Behind the Pen: A Look Back at Where I Wanna Be


It’s interesting to take a look back at what many deem as my most controversial book to-date. Personally, I don’t find it that controversial; if anything, I think the S&M books are much more controversial (nigger bitch, anyone?) but that’s for another topic.

I fondly remember it – it was one o’clock in the morning and I just finished To Love and Obey. Donell Jones’s Where I Wanna Be came on the stereo and the idea hit me like a bolt of lightning. I ran it past my husband, Maks, and he said I should go for it. After a moment of silence, he said the following words:

“You know people are going to hate you for this, right?”

I’ve always played it safe in my life. I’m really the typical goody-goody nice girl you always hear about. In fact, if any of you personally knew me (and a few do), you wouldn’t think I’m a writer. And you definitely wouldn’t think I’m an erotica writer. Still, I don’t like playing it safe in my fiction. Drama happens in real life and drama sometimes happens to good people.

The reaction to WIWB was interesting. I had people say it wasn’t a romance but an urban fiction. I’m almost positive those same people have never read an urban fiction. I’ve had people give it a bad review because it simply reminded them of their own situations or someone they knew. I’ve had people tell me that they could predict what was going to happen in the sequel, despite me not having written a single word. Some people who cheer for Olivia and Fitz every week on Scandal, justifying their affair, slammed Eli’s and Simone’s. The same people…the same people…who want Mariana to cheat on her boyfriend with Scott.

Yeah, you read that right. How is one better than the other? Isn’t it still cheating? Oh, because it’s two people that they liked, it’s okay, right? Gotcha.

What saddened me about some of the negative reaction was that people were so heated about what Eli did, they failed to see the story for what it was worth – a man getting a second chance to start over. Really, it was a Coming of Age tale. There were many issues in the book – when an affair happens is it really the protagonist’s fault? What about the third party? What about the “innocent” party? The light skin-dark skin color issue that was clearly present and no one mentioned. How a parent’s actions can affect a child’s life much beyond their elementary years. How a wife can push her husband away little by little. Why being the side piece isn’t what it’s cracked up to be – both male and female.

The negative reaction was interesting and honestly, quite comical. So many people were angry at me for writing a book. But…they would watch this very story in movie theaters (Unfaithful, Temptation, Fatal Attraction, etc). They would watch this on TV (Scandal). They would watch this on trashy talk shows (Maury, Jerry Springer, etc.). But they don’t want to read about it.


I still believe in my heart of hearts that the reason for the negative reaction is because I took a full-length mirror, placed it in front of you, and outlined all of your faults. Honestly, if you did that to me, I probably wouldn’t like you very much, neither.

On the contrary, many loved the book. Many praised that it was finally a real book that dealt with real issues. Many clamored and are hungry for the much-anticipated sequel due out this fall. This book is for you.

So what’s in store for Faith, Eli, and Simone? Well, quite a few things. The story picks up after Eli and Faith reconcile and Simone has moved back to Houston. Not all is kosher with the aforementioned parties. In fact, there is a lot of regret with everyone involved. A lot of tears. A lot of fighting. A lot of ‘What ifs?.’ Darren, the star quarterback, is still in the picture. And his role might be surprising to many.

The drama really starts when Simone re-enters the picture with Elena and all hell breaks loose. Many things are different – Eli is richer and more famous. Things between him and Faith are stable and stronger than ever. A lot more is at stake. Simone’s timing couldn’t have come at a worse time.

Expect guest appearances from the S&M characters – Scott, Mariana, and Sanora. 

And there you have it,


5 thoughts on “Behind the Pen: A Look Back at Where I Wanna Be

  1. Annigrey says:

    I always love when there is a hint of realism in fiction. It just makes reading that more visceral to me. Where I Want To Be hit all of those raw spots we try to hide in our own lives and some people can’t take the reactionary response reading those words on the page. I for one was invested in this story that I reacted the way I thought I would. I cried, laughed, got pissed, and then I understood. It’s truly a great thing when someone’s writing can elicit such responses. It’s writing at its best!

    I’m salivating for the sequel!

  2. Lucy Encarnacion says:

    This is one of my favorite books, I just loved the drama. And call me crazy but I actually rooted for Simone and Eli lol. I think the whole first love aspect led me to like Eli & Simone more than Eli & Faith. Looking forward to the second book.

  3. misspmh says:

    My favorite brother in the D’Amato Brothers series! Some readers just can’t handle it when reality is injected into fiction. This is probably one of the most “complete” stories of love, drama, all of that…that I’ve read in all of romance writing. Cannot wait for part 2!

  4. Rincewind says:

    Sorry to say I never reviewed your books properly but will do some good Vera Roberts re-reading and get some reviews out there. About bleeding time. 🙂

  5. stephaniejynelle says:

    I have to say that I love all of it because ultimately we all make mistakes that have impact on others. Our actions are not only affect us but the people we have relationships with. I always felt there was unfinished stuff for Eli before Faith entered the picture.
    I know for me these stories are more freeing than condenming. Life is full of chances and we have to take them in order to truly discover who we are and grow.
    I find it quite enlightening that Vera took her talent as a writer and gave us an amazing look at real life and the choices we make at a certain time. There is always responsibility for all parties in a relationship. It’s easy to pass judgement based on one side. I have to say I don’t agree with cheating but I can see how it happens. Forgiveness is huge and is freeing. It’s holding on to the cap that is destructive.

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