1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. What inspired you to become an author?
Answer: I’m originally from NYC (The Bronx to be precise), born and raised, the youngest of six kids, and growing up, I was always surrounded by the arts. Music, theater, graffiti, poetry, Hip-Hop, dancing, breakdancing; it was everywhere, growing up in The Bronx in the 80’s, and I think that artistic immersion, and those experiences, helped shape who I am today, and inspired me to become a Writer/Author, amongst other things, because the arts have always been about expression, and the written word was something that always had a very special kind of appeal to me as an expressive medium. I’m also a filmmaker and a music producer (as part of the music production team, The Arkatechz), and I would say that the common foundational denominator that supported my inspirations and aspirations overall, would have to be my love of storytelling. We tell our stories through the written word, we tell stories through music, through film, and I would attribute my specific attraction to storytelling and the written word, as a Writer/Author, to my love of comic books. I was a comic book addict, growing up, lol. The stories were amazing, the artwork was amazing, the writing was incredible, and I wanted to be a part of that; to be able tell my own stories. When it comes to storytelling and writing, I tell people that Marvel Comics founder, Stan Lee, made me, lol.
2) What was the inspiration behind your story?
Answer: The inspiration behind the story, “Backseat in The Dark,” was my wanting to examine the fragility of the human condition, how that fragility comes about through our experiences, and how dangerous that fragility can be to ourselves and others, if it’s not handled with care. There were a lot of times that I would be on the road by myself at night, leaving work, leaving an event, leaving a social gathering, etc., and I would see car accidents, road rage arguments, people driving recklessly, all kinds of negative things, or potentially negative things, and I would wonder what kind of day those people had. Maybe there was something else that happened, some other experience they had, or they were having, that might’ve influenced their current behavior, or predicament, for the worse. If the law of attraction can attract good things, then it would follow, that maybe it can also attract bad things.
3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your story?
Answer: That sometimes we, as people, have to learn how to let things go. “Backseat in The Dark” is a fictitious cautionary tale of what else could go wrong when we can’t shake off the things that bother us the most. If a person can’t move on, that person runs a great risk of getting “stuck.”
4) If you could sit down and ask any character in your story a question, who would it be and what would you ask them?
Answer: This is an awesome question! I would want to sit down with our protagonist, Ian, and ask him how long his grudging attitude has been with him. Has this always been a part of his personality, or something that developed just before he got married? He has a lot of issues.
5) What’s more important to you when writing: developing plot or creating characters?
Answer: It kinda varies, depending on the type of story I’m trying to tell, but generally, I apply the same importance to both of those development devices. A great plot will always grab your audience’s attention, but in order to maintain that attention, you have to develop characters that your audience will actually care about; whether they love to love those characters, empathize with those characters, or even love to hate those characters, within the parameters of a story.
6) What social media site has been the most helpful or beneficial in creating your readership?
Answer: It’s hard for me to say, definitively, but I think it’s kind of a toss up between Facebook and Twitter. Facebook’s reach is larger than Twitter’s, but Twitter is a somewhat smaller and different kind of pond, so you don’t have to swim as hard as you would have to on Facebook, in order to get to readers, because Facebook is just so saturated with things designed to compete for a reader’s attention. My team helps me out a lot with the social media thing, because it requires so much time and management, that I can’t always give it myself. Shout out to them. I appreciate everything that they do. They’re not happy that I’m not on Instagram though, lol. I’m like “how many social media accounts do I need?” and they’re like “You need all of them!” lol.
7) What advice would you give to aspiring or new authors out there?
Answer: My advice to new and aspiring authors would be to keep writing, and never force it. Creativity gets lost in formality. To say to yourself “I have to write this story, and this many words, on this day, between these times,” hinders the creative process. Don’t pressure yourself. When the creativity is ready to flow, it’ll flow. Wait for it.
8) What’s next for you? Any new projects on the horizon?
Answer: The sky is definitely the limit, God willing. I’ve got several new projects on the horizon. I have a short film, and a new television series I’m currently writing, in development, along with an ongoing sketch comedy series, The Scenes, that’s out right now, and another feature film on deck, of which we’re trying to iron out some financing particulars. My first feature film was Hi Hater: The Documentary. As far as books are concerned, I already have a story and an early draft for another book I might put out in the coming months, but we’ll see what happens, because there’s an interest in flipping that potential book into a film, so I’m not sure what direction we’re going to head in, initially; film first, book second? Or book first, film second? Decisions, decisions, lol. Thank you, Anthony, for taking the time out to interview me. I appreciate it.