids are out of the room before you ask me who their daddy is…

Thank you for introducing me me to strange things like Fifty Tyson and for making me act out scenes from Black movies with you.

No one else might understand why these things make me appreciate you, but I hope you never doubt that I do.

Happy Anniversary


Kay’s debut novel, Lotus, will be available August 17 on, iBooks, GooglePlay, and



(Blog Challenge, Day 5): How marriage, Scandal, and “Twilight” inspired me to write my first book

Scene One: Marriage

The worst thing to ask a novice writer is, “What is your book about?” – especially when said writer is still in the throes of developing the manuscript.  From what I have observed, people who write are typically neurotic, so asking too many questions distracts us from the churning thoughts of plot ideas and dialogue that are constantly flowing through our minds. As a notoriously fragile bunch, we are easily convinced that what we are doing makes no sense at all, so we are prone to stopping projects on a dime and immersing ourselves in large boxes of donuts and cookies for days at a time.  But that very question, the one that I cringed to hear, plagued me for almost three years.

For the longest time, I had no idea how to explain my book.  Is it about a newlywed who has an affair?  Is it about a woman who has a chance encounter with an old flame?  Is it about a woman at a crossroads who must decide if the life she created is more important than the life she secretly desires?   Is it a manual on automobile repair?

I didn’t know what to say.  I really feared that people would think that my scandalous tale was about me.

Which it was not.

Although it kind of was.

Let me explain.

My husband and I met in college and reconnected many years later. I loved him enough to never pressure him into marriage but I’m happy that he asked me anyway.  His career was taking off and mine was supposed to be on the same trajectory.  The only issue was that it wasn’t, in part, because I found no joy in it.

As fate would have it, we went from the wedding chapel to the delivery room within the first year and a half of our marriage. We not only had a dog who refused to be house trained, but a baby with a heart issue and half the income that was agreed upon in our unspoken marriage contract.

Capone was so cute (and he probably peed on that carpet).

Our honeymoon was over before it really began. Suddenly we were smack dead in the desert of “for better and for worse“.

Sooner than either of us would have preferred, we were faced with one of the most difficult riddles of marriage. In case you haven’t heard it, it goes a little something like this:

You spend your early adult years being told to follow YOUR dreams.  You spend your teenage years being told to find YOURself. Then you get married and somehow your goals have to coincide with another person’s goals, passions and dreams. You’ve heard that marriage was all about compromise, but you thought that pertained to choosing a brand of potato chips and deciding who gets to hold the remote control.  The real question many married people try to solve on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis is ‘How do you find your happiness and another person’s happiness at the same time’?  Most people believe that happiness universally lies in the same direction, but marriage reveals that oftentimes it does not.  Is has to be created (and consistently renegotiated) somewhere in the middle of two uniquely- made people.

I was still creating my wedding album when suddenly I had a baby, a new husband and for the first time in my life I could not provide for myself. Most people would (and did) assume that my marriage made me feel more stable and secure, but the opposite was the case.

When you are the person going through the “for worse” part of life, the support of another person often comes second to the guilt that you feel. I felt like the woman who invited my entire family on the maiden voyage of the Titanic. If you have never been in this position, trust me, it’s tremendously difficult to be the “sinking ship” when you believe that you are also drowning the people who you love most.  

So as a new wife/accidental stay-at-home mom/unemployed policy wonk, I did the only thing I knew how to do: I started to work my a@@ off.

I was going on 6th and 7th round interviews in secret, I was teaching my one and half year old to read. My house stayed immaculately clean because I was shampooing all the carpet in our (first) apartment once a week.  I even figured out how to cook more than a pot of spaghetti.  Gumbo, shrimp etouffee, chicken parmesan…you name it. 

I made sure that my hair was flat-ironed and styled by the time my husband came home from work.  I told him not to worry about the baby crying at night because it was more important for him to sleep.  I hid the sinking feeling I had whenever I came around our families who wouldn’t waste time in asking me, “So what are you doing now?”

I resisted the urge to punch someone in the face to get upset when anyone insinuated that I sat at home looking at soap operas eating croissants everyday.

I ran myself into the ground because I felt like that was the only way to prove my worth.  Unsurprisingly, this eventually led me to resenting my husband. I was upset at him for the choices that I made for myself.

I was upset with him for the multitude of sacrifices that I believed that only I was making. I made myself a martyr in my own mind and became upset that my husband didn’t treat me as such.  Not only was this perspective short-sighted but it was void of real consideration of all of the things that he had given up for me.  (Not that marriage should be tic-for-tac, but that’s another blog post.)

The material sacrifices that he was making was obvious.  Despite how hard he worked, he continued to drive a modest car. He never splurged on anything, though I knew at times he secretly wanted to. By the grace of God things were put into proper perspective once I considered everything he was sacrificing for me – even those things I could not see, those things I may never know, those things he would never tell me about.  

This conundrum of what people are willing to give up for love (and the ripple effects of sacrifice) stuck with me and eventually became the centering theme of the book that I would write.

Scene Two: Scandal

Image result for scandal watch me earn you
Good Lord, best scene ever!

During this time I became captivated by the television show, Scandal.  Every week I watched it in all it’s over-the-top melodramatic glory, and loved every second of it.  The highlight of my week was Liv, Fitz and my big ole’ glass of wine.  My week centered around Thursday nights as I pondered who Olivia was going to save next, or whether Columbus Short was going to do any nude scenes.

Image result for columbus short naked in scandal
RIP Harrison Wright’s abs. Such a tragic loss.

I appreciated the tension of the unrealized relationship between Fitz and Liv.  A part of me wondered what type of literary voodoo devices Shonda Rhimes had concocted to make America root so arduously for an affair to take place.

I realized that the answer was all in the context.

What people loved almost as much as the sexual tension between the two characters was the weaving of the stories that explained why that tension existed. Liv and Fitz had history…just as we all do…and I became intrigued by how history might play a role in a story where someone had to make a choice between her past, her present and her future.

Scene Three: Breaking Dawn, Part 2

Somewhere in the midst of trying to meander between my own life and Scandal, I saw the conclusion of the Twilight Saga. Watching the last installment of the series, I felt like I was sixteen years old.  Down to the last minutes of the movie, I still didn’t know if Bella had made the right choice in picking her eternal vampire mate.  As I heard Bruno Mars raspy voice sing, “It Will Rain,” during the closing credits, it felt bittersweet.  I wasn’t ready for the love triangle to be solved, plus Jacob falling in love with Renessme just seemed a bit creepy. 

I (heart) Jacob.
Love you Rob Pattinson, but they had you looking WAY too pale in that movie!

The moment I walked out of the theater I became fixated on writing a story about a love triangle.

As a rom-com aficionado, I knew that love triangles can be tricky.  Oftentimes, the right choice is TOO clear as the decision usually comes down to who is better for the centralizing person in the relationship.  The challenge for me was to present two figures who were equal in strengths and weaknesses.  I wanted to make the decision as difficult as possible for my heroine.  The men weren’t going to ponder over her like puppy dogs.  The dynamic of the heroine’s love for each guy had to be authentic and realistic but very different from the other.

So there it is:  Lotus is everything you need in your last book of the summer.  Marriage, loss, secrets and a vampire love triangle…everything you imagined love would entail when you were sixteen years old.  I hope you enjoy it!



Kay’s debut novel, Lotus, will be available August 17 on, iBooks, GooglePlay, and