Check out our exclusive Q&A session with Tyrone Eddins Jr., the author of BAD INTENTIONS. In today's session, he'll discuss his debut novel, his upcoming work, and any advice he has to offer for other up and coming writers:
Q: This is your first book. Where’d you get the idea to do a novel like BAD INTENTIONS?
A: BAD INTENTIONS wasn't always the first pick to be my debut novel...I came up with this idea years ago, maybe around 2004 or so...but after tossing around a few other ideas for books, I always circled back to BAD INTENTIONS. I felt like I had to write this book before any others. As far as the story idea goes; you see shows like The Wire and all time favorite movies like The Godfather Trilogy, and Scarface, etc and as a writer and a fan, you want to accept the challenge to see what you can contribute to this common theme from your own original, story telling point of view. I think readers will see originality, of course, in BAD INTENTIONS but also an influence from some of those examples.
Q: How did you decide to write and publish a full-length novel, instead of testing the market with a series of short stories first?
A: Well...I have always been long-winded and I have always had a tendency to just dive right in… So, those two things combined with my lack of patience made for pretty good reasons to write a novel...But, I have written a few short stories and I have considered releasing a collection of short stories at some point in the future...
Q: Your main characters in BAD INTENTIONS, The Harrells, how true to life are they?
A: I would like to think that any tight knit family has some of the Harrell clan in them...The fierce loyalty, the pride, the honor...and as far as their chosen profession...well, I think history can give us many real life examples of criminal family empires...Yeah, I would say that the Harrell family is pretty true to life…
Q: Based on your experiences thus far, what advice can you offer to beginning writers like yourself who are looking to break into this industry?
A: As a writer, when you are first starting out, finding your rhythm, your voice, your niche can always be tough...my advice would be to write what you read...and as corny as this may sound, write what is in your heart...that's how you find yourself as a writer...use your available resources, all of them...technology is an excellent tool...from the Internet to the Smartphone and all of the excellent apps specifically built to help writers...and DO YOUR RESEARCH! Also, don't take shortcuts...have patience (which is very hard for me) and you have to grow a very thick skin...remember each criticism, every rejection...let it motivate you...Try your best to filter out the worry of being judged as much as possible...and just write...get started, stay started...get what's in your heart and in your mind out and down on paper...sort it out later...but just get it out...And most of all, be true to yourself as a writer...believe in your writing...script your story... and just write...
Q: You are both an author and a publisher... how hard is it to be productive while switching between the two roles?
A: I can admit that it does present a challenge in trying to accomplish what you have to do in both arenas...switching the creative hat with the business hat and vice-versa takes patience to say the least...but you have to love what you do...
Q: How long before fans of the CITY HIGH series can expect the next installment?
A: After letting BAD INTENTIONS end the way I did, the natural instinct was to dive right into the next part...strike while the iron is hot and all that good stuff...but I purposely went away from the CITY HIGH series for now...I wanted to allow the characters to grow some more in my mind and I also wanted to get a couple of other hot ideas turned into novels...my plan is to keep building the anticipation for the next chapter of the CITY HIGH series and then I'll publish the next part of the series in the next few books...
Q: How did you begin writing? Did you intend to become an author, or do you have a specific reason or reasons for writing this book?
A: Actually it all began with a love of books at a very young age…my parents raised me reading books…so I grew up with a love of reading and then a desire to try and tell stories of my own…I don’t think I ever intended to be an author…I certainly didn't grow up saying I wanted to write books…I think the itch just kind of found me…As far as BAD INTENTIONS goes, it’s just one of many stories that I want to tell.
Q: What authors do you like to read? What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?
A: I'm a huge James Patterson fan...gotta love his hustle, his marketing and business prowess and his mega-success in spite of his critics...dude definitely sets the standard...also big fan of Walter Mosley, George Pelecanos, Stephen Hunter, Dean Koontz, and this new up and coming cat named Tyrone Eddins Jr...(laughs and winks at the camera)
Q: Could you describe the mundane details of writing: How many hours a day to you devote to writing? Do you write a draft on paper or at a keyboard (typewriter or computer)?
A: Honestly, everything I do is electronic these days...note taking, research, drafts and final product...all done via phone, tablet, laptop, desktop...all of the above...I don't get to devote nearly the amount of time to writing that I would like to...On a day set aside specifically for writing I like to try and get at least eight hours of good work done...Most days, I try to get work in as much as possible...few minutes to a few hours, whatever I can get...time is always at a premium...
