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Thursday, March 29, 2012

An interviewer once asked me to describe my "style" when it came to writing.  And I'm often asked about the "messages" I try to convey to readers.  This  might sound strange, but I think it's my job to make you, the reader, uncomfortable.  Whether it's the issue of domestic violence, rape, child molestation, drug addiction, I've been driven as a writer to depict those images, as uncomfortable as they are to write, in ways that forces the reader to pay attention, not because I get off on the shock factor, or the drama, but because these things are a part of life, real life.

So,iIt's one thing to write these types of books, but it's another to create situations in which readers also have to look at a scene from a different perspective, one that they might never have considered before.  In my first novel, "And On The Eighth Day She Rested", not only were readers privy to Ruth's plight as an abused woman, but they also got to see inside her abuser's head, as well.  You probably didn't empathize with Eric, but you were at least given insight into what drove him to do the things he did. 

In "Don't Want No Sugar" readers were introduced to the irrational thought processes of the crazy mid-wife, Roberta, and were given insight to the situations in that woman's life that helped form the foundation of the woman she ultimately became. 

In "That Devil's No Friend of Mine", I gave you a chance to experience the temptation and heartache of a recovering heroine addict in Rayne, and even shared her experience with you of what it was like for her to "fall off the wagon" and lose herself again in those old habits.

Beautiful, Dirty, Rich, my next book, follows suit to my pervious books, in that the story isn't always pretty, and you will be faced with attitudes and personalities that make you uncomfortable.  A teenage girl is convicted of murder and is forced to survive twenty-five years in a federal prison.   How does she manage to do it?  A former law enforcement officer is finally exposed for heinous crimes committed against humanity.   A court official has been hiding a terrible secret, until the truth finally catches up with him.  And a woman who is a prisoner of her memories, is tortured by one memory that she refuses to believe to be true.

 The only messages I ever try to convey in any of my books is to ask that you open your mind and your hearts, and really consider an idea or opinion or a choice, or even a lifestyle aside from your own.  So, in answer to the question "What is my writing style?", I'd have to say, confrontational and not necessarily pretty, but always, real.

Finally, on a happier note:  I really am an optimistic, well adjusted, and positive individual.

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Blogs

I suck at blogging.  I've found that I am not so saavy when it comes to taking my random thoughts, writing them down and turning them into a fantastic gateway for witty dialogue.  My ideas and thoughts are usually fleeting and mildly, temporarily penetrating before I have moved on to the next one.

I would love to be different and to be able to capitalize on all the intriguing ideas that pop into my head, but, alas, I can never stay focused long enough.   Thankfully, I am blessed to have come across others who don't suffer from my handicap.  The internet is filled with other bloggers who possess the skills and talent for blogging in ways that I never will, and I've decided to share some of those innovative thinkers with you:

Monday, March 19, 2012

Bang! Bang!

"...beautiful and dirty rich rich, we got a red light on the 12th, the dance fight, systematic, honey but we got no money..." - Lady Gaga

Like...what does that mean?  Only Gaga knows.  I like Gaga, and I think I like the song, but I loved the title enough to use it for my next book title. 

Actually the title was my editor, Monique Patterson's idea and the conversation went something like this:

Monique:  Hey, JD!  Yes, you've missed another deadline and no, before you ask, you can't have any more money yet, so stop asking.  But how are you?

Me:  Hey Monique.  Yeah, I know the book's late again, but it's comingits coming, I promise.  I just need another week.  And, I got bills to pay, so don't be so negative, and send a sistah a check.

Monique:  Oh, okay.  I'll see what I can do.  By the way.  I was looking for some new music on iTunes and I came across this song title that I thought would be great for a book.  I immediately thought of you when I saw it.

Me:  (a bit flattered)  Well, let me hear it.

Monique:  It's called Beautiful, Dirty, Rich by Lady Gaga.  Do you think you can do something with that?

Me: (feeling so honored that I was moved to tears)  Why yes, MP!  I love the title and I'd love to use it for my next book.

Monique:  Groovy, JD!  That's just groovy! 

I've used quite a few titles or lyrics from songs for several of my books; Don't Want No Sugar title is comprised of song lyrics from Bessie Smith's Boweavil Blues.  This Fire Down In My Soul comes from lyrics in a song called, Don't Leave Me This Way by Thelma Houston.   And Somebody Pick Up My Pieces was a song originally performed by Willie Nelson, and was eventually re-released by Bettye Levette.  Admittedly, I tend to resort to music for titles when I can't come up with something catchy on my own.  And I have no problem returning the favor. 

PSA For the Week:

Attention Musicians (songwriters and performers):  If you are ever at a loss for a song title, or lyrics, feel free to borrow any of my titles for your inspiration, as I have borrowed from you.  I am happy to share.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Extra! Extra!

Scandalous secrets, murder, revenge and dangerous liaisons come together in a delicious new tale about one of the wealthiest and most powerful families in Texas when the one woman who can expose all their dirty secrets returns home, aiming to collect what they owe her.

Desdimona Green has been the name on everyone’s lips in Blink, Texas. Twenty-five years ago, at the age of eighteen, she shot and killed one of the wealthiest men and pillars of the community, oil baron Julian Gatewood. The Gatewood family was considered untouchable, so the whole state of Texas was rocked to its core over Julian’s murder. They were even more shocked to discover that Desi is Julian’s daughter and her mother had been his lover for years. But when Desi gets out of jail and promptly inherits millions from Julian’s estate, everyone knows that there is much more to the story—and Desi Green is the keeper of the Gatewood secrets, including what happened the night J ulian died. When a famous true crime reporter shows up on her doorstep wanting the full story, Desi agrees to reveal all, much to the horror of the Gatewoods, who will do anything to stop her. But Desi has more than a few tricks up her sleeve...