What motivates my pen is simply wanting to be understood and accepted for who I truly am and not by what everyone casually observes on the outside. Although self-publishing was not my first hope (excuse the twinkle in my eyes), years later, I am at peace with realizing it was the best path to take. I have learned to enjoy the rewards of journeying on the fringes of obscurity. The deadlines I set are under my own intense scrutiny and the limits of what I can create are determined only by the boundaries of my vivid imagination. I am free to roam about my colorful universe as often as I please or not at all. I am free to flourish or fail as an author without the beam of a microscope constantly aimed at me. I am also free to wander the thin, shaky line between living as a person and confessing my dreams as a nameless poet, between being a woman and weeping out my fears as an unknown writer.
I love the hours I spend contemplating the perfect kiss. I hate that I am absent of the power to push every emotion flawlessly across the page.
I love sharing the pure desire swimming in my heart. I hate knowing that blank eyes are scouring the lines of my precious words simply for the joy of pointing out typos.
I love pouring out a love story not defined by race or color. I hate that because this is all the world sees, most of these tales will become lost to the wind.
I love being lenise lee. I hate that I am the only one who sees her true potential.
About a year and a half ago, I wrote a story I was convinced no one would give more than a passing thought to…Hm, so wrong on that one. Equally hated and loved, ‘After the Sunset’ became my very best seller of all time (shaking my head…as if I’ve been writing for decades, but I can dream can’t I?). In between those two hundred plus pages I typed out after dragging myself home from I job I loathed, I created a pair of secondary characters who walked across the scenes of about two chapters — at most — toward the second half of the romantic suspense. Since then, I still receive emails asking me when Nivea and Pierce are going to get their own story. My reply is always the same…It’s coming…eventually.
Like most writers who have a sleeper that suddenly becomes a runaway hit, I’ve defeated myself before I can even finish the draft. My thoughts on their romance continually tease me, yet never flourish into a full body of work. I’ve written their story dozens of times…in my mind, on actual paper, and on a faux piece of blank white parchment…and it’s never, ever…ever good enough. I wondered what could be stopping me. Writer’s block? Nope. I already know what happens to them. I’ve rehearsed it countless times from beginning to end. Fear that the audience will hate the story I create for them? Nope. Bad reviews use to bring me to the verge of tears, now — no offense to my readers, whom I love dearly — for my own sanity, I just skip all of them.
I’ve come to the conclusion that my deep love for these reluctant soul mates is the main obstacle to bringing this sequel to life. It must have been a slip of my fingers, a hurried moment when I forgot to clamp down my inner desires that caused me to unknowingly pour a piece of myself into the letters floating across the screen. Could this be the secret of why their unwritten love has touched the hearts of those who discovered the brief paragraphs describing the fleeting moment of an unnerving connection? For once, did I reveal too much of myself, too much of the heart hiding behind the keys and, by doing so, succeed in pulling others into my colorful world?
Every time I return to their love story, I feel the pain of their loneliness…their desperate search for a kindred spirit. Are these intimate details that should be shared with a faceless pair of eyes…exposed for all to see…to scorn…to laugh at then hit the return button on their e-reader? If I can’t let go of my deep attachment to them, Nivea and Pierce may never blaze across the screen in a teary reunion. I must convince myself…they’re just words on a page, the creation of a wandering imagination haunted by far too many fantasies of wayward romance…nothing more…right…? Time to let go and bring them to life…one more time.
When writing a romantic tale, the inevitable question comes to mind…Which is more urgent to share, the plot of the story or the romance of the characters? Of course, both should be equally important; however, today’s world — and today’s reader — is impatient for results. We crave immediate gratification; after all, a romance novel shouldn’t feel like skimming through a confounding textbook. I, myself, was no different. Excluding my own, I haven’t actually read a work of intimate fiction in quite some time, but I do remember the craving…the yearning…the staggering impatience to get to the explosive finale that I was in search of…When, on when, will Dick and Jane finally cry out their desperate feelings to one another? Forget the coincidences that brought them together, the adventure that sealed their lives in sync for all time, or the narrow escapes that nearly parted them forever…I wanted to read about the panic button that sent clothes flying in all directions!
All of these were my eager thoughts as my eyes floated across the page or the screen…that is, until I became the brooding writer behind the page, the novelist typing behind the screen, and took on the personas of the emotional characters trying to leap into the mind of the reader. Suddenly, it all mattered…the slow build of anticipation, the colorful lines explaining the subtleties of the scene playing out around the would-be lovers, the intricate details of their reluctant first kiss. But, when does the description become too much? When do I bite my ‘tongue’? When do I hold back the imagery swimming in my head. My goal is to have the reader consumed by the bond of the characters, not stuck trying to imagine what everyone at the party is wearing.
In my meticulous mind, every word is exactly how it should be…every sentence, every punctuation mark, every hanging paragraph counts for helping this fictional universe come to vivid life. I want every page to count for the experience of entering this world I have tried to create, and not to become just another skipped handful of sentences until Dick and Jane float into each other’s arms one more time.
Perfection is what I seek…The perfect tale of love found, lost, rediscovered…And perfection is what I will find…One story at a time, until I finally lay eager fingers on the secret to a flawless romance. LL♥
Admittedly, I have written my fair share of burning words across the virtual screen, but nothing brings a smile to my face more than sharing that first sweet kiss with the reader. There’s something about imagining a gentle tap of innocent lips pressing together that stirs up my longing to delve deep into creating the perfect romantic scene. Is there a better way to begin a life-long bond than with a tender kindling of passion passed between two hesitant souls? Spicy kisses add a spark to the day, but it is the sweet ones that linger in our memories forever, even after the object of our desire is no longer near. LL♥
Is it a fiery kiss? A passionate scene near a fireplace? Or is it simply two souls desperately trying to connect with one another beyond the use of words and outside of the boundaries of a mere touch?
I’ve been thinking on this question for quite a while…off and on…whenever my fingers hit the keys to start drafting a new title…when I see a couple passing on the street, in the store, at the park…What defines their romance?
Was it the first glance one summer morning? The first note he or she passed to the object of their desire during a class? An extra special hello during a lunch meeting at the office? Where did it all begin? More importantly…How does it all continue?
That sensual spark…those passionately whispered I love you’s…How do we keep them fresh and new amongst a world breaking at the seams?
After writing over a dozen romance-themed tales, I’ve finally been led to the conclusion that…while they are definitely related…they are definitely not the same concept. Sex can be a passing urge…Romance flutters with the beat of a heart…But Love…surpasses all seasons…Once planted, It constantly swims in the soul, refusing to let go…Seeking its same in another living soul.
My first published words were “Excuse me?” from a man who saw a young woman sitting on the other side of a lecture hall and had been desperately trying to think of a way to introduce himself to her…Pure…Innocent…Pleading…Love
The moment I stepped away from these Tender Passions, I felt my words crumbling beneath me…For others, the burning touch of page-melting words may due, as for me, I continue my return home to where my personal love story lives and breathes anew…Pure…Innocent…Pleading…Love..LL♥
Another year draws to a close with so many reasons to be thankful. I am very grateful for the immeasurable joys and inspiring moments which have been granted to me along the way, including you, Dear Reader, and also for the many creative minds and special people I have been fortunate enough to cross paths with. Wishing each of you a sincere Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday, and an awe-inspiring New Year filled with wonderful adventure and new love….Peace and Blessings, always and in all ways!..LL♥
Assurance…I cannot breathe as I hope and pray that my frosty ears have not deceived me. Has the time come for my wounded heart to finally be mended? Could it be possible that our great romance has finally been reawakened from a weary and worrisome slumber?