Celebrity Guest Author Interview – Omar Tyree

Celebrity Couch (2)

Mayor For Life_Cover

Title: Mayor for Life: The Incredible Story of Marion Barry, Jr.

Synopsis: Four-time mayor of Washington, DC, Marion Barry, Jr. tells his shocking and courageous life story, beginning in the cotton fields in Mississippi to the executive offices of one of the most powerful cities in the world.

Known nationally as the disgraced mayor caught on camera smoking crack cocaine in a downtown hotel room with a mistress, Marion Barry Jr. has led a controversial career. This provocative, captivating narrative follows the Civil Rights activist, going back to his Mississippi roots, his Memphis upbringing, and his academic school days, up through his college years and move to Washington, DC, where he became actively involved in Civil Rights, community activism, and bold politics.

In Mayor for Life, Marion Barry, Jr. tells all—including the story of his campaigns for mayor of Washington, his ultimate rise to power, his personal struggles and downfalls, and the night of embarrassment, followed by his term in federal prison and ultimately a victorious fourth term as mayor. From the man who, despite the setbacks, boldly served the community of Washington, DC, this is his full story of courage, empowerment, hope, tragedy, triumph, and inspiration.

Marion Barry

Author: Marion Barry, Jr.                                                                                                         A tribute to Marion S. Barry, Jr.  March 6, 1936 – November 23, 2014

Omar Tyree

Author: Omar Tyree

CH: Omar Tyree is a New York Times best selling author with an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Work in Fiction. Welcome to my blog, Omar.

CH: Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read this book.

OT: Marion Barry Jr.’s autobiography, Mayor For Life, is his only full account of his very long, detailed and oftentimes, controversial life written in his own words.

CH: Do you think it was painful for Marion Barry to revisit some of the situations that changed his life?

OT: Of course, it would be painful for you, me or anyone else to revisit the sour moments of our lives and publish them all in a book for other people to read, discuss and ask you about.

CH: Since the book span is his entire life, did he leave out any stories that he wanted to include?

OT: I don’t believe he left out many stories that he wanted to include, because he made sure to add them all in the editing process. But he surely left out stories that he didn’t want in the book. And that was his publishing prerogative. It’s his book.

CH: Marion Barry, Jr. wanted to get “his story” out to the public and not the “media’s story.” Do you think he portrayed himself, the good and the bad, as he lived his life?

OT: Yes. Marion Barry Jr. did a hell of a job in being very forthright about his life. So this book is a solid read to understand him, the good, the bad and the great.

CH: So many memoir writers work on their book for years and years. How long did it take to write this book?

OT: It took us 11 months to record and write his book. But Mayor For Life is not a memoir of his reflections. This is an official autobiography of his entire life, or as much as we were able to publish in one book.

CH: Take us through your writing process. Did he just tell you about the events in his life or did you have an outline?

OT: There is no way in this world that I would tackle anyone’s book without an outline. As a professional journalist, I definitely used my journalism training and skills to execute and complete the book. That’s actually why he hired me. I presented an outline on the first day we met to discuss the book.

CH: The book begins with his mother having big visions and instilling them in him. Do you think these ‘big visions’ made him continually aspire for more throughout his life?

OT: Definitely. Even this book was a “big vision” of his, and now we’re talking about it. So once again, the man delivered.

CH: The media wanted to dwell on the ‘crack mayor,’ but Marion Barry Jr. did so much more. Can you elaborate a little on his accomplishments?

OT: Actually, I believe the book was written to be read first, and then discussed. So I would rather folks read the book about him in his own dialogue, than for me to paraphrase 90,000+ words. And I apologize for that, but I think Marion does it better.

CH: What made you decide to co-author with Marion Barry Jr.?

OT: The man is an icon and I get a chance to put my name on the book and work with him on it. That’s what writers dream about. Particularly, journalistic writers like myself. I love to have assignments that people actually care about.

CH: Have you co-authored any other autobiographies or memoirs?

OT: You have to be selected by someone who you would want to write a book with, and I’m negotiating now with Cicely Tyson, but on an autobiography, not a memoir.

CH: What advice would you give someone who is starting to write their memoir?

OT: You have to know that other people would be interested in reading your memoir. They are usually written by people who others highly regard for their thoughts. Oprah Winfrey would be perfect for a memoir. People love to listen to her on almost any subject. But will they listen to you? So make sure you put something on the table that people would really sit up and pay attention to.

CH: When I have talked to DC residents, they all say the same thing, ‘Marion Barry was always there for them and they would always be there for him.’ Do you think this is why the people kept nominating him for office? (When he died, he was on the D. C. Council for Ward 8.)

OT: Exactly. An elected official’s job is to do what’s needed for the people who voted him or her in, right? Well, that’s what Barry did and that’s why the people continued to vote for him. It’s as simple as that. And they loved him for his humble relatability, too.

CH: Marion Barry Jr. had a great amount of help with this book, such as Zane, Charmaine Parker of Strebor Books, politicians, and friends. Do you think, he could have published this book without so many people behind him?

OT: Not without Zane behind him, because she secured the deal to publish the book; and brought me in to do the job and her sister Charmaine to edit. I suppose Barry could have found another publisher, writer and editor, but you would still need those people in place to interview, write, edit and publish your book. So no, a non-writer cannot produce a quality book without the professionals being involved. That’s like producing a movie with no directors, screenwriters or cameramen, and you’re doing everything on your own. Barry didn’t have time to do all of that. He was still a Councilman for Ward 8.

CH: What is next for you, Omar Tyree, as an author?

OT: First, to continue working Marion Barry Jr.’s book and establishing his legacy nationally. He wanted a movie deal on his book too. Then I look forward to publishing a hot new novel and hopefully working with Cicely Tyson on her book. But it’s all about Marion Barry Jr.’s book right now. There’s still plenty of work to do with it!

CH: For my readers, is there a website for this book? 

OT: More important than a website is to simply buy the book. So go to Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com and show your authentic support for the man by supporting his published words on his life and his 50 years of service to the people.

CH: For my readers, where is the book sold?

OT: Everywhere hardback books are sold. This man has a major publisher behind him. So all you have to do is ask for it, and every bookstore will have it or order it for you. If you don’t ask for it, then the bookstores will assume that you don’t want it.

CH: Any closing remarks?

OT: One of the oldest racial jokes around is: “The best way to hide something from black people is to put it in a book.” But when Barry showed up, people bought his books by the hundreds. I just wonder what they will do now without having him there to sell it to them.

CH: For more on Omar Tyree’s books and career, view his website at www.OmarTyree.com

Note: Photos are compliments of Omar Tyree and the Internet.

 

CH: Share it, if you like it. I’m counting on you!

Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!                                         Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

 If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                                                                                                       ~ Cheryl Holloway

Mailing List_Image

Questions? Comments? Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Guest Author Interview – Omar Scott

header1_An Author Writes

Please, join us for Guest Male Authors Month Carry-over! We had so many responses that we will have two Guest Male Authors each week—on Tuesday and Friday. And the first week in December.

Meet Mr. Wright_Cover

Title: Meet Mr. Wright

Genre: Urban Fiction

Synopsis: When notorious gangster Neil Wright got a sudden call late one evening, he never imagined he would be walking into a deadly ambush by a mysterious figure. Clinging to life in intensive care, he meets Sister Simmons, a peculiar nun, doing her nightly rounds, praying for the sick and trying to save souls. Through her desperate pleas, she convinces Neil to confess his sins. Figuring he has nothing to lose, Neil decides to confess every dirty little secret. He takes her on a disturbing journey through his tumultuous life filled with murder, forbidden love, and betrayal as he ascends to the top of a criminal empire. But as his confession unfolds, Neil realizes this is no ordinary nun. Is Sister Simmons there to finish the job, or is his true enemy waiting for the right time to strike? Meet Mr. Wright is an intense and captivating narrative with an ending so explosive and clever, you’ll never see it coming.

