Behind the Book (Black Diamonds) : New Blood: Victor Fontaine


btbbdnewblood copyVictor Fontaine is a character who was in the works during the beginning stages of the series. In fact, he was a part of the original version of The Ace of Diamonds, which was later scrapped. His character was moved and introduced to what is now known and published as, Black Diamonds. While the character remained a part of the series, his persona completely changed. In the original version, Victor is a twenty-seven year old restaurant owner who is quiet, reserved, and easily intimidated. He is Blu’s sidekick because he is someone Blu can easily control and scare. He also had a strong passion for reading classics (books like Great Expectations). The idea for his character was actually inspired by a photograph I saw of Jay-Z and Kanye West in XXL Magazine. It was a recreation of a famous photograph of the late John F. Kennedy and his brother, the late Robert Kennedy. When I looked at the photo, Jay-Z appeared to be the one in charge and Kanye was there listening to an order. It reminded me of the relationship between Blu and Victor. One was the ringleader while the other was only second in command.

I didn’t change my mind about his character until I started watching Season 3 of VH1’s Single Ladies (now airing on Centric). I liked the persona of Terrence Franks (portrayed by Harold “House” Moore) and how he was tough as nails, ruggedly handsome, and had a great business sense. His character made me think of how Victor could be perceived. I didn’t want readers to think that Victor was soft or a man who couldn’t stand on his own so I decided to change his persona a bit. I made him slightly more like Terrence in the sense that he has great fashion sense and style, and has some clout about him.

"House"

“House”

In terms of Victor’s background, I’m going to reveal something that was not mentioned in Black Diamonds. Victor was adopted and raised in a single parent household. He has zero knowledge of his birth parents and never had a father figure. This information will be revealed in Diamonds N’ Roses, which is the fifth installment of The Diamond Collection series. As far as his physical appearance, Victor is dark-skinned, has a normal build for a male, and wears his hair cut in a Caesar.

To see how Victor Fontaine’s character pans out in Black Diamonds, check out a copy of the book on Amazon’s Kindle and the Nook.

Behind the Book (Black Diamonds): New Blood: Guillermo “Gully” Perez


btbbdnewblood copyIt wasn’t my initial plan when I started writing The Diamond Collection series to have a character by the name of Guillermo “Gully” Perez. The idea for this character came about from me wanting Jay, the main male character, to have other blood ties in the series aside from his children. I easily could’ve resurrected his father or mother from the dead, but I settled on him having a cousin. With Gully, I figured, he could be Jay’s cousin by relation, but his “brother” in terms of the closeness of their relationship.

To start, Guillermo “Gully” Perez was actually born Guillermo Santiago. Gully’s father is Hector Santiago’s brother who I have not yet given a name (Hector Santiago is Jay’s father). He is full-blooded Puerto Rican, born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to parents who both have Puerto Rican ancestry. Perez is Gully’s mother maiden name, a name he uses purposely to separate himself from all things Santiago. Just like Jay, both of his parents are deceased, however, they weren’t murdered. I haven’t came up with reasons as to why Gully’s parents are dead, but it will probably be something like a heart attack, cancer, etc.

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Jim Jones

Before I came up with the name Guillermo, I knew the character’s name was going to be Gully. I chose Gully because I wanted a name that represented a persona which was tough, mean, and hood. While it didn’t seem fitting to have a man in the book with a birth name of Gully, I knew it would have to be a nickname. I didn’t come up with Guillermo until I was watching an episode of Chrissy and Mr. Jones. Jim Jones had the appearance I was visualizing for Gully so I did a little Wikipedia search on the rapper and discovered the name Guillermo, which is actually Jim Jones’ middle name. It fit perfectly with the nickname Gully and made sense. I then gave him the last name Perez because of its Spanish origin.

Gully makes his first appearance in Book Four of The Diamond Collection, but will have a strong presence in the rest of the series. He will serve not only as Jay’s cousin, but also has his new right-hand, best friend, and “brother.” At this time, there are not any plans to give him a love interest, but this can always change. To see how the character, Guillermo Perez pans out in Black Diamonds, check out a copy of the book on Amazon’s Kindle and the Nook.

