Ah, the Twitterverse. As an Old School New Kid, a brotha of a certain age, social media was a foreign concept for quite some time, something my son was better tuned into. Thus, when I joined Twitter as part of my business as an independent author, I had no idea that I would be connecting with a diverse and supportive family of writers and poets.
First, I give my thanks to Vernon Cole, who introduced to me to a concept on Twitter called Very Short Stories 365 (#vss365). I have covered this in previous blogs, sharing some of my work in this venue. Since 2020 is a leap year, I immediately asked others if this year will be Very Short Stories 366; the reply was simply to have a bonus word prompt. Daily writing with the word prompts has been quite the creative exercise; I was given my share of word prompts which required me to go to my dictionary. Still, it has been fun, and it has helped me to hone my craft as a writer/novelist.
I also give thanks to Kelvin Rodrigues and Blair Denholm, who inspired me in a different way: to write my own VSS365 series. Kelvin’s series, The Commander and Haskins, and Blair’s series, Boyd and the Sarge, are part of my daily reading enjoyment; their tweets keep me laughing. Hence, my two series were born: The Earls of Dorchester and Just For Fun.
Yes, I own it–I love romance novels, from English historical romance, Black love, and male/male romance. I also love the classic movies from old Hollywood. The title characters of The Earls of Dorchester are Lord Liam Forsyth, the new earl of Dorchester and young Vincent Price lookalike, and Liam’s husband Shaza Hayes, a successful brotha from Chicago, Illinois. My inspiration came from Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s romance; I chose to make mine between two men in the nobility. Since its debut on #vss365 in May 2019, it has been a blast creating stories about Liam and Shaza, their families, the staff of Forsyth Hall, and residents of the village. Look for humor, steamy romance, some social commentary, movie star lookalikes, a guardian ghost, and an abundance of LGBT characters. Oh, did I forget to include Lady Tara, the dowager countess mother of Lord Liam and pompous witch-with-a-capital-B?
My Just For Fun series appeals to my love of the Universal Studios classic horror movies of the 1930s and ’40s, the serial cliffhangers of the 1940s, and 1950s sci-fi. I inherited my sense of humor from my father, and it shows up in this series, which debuted in June 2019. When I discovered how to use GIFs on Twitter, they became an essential illustration of the story I tell in the #vss365 tweet. Hence, I traverse the world of vampires, werewolves, superheros, assorted monsters, mad scientists, big bugs, etc., with my tongue firmly in cheek. In many, I’ve given the story an LGBT twist. There is even a support group for the classic monsters, known as PMSOB (Put Mad Scientists Out of Business). Occasionally I delve into sci-fi movies of later periods, but these hold a special place in my heart.
At the end of the day, creativity and imagination is everything. It can be work, but it can also be fun. You can find my series on my Twitter profile page at @WDFosterGraham1. If you enter #vss365, be you a writer, reader, or poet, you will tap into an amazing family of creatives. And for those who have followed my series, thank you for being the gold in my Fort Knox.
Believe in dreams and never give up.