Omar Scott_2

Author: Omar Scott

CH: It has been said that Omar’s writing is unique and leaves the readers wanting more. Welcome to my blog, Omar.

CH: Please tell us in 20 words or less, why we should read your book?

OS: It’s GOOD! Lol. If you enjoy a good gangster story with an incredible twisted ending, this book is for you.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you
take them from real life?

OS: Actually, it wasn’t hard, I have a very vivid imagination, and I’m a student of human behavior. So the plot is mostly creative, but conflicts, tension, and the emotions of characters is from a real place.

CH: Is this your first book? How long have you been writing?

OS: I’ve been writing since 2008. Meet Mr. Wright is my third book, When a Good Will Goes Bad was the first, and the best selling novel The Hands of Love was second.

CH: Where do you get your inspiration and ideas from when you
write?

OS: I had a friend of mine who grew up in the suburbs in a loving home with both parents, he was intelligent, a straight A student in high school. He went from a young man with unlimited opportunities, to being shot to death while hiding under a car at the age of twenty. I wanted to tell that story. I wanted to explore his mind. I wanted to write about all the emotions, the highs and lows. I wanted to write a different type of story with memorable characters, making bad decisions, with incredible consequences.

CH: Do you have plans for a new book?

OS: Yes, I’ve already started my next novel about a down and out DEA agent named Dez, who has been stripped of everything, his job, and his family. Now, he is obsessed with finding an elusive drug dealer who is responsible for killing his partner. Then he meets a fine female temptress that captures his heart. The problem is that she’s also involved with the dealer he’s obsessed with finding.

CH: When you start a new story, do you have a title for it? Or does the story trigger the title?

OS: I usually have a couple of titles in hand before I start writing. I put the name of the main character in the title. I guess it’s my style.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

OS: Well, this story is written in first person from the perspective of the main character, Neil Wright. It was difficult at times because even though the story is fiction, the emotions I used to write it came from a real place. I think that is what makes my books come alive, why people identify with my characters.

CH: How long did it take you to write this book?

OS: Four years. I started on it about the time I was going through a divorce, and it was difficult to stay focused.

CH: Did you find anything challenging while writing this book?

OS: Like I said, I wrote this while going through a tough divorce. It was difficult at times to write about falling in love when I’m going through what I was going through. That’s why it took so long. But I’m glad it did. I’m pleased with my work. I think this is the best thing I’ve written.

CH: Did you have to do any special research to write this book?

OS: Yeah, This book starts in the present with Neil fighting for his life in critical condition, and then flashes back to the late sixties when the majority of the story takes place. So I had to research the sixties, the slang words, the movies that were out, the music, the clothes, the current events. It was fun and fascinating. I enjoyed it.

CH: Are you a self-published author? If so, do you find it hard to
market your books?

OS: Yes, it can be difficult at times, but not impossible, and I’ve enjoyed nice success.

CH: What would be the best piece of advice you would offer a new author?

OS: Being an author requires you to be self-motivated. You have to be goal- orientated and focused. Nobody is going to stand over your shoulder and make you do it. So, keep writing no matter what! Don’t stop! The most important thing is getting the idea out your head and on paper.

CH: Do you have a website?

OS: Yes, www.Omarscottbooks.com

CH: Where is your book sold?

OS: Amazon and on Kindle, Barnes and Noble, eBook edition for your tablet at my website, and at your local bookstore. If you don’t see it, ask for it!

CH: Any closing remarks?

OS: Cheryl, I appreciate the interview. And I appreciate my fans, who have supported me. I can always be reached at published_scott@yahoo.com. Peace and love, Omar.

CH: Omar, thank you for sharing your book and writing experience with my readers.

 

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

 If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                                                                                                       ~ Cheryl Holloway

Mailing List_Image

Questions? Comments? Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Guest Author Interview – Owen Thomas

header1_An Author Writes

Please, join us for Guest Male Authors Month Carry-over! We had so many responses that we will have two Guest Male Authors each week—on Tuesday and Friday. And the first week in December.

The Lion Trees_Cover                        The Lion Trees_Cover2

Title: The Lion Trees Part One: Unraveling             The Lion Trees Part Two: Awakening

Genre: Contemporary Family Saga (1,630 Pages)

Synopsis: What happens when you get the life you aim for and it hurts like hell?

The Johns family is unraveling. Hollis, a retired Ohio banker, isolates himself in esoteric hobbies and a dangerous flirtation with a colleague’s daughter. Susan, his wife of forty years, risks everything for a second chance at who she might have become. David, their eldest, thrashes to stay afloat as his teaching career capsizes in a storm of accusations involving a missing student and the legacy of Christopher Columbus. And young Tilly, the black sheep, having traded literary promise for an improbable career as a Hollywood starlet, struggles to define herself amid salacious scandal, the demands of a powerful director, and the judgments of an uncompromising writer.

By turns comical and poignant, the Johns family is tumbling toward the discovery that sometimes you have to let go of your identity to find out who you are.

owen Thomas

Author: Owen Thomas

CH: Owen Thomas is an author of many words. Welcome to my blog, Owen.

CH: Please tell us in 20 words or less, why we should read your book? Where did you get the premise for the story? 

OT: The Lion Trees vivid, dynamic characters wrestle with universal problems in situations as exciting as they are funny and poignant. That’s exactly twenty words, which I think is not bad for a book that consists of over half a million. The premise for the book comes from my own observation that people tend to work very hard to preserve their own self-concept and the mythologies that they carry around about who they are, even if that self-concept and those mythologies are maladaptive.

CH: By turns comical and poignant, the Johns family is tumbling toward the discovery that sometimes you have to let go of your identity to find out who you really are. Is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp?

OT: I think more than anything else it was the idea that people will do almost anything to reinforce what they already believe about themselves. We are willing to accept a lot of unhappiness in order to defend our sense of self. You may believe that you are one of those people for whom life never really works out. Events never really fall your way. Relationships always crumble. Work promotions never really materialize even when they seem possible. Your parents never really believed in you. You are morally flawed. People always assume the worst about you and misconstrue your intentions. If that is really the sense of identity that you carry around in your subconscious, then the sad reality is that you will work diligently, in every situation, in every relationship, at the doorstep of every opportunity, to prove yourself right. Reaffirming that self-concept—having a rock-solid identity that we can count on is actually far more important to us than being happy. We would rather accept an unfounded and maladaptive identity than question the legitimacy of that identity or change it to something else. That concept fascinated me and over a long period of time, I developed a cast of characters, a number of plots and subplots, and a narrative structure to help examine those issues in a fictional setting.

CH: Was this book harder to write than your first book?

OT: Yes, The Lion Trees was an enormously complex undertaking. I think from beginning to end it took about ten years to write. The character development in this book is deeper and more involved than anything else I have written. Structurally speaking, The Lion Trees is essentially four different books all woven together into a single coherent novel. That took a lot of planning. All tolled, the book weighs in at over half a million words.

CH: When you started writing this book, did you know that it would be a series?

OT: The Lion Trees is actually not a series. This is a single novel told in two parts. In other words, Part I is not a stand-alone read; it requires Part II to be complete.

CH: Where are you from? Has your background influenced this book?

OT: I have spent all of my life (with the exception of my time in college and law school) living in Anchorage, Alaska. While there is nothing about Anchorage in particular that influenced the book, my life has always involved reading and writing. I received a good high school education and had good teachers who encouraged me to develop my interest in creative writing.

CH: We all have heard that writing is a lonely profession, how do you keep yourself going during the hard times? In other words, what inspires you to keep pressing forward?

