It’s Starting to Feel Real

My publisher sent me the cover concept for my book, The Write Escape.

Oh god, I wish I could show it to you guys, but I know the rules. There has to be flourish and whatnot. I can dig that. But I will say, this is an excellent representation of my characters Antonia and Aiden. They look adorable and in love!

I was at work, sitting in a drab office, when I got the email from Carina Press. The first person I showed it to was my husband, who’s office is just around the corner and down the hall. When he started flipping out, shouting “THIS IS REAL!!” I realized he was right: this was indeed real.

I mean, it was real before, but in a busy, esoteric way. I knew everything was solidified: contracts were signed, edits were already in progress, and deadlines were set. But I still think of the debut of my first novel as “a thing out there.” While I work on the book and meet the deadlines, I keep a clinical distance from the joy and excitement the creative process.

This is all neurotic behavior, of course. I’ve always been the kind person who anticipates disappointment around the corner. If you’re a creative, an academic, or a woman of color, you know what I’m talking about (God help you, if you’re all three). You know you have to work really hard for the things you want, and when you get them the victories don’t feel deserved because you’re wondering when someone’s going to find out you’re a fraud (I’m only describing Impostor Syndrome). WHEW! I’m also nervous about resting on my laurels. If I’m not working on something, I’m bummed out. If I’ve successfully completed something, I ask myself, “Okay? So what’s next?”

Anyway, my husband saw all of those emotions on my face and told me to snap out of it. He made me print off the cover concept and hang one copy in my office. The other is at home on the fridge. So now as I sit here typing this, I can look to my right and remember that this is real. This is something to celebrate. Every time I grab something from the fridge, I’m reminded, “Hey, you did that. Pat yourself on the back and drink more water.”

Like I said, when my publisher finalizes everything. I can share it with you and we’ll all jump around in glee, while I tell myself, “This is real. This is real. This is real.”

The Write Escape: My Love Letter to Ireland

The Write Escape, will be my first published novel (Interracial, Contemporary Romance), featuring a woman who’s trying getting her life back after everything falls apart.


While Antonia Harper plans her wedding and tries to move up the ladder in her publishing career, she discovers her fiance is cheating on her and her boss has tanked the company. Now she’s jobless and fiance-less in the span of 24 hours. She needs to hit the reset button on her life by taking a solo honeymoon to Ireland. There, she hopes to work on herself and the novel she’s neglected since she got engaged. No distractions; no drama.

The hot Literature professor, next door to her cottage rental, didn’t get the memo though. Aiden Donagh Byrnes is a major distraction with his wit, charm, and green eyes. He’s gone to the West Coast to escape his own problems: exhaustion from teaching and stress from a looming tenure review. While he should be taking time to or work on an article, Aiden finds himself drawn to the pretty girl next door.

Sorry I don’t have a cover image yet! The Write Escape debuts in September 2019 with Carina Press, a digital imprint of Harlequin.

How does a black girl from the Midwest become enamored with the rugged west coast of Ireland?

Westport, Ireland 2017

In June of 2017, my husband and I got the opportunity to spend an entire month up and down the west coast of Ireland. We started in Tullycross, moved to Galway, then Dingle, and ended in Limerick. We walked the countryside, sailed blue-gray bays, and drank whiskey. Most of all, we talked, non-stop, to locals who made us feel so welcomed.

At first, I wanted to write about the whole experience through the vein of travel essays. I kept a journal and took all the photos I could (a lot of sheep and rolling hills). I wrote three essays, but I couldn’t get the spirit and romance of the land. So I wrote a romance instead. People say “write what you know” and I chose: Academics, Writing, and (newly-acquainted) Ireland.

During NaNoWriMo, my “Designated Writing-Buddy,” Sandra, and I, got together and made an oath: “Bitch, we’re writing books this year!” AND WE DID! We soon discovered that writing novels in a month was cute, but the editing process is exhausting. It took me a year to clean up The Write Escape, but the process was worth it. I now have an agent, Saritza Hernandez of Corvisiero Agency and a two-book contract with Carina Press. I do hope that you guys love Antonia and Aiden’s love story! You’ll be hearing more about it in upcoming posts…


Odd Tidbits about Charish Reid

I swiped this from a Facebook game where people divulge things about themselves!

