Category Archives: Meet The Author Series

Meet The Author Series

Meet The Author: Part 4

Meet The Author: Part 4 – Sneak Peek

Watch the 1st2nd and 3rd Meet The Author videos.

Click to watch the Meet The Author: Part 4 Video below

 

Our book Blood of a Queen is now available on Amazon now! Get your ebook and printed copy today!

BOAQ - Ebook-Series-Mockup_CD_Available Now_v2

 

Listen to the music for Blood of a Queen here! Available on iTunes, Google Play, Tidal, Amazon on 8/7/16

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Meet The Author: Part 3

Meet The Author: Part 3 – Meet the Characters

Watch the 1st and 2nd Meet The Author videos.

Click to watch the Meet The Author: Part 3 Video below

Meet the Characters

Leading Female and Male Characters

  1. Who is this urban Romeo & Juliet?
  2. What deep personal issues do they have?
  3. How will these issues affect each other?

Remember these are 3 questions I had  when I developed my main characters? Meet our urban Romeo & Juliet and a couple of our supporting characters below.

Juliet
Our leading female character is a seemingly naive, and gullible young lady but smart, family oriented, head strong, adventurous and defiant. She is on a quest for answers too deep for her sheltered and limited understanding, but it doesn’t stop her from searching for the truth.

I gave her a very similar background to my own. Born in Queens, NY, raised in New Jersey, granddaughter of ministers, good education, sheltered from the streets yet yearning to break free to find a path of her own. She knows there is a dark family secret and she won’t stop, not even when her life is in danger.

Our leading female characters name is Ruby.

Romeo
Our leading male character experiences what many young men in poor urban communities experience; Limited working and education opportunities, low pay, a dream to leave their neighborhood, a struggle between living life on the straight and narrow or making unfortunate decisions to obtain freedom and happiness.

Romeo had a rough upbringing and has a very strained relationship with his family. He feel ostracized and outcast.  In his experiences of devastation and betrayal, it is easy to  relate to his pain. But, no matter how many times luck seems to evade him, Ruby, a single jewel glistening at the end of his tunnel, gives him hope that all is not lost. Love can certainly dwell in the dark.

Our leading male characters name is Sean.

Supporting Characters

Because I developed Ruby’s character to be naive and sheltered, I had to give her a counterpart who could lead, mentor and comfort her throughout her journey for the truth. I needed this character to be close to her, familiar, fun, yet protective. This was the best opportunity to portray the closeness between family.

I created my 1st supporting character, Ruby’s cousin– Sheila.

As I began to develop more of my supporting characters, I broke down their origins, their beginnings and ultimately their mini stories. While doing that I molded other smaller characters into their stories and embarked upon a domino effect of main and supporting character development.

 

Next: Meet The Author Part 4 – Sneak Peek

Meet The Author: Part 2

Meet The Author: Part 2 – Creating the Characters

Missed the 1st Meet The Author video? Watch it here.

Click to watch the Meet The Author: Part 2 Video below

Creating the Characters
  1. Who is this urban Romeo & Juliet?
  2. What deep personal issues do they have?
  3. How will these issues affect each other?

These are 3 questions I had immediately when developing my main characters. I needed to explore who these characters were individually before I explored how they would interact together.

It was important to me that my characters were relatable. If I couldn’t place myself in their shoes or have some sort of emotional attachment to them, how could I expect my readers to?

Leading female character
I knew that the easiest way for me to relate to my leading female character was to give her some elements of my own personality. I added in a few extra characteristics that I don’t believe I posses to show her level of maturity progress throughout the book. She is a seemingly naive, and gullible young lady but smart, family oriented, head strong, adventurous and defiant. She is on a quest for answers too deep for her sheltered and limited understanding, but it doesn’t stop her from searching for the truth.

