Stepping Outside the Genre Box

Once upon a time, back in 2017, I shared the first chapter of a crazy fantasy story about fallen angels disguised as women with blue eyes killing black men for their power and one woman’s mission to stop them. I had no intentions of ever publishing it. My purpose was to share a free story on the blog that readers could enjoy. I played around using some of the same characters and background from another book I had written but have since retired.

To my surprise, so many people enjoyed the first chapter, so I came back the next week and wrote another chapter and then another and then another until I had written eighteen chapters of a book I never intended to write.

The more I shared, the more readers loved it. This got me excited!

In 2020, while we were all bored in the house and in the house bored, I worked on finishing the book. It is now a full-length novel I will release later this year.

If you have been following this blog over the years, you are already familiar with The Women with Blue Eyes (now titled The Women with Blue Eyes: Rise of the Fallen) and I am so excited to finish it for you.

Moral of the Story

 

It’s okay to step outside the box and write something different, especially if it’s something you know readers would enjoy. Master P is not just a rapper, he is also a full-blown businessman with several products. He has everything from cereal to oodles and noodles, to potato chips to fish fry.

As I was drafting this post, I tried to think of how to explain that it’s okay to write in a genre you are not typically known for without sacrificing your author brand.

My first thought was to remind you that you are the brand, not the book. It is less about the genre and more about how you stay true to your message.

This is still true, but last week I came across a post by Phyllis Zimbler Miller where she was given some advice that really put it into perspective for me.

Recently I was advised to “stay in my lane” of military and espionage writing so that I could be considered for that niche. This is especially so because my background supports this lane.

Yet when I mentioned staying in my lane to an entertainment industry exec, she had an interesting POV about branding oneself as a writer.

She didn’t agree with staying in one’s lane in terms of specific genres. Instead, her advice to me was to remain the same lens and perspective across genres.

“Remain the same lens and perspective across genres.”

I love this because it frees the writer from the genre box. In my own words, I would say to write in whatever genre you want, but keep your message consistent. While Master P does many different things he wasn’t known for before, his “No Limit” message stayed the same.

Since I usually write Black Historical Fiction, my story will incorporate black history, all the way down to how I represent the characters. In Greek Mythology, Paschar is the angel of vision and is a white male. In my version, Paschar is still a fallen angel, but she operates in the skin of a black woman.

I’ve also infused black history into the narrative with my character’s background and dialogue. If you’ve been following the series on this blog, Miss Vicky is a new character you haven’t met yet. She is a member of the renovation committee at the new Altgeld Projects and former cook for the Chicago Chapter of the Black Panther Party’s Free Breakfast Program. Here is an excerpt from her giving black history to a couple of corner boys working for Big Sam’s organization:

Closer to the buildings, girls jumped double-dutch on the sidewalk, and young boys stood up on their bikes, riding them back and forth. The boys wore no shirt, and yellow headscarves hung out of their back pants pockets. Their pants were always sagging, revealing their boxers underneath. They knew they will be scolded by Miss Vicky if caught. She was always telling them to pull their pants up and giving the history of Buck Breaking. It was the practice of slave owners raping black men as a form of punishment on the plantations and then forcing them to sag their pants in the fields, so everyone knew the cost of disobedience.

“Nuh, uh,” the boys would protest, “I heard that started in the jails Miss Vicky.”

“You heard wrong,” the middle-aged woman would protest, “that’s not to say it didn’t circulate in the jails, but that ain’t where it started. Buck Breaking was popular in the Caribbean ya see, and it involved white supremacists and slave owners raping a male slave in front of the public to embarrass him and make him feel less of a man. Buck Breaking became popular when slave rebellions went up. Enslaved men were first stripped naked and flogged.”

“What’s flogged Miss Vicky?”

“Boy, don’t they teach you nothing in school?”

The boy would laugh, holding onto the handles of his bicycle.

“He don’t go, Miss Vicky,” another boy would chide, laughing at his friend.

“You remember how ya mama beat you for stealing car parts last year? That’s flogging. Whippings. Beatings.”

“She flogged ya ass,” the boys’ friend would tease.

Vicky would hide her laughter and continue her lesson. “Like I said, they would flog—whoop the man in front of a crowd after they raped him to serve as a warning to other slaves. Sometimes enslaved men with families were forced to have sex with each other in front of their family, or they were raped in front of their sons…”

“Dang,” the boy would say, doing wheelies on his bike.

“Hmm hmm, sure did. Lot of ’em who had gone through the process of buck breaking killed themselves afterward or ran away and never returned. Better learn ya history.”

“Aiight,” the boys would say, smiling and riding off. Miss Vicky would go on to finish her laundry, and the boys would ride off and play. Secretly, they enjoyed listening to her black history stories and would ask her questions just to get her talking. Though, they still did not pull up their pants.

