10 Freakin’ Books, are you SERIOUS?
So now that I’ve talked a bit about the origin of the story, I bet you’re wondering how it came to be 10 books. To start, I already knew that there was going to be a sequel. When I started writing the sequel, I was like, you know what, I love these characters so much that I can honestly write about them forever. Now that I’ve started working on book 10, I know for sure that I can’t write about them forever because now I don’t want to, lol. There are a few other ideas that I want to explore. Although 7 and 6 are my favorite numbers (and 7 is a sign of completion), I thought that 10 would be a good number to end the series at. I felt that I could explore different topics with the same characters instead of writing a whole new book with a new character, new setting, etc. Therefore I came up with the idea of The Diamond Collection, a series of ten books and each book title would have the word diamond in it.
However, I didn’t want to go the whole Nancy Drew, Sherlock Holmes, or Seinfeld route. In the novels and TV show, you don’t have to read the 1st book to read the 5th or watch the 1st episode to know what’s going to happen. You can pick up wherever. Well, with my books, you have to read the 1st before the 2nd and so on. Otherwise, you will be LOST. My series has been described to me as a soap opera and to be honest, it is. Hopefully, the drama of it all will catch you like I am intending it to!
Research, Research, Research
When I first started writing the 1st book and people asked what it was about, I would say drug dealers. I didn’t have the plot already figured out yet so I gave a simple answer for what was a simple plot at the time. One of the first reactions that I got was, how in the world are you going to write about drug dealers? First off, I don’t believe that I have to be a drug dealer just to tell the story of one. Of course, a story is told better if you have some sort of experience with it because you have firsthand knowledge, but anyone can tell a story. There is tons of material, people and info in the world to help you tell a story and make it believable.
For one, I’ve always had this weird fascination with Al Capone. I remember seeing a picture and a brief article about him in The Source and I was like, this man is amazing! Yeah, I know, Al Capone wasn’t a good guy, but to me, he represented three 3 megas in leading a criminal enterprise: MONEY, POWER, and RESPECT.
Then, one of the guys I work with (shoutout to Kirk) gave me a book to read on Pablo Escobar (I had already written about half of the Collection by this time) and I was like…I don’t know what it is about gangsters and drug dealers, but I love reading about them! Although we know how Pablo’s life ended, it was still amazing to me to read about his beginnings, his rise, and then of course, his fall.
Research for the book wasn’t hard at all. It didn’t become hard until I took the novel to a REAL location which is in Book 7. That was when I found myself constantly having to look stuff up. Other than that, no. I don’t know…maybe I already had a good idea of the game from the people I did hang around :-0)
Finding The Passion
One night while working on book 10, I stared at my list of goals for 2009. I had only completed 1 goal that year and that was to get my copyright certificate for Diamonds in the Rough. I sat there and was like, “When am I ever going to have the $ to self-publish this book/series?” Working at New Hope is not going to cut it. Some how, I ended up looking at different publishing companies. I first looked at publishamerica.com, but dismissed the idea. Somehow (and I couldn’t remember how), I stumbled upon Passionate Writers Publishing. My first though was…”How am I ever going to know if what I have is good if I don’t let a professional look at it?” Of course, I’ve emailed my novel to about 3 or more friends and they loved it, but what about the professional people who knows if something is going to sell? I figured I would submit it and the answer was either going to be yay or nay. So, I spent about 30 minutes writing the synopsis and submitted the first 3 chapters. About two hours later, I received an email from the publishing director who requested the full manuscript. YIPPEEE!!!!! Although it wasn’t a contract, it was a sign that the director wanted more. I submitted the manuscript and then on Monday, I received an email that they loved it! From then on, it felt like everything moved so FAST…..
Stay tuned for more!