Q: Do you write every single day?
A: In a perfect world...yes, of course I do...haha...no, I wish I could...If forming thoughts about what I want to write counts, then yes, I write everyday...time is always my biggest obstacle...there is never enough of it...never, ever...
Q: Any writing rituals?
A: I wish. But right now, with my schedule, I just try to write as often as I can. Get it down on paper, figure it out later. That’s my ritual. Morning, noon, night…whenever the time is available, which is never often enough.
Q: Ballpoint, uniball or fountain pen?
A: None...of...the...above...hahaa...my handwriting is terrible and I love technology...So, I am a laptop, tablet, and smartphone writer all the way!
Q: Do you meet your readers at book signings, conventions, or similar events?
A: Actually, I have been fortunate enough to meet a few readers at a book signing. It’s was a great experience and I look forward to many more…
Q: Aren’t writers supposed to be solitary?
A: That's what they say...a writer's life is a solitary one...head in the clouds, plowing through word after word, chapter after chapter...but I think it's important that a writer live in the real world, associate with real people in real relationships...I think it's these types of interactions that give a writer's characters that true to life feel and sound...makes for better books...It's important for a writer to balance the need for solitude to work with the need to live a real life...to make that work in solitude really pay off...
Q: Can we recognize your hometown of Washington DC in BAD INTENTIONS?
A: You can definitely recognize the Nation's Capital in Bad Intentions...from the front cover and throughout the rest of the book. I am proud to be from DC and I have no problem showing off my city in my book.
Q: You have a "musical soundtrack" listed in BAD INTENTIONS...tell us about your love of music and how it helps with your writing?
A: Music soothes the soul, right? It also motivates and pushes you when you don't want to work...it calms you and helps you relax...it gives you clarity and helps you think...I love music, man...and I usually have it playing while I am writing...
Q: What’s the worst job you’ve had?
A: Ha-Ha. I think we should pluralize that to "jobs"...and the list is long, but not very distinguished…trust me…
Q: Tell us some more about your book.
A: BAD INTENTIONS is a story whose basic premise revolves around family. In this story, the Harrell Family is one that has lived its entire existence in a life of crime and after all of these years is trying to find its way out…only they will find that the way out is much tougher than the way in…
Q: Are you planning to adapt any BAD INTENTIONS or any of your upcoming books to the big screen?
A: I would love to adapt BAD INTENTIONS and the entire CITY HIGH series to film. In fact, I am working on a screenplay for the story…so we’ll see where that goes…………..
Q: What’s more important: characters or plot?
A: I believe a healthy balance between both is crucial to any work of fiction...The two are dependent on one another like key ingredients to a recipe...one without the other is no good and makes for a horrible meal...
Q: How hard is it to establish and maintain a career in fiction writing?
A: Well I am just starting out, but I definitely have to say that it hasn't been easy...you gotta love this if you want to do it...I am sure this is the case with many careers...in fiction writing you are constantly trying to think of the next big original story knowing that most of the story themes have been told over and over again...The key, to me, its to tell the story in your own original and unique voice...
Q: You currently work a full-time job...how does this affect your writing and publishing efforts and how long do you plan to work like this?
A: Well, it definitely cramps my writing style…no question…but we all have to do what we have to do. Like I was saying earlier, I write whenever I can. I figure I will work this way until I can afford to work full-time as a writer and publisher.
Q: What project are you currently working on? Any teasers about the CITY HIGH series or your next book?
A: I guess I should say that is a secret. But I will let you in on a little bit…my current project is a novel, but it’s not in the CITY HIGH series. I plan on circling back to the sequel to BAD INTENTIONS very soon. But this current project is a fiction novel…and it’s going to be great! ANNNNDDDDD that’s about all I can say…MUUUUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA…(in my Dracula voice)
Q: Do you have any plans to publish other writers?
A: Yes, I definitely plan on publishing other writers. Scripted Visions Publishing Group’s mission is to publish and promote as many new and talented literary voices as possible…hence our motto “Dreams in Print…Publishing & Promoting the Next Generation of Literary Legends!”
Q: Any last thoughts for our readers?
A: Well, one more thought for my up and coming writers out here: WRITE, WRITE, WRITE..BREATH, SLEEP, & EAT AND THEN GET BACK TO WRITING!” …And for all of my readers: READ, READ, READ AND EAT…SLEEP A LITTLE AND THEN READ SOME MORE!”