The boys were not regular teens. They were corner boys for Big Sam’s crew. The yellow bandanas that hung from their back pocket was proof that they belonged to the organization. Miss Vicky liked talking to them because they were innocent during these conversations. When she spoke to them, she saw their youthfulness peaking out from behind their eyes. It was hard trying to get a fourteen-year-old boy who paid all his mama’s bills with drug money and had already decided he was a man to listen to you, but when Miss Vicky told her stories, they listened. At these times, she could see them like she used to when they were just four and five years old before Scar recruited them.

How does a Black Historical Fiction writer write Fantasy? By infusing black history into the narrative. You will learn how it all ties in when you read the book.

Read. Read. Read.

Another tip I would add is to read books in that genre. No matter how deep your message, nothing will free you from not following the basic elements associated with that genre, so read, read, read. Otherwise, nothing is wrong with stepping outside the genre box.

Share Your Work

Next, don’t be afraid to share your work. I don’t know if I would have been as confident in this story as I am if not for my freedom readers and their feedback! Thank you all for helping me pick a subtitle. The winner (as you can see) is Rise of the Fallen!

Try It Out on the Blog

And finally, blogging is another great way to write your book! It gives you the chance to get instant feedback that could help you to stay motivated along the way.

“I don’t think Byron stands a chance from falling.”
“Wow wow wow. I am enjoying this story. I’m all invested. I can’t wait for the next installment. This story has some interesting characters. Keep up the excellent penmanship!!!!”

“I’m truly enjoying this :-). I’m glad I can click on episode 3 😛 Thank you EC. Much love from Spain.”

“More please!”

“Loved this and wanted to read more. Is there more?”

“You are an excellent writer.”

“Hi Yecheilyah! I’m new to this series. I will need to go back and catch up! Chapter ten is captivating.”

About.

When Tina’s nephew Ronnie died, it traumatized her. It wasn’t just that he died. It was the way he died. After taking custody of Ronnie’s sisters and brother, Tina experienced supernatural phenomenons that eventually led to therapy and hallucinogenic suppressants. This didn’t help.

She meets Azbuga, an Archangel sent to tie the missing pieces together, still connecting her to Ronnie’s death.

Paschar is the angel of vision. She once saw the beauty of visions from the Almighty and projected these into human consciousness. Now, she is limited, capable only of seeing physical beauty, extracting energy from mortal man, and projecting illusions.

Paschar has fallen, and in a jealous rage, she attacks black men for their power. How dare he choose them over her?

Can Tina, Jason, and Az defeat Paschar and her legion once and for all? More black men are dying, and you can’t fight spiritual warfare with physical weapons.

Coming 2021

Yecheilyah’s Book Reviews – Catch The Moon, Mary by Wendy Waters

Title: Catch the Moon, Mary

Author: Wendy Waters

Print Length: 258 pages

Publisher: Wendy Waters

Publication Date: October 16, 2019

Mary Granger is a gifted musician who sees visions of music and moves her hands to the tune of the song she hears in her head, like playing an invisible piano. The children call her “Mad Mary” because she doesn’t understand their jokes. She is nervous, and her mannerisms read like someone with autism or some other disorder. But Mary’s music is extraordinary and came as a way of dealing with the trauma of sexual abuse from her father, James.

Then, there’s the archangel Gabriel, who has been on Earth for a thousand years and is depressed about whether he will ever return to his glorious state. He returns to heaven to find it in chaos. His father (“God”) is gone, and so is his brother Rigel. The angels have adopted a “do what thy will” attitude. Gabriel is searching for a saint who can help him enlighten the world.

Mary and Gabriel meet when the angel is swept away by Mary’s music, which draws her to him like a magnet. Mary is a child, about eleven-years-old, and Gabriel wants her to sell him her music. The child, Mary, can’t sell the music because it takes her away from James’ abuse. Witnessing the act, the angel causes significant pain in the man’s stomach and makes a pact with Mary that he will own the rights to her music in exchange for protection.

He believes Mary’s music is the key to restoring his light and promises her fame and fortune in exchange.

But when Mary is an adult and works as a paralegal, still bound by the contract, Gabriel doesn’t seem to be as kind as he was when she was little. He kills, and people close Mary start to die.

There is a lot to unpack in this book, including the biblical connection between Mary and Gabriel, the angel that came to tell Mariam she was pregnant with the Messiah. And because I believe there are fallen angels who many celebrities worship for fortune and fame, becoming miniature versions of gods on Earth, i.e., stars, I enjoyed the realistic premise of this book. However, the plot in Catch the Moon, Mary is not predictable and gets more profound as the story unfolds.