OT: I think that when times get tough we all instinctively tend to pull inward, or at least I do. My life necessarily becomes more interior. I am fortunate to have cultivated an avocation that rewards an interior existence. The inspiration to keep pressing forward, as you put it, comes in large measure from my love of writing and my need to finish the story I have started. You are correct to suggest that writing requires a certain amount of isolation; I cannot write with a lot of people around or other distractions. But the raw material for the writer requires interaction with others. Writing believable characters requires a good understanding of how others think and act and why they do the things they do. That requires the writer, ultimately, to draw from his or her own relationships and his or her experiences with other people. So while the writing itself may be a solitary endeavor, the research is definitely an interactive exercise.

CH: Is there a certain routine you implement when writing? What is it? 

OT: I tend to write in the mornings, before the rest of the world has polluted my thought process. If I am in a writing phase, I do not read the newspaper, watch television, or socialize. I sit down and write until I need a break. Sometimes that means writing for an hour. Sometimes that means writing for five or six hours. Or eight. Or ten. If I have time to devote to writing in the afternoons, I tend to use that time for editing.

CH: What kind of advice do you have for those aspiring to write? If you had to give them a blueprint for success, what would that be?

OT: Don’t worry about selling. Kick the commerce part of it out of the room for the writing phase and lock the door. Don’t write what the market expects you to write. Don’t write something you think will sell. Write with the sole purpose of doing justice to the creative vision in your head. Write something good. Write something authentic. Write something that moves you and you will move others. Have fun. Worry about selling later.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

OT: I think David was probably the most fun. His story was the most immediate. David was written in the first person, present tense, so writing his chapters was like scripting a plot that was unfolding in real time. The suspense level was also higher with David than with the other characters. A lot happens to David over the course of the book, a lot of bad things and potentially bad things, and that tended to mean his chapters hit the page faster than the others.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

OT: Hollis and Tilly were both difficult characters to write. Their character development was far more interior than it was for David and relied on a lot more in the way of backstory. That meant rendering a lot of detail and history with an eye toward examining the psychological impact of that detail and history. The development for those characters was far more intellectual and emotional than it was for David. The Susan chapters offered their own challenge because Susan’s character is written entirely in dialogue and sometimes it was very difficult to convey the information I needed to convey using only the vehicle of believable conversation. I did not have the ability in the Susan chapters to fall back on narrative explanation. At times, Susan was very difficult to write.

CH: Since part one is 828 pages, how long did it take you to write this book?

OT: Well, Part I is 828 pages. Part II is 802 pages. The Lion Trees is a single novel broken into two parts totaling 1,630 pages. Off and on, I was working on The Lion Trees for about ten years. My next novel will be considerably shorter.

CH: Where did you get inspiration for your characters?

OT: All of my inspiration comes from every day life. All of the characters in the book are a healthy blend of theft and fabrication. They are amalgams of people, and amalgams of fragments of people that I have known in my life, embellished to a point beyond which it would be unfair to say they represent actual people. It is a work of fiction. But I do not think it is ever possible to start from a completely blank page.

CH: Is there a famous or not-so-famous author that you would aspire to be like?

OT: There are many, many authors that I greatly admire. Too many to name. My aspiration is not so much to be like any one of them in particular, but rather to develop my own literary voice as fully as I am able. I hope that when all is said and done my books do not read like this author or that author—regardless of how much I admire them—and that, instead, they occupy a part of the literary universe all their own. That said, The Lion Trees is a great example of how influential other books and writers can be. The structure of the novel as a story told in a variety of different voices and tenses each handing off to another was inspired by Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible. Some of the social-satirical elements of the book, as well as the hubristic aspects to Hollis Johns was at least partly inspired by Tom Wolfe’s A Man in Full and his brilliant character Charles Croker. Aspects of the arc of Tilly Johns, the sexual rebelliousness of her character and the relationship she has with her brother Ben owe something to William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury. The nesting of a story within a story (a novel called The Lion Trees about a movie called The Lion Trees, based on a short story called The Lion Trees, which is written around a parable of The Lion Tree) had its first inspiration from Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin. The Johns family as a study of intimate, history-driven dysfunction was at least partly inspired by Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections. The short story by Angus Mann (a fictional character) and all of it’s circa 1960; stripped-down science fiction born of nuclear paranoia was inspired by the incomparable Ray Bradbury. The list goes on. There is no better fuel and inspiration for writers than good writing.

CH: Do you have a website?

OT: Yes. Everyone is invited to come visit me at www.owenthomasfiction.com. The site has a lot of information about The Lion Trees and also about me and the other things I am writing. It also includes an active fiction and photography blog.

CH: Where is your book sold?

OT: You can purchase The Lion Trees in paper and in electrons at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and through my websites: http://www.owenthomasfiction.com and http://www.otfdistribution.com.

CH: Any closing remarks?

OT: Thank you, Cheryl, for this opportunity to speak to you and your readers. It has been my pleasure.

CH: Thank you Owen for sharing your book and writing experience with my audience.

 

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

 If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                                                                                                       ~ Cheryl Holloway

Mailing List_Image

Questions? Comments? Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Guest Author Interview – Eric Wilder

header1_An Author Writes

Please, join us for Guest Male Authors Month! We had so many responses that we will have two Guest Male Authors each week—on Tuesday and Friday.

Black Magic Woman_Cover

Title: Black Magic Woman

Genre: Murder/Mystery/Ghost

Synopsis: Burdened by spring floods, malaria and yellow fever, citizens of New Orleans often turned to voodoo practitioners-African Rosalie, Sanite Dede, Bras Coupe-for protection. None was more powerful, or feared, than Doctor John or Marie Laveau. After P.I. Wyatt Thomas encounters a ghost during a hospital visit, he tells the story to his sometimes business partner, voodoo mambo Mama Mulate. She puts him in a trance and channels the ghost, soon learning a curse connects him and a long-dead French aristocrat. They are doomed to remain connected forever, unless Wyatt can return to old New Orleans and lift the curse before midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Eric wilder

Author: Eric Wilder

CH: Eric writes interesting books about the bayou. Welcome to my blog, Eric.

CH: Can you sum up your book in 20 words or less?

EW: A time twisting trip to New Orleans, both old and new.

CH: Since you are familiar with voodoo, did you have to do any special research for this book?

EW: Few people know much about voodoo. I have read every document about the subject that I could find, piecing together the accumulated information along the way. The subject is complex and no easier to explain than the history, say, of Catholicism.

CH: Born in a Louisiana hill town, how much influence does your background have on this book?

EW: Growing up in the decade before wide-spread air conditioning, my family spent many sweltering summer nights sitting on lawn chairs in the backyard. By the time I was ten, I’d heard more tales of voodoo, zombies, and ghosts than I can ever recount.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

EW: Mama Mulate and Tony Nicosia are two of my favorite characters. They are both complex with many flaws, though good hearts.

CH: Where do your mystery ideas come from? Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole concept?

EW: My stories usually begin with a simple idea. In Black Magic Woman, I wondered what would happen if I could travel back in time and visit the most powerful voodoo mambo that ever lived. What would I ask her. What was New Orleans like when she was alive? The story grew from that strand of thought.

CH: Do you read in the same genre that you write?

EW: I read mysteries and other genres. I also read lots of non-fiction, newspapers, magazines, cereal boxes and soup cans.  :-)

CH: What are some of your aspirations as far as the writing profession?

EW: I’ve adapted a few of my novels as screenplays and someday I’d like to have a movie made of one of them. Just a dream!

CH: Do you have plans for a new book?

EW: A new French Quarter mystery tentatively titled River Road is presently about half finished. It involves an unsolved murder that occurred fifty years ago in New Orleans, and the Kennedy Assassination. Wyatt, hopefully, will solve the crime.

CH: How long did it take you to write your first novel? And to write a novel now?