Behind the Book (Black Diamonds): New Blood


btbbdnewblood copySo I got the idea recently to start a part two to my blog series, Behind the Book. While it is too early to blog about the inspiration for scenes, etc, I realized I could delve into the background of the new characters without spoiling anything. Hence, the subtitle of the series, New Blood. I felt this was important because these new characters are going to be prevalent throughout the rest of the series. This series of Behind the Book is written to give you the background you probably won’t get in the books.

So, the characters I am going to focus on in this series are: Guillermo Perez, Victor Fontaine, and Roman Soliz. I did think about adding Jean Monet, but since she’s technically not a new character, I decided to leave her out. Besides, her story will be told in Part Six of The Diamond Collection, The Diamond Tiara. If you haven’t heard of these three male characters then you haven’t read Black Diamonds or you haven’t finished. This series will give you something to look forward to. If you are familiar with them then this will only give you a little bit more insight on their character. I hope you enjoy!

#RazzleDazzle

Save The Date: Interview with WordSexy Radio


Join me along with host, author Red Snapper (The Heated Addiction Within, Scandalous Motives, Memoirs of a Creole Crime Cartel ) as we discuss books, being an author, and more on WordSexy Radio! The interview will take place at 9pm EST on Tuesday, July 7th. The call-in number is 917-889-8206.

Happy Independence Day! #RazzleDazzle


So the day is here, the official release date for Black Diamonds! The Kindle version of the book is currently available and the Nook version will be available shortly (sorry for the delay for all of you Nook users, unfortunately, this part is out of my hands, I simply have to wait for the book to get in their listings). In the meantime, enjoy your 4th and as always, Razzle Dazzle!

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Official Synopsis for Black Diamonds


blackdiamonds5 copyWithin the last year, acclaimed fashion designer, Carmen Davenport, has witnessed the ups and downs of being romantically linked to one of New York’s most prominent men. On the heel of her engagement to Jay Santiago, a Puerto Rican businessman, she learns her oldest daughter has been kidnapped. A direct result of an ongoing war between her fiancé and a disgruntled drug kingpin, Carmen becomes determined to put an official end to the conflict.

She sets out to track down her daughter only to be met with unforeseen obstacles. A criminal investigation, led by her soon-to-be ex-husband, Michael Kane, leaves her fiancé behind bars. Due to Jay’s incarceration, Carmen is placed in the care of his estranged cousin, Gully. He constantly reminds Carmen of the price of fame, ultimately forcing her to take matters in her own hands. Determined to bring her daughter to safety, she takes a no holds barred approach to ensure her daughter’s return.

On My Soapbox: Black Diamonds + T.I. +Addresses + Rolling Out


After being stuck in the house due to the snowstorm, I spent the day, working on Black Diamonds (the fourth book in The Diamond Collection series), watching YouTube (movies, music videos, and interviews), and chatting on Facebook.

One of the music videos I watched and a favorite song of mine by rapper, T.I. is his song, “Addresses” from Trouble Man: Heavy Is The Head. The song’s title actually inspired the title of a chapter in Black Diamonds. While watching the video, I noticed there was a video suggestion on YouTube for an interview T.I. conducted with Sway in the Morning. The YouTube video was posted December 17, 2012 by SwaysUniverse. In the interview, T.I. discusses the motivation behind the song, “Addresses,” and says in the interview, “When there is a violation, there must be a demonstration.”

This quote reminded me of the plot of Black Diamonds. If you are familiar with the series then you know that this book is focused on Carmen and Kane, trying to find Kristian, their daughter who has been kidnapped by a drug dealer, Blu. If you are not familiar with the series then this is the storyline of the book. Since Blu has violated them (by kidnapping their loved one), a “demonstration,” must now take place, which will be illustrated in the chapter, “Addresses,” the title inspired by the song by T.I. I decided the name chapter, “Addresses,” because in this chapter they learn the location of where their daughter is.