Catch the Moon, Mary is gracefully written. I was immediately caught up in the poetic writing style of this author. From the first sentence, I was pulled into brilliant prose and description that made reading easy. I felt part of Mary’s world because the writing was like feeling the music, not just reading it. As a poet, I love this. The entire book is written with this kind of artistic expression. The author is unique in her descriptions, so that not one sentence is ordinary. Waters does not just tell us the sun is rising, but that “suddenly, the sky was rimmed with yellow flame as dawn cracked over the horizon like an egg.” She does not just tell us Mary’s music is good, but that, “her music pulsating like breath.”

I was not a fan of the musical notes used instead of Chapter Headings, but it makes sense, given the author’s writing style. As I said, this author is no ordinary writer!

Plot Movement / Strength: 5/5

Entertainment Factor: 4/5

Characterization: 5/5

Authenticity / Believable: 4/5

Thought Provoking: 5/5

Overall: 5/5

Catch the Moon, Mary is available now on Amazon


My book review registry is CLOSED. To learn more about my registry be sure to visit the Blog Book Review Policy page here.

Movie Night Friday – Hancock (Fallen Angels and Nephillim)

MNF

Welcome back to another segment of Movie Night Friday, where I present some of my favorite movies and why I love them, now coming to you every other week.

Today, I would like to discuss the movie Hancock. There are actually a number of Will Smith movies that have profound symbolism but I will start with this one.

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Hancock is a movie about a Superhero named Hancock (Will Smith) who everyone hates because of his lack of self-control. Though he is helping the city of Los Angeles, he is also destroying it, leaving damage everywhere that he goes. Hancock’s problem is not how people feel about him, Hancock’s problem is that he doesn’t care, or at least he acts like it. After saving the life of a PR executive (Jason Bateman) and meeting the man’s beautiful wife (Charlize Theron), he realizes that he may have a sensitive side after all. It is then up to the executive to train him to embrace his sensibilities and use his Super Hero status in a way that is helpful, and not harmful, to mankind.

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Now that we got that out the way, let’s look at some key points here because the movie is funny but it reveals so much more. I try not to get so caught up in watching movies and TV shows exclusively for its entertainment factor because there is so many lies told through television (tell a lie through a vision) but there is also a lot of truth in these movies as well, especially by way of comedy. You see we must stop letting people define the way that we think. Stop calling everything a conspiracy just because your pastor or your society says its not truth.

One of the obvious things is that Hancock is a Super Hero. In today’s society, we have come to accept them as normal human beings with supernatural abilities. In one scene, Charlize’s character states something interesting:

“Superheroes, Gods, Angels.. different cultures call us by different names.”

There’s some truth to this. The Superhero movies have a duality to them.

#1: Fallen Angels

The first side to them is that they are the story of The Gods or Fallen Angels.

  • When movies have plots where the Superhero’s intermingle with humans and have children, known as Demi-Gods, it is a movie / TV show telling you the story of the Nephillim or Giants. Nephillim means from heaven to earth they came, to signify the Giants origins as they are the children of the Gods. While many deem the Nephillim to be Fallen Angels, this is not so. The Nephillim are not the Fallen Angels. The Nephillim are the offspring of the Fallen Angels by way of angelic and human relations. You saw this in Hancock being that Hancock is a God (or Fallen Angel).

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One of the first scenes in the movie shows a young lady and her friends checking out Hancock as he is getting drunk at a bar. The woman follows him home and joins him in his trailer. The young lady is excited to lay with him because she knows that he is a Super Hero. This is not far-fetched. Women have been known to flock to the bed of the Gods. The bible tells us:

Gen 6:1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
Gen 6:2 That the sons of Yah saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
Gen 6:4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of Yah came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

  • The Sons of the Most High are the angels
  • The Daughters of Men are the human women
  • They Took Them Wives -The Gods or Fallen Angels married the Human women (Wedding ceremonies today are mimicked from the ceremonies of the Gods marriage to human women)
  • Went in Unto Them – Had Sex with Them
  • And Produced Children – Gave birth to Giants

Hancock takes place in the city of Los Angeles. (The Angels)

The Giants were a combination of flesh and spirit: Spirit from their fathers the Gods and flesh from the human women they took as Gods. There is evidence of Giants in the history of man.

“There were Giants in the earth in those days…”

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“There were Giants in the earth in those days…”

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“There were Giants in the earth in those days…”

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“There were Giants in the earth in those days..and also after that.”

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“There were Giants in the earth in those days..and also after that.”

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Let’s move on.

This is only one aspect of the Superhero movies. The next side may be considered controversial but it is what it is.

#2: His-Story

Another aspect is that of the African American. A lot of these Super Hero movies are incorporating pieces of his story. They are embedding messages that indicate that we are a people of power. If you think this is a stretch, let’s just let the movies speak for themselves. Let us take a look at some things in Heroes Reborn that are worth noting. Heroes Reborn is an excellent TV show picking up from its 2006 original Heroes.