EW: My first novel took about a year to complete. Primal Creatures only took six months from start to finish. I think I could finish River Road by New Year’s if I had no distractions. That, however, is a big if.

CH: What kind of feedback are you getting from readers of the book?

EW: So far, reviews on Amazon and Barnes & Noble are positive. Most of my readers love New Orleans. Since I set my mysteries there, I seem to reap a lot of their love.

CH: Have you always wanted to write?

EW: Yes, I have always wanted to write, even when I was very young. I wrote a five page, handwritten story when I was about ten.

CH: Are you self-published?

EW: I’m a proud Indie writer, deciding to go it alone after giving up trying to find an agent or publisher. I’ve never been happier with my decision.

CH: Where can my audience find your website?

EW: I’m on facebook.com at Eric Wilder – Lousiana Mystery Writer and my website is http://www.ericwilder.com

CH: Where are your books sold?

EW: My books are sold on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, and many other places on the web.

CH: Any closing remarks?

EW: Thanks so much, Cheryl, for the opportunity to share my story on your blog.  I am grateful.

CH: You’re quite welcome. Thank you, Eric, for sharing your book and your writing with my readers.

 

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

 If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                                                                                                       ~ Cheryl Holloway

Mailing List_Image

Questions? Comments? Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Happy Thanksgiving from Cheryl Holloway

thanksgiving2014_2      thanksgiving_2014

Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks and being grateful!

May we express to you our sincere appreciation for your confidence and loyalty to the blog. We want to express a special thanks to our military men and women. We are deeply thankful and extend to everyone our best wishes for a happy and healthy 2014 Thanksgiving Day.

Signature Logo

 

Note: Clipart is compliments of the Internet

Guest Author Interview – Granville Wyche Burgess

header1_An Author Writes

Please, join us for Guest Male Authors Month! We had so many responses that we will have two Guest Male Authors each week—on Tuesday and Friday.

Stone in the Crick_Cover

Title: The Stone in the Crick

Genre: Christian Romance

Synopsis: Rebecca Zook feels as stuck as a stone in her family farm’s crick. On the surface, the twenty-two-year-old Amish woman seems happy enough. A talented quilt-maker, Rebecca is engaged to Jacob, an honest, God-fearing man with a successful farm of his own. Jacob would make most young women proud to be his fiancée, but Rebecca remains restless and unsure. Whether she’s performing her chores or working at Mrs. Ansbacher’s quilt shop, Rebecca finds herself resisting the Amish way of life despite her love for her family and her culture. Even her quilting seems at odds with her heritage. Rebecca yearns to be an artist and knows self-expression is vital for true art, but the Amish feel any act that draws attention to the individual can lead to the sin of pride, so artistic expression is viewed with suspicion. Matters come to a head when Englisher Gregory Pinckney comes to Lancaster County with his horse, Bojangles. Despite their many differences, Rebecca and Gregory grow closer through their mutual love of horses. Rebecca has competition though, when Wanda, the beautiful daughter of local horse-farm owner Ivan Heminger, sets her sights on Gregory. Then Rebecca’s old boyfriend reappears, and her heart is torn in many directions. When an insurance scam almost kills Bojangles, events are set in motion that will test Rebecca’s faith and her family’s future. Is Gregory’s life in danger? Must the farm be sold? And does Rebecca dare follow her heart, or is she destined to remain a Stone in the Crick?

Granville Burgess

Author: Granville Wyche Burgess

CH: Granville is a playwright, lyricist, novelist, director, actor, producer, and teacher.  Welcome to my blog, Granville.

CH: Please tell us, in one sentence, why we should read your book?

GWB: You should read my book if you like Christian-based romance (Amish), suspense, uniquely-memorable characters, and a plot with lots of surprises and complications.

CH: Where do your ideas come from? Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole concept?

GWB: I do not have a formula. Stories come to me slowly and in pieces. I try to figure out what the protagonist wants and what is keeping her or him from getting it, which is how I find conflict. Then I play “what if” games: what if X did Y, then what would happen? For instance, I had no idea when I started what was going to happen to Ivan and Gregory in the climax or how it was going to happen.

CH: Readers seem to love the setting, the plot, and the memorable characters. What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your unique writing?

GWB: I grew up in South Carolina.   Southerners are wonderful storytellers.   I think I am very strong on story/plot: in everything I write, be it plays, musicals, or novels, a lot happens.   Also, because of my many years of writing plays, I think I write exceptionally strong dialogue that is centered in character and uses vivid, action-oriented language that is both fun to read and advances the plot. As for setting, I try as much as possible to put my characters in unique places, because the setting can enrich the action. For instance, in “Crick,” why have the love scene happen in a parlor or another expected place when it could happen on a horseback ride?!

CH: Since your wife is an Amish-Mennonite, did this part of your background have an influence on this book?

GWB: Every influence! I was inspired by sitting around listening to my wife’s mother and other relatives tell stories about their Amish life. I spent many weeks on the family’s beautiful farm in Lancaster County, PA, which frames the settings for the story. I shamelessly would scribble dialogue that I heard around the table, I walked among the cornstalks to get the feel of the land, I canoed down the crick, spending a good deal of time looking at the crick and spying there a beautifully-sculpted stone!

CH: Since you are the author of teleplays, plays, and musicals, what inspired you to write a book?

GWB: I loved the challenge of it. I had always told myself I could never write a novel, since I had never studied creative writing or any kind of narrative writing.   I was afraid to try. The plotting didn’t scare me, nor the creation of characters, since I had done that in plays. But finding my voice, and—as I put it to myself—writing all those words!   Happily, I found that when I had finally convinced myself to try to overcome my fear, by focusing on the characters and what they wanted and what they felt, the words came. I also found that, in contrast to plays and musicals, which have to be so economical with words and so focused on structure, I really enjoyed just letting lots of words pour onto the page.

CH: The book seemed full of suspense. Where did your ideas come from?

GWB: Once I knew Gregory had a horse and that it would be the means by which he and Rebecca came together, I knew I had to find some complication with his horse, some danger. That led me to the creation of Ivan and the whole subplot of the horse insurance scam and to putting not only the horse, Bojangles, in danger, but Gregory himself. I had such fun creating my villain, Ivan, and giving him all kinds of dastardly things to do. I started out to write simply an Amish romance, but by making it, essentially, a murder mystery, I brought a whole other level of complexity to the Amish romance genre. I am proud that my novel is not a “typical’ Amish romance.

CH: Why did you decide to write this book?

GWB: I wanted to honor and celebrate my wife’s Amish heritage. I admire the Amish greatly for their sense of community and their solid, Christian faith.

CH: Is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp?

GWB: My message is for each of us to ‘play with all the talents God gave you,’ as I put it in my first play. Rebecca is an artist; yet, she is afraid to commit to being one. I hope readers will follow whatever passion God has put in their hearts and souls, and not let ‘the way things are always done’ frighten them away from pursuing their dream.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life?

GWB: The characters of Mabel and Hannah are based on real people, and I peppered my wife about how they would say certain things and how they would react with each other. The story of an Englisher falling in love with an Amish woman reflects my own situation with my wife, as well as the issue of whether her family would accept that she wanted to marry an Englisher.   The horse insurance scam happened years ago in our hometown. The other situations, yes, were hard to create: lots of time lying on a couch with eyes closed (my favorite position for pure imagining!) to answer ‘what happens next?’ interrupted with quick jottings, then back to eyes closed.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

GWB: This is a hard one, because authors fall in love with all their characters, even—or maybe especially—the evil ones.   If I had to choose, I would say Hannah.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

GWB: Ivan! I know nothing about criminal activity or the criminal mind or mobsters or how they think and talk.

CH: With an Emmy nomination and other outstanding awards, as far as accolades or achievements, what would you say has been your greatest achievement?

