Here is more insight into my writing process, if you want to call it such a thing 🤣. Although as a very linear, meticulous engineer, I over engineer many aspects of my life, I did not do the same for my writing. I started writing fiction at the beginning of the pandemic in April 2020 with a group of Black female engineering professors who wanted to market Black women in STEM to the masses. This was a way to amplify for diversity, equity, inclusion and
justice in engineering, in particular in the academy, by showing these women as the bad asses that they are. We wanted to see our books grow into web series, television shows, television series and movies. Hopes spring eternal and we have not given up on hat dream yet. Shout out to my #CatalystChronicles crew, Dr. Monica Cox, Dr. Tequila Harris, Dr. Tahira Reid-Smith. Oh how naïve we were to think we would have a four book series ready for publication in December 2020. Thanks to author Tiffany Christina Lewis for disabusing us of that notion. As my beta reader, writing mentor and book bestie, she has done everything in her power to help me improve as a writer and an author. Watch out for #CatalystChronicles coming soon to a store near you. Soon being the operative word. LOL.
I 'm now only playing catch up and learning the proper ways to plan and lay out a book such as writing an summary, outline, plot, story and not simply flying by the seat of my pants. I now know that I need to give this process the same respect that I give to everything else in my STEM and professor life. I'm so looking forward to see how well my new process works for me when I do mini-#NaNoWriMo in July after the launch of #ElevatedInferno by @RebellionLit in early July 2022.
So, I aspire to have all of my main characters be strong female leaders in STEM. However, believe it or not this is where is struggle the most. I know that I have a pretty strong and in your face personality. As a Black women in STEM in a predominantly white male industry. I really have to be. Having that thick skin and outspoken voice has saved me on more than one occasion, with my students and my colleagues. These STEM women in my books are rock stars in their field, trailblazers, pioneers, making it happen on all fronts but they still get hurt, experience love and loss, triumphs and failures. They are mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, nieces, play aunties, and best girlfriends. So how do I portray these strong qualities in my characters while also showing them as soft, vulnerable, sympathetic, worthy of love and support? Well this is a skill that I'm trying to master.
In fact, how about you tell me if I succeeded? As you read Monet's journey to love while also navigating her robotics research in graduate school and managing the expectations of her overbearing parents', think about if I captured the multidimensional, intersectional nature of being a Black woman in STEM who seeks to balance work and life and have it all.