State Nickname: The Empire State
Population: 8,870,685 (as of 2022)
Fun Fact:New York became a U.S. colony, then a state in 1788. One year later, George Washington was sworn in as the United States’ first president in New York City, then the country’s capital.
Tell us about yourself.
I currently live in the city I was born and raised in, Brooklyn New York. I have been a full-time author since 2010 when I released my 2nd independently published novel titled, “Open Spaces.” Since then, I’ve written over 20 books and at least 10 screenplays. If not for the pandemic, I would have begun shooting my 1st independent film. I’m also a single dad and have raised two awesome kids. I am really proud of the adults they both have become.
Would anyone in your family disapprove of anything you have written?
I don't think they would disapprove technically. I know that some of what I write might not appeal to some of my family members but, the majority of them support everything that I do.
What are your favorite series or series authors?
That is a tough one. I could name so many mainstream authors but, I think I’ll choose one of my independent authors this time. Steven Van Patten’s “Brookwater’s Curse” series is amazing. If you get a moment, you should check it out. ANYTHING by Keith Gaston is DEFINITELY worth a read.
What is your favorite writing software and why?
Since I had my first PC, I’ve always used Microsoft Word to do most of my writing. Over the years, I’ve mastered most of its functions and appreciate its versatility. However, for screenwriting, I use a program called “Fade In.” It makes formatting screenplays, stage plays, teleplays etc. extremely easy. I’ve used Microsoft Word in the past to write and format screenplays but there are specific ways that margins need to be set etc. that makes doing it without software specifically designed for that purpose tedious and frustrating.
What risks have you taken with your writing that you have paid off?
Early on in my career, I decided that I would not pigeon-hole myself into writing just one genre. I could have gone that route and taken the safe route but, I’ve also pushed the envelope and surprised my readers with new material in a wide variety of genres. I’m really proud that I’ve introduced readers to certain types of stories that might never have read otherwise. Most of my loyal readers will read just about ANYTHING with my name on the cover because they trust my talent. I appreciate that.
How important was professional editing to your book’s development?
Professional editing is VERY important. No one is going to kill you for a typo here and there. (I’ve even caught typos in mainstream books published by major publishing houses.) However, a book
riddled with errors frustrates readers and also gives the impression that, a) you don’t have enough pride in your work to see that it is done properly, b) you don’t respect your audience enough to put out material that is legible and understandable, c) you just don’t know what you’re doing or, d) you don’t respect the craft.
What, to you, are the most important elements of good writing?
Good writing is creative, innovative and not just random, overused cliches. In good writing, the author has something to say, something interesting that should engage readers and make them get lost in the story. Writing is art and it should invoke emotions.
How do you develop your plot and characters?
I develop my plots and characters in a somewhat chaotic process but, I always make sure that, no matter the genre, all of my characters feel real. I make sure that they are complex and multi-layered because that is how people are in real life. I stray away from overused archetypes at all costs. Most of the time, when I begin writing a book, I already know how it will end and what conflicts will arise throughout the story. After that, all I do is stitch the dynamic pieces together to get from the opening chapter to when I eventually type, “The End.”
Do you write while listening to music? If so, what music inspired or accompanied your current novel?
I usually write while listening to music. I’m not sure how to explain it fully but, the lyrics combined with the music often help my writing rhythm. There are times when I know I am on the right path with a story because there might be a word in a song that will randomly pop up as I write that same word onto my pages. Of course, the context may be different and completely unrelated but, that’s a strange little thing that I notice. (I could write a 400-page book on my writing process and all of my writing eccentricities.) Right now, I’m listening to a lot of reggae, old school and newer artists as well as I finish up my next release, “Foreign” which is fitting because it’s an Urban Thriller about a family that moved to America from Jamaica. It’s a love story, a family drama; a violent coming of age story, all rolled into one.
What book are you reading now?
Right now, I am reading Blake Snyder’s “Save the Cat” for the 3 rd time. It is one of the best books on screenwriting I’ve ever read so I’m brushing up on some things as I work on an independent film I’ve written that I’d like to shoot at some point this summer. I’ve also been ghostwriting a ton of screenplays for other authors so it’s always good to stay sharp.
What would you like to say to your readers?
I’d like to thank all of my readers for showing love and supporting me for all these years. It means alot to me. As the world returns to some form of post-pandemic normalcy, I am going to start traveling to different events around the country again so, whenever I’m in their city, I hope to meet as many of them as I can. I have been in a GREAT writing rhythm lately so, they can expect some new heat from my pen coming very soon! Also, I’d like to ask my readers to share my work with others. I absolutely LOVE that you love my work but, don’t keep me a secret. Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to support your favorite authors. Love you guys. Be safe, and be well.
Foreign can be purchased from the author.
Authors Website- https://reemafterdark.wixsite.com/reemafterdark
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