GWB: My greatest achievement is my two daughters, Loring and Clara, both wonderful young women. As far as career goes, I am very proud that my second play, Dusky Sally, about Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, won an award for best new play in New York City, where, as you can imagine, the competition was fierce.

CH: You are such an accomplished individual, so what’s next for you as an author?

GWB: That’s easy: the sequel to Stone in the Crick. After all, at the end Gregory still doesn’t know who his birth mother is and Rebecca is still not committed to being an artist. It’s called Fork In The Crick, and will be followed by the third and final book, Home On The Crick.

I have also written a novel about Shoeless Joe Jackson, yet to be published, called The Last At-Bat of Shoeless Joe, and a musical about Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass which, fingers crossed, will make it to Broadway some day.

CH: Do you have a website?

GWB: Yes: www.granvilleburgess.com

CH: Where is your book sold?

GWB: Through my website and through Amazon.com

CH: Any closing remarks?

GWB: I want to let readers know that ALL—not just a percentage—of my author proceeds are being donated to the Lancaster Farmland Trust, a nonprofit engaged in preserving the beautiful Amish farmland in Lancaster County, PA. I believe deeply that the Amish, having created a kind of paradise of healthy, Christian-based living right here in America’s heartland, should not lose their farms to development. So if you buy my novel, know that you are contributing to preserving a special place in America and to supporting the continuation of the Amish lifestyle.

CH: Thank you Granville for taking time out of your busy schedule to share your book and writing experience with my audience.

 

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

 If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                                                                                                       ~ Cheryl Holloway

Mailing List_Image

Questions? Comments? Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

 

 

 

Guest Author Interview – Neely Tucker

header1_An Author Writes

Please, join us for Guest Male Authors Month! We had so many responses that we will have two Guest Male Authors each week—on Tuesday and Friday.

The Ways of the Dead_Cover

Title: The Ways of the Dead: A Novel

Genre: Crime

Synopsis: Sarah Reese, the teenage daughter of a powerful Washington, D.C. judge, is dead, her body discovered in a slum in the shadow of the Capitol. Though the police promptly arrest three local black kids, newspaper reporter Sully Carter suspects there’s more to the case. Reese’s slaying might be related to a string of cold cases the police barely investigated, among them the recent disappearance of a gorgeous university student.

A journalist brought home from war-torn Bosnia and hobbled by loss, rage, and alcohol, Sully encounters a city rife with its own brand of treachery and intrigue. Weaving through D.C.’s broad avenues and shady backstreets on his Ducati 916 motorcycle, Sully comes to know not just the city’s pristine monuments of power but the blighted neighborhoods beyond the reach of the Metro. With the city clamoring for a conviction, Sully pursues the truth about the murders—all against pressure from government officials, police brass, suspicious locals, and even his own bosses at the paper.

A wry, street-smart hero with a serious authority problem, Sully delves into a deeply layered mystery, revealing vivid portraits of the nation’s capital from the highest corridors of power to D.C.’s seedy underbelly, where violence and corruption reign supreme—and where Sully must confront the back-breaking line between what you think and what you know, and what you know and what you can print. Inspired by the real-life 1990s Princeton Place murders and set in the last glory days of the American newspaper, The Ways of the Dead is a wickedly entertaining story of race, crime, the law, and the power of the media. Neely Tucker delivers a flawless rendering of a fast-paced, scoop-driven newsroom—investigative journalism at its grittiest.

NeelyTucker

Author: Neely Tucker

CH: Neely Tucker is a journalist for the Washington Post. His memoir, “Love in the Driest Season,” was named one of the best 25 Books of 2004 by Publisher’s Weekly, the American Bookseller’s Association, the New York City Library and won numerous other awards. Welcome to my blog, Neely. 

CH: Please tell us about your book and why we should read it?

NT: The Ways of the Dead is the first in a series of novels about Sully Carter, a war-scarred newspaper reporter in Washington, DC, in the late 1990s. In this first installment, he’s assigned to cover the murder of a powerful judge’s daughter in a rough section of the city.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life?

NT: The story is loosely based on the real-life Princeton Place murders in D.C., in which a serial killer killed between seven and nine women in one neighborhood during a three-year period. But none of the slayings in the book, most particularly that of the judge’s daughter, is based on any real event. I wouldn’t have felt comfortable using an actual slaying for ones in the book. My wife’s daughter was the victim of a high-profile homicide, and I just don’t think real-life homicides should be the basis for entertainment.

CH: How much of your leading character, Sully, is based on you?

NT: Not as much as you’d think. There ‘was’ a Washington Post reporter who dug into the Princeton Place killings, wrote that they might be the work of a serial killer, crawled around beneath floorboards of houses where women were killed and interviewed people in strip clubs down the block…and that was Gabriel Escobar, not Neely Tucker. Plus, I didn’t know Gabe (now managing editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer) had done most of that until after I’d finished the book. As I said before, I didn’t want it to be based too closely on the real events, so I purposefully didn’t do much real research. I didn’t want to take the chance of it bleeding over into the writing. That said, I put Sully in the Bosnian war, as I had been, and he works at ‘the paper,’ which is sort of like where I work. And he lives in my old house on Capitol Hill—so that, as the series went on, I wouldn’t have to try to remember what the place looked like as we went from book to book over several years. He and I certainly have things in common, but in no way is he supposed to be some surrogate version of myself.

CH: Did you find anything challenging while writing this book?

NT: The most challenging thing was that I wrote it all on nights and weekends, before I knew anyone would buy it. I would get very nervous that I was just wasting not only my time, but that of my family. We have a teenage daughter and young twins, and my wife had to watch them while I was locked upstairs, writing away.

CH: Did you have to do any special research to write this book?

NT: No. I picked this particular case to base the novel on because I was already familiar with it from my work at D.C. Superior Court, which I covered for the Post. As noted above, I just didn’t have the time to go out researching unknown material. I either already knew it, could quickly find it, or just wrote fiction.

CH: What kind of advice do you have for those aspiring to write? If you had to give them a blueprint for success, what would that be?

NT: There is no ‘aspiring’ to write. Either you’re in the process or you’re not. The most difficult thing is to get the first draft done. After that, you’re just fixing literary problems, one by one, as you go through the draft. That can be done. It’s just time and effort and, sooner or later, you’ll be done. I’ve never understood the ‘aspiring author’ thing. It’s like being an ‘aspiring marathon runner.’ There’s no such thing. Either you’re training and doing it or you’re not.

CH: Is there a certain routine you implement when writing? What is it? 

NT: Not really, no. I’ve filed stories from more than 60 countries on four continents and from more than 25 of these United States. It’s really great practice for learning to write anywhere. I write in my office at work, at home in the bedroom desk (my home office), on the back porch, in bars, planes, trains, restaurants, beaches, hotel rooms or the back seat of cars. I’m writing this on the laptop at the kitchen counter, with our dog sleeping by my feet. Writing is concentration, and when you learn to concentrate you also learn you can do it anywhere.

CH: Are there any new authors that have grabbed your attention? 

NT: No, alas. I just don’t have much time for leisure reading. Although, I am reading Richard Flanagan’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North, at the moment. I started it a month ago, before it won the Man Booker, and still haven’t finished! It’s really great, though.

CH: Do you have any writing rituals or do you listen to “mood music” when you write?

NT: No, it’s a luxury I don’t have. Although, I DO listen to music a lot when I write. On this book, it was a lot of Tom Waits, since Sully seems to me very much a character in a Tom Waits song. For the close of the book, I listened to his Closing Time over and over and over again while writing the epilogue. I really wanted to the book to feel that way.

CH: Since you’ve traveled across the world and written stories about many celebrities, what’s next on the agenda in your writing career?

