Congrats to CW! She won an ebook copy of When I Was Your Girlfriend by Nikki Harmon!
Happy Sunday everyone! We have a new-to-me guest blogger today. Nikki Harmon joins us to discuss her novel When I Was Your Girlfriend.
Also, because she’s the coolest, she’s giving away an ebook copy. Drop a comment into the space below to get in on the giveaway.
Ignorance is Bliss or
You don’t know what you don’t know and sometimes that’s a good thing
by Nikki Harmon
When my children became old enough to allow me three consecutive minutes to myself, I started to read books again. I had little goals like one book a summer, or one book over winter break. So I would go looking for books and I was happy to read some great ones but then I started looking for some quick fun reads, something light that I could read at the beach, the doctor’s office or in line for face painting and I couldn’t find anything. And by “anything” I mean, about African-American lesbians like me. I checked my very small local library and found nothing, strolled through Barnes and Noble and didn’t see much that seemed light or fun. I did quick Amazon searches and found some books but nothing that was appropriate. Sorry, but I just cannot bring myself to take erotica to the school fair. So I assumed that there weren’t many books about black lesbians to be had. I didn’t know about this website or a few others I have recently discovered that had information about, reviews of and links to just the kind of books I was looking for. Then, shortly into my search I came across the NaNoWriMo Challenge to write 50,000 words in a month. And I thought, ‘I can do that’ and I decided to just write what I wanted to read. And that is how my novel came to be. Sheer ignorance and bravado.
If I had known better, done more research, asked somebody or thought a little more outside the box I would have found something great to read and not have written a novel. What an incredible journey I would have missed had I only been smarter!
The book …
When I Was Your Girlfriend is about a woman named Dee, but it’s also about a time in one’s life. You know that time… when everyone else seems to be doing better than you. Finding partners, getting promotions, buying houses, having babies and you are happy but starting to wonder if maybe there is something wrong with playing video games and hanging out at the bar with your friends. And there isn’t, of course, unless you think there is. You know what I mean?
So Dee, the main character in my novel, is happy until she realizes that she’s actually not that happy. Her clients and friends are making new plans and progressing in their life but she is always the bridesmaid or the midwife … literally, that’s her profession. She’s supportive and helps others achieve their dreams but she is thirtyish and still doing the same things she did in her twenties. Everyone seems to be moving on but her.
And then someone mentions Candace, her first love. That causes Dee to meander back to that time when she discovered that loving another girl was possible and better yet, she discovered that another girl could love her back. She relives that time of uncertainty and yet certainty. She revisits the fear and joy and pain of new love and she wonders if that first love was her one true love. And if so, maybe she should go and get it back. Maybe that love she had with Candace is what’s missing from her otherwise great life.
And so Dee makes room in her romantic life, enlists help from friends and family and goes looking for Candace, for a love lost so long ago.
Dee’s journey through her past and into new relationships teaches her many things but above all, that she still had a lot to learn.
I didn’t know anything about Dee when I first met/created her, only that she was happy being herself and passionate about her work. Dee was searching for Candace. I was searching for a good book to read/write. By pursuing our desires, it became painfully obvious how comfortable we had both gotten playing it safe and how little we actually knew about ourselves. As I got to know Dee better, I discovered along with her, that we are both capable of more than we thought possible. And that love, like art, is always a reflection of oneself.
Ignorance was bliss but I’ll take the surprising joy of discovery over it every time.
Nikki Harmon pursued her BA at Wesleyan University, and then returned home to Philadelphia to pursue a career in television and film production where she also earned an MFA in Media and Film Arts from Temple University.
A former reality television producer, Nikki currently teaches as an adjunct professor. When I Was Your Girlfriend is her first novel. She is currently working on a feature length screenplay and a second novel.
Catch Nikki live at Giovanni’s Room in Philadelphia. Learn more about that HERE.
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