• How old are you: 34

• Surgeries: 0

• Tattoos: 3

• Ever hit a deer: No

• Rode in ambulance: No

• Sang karaoke: EVERY CHANCE I GET

• Ice skated: ABSOLUTELY NOT

• Rode a motorcycle: Yes

• Stayed in a hospital : No

• Favorite Holiday : Halloween

• Last phone call: My friend, Melissa

• Last text: My friend, Melissa 

• Watched someone die: No

• Favorite pie: Sweet Potato

• Favorite pizza: Pepperoni

• Favorite season: Fall

• Broken bones: Ankle (That’s why I don’t ice skate)

• Received a ticket: No

• Favorite color: Black

• Sunrise or Sunset: Sunrise

You’re an Author Now (or you always were?)

When my husband introduces me to people, he says: “My wife is a writer.” When our close friends talk about me, among their own circle, they say: “Our friend, Charish, is also a writer.”

For the longest time, I wasn’t aware that this was happening behind my back.

Sure, I’ve had a long journey as a person “who wrote things.” I wrote poetry back in college, I started multiple blogs regarding literature, feminism, and popular culture… Hell, I teach writing. But I was not ready to just walk up to any random person and profess, “Hey, I’m Charish, THE WRITER.”

Many people, who write things, are hesitant to call themselves writers. And all for the simple fact that many of us are not yet published. People like tangible evidence that you are who you say you are; and without it, things can get awkward. Possible follow-up questions to “I’m a writer” can be, but are not limited to:

  • “What do you write?” (oh god, please don’t say Romance*)
  • “Where can I find your book?”
  • “How much money do you make?”

There are more questions that will stem from these questions… And the whole exchange might end up making both parties uncomfortable. My response to that? I DOESN’T GET EASIER.

If you’re anything like me, (a person who needs lots of external validation, but get’s really uncomfortable when she receives it), calling yourself a writer, or perhaps hearing someone else call you a writer, is still odd. Even if you have signed the contract for your first book. You won’t believe it the first few times it happens.

That’s why you have to practice. Published or not, stand in your bathroom mirror after you’ve brushed your teeth and repeat these words: “Hello, I’m [Insert Name] and I’m a writer.” Feel free to act out the rest of the conversation while you’re shaving or applying make up. Never mind your significant other or children, banging on the door shouting: “I need to pee!”

In other words, fake it till you make it.

But really, what exactly are you faking? If you’re working well into the night or getting up at 5 am to outline that novel, tweak those poems, or research that essay—YOU’RE A WRITER. You’re working hard and that labor makes you a writer. 

Don’t be bashful about it. Be frank. What you might not realize is that many people don’t know how the publishing industry works, you could easily explain it to them. Give them some insight that goes beyond, “Where can I find your book?” Here are topics you could address for the average layperson:

  • Outlining plots
  • Character sketches
  • Researching cadavers for my thriller
  • Eavesdropping on subway conversations
  • Editing
  • Queries (oh, there’s so much to say about that!)
  • Rejection (it hurts, but you should talk about it)

Now, there’s no guarantee that the average layperson will understand the frustration you’re going through during your journey. But these topics are helpful for YOU to express yourself. They help you get in the habit of saying “Hi, I’m [Insert Name] and I’m a writer.”


*When telling people that I write Romance, it can be fun to gauge their reactions. Nervous titters to wide-eyed unabashed shock. Possible follow-up questions can be, but are not limited to:

  • Do you use your real name? (No, but only because Charish Halliburton is too long)
  • Do your students know? (Yeah, they do. But they’re more concerned about their grades)
  • What does your family think? (They can’t wait for their signed copies)
  • What does your husband think [usually accompanied with a cheeky grin]? (Look, it’s not as sexy as you think. He helps me with most of my plot holes)
  • You mean like 50 Shades? (Nope.)








A New Year; A New Me


I’m not a New Year Celebrator.

Usually, I stay indoors and wait out January alive. Because I believe in irony and grew up watching teen films like Final Destination, I stay put and drink whiskey until it’s time for bed. But the title of this post is called “A New Year; A New Year” so I’ve undoubtedly raised expectations!