NT: Just more novels and more non-fiction pieces at the Post. I’m now the Post’s blogger about The Walking Dead, one of my favorite television shows. I love doing new stuff like that.

CH: What authors do you read? And who are some of your favorites?

NT: I’ve got three kids, two jobs, a spouse and a 140-pound Rottweiler. I just don’t have a lot of free time for anything at this point! But, in crime fiction, I really do love Elmore Leonard, Richard Price and George Pelecanos and Dennis Lehane. For other reading, it’s mostly what’s described as literary fiction—Edward P. Jones, Salman Rushdie, Garcia-Marquez, Toni Morrison. And of course the classics, led by Faulkner.

CH: As far as accolades or achievements, did you think a poor boy from Mississippi would accomplish so much?  What would you say has been your greatest achievement?

NT: I’m very pragmatic. To the extent that I’m proud of anything, it’s been that way since I turned 21. I’ve made my entire living by writing. It’s enabled me to go all over the world and meet all sorts of people, and that career is entirely based on an ability to write quickly and at least fairly well.

CH: What kind of feedback are you getting from readers of the book?

NT: Mostly very positive. People really are fascinated by Sully, and they love or hate Sully. They like the dialogue stuff. When people don’t like you or your newspaper stories, they love to write emails and tell you how much you and your paper suck; or they are biased and generally are miserable human beings who shouldn’t be allowed to live. When you write books, the people who don’t like them just ignore you, for the most part. Most people who take the time to read it are, by definition, at least somewhat interested.

CH: Last but not least, why do you write, and what do you want readers to take from your novels?

NT: I want them to be entertained, of course, and I want them to be hooked by the plot. But I want them to take away the same thing I’ve taken away from three decades of reporting—the legacy of violence, and how it shapes the rest of peoples’ lives. We can all see physical injuries, and that’s one reason why Sully is so damaged from the shell in Sarajevo—I wanted readers to physically see how scarred the man is. Deeper, of course, is that all of the principal characters in Ways of the Dead are scarred by violence, and everything they do is shaped by that. I really love Lorena, the sister of one of the murder victims. She’s hurt, damaged…and very, very resilient. It doesn’t necessarily make her a nice person. It makes her tough, and interesting to write about, because she’s not going anywhere until she finds out what happened to her sister. I really sort of had a crush on her by the end.

CH: Where can my audience find your website?

NT: My website is www.neelytucker.com

CH: Where are your books sold?

NT: The books are on sale everywhere, and book II, Murder, D.C., will be out next summer. The paperback of Ways of the Dead will be out in late spring.

CH: Any closing remarks?

NT: Thanks so much for your interest!

CH: Thank you so much, Neely for sharing your new book and your writing journey with my audience.  

 

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

 If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                                                                                                       ~ Cheryl Holloway

Mailing List_Image

Questions? Comments? Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Guest Author Interview – Temba Magorimbo

header1_An Author Writes

Please, join us for Guest Male Authors Month! We had so many responses that we will have two Guest Male Authors each week—on Tuesday and Friday.

Butterscotch - Ebook

Title: Butterscotch: Meet Me in Alberta

Genre: Contemporary Romance (African)

Synopsis: The heat is on from the moment Raphael concludes his apprenticeship. He starts working part-time as a lecturer, while searching around for a permanent job of his caliber. He meets, Virginia, a state registered general nurse-in-training. Together they become an inseparable item. He finds contract work that pays well and is within his trade 280-kilometres away from his love. In her part, Virginia concludes her training and is posted further away from her dream boy. As he thinks he is settling down, Virginia slips through his fingers like an eel in muddy water. She marries another person. Smitten, he turns to his work and his experience, but his heart cries out for love. Four times, he meets the same woman on a bus and in another location. Dorothy is not his type, but she does have charm, elegance, charisma and things work well between them. She is not desperate to end her late spinsterhood, but they do work well. He marries her. He thinks he has settled down, when he meets Virginia again—years later. He is tired of one contract after another without getting any permanent work, until he gets a call to come to Alberta, Canada. Both women want to be with him, Dorothy as his wife and Virginia as his girlfriend, but who will he share his Alberta abode? Will a double divorce and remarriage work with Raphael and Virginia or will the African cultural establishment work its pressure and charm on him. Only one woman can win the race to meet Raphael in Alberta.

Author 2004

Author: Temba Magorimbo

CH: Welcome, Temba. Please tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book.

TM: African contemporary romance fiction brings a new zeal to fiction that excites the readers.

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your political writing?

TM: I mix humor, fiction and fact while looking at the period before and after the Rhodesian bush war. Believe you me this was a grueling and bloody guerilla war of independence. I also look at post-independence when the one man vote was in place as socialist experiments started to come home and bite real time. Then I make comparisons between the period of racist Rhodesian rule in terms of military and policing, then the same after the end of the war, especially from the side of the opposition.

CH: Where are you from? How much of your background has any influence on this book?

TM: My background is in my fiction. I grew up in and around the city of Gweru in the Midlands province of Zimbabwe. Then the country had five administrative provinces which were later increased to ten by subdividing the larger ones like Matebeleland and Mashonaland. The short phases of the Rhodesian bush war is relevant in my writing as this is history we can’t run away from. What I saw as I grew up is what is in my books.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

TM: In Butterscotch: Meet Me in Alberta the favorite character to write was Dorothy, whom I made huge, tall and strong looking with a feminine heart. Though the odds were stacked hard against her, she still had faith and resilience to make it through testing and trying times. First, she became a senior spinster living in a small mining town, whose fortunes were waning after faltering dates. A female teacher with a degree teaching in a small town devoid of dates is one thing. She then meets her man of the moment Raphael, almost three times through chance meetings without exchanging names or telephone contacts. Raphael was recovering from the loss of his loved one. Their romance is further complicated by distance between Shurugwi and Zvishavane with an hour and some minutes in between. Driving or riding on a bus for a date is not kosher every time the heart grows fonder. Then after she is married to Raphael, she still has to face financial issues when he is in between contracts (jobs) and when she suspects he is having an affair. She gets to know that she stands a good chance of losing Raphael to a competitor, Virginia but she keeps her cool.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

TM: In Butterscotch: Meet Me in Alberta, Spencer the husband to Virginia who was Raphael’s ex-girlfriend and now mistress is a hard character. He is supported by a nephew who collects data when he (Spencer) starts suspecting that his wife is having an affair. Together, uncle and nephew have to find out. It is difficult to write about the fall guy who must wake up and find the steam train has gone through the city, no derailment, but his wife of many years is aboard with her lover, gone with the wind. All that remains is the smell of smoke!

CH: Do you think politics has an effect on love?

TM: African politics has a great effect as it affects the economy and security of the family. Disagreements in politics here are solved more like how a resident male lion views a young challenging male. There is bound to be a fight and cubs are bound to be killed. Or politics is like two bull elephants resorting to fight in the bush, it is the grass and shrubs which suffer the most.

CH: How long have you been writing? How did you start writing?

TM: I have been writing ever since I was around twelve years of age. That makes it about thirty-six years in the game. There are no prizes for experience though. I didn’t win the Booker or Pulitzer Prizes in Fiction because I would have been in Switzerland. The kudus go to the ones who can generate bestsellers. I started writing when I was inspired by radio stories as a young boy in a period when the in thing as a young man was either to be wearing jackboots, a military backpack and a Rhodesian FN rifle and camouflage or jeans and AK 47 rifle shouting slogans in support of Soviet Union or China.

CH: Are there any books that influence you as an author?