Heroes_Reborn_logo_nbcThe show is about humans with powers and there are quite a few African American themes. The Evo’s as they are called (Evolved Humans) are being persecuted and have to flee for safety. They are hunted down by dogs and other forms of torture. The most striking resemblance to our history however is the Underground Railroad. Not only is this system being used as a place of escape and safety for the Evo’s, but they are fleeing North to Canada. And the woman who is shown being led to the Underground Railroad in the Season Premier just happens to be a black woman and her black son. If you are not familiar with how The Underground Railroad was used or that blacks fled slavery north to Canada, I highly recommend you Google it and catch up to 2015. Or is this just a coincidence?

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In the first X-Man, the woman who turns blue is ashamed of her color and the way that she looks. The saying she adopts is “Mutant and Proud”. But I suppose I’m stretching again huh? And that just happens to be strikingly familiar to “I’m Black and I’m Proud”.

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There aren’t many black faces, but many of these shows are the stories of black people. That’s just the truth.

Anywho, that’s it for this weeks segment of Movie Night Friday.

Hancock is a funny movie, an educational one too. Check it out.

Movie Trailer:

Say No to Charlie

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In 1988, a demonic entity named Charles Lee Ray, nicknamed Chucky, possessed a doll. It was the first time many of us saw a real example of spirits using children to their advantage. The mother gave her son the popular sought after toy and Chucky worked through him to commit his crimes. The spirit of murder that was on the man Charles had come to inhabit the doll. We became obsessed with the “cute devil” and still we cannot get enough of Chucky. I believe there are like five parts out now, one released just recently. However, truth is stranger than fiction. Is it any coincidence that this spirit has come back to us? Only this time, it is more than animation and make-up.

They say it’s like the Ouija board but the truth is its worse. The “Charlie Charlie Game” is a game that is being played by children, not just in classrooms, but in general. It is considered a combination of the Ouija board and bloody Mary, but this game is physically injuring its participants.

“Brian White, from Biloxi Mississippi, reports he was attacked by Charlie the demon after he taunted the spirit saying, “You’re not real, you’re a fake, come get me if you are who you say you are! Show me you’re here!”
That’s when White said he was thrown facedown and violently attacked. He said it felt like somebody was slicing him with razor blades.
When the attack stopped, his friends saw that his back was covered in scratch marks…”

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Jon Santa Cruz / Rex Features (582062k) Ouija board with pointer VARIOUS - 2006
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Jon Santa Cruz / Rex Features (582062k)
Ouija board with pointer
VARIOUS – 2006

The reason it’s physically injuring its participants is this: you give more energy to demonic entities, fallen angels etc. when you call them by name. According to history and the experience of those who’ve played it, the Ouija Board conjures up demonic spirits by those who participate. It is a flat board marked with the letters of the alphabet, the numbers 0–9, the words “yes”, “no”, etc. along with various symbols and graphics. It uses a small heart-shaped piece of wood or plastic as a movable indicator to indicate a spirit’s message by spelling it out on the board during a séance, so forth and so on. As a result, this game creates a portal for demonic entities that are given permission to enter. Which demon accepts the invitation varies but we do know something happens to alert the players to its presence. However, while this is bad enough, the Charlie game is worse than the Ouija Board because it is conjuring a specific spirit; creating a portal for this demon named Charlie.

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Contrary to popular belief this is not a game, this is a séance, and this is the part where parents are supposed to wield their authority and take away this stumbling block from the minds of their children. We sit back and we laugh at horror movies and pretend they have no bearing on reality. We sit back and laugh at violent movies and yet make children cover their eyes when a man and woman embrace in a warm kiss. I am not promoting soft porn, but what I mean is a simple engagement of husband and wife is shielded from them, but the slicing off of a man’s head is not. We have taken away what is natural and subjected our children instead to the unnatural. If your child does not know not to participate in this game, if he or she does not understand the dangers involved, if he or she does not understand why this is not a good idea, then it is your fault as parent. You see it is time for parents to start taking responsibility for the mental, spiritual, and physical upbringing of their children. It’s not just about bad kids running around, it is about raising up a child in the way they should go. And if we are not doing this, then Charlie will become a permanent fixture in your child’s life and you will wonder how he or she became so wayward. It is because you allowed them to conjure up demons and wicked spirits and they have followed them around from childhood to adulthood. Yes, it’s this serious.

I’m not going to give the details of this portal opening experience because you really can just Google it. But whatever you do, please teach your children to just say no to Charlie.They do this by not giving energy to it. Do not mock it, and do not play around with it. Just stay away from it.