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When I decided to become an author, I did it because it was empowering. The feeling was so incredible, I wanted to share it with the world.

 

More importantly, I wanted to make sure my books were about more than just reading.

 

I sat in a bookstore one Saturday afternoon, my manuscript open, and a warm beverage in my hand. And I started the somewhat tedious task of determining my author “brand.” Except something miraculous happened and it wasn’t tedious at all. I went from not even a fleeting thought, to a full-blown concept. It went a little like this:

What do I do? I write about love. I write strong, fierce female leads. Hmm… red. Red can symbolize love and passion. That’s great for romance! Hearts. Hearts are red. Oh, I remember that heart-shaped umbrella I saw a while back, it was cute! Umbrellas? They protect you… and if you flip them over they can collect things.

 

GASP! Red umbrellas! And and and, red umbrellas…

 

Okay, okay… I had to look it up. The red umbrella is now a worldwide symbol for the sex workers’ rights movement. Sex workers from around the world gathered together in 2001 to march through the streets of Italy. They meant that they were going to be heard… and seen. Thus, the red umbrella was chosen for the job. You can’t miss one red umbrella in a crowd, much less hundreds of them.

 

Imagine how on top of the world I felt when I learned the red umbrella encompassed SO much of what I’d hoped to achieve with my writing. To empower women; to encourage love and healthy sexuality; to stand up and fight for what you believe in.

 

To flip it upside down to me meant we’d be collecting and holding on to all those things. A big ‘umbrella bowl’ full of love.

 

Y’all, I mocked up that upside down red umbrella faster than I could say Reverse Harem. Okay, maybe not.

 

When I got home I told my hubby, “I’m donating a portion of my books’ proceeds to female-focused charities.” The words fell from my lips before I had even fully formed the thought.

 

And just like that, my author “brand” was born. But it doesn’t really represent me; it represents empowerment, love, charity, and so much more.

Umbrellas are symbolic for many things...