As I am known to do, I made an InstaQuote picture which contained the quote because it reminded me of my novel (see below).
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In addition, I made another InstaQuote picture, with a lyric from “Addresses” that contained an image of T.I. from the movie Takers, because it reminded me of a scene from my novel as well (see below).
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What I didn’t expect was for T.I. to ever see the picture or repost it. When I saw he did, because I do follow him on Instagram (@troubleman31), I was very excited and even reposted that he had done so (see below).
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Moreover, I didn’t expect for anything else to come of the picture. Since I did use to blog about celebrities, I still follow some online magazines and blog sites. I actually receive a daily email from a few including Rolling Out Magazine. I visited the website to read an article about Michael Ealy’s son and saw the headline, “T.I. Finally Responds to Cheating Rumors.” I read the article and my mouth dropped open when I saw my InstaQuote picture being tied in with his “alleged” response to photos of his wife, Tiny:

“Tip then addressed the criticism he’d received over politely asking his wife to stop posting photos of her butt on Instagram,” was the statement prior to the picture.

rollingout

I cannot speak for T.I. as to what he was thinking when he reposted the picture or what in particular he was addressing. However, I can say that when he initially made the statement, it was in reference to the motivation behind his song, “Addresses,” from his album. The InstaQuote picture was also not created to aid in any of the rumors against him and his wife. I do not know T.I. or Tiny personally and only made the InstaQuote post because it reminded me of certain scenes from my forthcoming novel.

Question of the Day: Where is Black Diamonds?


ImageTo answer the question, Black Diamonds is only halfway written. When I mean, halfway, literally halfway, I’m on Chapter 13, which is halfway through the book. I expected to have the book released this month, however, that is obviously, not going to happen. The only thing I can guarantee is that the book will be released this year. Thanks so much Diamonds for everything! *Razzle~Dazzle*

Check out a Sneak Peek of Black Diamonds on Amazon’s Kindle!


blackdiamonds5 copy A sneak peek at the first seven chapters of Black Diamonds, Part IV of The Diamond Collection is currently available exclusively on Amazon’s Kindle. The preview is currently priced at .99 but will become free for 5 days starting 12:00am on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 Pacific Standard Time and will end 11:59pm on Saturday, July 20, 2013.

Please click on the official book cover to your left to be directed to Amazon’s Kindle.

Disclaimer: This is a rough draft of the first seven chapters of the novel. These chapters have not been professionally edited and may be altered or deleted in the final version of the novel.

Where Is The Black Diamonds Preview?


So I have just completed the second cover concept of Black Diamonds, which I am feeling 100% about. As soon as the final cover is completed, I will be posting a special preview exclusively on Amazon’s Kindle for Part IV of The Diamond Collection. The plan is to have this special preview be free for five days. The anticipated release date of the novel will be December of 2013 or January of 2014.

As always, in the words of Lil’ Wayne, Sorry 4 the Wait!

How Do You Come Up With a Character?


This question was asked to me last night and I wanted to share my answer with the rest of the world. Generally, I know what a story needs. For example, although I am going through the edits for The Ace of Diamonds, my mind is still on the plot for Book No. 4, Black Diamonds. In the fourth book, I know that I need a character who can basically stand-in for Jay while he is somewhat out of the picture (dont’ get scared- he’s not going too far, promise!). I also wanted Jay to have some kind of family other than his children.

I decided to create a male character who just so happened to be Jay’s first cousin. This person needed to be fearless, aggressive, smart, and attractive, all at the same time. I didn’t have a name for this person until I was watching an episode of Chrissy and Mr. Jones on VH1. I can’t remember what was going on, but I knew that Jim Jones had made a facial expression that just screamed the character that I needed in my book. I remember staring at the TV and the words, “That’s him!” were being thrown around in my mind.

I immediately went to the Internet and started the search for a name that now matched the face I had in my head. Lo and  behold, I learned that Jim Jones’ middle name was Guillermo. Perfect for a Hispanic character, right? Thus, was born Guillermo Perez, who I decided to refer to as Gully in the fourth book. Gully can be defined as something from the street, gangster, or gutter , which fit the character I had just created to the T.

So as you can see, I take what I need for a story, throw in what I want, a little TV and internet, and here comes a…CHARACTER 🙂