TM: There were many books that influenced me including among others Franklin W. Dixon’s The Hardy Boys; Carolyn Keene’s Nancy Drew; Enid Bylton’s The Famous Five; and Captain W.E. Jones’ Bigglesworth. All of these were series which I read in secondary school. These crime series made me want to do my own crime series which didn’t work out well. How do you solve crime problems? Jack London’s White Fang; Colin Forbes’ Target 5; and Alistair McLean, etc. and my African favorites like Kahiga, Cyprian Ekwensi, Ngugi Wa Thiogo and others.

CH: Why did you decide to write this book?

TM: Butterscotch started after two sad events. A stranger explained to a relative on the telephone that his vehicle had burst a tire and he had lost his wife, the baby was in the hospital. My cousin also lost his South Africa daughter. I mixed the two to come up with a compelling and sad ending which I edited somehow. The rest is the story which evolved later into a contemporary romance fiction.

CH: What kind of feedback are you getting from readers of the book?

TM: The readers haven’t yet told me what they think. I just watch the number of reviews going up. I only get feedback from reviewers who have never been below 4-points.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life?

TM: It is a challenge to write in fiction without looking at real life. Who wants to read about real life except about the really famous and their scandals? Stories and events have to be in fiction, but the places have to be real. You have to describe the lake, river and fish swarms as they are.

CH: Last but not least, why do you write, and what message do you want readers to take from your novel?

TM: My contemporary romance is about giving relationships staying power to survive another storm and face life with brute force. I know there are divorces and re-marriages; yet, romance is about second chances. I normally write about the early stages of marriage either dating or post wedding. I write because writing is therapeutic. It heals the soul and the mind. It releases imagination.

 CH: Do you have a website?

TM: I don’t have a website, as yet. You can watch my author page on amazon, goodreads or pinterest for the moment.

CH: Where is your book sold?

TM: All over the world, except in Mars. :-)

CH: Any closing remarks

TM: My sample reading (excerpts)—mainly free short stories—is available on wattpad (dot) com and timbooktu (dot) com.

CH: Thank you so much, Temba for sharing your new book with my audience.  

 

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

 If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                                                                                                       ~ Cheryl Holloway

Mailing List_Image

Questions? Comments? Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Guest Author Interview – Dwayne Alexander Smith

header1_An Author Writes

Please, join us for Guest Male Authors Month! We had so many responses that we will have two Guest Male Authors each week—on Tuesday and Friday.

Forty Acres_Cover 2

Title: Forty Acres: A Thriller

Genre: Thriller

Synopsis: What if overcoming the legacy of American slavery meant bringing back that very institution? A young black attorney is thrown headlong into controversial issues of race and power in this page-turning and provocative new novel.

Martin Grey, a smart, talented black lawyer working out of a storefront in Queens, becomes friendly with a group of some of the most powerful, wealthy, and esteemed black men in America. He’s dazzled by what they’ve accomplished, and they seem to think he has the potential to be as successful as they are. They invite him for a weekend away from it all—no wives, no cell phones, no talk of business. But far from home and cut off from everyone he loves, he discovers a disturbing secret that challenges some of his deepest convictions…

Martin finds out that his glittering new friends are part of a secret society dedicated to the preservation of the institution of slavery—but this time around, the black men are called “Master.” Joining them seems to guarantee a future without limits; rebuking them almost certainly guarantees his death. Trapped inside a picture-perfect, make-believe world that is home to a frightening reality, Martin must find a way out that will allow him to stay alive without becoming the very thing he hates.

A novel of rage and compassion, good and evil, trust and betrayal, Forty Acres is the thought-provoking story of one man’s desperate attempt to escape the clutches of a terrifying new moral order.

Dwayne Smith

Author: Dwayne Alexander Smith

CH: I am pleased to welcome first-time author Dwayne Alexander Smith. Can you sum up your book in 20 words or less?

DAS: Forty Acres is about wealthy black men who are members of a country club where they secretly keep white slaves.

CH: Is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp?

DAS: Two wrongs don’t make a right…no matter how horrible the initial wrong.

CH: Why did you decide to write this book?  

DAS: I thought the story of black men enslaving whites to get revenge for slavery would be an intriguing and thought-provoking story. I liked the fact that the story touched on very real racial issues in American society. I knew that readers of any race would be able to relate to the issues confronted in the story.

CH: Did you find anything challenging while writing this book?

DAS: I wanted the motive of the antagonists to be about more than just simple revenge.   I felt that had to be driven by something deeper in order to give the story real gravity. Coming up with a believable reason for their horrible crime was definitely a challenge.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

DAS: Dr. Kasim was my favorite to write but also the most challenging. His views are extreme, but I had to find a way to make him sound somewhat reasonable. I had to make him charismatic enough that the reader would believe that these smart men would follow his twisted philosophy. If that didn’t work the entire book would fall apart.

CH: Since your original dream was making movies, are there any other plans for this book, possibly a movie?

DAS: There are some efforts by my manager and agent to develop Forty Acres into a feature film or a limited TV series. I hope it happens because a lot of readers have expressed to me a desire to see a Forty Acres movie. Some have gone so far as to make a list of who they would cast in the movie. That’s pretty cool.

CH: Do you write full-time or part-time?

DAS: I write full-time. I’ve have been lucky enough to have a career as a full-time writer for more than thirteen years. I make my living writing screenplays, but hope to write more novels. Writing and having Forty Acres published was an amazing experience.

CH: When you start a new story, do you have a title for it? Or does the story trigger the title?

DAS: Usually when I come up with the idea for a story it comes complete with a title. I don’t think that I could write a story without knowing what the title is first. The title helps to inspire me. I also like to create the cover page of my current projects and pin it up next to my computer. Seeing the cover page of my current project is like seeing the finish line.

CH: How long did it take you to write this book?

DAS: I wrote Forty Acres over a two-year period. I was working on various screenwriting projects at the time, so the writing was on and off.

CH: Have you always wanted to write?

DAS: I started out wanting to direct movies, but I after a few years of trying to make independent films, I finally figured out that writing movies was a less expensive way to break into the film industry. So, writing was really a plan B for me. But now that I’ve been a professional writer for so long my desire to direct movies has diminished. Right now, I’m more interested in producing than directing.

CH: Whats next on the agenda in your writing career?

DAS: I’m working on several film and TV projects. I’m also working on another thriller novel. There’s a sequel to Forty Acres all worked out, but whether I write it or not will depend on how well Forty Acres sells.

CH: If you could work with any author, living or dead, who would that be and why?

DAS: I’m a HUGE Stephen King fan. I would give anything just to meet him. The idea of working with him is just mind blowing. Most of the writers I admire are dead.

CH: Are there any books that influenced you while writing this book?

DAS: To prepare for writing Forty Acres I decided to read a lot of thrillers. Some of the authors I read were John Grisham, James Patterson, and Daniel Silva. Despite the heavy issues tackled in the story I wanted Forty Acres to be a page turner.

CH: Where can my audience find your website?

DAS: My website is www.writtenbysmith.com on Twitter@writtenbysmith on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/writtenbysmith?ref=hl

CH: Where are your books sold?

DAS: Forty Acres is sold everywhere—Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Audible. Anywhere books are sold, you can find my book.

CH: Any closing remarks?

DAS: I love hearing from readers. They can email me at writtenbysmith@gmail.com  I also like meeting with book clubs. I’m available to meet in person, if distance allows, or over Skype. Just email me your requests. And lastly, thanks for your interest in Forty Acres and my writing. I enjoyed answering your questions. Thanks for the opportunity.

CH: Thank you so much, Dwayne for sharing your new book and your writing journey with my audience.  

 

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

 If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                                                                                                       ~ Cheryl Holloway

Mailing List_Image

Questions? Comments? Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

 

Guest Author Interview – Ben Burgess, Jr.

header1_An Author Writes

Please, join us for Guest Male Authors Month! We had so many responses that we will have two Guest Male Authors each week—on Tuesday and Friday.

