Behind the Book (Black Diamonds): New Blood: Roman Soliz


btbbdnewblood copyThe last character to discuss in this mini blog series is the character of Roman Soliz. Roman is personal to me, because the idea for this character came from a friend. While writing Black Diamonds, one of my friends attended a Comic Con event in Greenville, SC. He went dressed as Black Mask from Batman, a character I didn’t even know existed until he told me about the event. Since I am the type of person who likes to “stay in the know,” I went and looked up the character to see exactly who Black Mask was. Black Mask, born Roman Sionis, was a character who was born to wealthy parents who cared very little for him. Roman ended up killing his parents by burning down their mansion because they didn’t approve of his relationship with his girlfriend. A freak accident in which he is struck by a lightning bolt trying to break into his parent’s crypt causes him to hit a stone headfirst. It is this incident, which turns him into the villain and crime lord, Black Mask. After discovering this information, I informed my friend that I was going to create a character for him in Black Diamonds. He would be one of the main male character’s sidekicks and I promised him he wouldn’t die, lol. From there, the character of Roman Soliz was born. While my friend is the character, Roman Soliz, there aren’t any personal attributes between him and the character aside from what is mentioned here. The two are completely polar opposites.

Black Mask

From the story of Black Mask, the only thing I took from the Batman character was the character’s first name and I did somewhat of a play on the last name. I also plan on giving Roman a love interest (unlike Gully, who will remain single throughout the series), who Jay and Carmen will not approve of just like Black Mask’s girlfriend wasn’t approved of. Since, I don’t want to give too much away, I’m intentionally leaving out why they won’t approve of the relationship. This storyline will come into affect in Diamonds N’ Roses. As far as Roman Soliz’s persona, he is totally different from Black Mask. Soliz isn’t evil or a villain despite his background as a former bounty hunter for the US government. He, just like most of Jay’s men, only kill when necessary to save their life or the people they are protecting. When it comes to style, their look is also totally different. While this isn’t heavily described in Black Diamonds, Roman Soliz, unlike Jay Santiago and his other right-hand men, doesn’t dress in suits. He dresses in jeans and T-shirts. In fact, I would say Roman Soliz’s character dresses more like Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel’s character in the Fast & Furious).

Jesse Williams

Last, but not least, Roman Soliz, is of Hispanic descent. He was born in Puerto Rico and is an associate of Gully’s, which is how he ends up working for Jay. He is a widower having lost his wife and daughter during childbirth. Jay describes him in the book as having the same complexion as Jesse Williams. I would like to go on record and say that I don’t at all envision Jesse Williams as the character of Roman Soliz. If anything, the only thing the two share is the same complexion. Roman, similar to Gully, is ruggedly handsome, muscular, and is described as being a few inches shorter than Jay who is 6’5.

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

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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.

jim-jones-featuring-trey-songz-the-sht-1

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.