Here’s the secret: I am living a new me, it just came much earlier than January 2019. Without realizing or planning for it, I changed quite a bit during the hellscape that was 2018:

  • In May, my husband and I did the most and moved to Sweden for a change in his teaching career. We live in Sweden now. I can’t believe I’m saying that. I LIVE IN SWEDEN.
  • I did the responsible thing by unearthing my book, Write into His Arms and editing it.
  • And then I queried it for several months.
  • I found takers! I signed a contract with Carina Press for two books.
  • And then I landed an agent who’s just flipping wonderful, Saritza Hernandez.
  • I got to teach an amazing class in Sweden, called In/Equality in American Culture and Society. It challenged the hell out of me. After getting out of a country that’s being ridiculous, I didn’t know how many great things I’d say about my homeland. But I learned a lot about myself and found a greater appreciation for America. I had a legit James Baldwin moment!

This weird list of accomplishments is a reminder of what happens when you don’t plan life.

At the end of each year, I tend to do the lazy thing and look back at events. I congratulate myself for every minor thing and hope that I can do some other fun shit the following year. That’s it. I’ve got no wise words, no bullet-journal tips, or grand promises for myself. 

There are capital T truths I know I’ve got to continue doing each year:

  • feed myself
  • live under a roof that I can pay for
  • write

Along the way, I just hope pleasant things happen!


Argh! Introductions are the WORST!


Am I right??

But don’t worry, guys. We’re gonna hustle through this together!

Let me introduce myself. I’m Charish Reid, a romance writer. I skillfully craft soft-core pornography that’s allowed to be sold to the masses. You can read it, your mom can read it, and if you’re feeling especially adventurous: YOU AND YOUR MOM CAN READ IT TOGETHER! Oh god, I wish I had that kind of laid-back relationship with my mom.

                   Me: Hey mom, whatcha readin’?

                   Mom: Smut! I’m reading smut!

                   Me: *recedes from the room because we never talked about sex*

michael scott.gif

Anywho, I’m going to introduce myself with boilerplate information and then I’m going to transition into some probing nuggets of information!

  • Name: Charish Reid
  • Age: None of your damn business. Okay, I’m the exact age of someone who wanted a Teddy Ruxpin as a child. Happy?
  • Occupation: College educator (an adjunct with no job security to be exact! Hahaha, let’s laugh about the state of higher education! Let’s laugh to keep from crying!)
  • Previous Writing: My other website, under my real name (Charish Halliburton), is The Motley News. There I write about feminism, race, travel, and politics!
  • Upcoming Releases: An Irish Love story entitled, The Write Escape! It’s coming out September 2019 with Carina Press. It’s basically Runaway Bride x Leap Year x Eat, Pray, Love but with a cute black heroine! When you and your mom read it together, please let me know what you think!

Okay, now that the basics are out of the way, PROBING NUGGETS!

What is your favorite childhood book?

The Madeline series. She was one bitch who didn’t fall in line and I loved her for it.

When did you start writing?

Look, I’m not a prodigy who wrote her first book at 7. I started writing at age 16. It was really angsty shit that I forced my friends to read. Vampires, dangerous kissing, and doing stuff over the clothes. My first novel read suspiciously like the 90’s Mummy film starring the incomparable Brendan Fraser. My friend, god bless her judgement, told me to scrap it.


Yes! A thousand times YES!

What are your hopes and dreams?

  • I want visit a public library where my book is shelved. I also want to convince a sixteen-year-old girl to read my book. She’s going to be nervous, I’m sure of it. But I’m going to flip to the author photo and assure her it’s really me.
  • I want to meet Oprah and hold hands with her, like double clutched hands over our heads in the same manner she does with all of her Super Soul Sunday guests. I want us to wear matching pashminas and jeggings as well.
  • I want my husband and I to retire to a cottage somewhere in West Ireland where he can herd sheep and I can face the Atlantic Ocean while I write.

Okay, if you like the person who I’ve introduce, EXCELLENT! Please stick around and we’ll talk about other stuff!

If the jeggings thing turned you off, I’m so sorry.

But you know what? If you’re going to be super judgey about it, maybe this isn’t going to work? As a woman who used to want a Teddy Ruxpin as a child, I am far too old to to be something I’m not. You can either take me AND the jeggings, or you can kick rocks.

I love you, BYYEEE!!

Charish Reid