Kevin and I first met on Twitter over two years ago. He is a very colorful personality who really enjoys a good time but is not afraid to show his sensitive side. That is what I love about him most. I consider him a friend. Kevin is also very talented. I know this about him because I was lucky enough to have been an early reader of his writing.
Please visit his websites here and here. It will be well worth your time!
And now, let’s begin.
1. What am I working on?
I am always working on several pieces. I strike when the iron is hot. There are two WIPS I am actively working on. One is a happily-for-now, whose working title I can’t even make up my mind on so I call it Broken Wings/Skin Deep.
This is the story of Magda Castillo, a NYC born and bred Hispanic woman (NuYorican, if you will), in her mid-40s with deep seated self-esteem issues. She is married, has a son and is the common denominator of not one, but two love triangles involving her husband, a friend, a lover and a secret child.
In this story I take a look at how a person can learn to love their "self" even in the midst of adversity and life threatening events, and then come out of it all to continue to grow as a human being.
My second WIP is called Mica’s Journey. This is the prequel to my Urban Fantasy Series entitled Resurrection of Dead Dreams.
This series features a breed of mutated paranormal beings with certain vampire qualities who are daywalkers. They are not your typical creatures. They are part of a parliament of otherworldly beings who oversee and protect Earth and its inhabitants from evildoers.
Mica’s Journey tells the story of the main character, Mica Sanchez, a 55 year old divorcee who has not fully accepted her father’s death some years earlier. She has one adult child.
In addition, she has just broken up with her live-in boyfriend of four years. Mica is extremely depressed and feels as though her time for finding love has passed. She is so despondent, she is contemplating suicide because to her, life is not worth living. She proceeds to swallow a bunch of prescription medication she had been hoarding, chasing them with tequila in an attempt to kill herself. As she sits at her makeup vanity, she is reviewing her life and it is during this reflection of her life that this story takes place.
She is unsuccessful in her suicide attempt and wakes up the next morning. This enrages her but she goes to work anyway only to get caught in a tragedy and is fatally injured. This piece ends here and will be the lead-in for the next book in the series.
I have also begun thinking about a science fiction thriller, but that story is still in its embryonic stage.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Every author is unique. I began my new career by publishing two psychological thrillers -- my debut novel, Sinner’s Ride was followed by Divergent Lives.
Each of these stories feature people of color (#POC). Both of my books’ heroines – or rather lead females – are strong women. Each has her own demons -- demons that may be considered non-conventional.
The lead in Sinner’s Ride, Sinner is only eighteen years old. However, Adina, my female lead in Divergent Lives, is in her 40’s. I have made a commitment to myself, going forward, to create characters who are multi-racial – mainly Hispanic – who are also 40 or older.
This is what makes my work different. I am a woman of a certain age, who has lived a very full life. I think there is a dearth of novels and stories that resonate with people, women in particular, of my age. I feel it is my mission to write those stories.
3. Why do I write what I do?
Mainly, I write the stories that I do because I want to write stories I would read.
In addition, I want to write stories that make the reader stop and think, reflect on their own situations, their own experiences and come away with a better understanding of their psyche. I want people to see another viewpoint and maybe realize that everything is not as it seems. Hopefully, I can make a difference in peoples’ lives in this way.
Writing the kinds of stories I do is very cathartic for me. I started writing in earnest almost five years ago as a way to cope with my father’s passing nine years ago. For five years before I began writing, I marinated in despair. He was my best friend and I felt lost. Writing helps me stay positive for it is through my writing that I exercise my demons.
Hey! It’s cheaper than therapy!
4. How does my writing process work?
I find that my process is different with every book I write.
The first draft of Sinner’s Ride was written during NaNoWriMo -- weekends in November of 2010 – weekends only due to my day job – and released April of 2011. The idea for this story came to me after a Mary J. Blige concert and her rendition that night of her hit “I’m Going Down.” I saw the beginning of this story as a movie in my head and wrote it down. It just mushroomed from there. I did no plotting.
One morning in July of 2011 while putting on my makeup, I had a flashback to a conversation I overheard as a young child my mother was having with my older brother and his then wife. She made a comment about an event and recalling that conversation made me question the possibilities of what might have happened if things had turned out differently for the person involved. Divergent Lives was born that morning.
With this story, I outlined the events, as I wanted them to unfold. I prepared very detailed psychological profiles for each of the main characters even going so far as meeting with professionals in the medical industry as well as police officers, lawyers and a real estate agent all of whom were active in their field of expertise in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and the early ‘00s.
Then I wrote a back-story that helped keep these characters real for me.
With my series, "Resurrection of Dead Dreams," I have a masthead wherein I've charted all my characters and how they are related to one another, but I have not plotted much for this series either. As I write these stories, characters are added to the masthead. Since this is a fantasy, I sit at my computer and just let the words flow.
I write every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. However, I don’t work on the same WIP everyday, I just let my muse, who I call “Jheri,” take me down whatever road it chooses.
New ideas for stories come from every day life. A conversation with a close friend could inspire me. A story might come to me while sitting at a street café having a drink while I watch people stroll along. A dream could be so vivid I have to get out of bed to write it down or grab my iPhone – which I always have nearby – to record the often graphic details on voice notes so I don’t forget them.
There are stories all around us. You only have to look, listen, and pay attention.
And that is my process. Since I began writing, I have learned so much and those lessons fuel my process.
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As requested, I asked several friends to join the #MondayBlogs. Unfortunately, I only have one to offer -- my good friend Johanna Katarina Pitcairn has graciously agreed to participate. Johanna is one of those people that doesn't see limits. Watch for her #MondayBlogs post next Monday and you'll see what I mean. Click on her cutie-pie photo below to be taken to her website. Read up on her exciting projects. I guarantee you’ll like what you find!
She has a huge heart that she puts into everything and everyone she gets involved with. A truly inspirational spirit!
In her post next week, I hope she talks about her follow-up to her debut release "Stories from the Underworld," her soon to be released novel entitled :32 Seconds. This story is filled with lots of hidden inspirational messages about self-discovery.
Click on her photo to be taken to her website for more information.
You will not be disappointed!
Hasta pronto mi gente!