Leading male character
My male was a bit of a task. I knew that I wanted my leading male character to have an insatiable attraction for Ruby– be her hero but, how could I make his character more interesting? What background could I give him to make him more believable? I decided to give him a story that many young men in our poorer urban communities can relate to. Limited working and education opportunities, low pay, a dream to leave their neighborhood, a struggle between living life on the straight and narrow or making unfortunate decisions to obtain freedom and happiness.

The development of his family’s history was something I focused on as well because I believe it’s in these early experiences where an individual is molded into who they become. When my male character experiences devastation and betrayal, I want the reader to be able to relate to his pain.

We know that in many relationships from the outside looking in, you see 2 people who seem to be in love. So they must be, right? Wrong. There are so many layers to a person, to love and to the constant threat of losing that love. It’s not as black and white as it seems.

Supporting Characters

My supporting characters, I decided, needed to have mini stories– a mini drama of their own so that the reader would either empathize with them or dislike them. I thought it would be very interesting to have these mini dramas interweave within the main story line so that there is constant suspense, mystery, twists, turns and unexpected revelations.

As I began to develop more of my supporting characters, I broke down their origins, their beginnings and ultimately their mini stories. While doing that I molded other smaller characters into their stories and embarked upon a domino effect of main and supporting character development.

Nothing was perfect and there was a ton of trial and error. My cast suffered from:

  1. Too much development.
  2. Not enough characters
  3. Too many characters
  4. Too gritty
  5. Too Naive
  6. Too cold
  7. Not cold enough
  8. Back stories needed more work

But once I worked it out, it really worked.

Next, it was time to develop my story and that took me a whole year…

Next: Meet The Author Part 3 – Meet the Characters

Meet The Author: Part 1

Meet The Author: Part 1 – Inception & Discovery

Watch my 1st Meet The Author Video below

 

 I wrote this book by accident.

I was 22 years old and it all started as a dream…a very vivid dream… And now that I think about it, a very basic dream. I was being chased by someone in a dark alleyway, mid winter after I’d just left a party. A stranger came to my rescue, fought off my chasers, saved my life and I fell in love. The end.

But was that really the end? I woke up and grabbed my nightstand notebook and wrote it down.
(As a songwriter and dreamer blessed/cursed with the vision of foresight – I kept a notebook nearby to capture every melody and vivid memory). It came in very handy that night.

As I wrote down this “intense” dream, I realized, I had so many questions but no real answers.

  1. Why was I being chased?
  2. What did they want?
  3. Who was this knight in shining armor?
  4. What was his story?
  5. Where did he come from?
  6. Who’s party was I at?
  7. Why was I there?
  8. Who was I?
    And most importantly after this man saved my life…
  9. What happened next?

I thought about this dream all day. Even while I was occupied with life itself, my mind would drift to that notebook. I needed to do something about that dream.

They say when the emotions you feel within a dream linger and stay with you, your inner spirit is telling you to pay close attention.

So I did. I paid very close attention. I went to my computer desk, sat down and opened up Microsoft Word. The cursor blinked there for about 30 seconds before I began writing. At first I just transferred my notes from the notebook – breaking them down into sections.

Dark alleyway
imagesMid-winterimages (1)

Party
cocktail partyHero
f7a7403791f3085cf53bf686c55c0ee0
Love
giphyDiscovery

I knew then that I wanted to expand this dream into something more interesting, more dramatic and more creative. I felt like my dream would make a pretty cool movie. But the more I typed, the more I realized this dream needed to be told in the form of a story and not a script.

Understanding the structure of the books I read helped me to apply some of that same structure into developing my own story. I knew what time of year my story would take place – Mid-winter. I knew how I wanted to open the book – Dark alleyway (straight into mystery and darkness). I also knew where I wanted my main character to meet her hero – at a party. And finally, I understood what these characters needed… they needed a reason to live or die. That reason would be love.

I sat back thinking, “Damn, this is pretty good.” But I needed more. I needed to develop my characters.

Next: Meet The Author Part 2 – Creating the Characters