Wounded_Cover 2

Title: Wounded

Genre: Urban/LGBT

Synopsis: Samantha Miller didn’t have an easy start. Molested as a child and subsequently forced into prostitution by her drug-addicted mother, Samantha learned at an early age that men were not to be trusted. Being constantly preyed upon taught her to be a predator. Her target was women—specifically, straight or married women. As the headliner at a local strip club, Samantha capitalized on the gifts she was cursed with. In turn, her life quickly spiraled down a dangerous path of violence, seduction, and exploitation. When Sasha is brought on as the new bartender, she becomes Samantha’s newest target. The last thing Samantha anticipated was falling in love. When tragedy strikes, what was once a challenge may prove to be her downfall. Can Samantha heal from her abusive past, or will she always be wounded?

Ben Burgess, Jr.

Author: Ben Burgess, Jr.

CH: Ben, welcome to my blog. Please tell us in 20 words or less, why we should read your book?

BB: Readers should read Wounded because it’s a book that will make them think and it’s a great discussion starter.

CH: Why did you decide to write about abusive relationships?

BB: With every book that I publish, there is always a purpose. I try to write about topics that are problems in people’s everyday lives. My main goal with my writing is to help change the world for the better. I feel that tackling topics that no one else writes about sets me aside from other writers; it will get people to begin thinking; and possibly help someone, who is going through the same situation.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life?

BB: I feel that art imitates life. Being in my position as an NYPD Detective, I see a lot. Observing all types of situations and experiences, combined with my own personal experiences, sparks my imagination to tell realistic stories. When I first started writing Wounded, I was working on another novel, my next novel Love and Happiness. My co-workers asked me to write a book with a lesbian protagonist. At first, I thought it wouldn’t be possible, since I wasn’t a woman and knew nothing about being Gay or the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community. After going to a Lesbian bar with them and talking to the women there, I decided to work on the book. I did a lot of research. I talked to fifteen women, in addition to the five couples I interviewed, to hear their thoughts, feelings, and philosophies about being a lesbian, and life in general. I listened to their joys and pains. I also mixed some of my family into my characters to add drama and heart to them. Wounded was the hardest book I have written so far. With my other novel, Monster, it was easier because 90 percent of that story was about me, but this story was a entirely different world for me. It was both challenging and exciting at the same time.

CH: What message do you want readers to take from your novel?

BB: Wounded is the story of how childhood trauma can make you who you are as an adult; how it can alter the trajectory of your life; and change your goals, and your ambitions. There are so many lessons I want people to learn from Wounded. The most important lesson is “Love is Love.” I want readers to learn that love can help you heal. Also, I’d like for readers to learn that sometimes a person’s wounds will not show with their appearance. Sometimes people are mentally and emotionally wounded, but a person can heal if they put the effort into healing and if they allow themselves to heal. Which leads me to another lesson: “You can’t move forward if you’re always looking backwards.” Sometimes we have to accept things and let them go. There are a lot of things I hope readers take away from the book, but some lessons I want readers to discover for themselves.

CH: Did you find anything challenging while writing this book?

BB: It’s extremely hard to write from a female perspective. While women might have some similarities, all women are different. Interviewing, listening to, and talking to so many women to get the perfect tone for my characters, was very hard. It was also fun, educational, and interesting. By listening and researching women, I feel I have a better understanding of how some women think, and approach life

CH: Are you a self-published author?

BB: Yes, I believed I had an important story to tell. I believed that my story was different and unique, and a book that would help to change the world. I tried to publish traditionally, but many publishers believed my book was too dark. There were times when I felt like giving up. I doubted myself and felt that I wasn’t good enough. I decided to ignore what the publishers told me and self-publish. It has been one of the most rewarding and happiest experiences of my life. I have won the 2013 Readers Favorite Book Award for Urban Fiction, the 2014 Beverly Hills Book Award for African American Fiction, and I was a finalist for both the 2014 International Book Awards, and the 2014 National Indie Excellence Awards. Recently, I’ve won the 2014 Readers Favorite Book Award for Urban Fiction for Wounded. I feel I’m living proof to anyone who wants to self- publish that if you have a dream to write a book, never give up. Work hard on your craft and accomplish your goal!

CH: Have you always wanted to write?

BB: I’ve been writing since I was in the eighth grade. I used to write poetry and perform at open mic’s and poetry lounges. Now, I’m more focused on creating new novels to entertain people, but I will always write poetry also.

CH: Where do your ideas come from? Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole concept?

BB: My ideas can come from almost anything. I love to people watch. I can listen to or watch people in real life, imagine what their lives are like, and formulate my own story about them. Sometimes a memory or an experience that I’m going through or one of my friends or family is going through, can also spark an idea for a character or storyline. Once I start writing the story, I do not have a set storyline. I let the story come to me as I write it.

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your urban writing?

BB: When I write, I try not to create stories that haven’t already been told. I don’t want people to think that my books are just smut. I don’t want to be similar to another author. I feel if we all read the same, then what would sets us apart? I try to write about topics most people can relate to and/or understand. I think it’s always good to see things in different perspectives to stay well versed and open minded. I try to be an inspiration to other authors and readers—to encourage them to think outside the box.

CH: What attracted you to writing in the first place?

BB: When I was in eighth grade, I read Richard Wright’s Native Son. It was life changing for me. I knew I wanted to one day write something that could have the same effect on people. My English teacher, Mrs. Marcus, was one of my most influential teachers, and my dream was to publish a book.

CH: Are there any books that influence you as an author? 

BB: Books that have inspired me have been Richard Wright’s Native Son; Eric Jerome Dickey’s books Milk in My Coffee, Cheaters and Between Lovers. I also love Zane’s Addicted.

CH: Do you have a website?

BB: My website www.woundedmonster.com

CH: Where is your book sold?

BB: My books are available on Amazon/Kindle, Google Play, Itunes, and Barnes and Nobles/Nook.

CH: Any closing remarks?

BB: I’m very serious about my writing. I’m currently trying to have Wounded made into a movie! I have a kickstarter campaign right now to gain funds to turn this dream of mine into a reality. I thank all of you in advance.

 

CH: Thank you so much, Ben for sharing your new book and your writing journey with my audience.  

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

 If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                                                                                                       ~ Cheryl Holloway

Mailing List_Image

Questions? Comments? Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Celebrating Veteran’s Day

Thanks Vets

Veteran’s Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans. 

On Veterans Day, put out your flags, cheer the marchers at parades, and go to tributes.
But when you wake up the next day, Nov. 12, remember that it’s still Veterans Day
for our veterans — and it will be every day of their lives.
— Gen. Colin L. Powell, (Ret.)

Veterans day

I want to honor and celebrate the service of veterans that I know. So, here is my 2014 Veterans Wall of Honor of family and close friends. (If I forget anyone, please blame it on my memory.)

Willie Holloway                                                                                                                   George Britt                                                                                                                         John McCaa                                                                                                                         Larry Irons                                                                                                                                 Al Burrows

William Holloway                                                                                                                 Samuel Robinson                                                                                                               Donald Robinson                                                                                                                 Juanel Humphrey                                                                                                            Herschel Britt                                                                                                                   Howard Britt                                                                                                                           John Marshall Britt                                                                                                               Kevin Long                                                                                                                               Keith Britt                                                                                                                               Kevin Mabry                                                                                                                       Marvin McIver                                                                                                                 Johnnie Flack                                                                                                                         John Maynard                                                                                                                   Richard Ligon                                                                                                                         Ben Rivers

Husband and Wife                                                                                                             Donald Britt                                                                                                                         Valerie Strickland Britt                                                                                                       Kenneth Holloway                                                                                                             Lanette Padron Holloway

God Bless our men and women in service—their dedication will never be forgotten.                                                                   ~Cheryl Holloway