Join us as we chat with David L, Author of My Life Is A Movie, Over Your Dead Body, and Chalk Outline Confessions
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1)Tell us about yourself? I am an author signed to my own publishing imprint, Total Package Publications – a company which is actively seeking writers that are both serious about their craft as well as having a fresh, new story to tell to the masses. Before my first title, OVER YOUR DEAD BODY was published, I was writing for syndicated magazines as well as testing the free agent literary market via my articles based on subjects ranging from working with at risk youth to becoming an author in a very saturated market. Presently, I am working with a film company which is adapting my first title into a movie and is expected to begin shooting sometime later this year. Besides all of the above, I am an avid writer who also enjoys touring in order to get my books into the hands of all book readers interested in what I have to say.
2)How long have you been writing? What drove you to pick up that pen for the first time? I have been writing for about eight years. I began my first book, IT’S LIKE BUTTER, BABY sometime in 2002. By the spring of 2004, it was completed and released through a publishing company in Canada. Although it was not properly marketed or distributed, it was well received and offered me an opportunity to recoup my investment and brand both myself as an individual, and my company, Total Package Publications. I first realized I wanted to write and had the GOD-given talent to do so way back in grade school. While everyone was playing Atari and trying to get a paper route, I was making and selling comic books to the neighborhood kids. Not just writing them. I was coming up with the storyline, cover design, character outline – everything! I was about eleven or twelve. That eventually evolved into other writing projects such as the school newspaper. I would write about current and controversial topics that plagued my community on an ongoing basis. I appreciated the reaction of my peers and the positive feedback, so I kept writing. Eventually, my articles turned into full-scale stories.
3) You have a number of titles available. Please let our readers know which of your titles have plus size characters and their role in the books. Presently I have 3 titles available. They are (in order they were written): OVER YOUR DEAD BODY, CHALK OUTLINE CONFESSIONS, MY LIFE IS A MOVIE and coming sometime in June of this year – REPRESENT. Although none of the characters in my books can be defined as “plus size,” I can guarantee I do not discriminate! Whether a specific character is of a certain race, heritage, questioning their sexuality and/or “plus size,” it is what makes up our population, so consequently, there will always be room in my books for these individuals. In my second title, CHALK OUTLINE CONFESSIONS the main character previously dealt with what she considered to be an obsession with being overweight. As a result, she became fixated on going to the gym daily and eventually developed a clinical disorder over her fixation on weight.
4) Why did you chose to feature plus size heroines in your novels. I did not consciously decide to choose a once “plus-size” heroine in any of my titles. Whenever I create the storyline for a book, I first draft a synopsis on what the character traits will be as well as how I envision what each character will look like. Francine (the main character in CHALK OUTLINE CONFESSIONS) is an example. Without giving away too much information, my purpose for this novel was to both enlighten as well as entertain my readers with a character who grew (not literally!) with each chapter – thereby also developing new twists and turns for my reading audience to appreciate in order to see the before and after continuum of her growth.
5)Tell us about your most recent novel My Life Is A Movie? Why should readers run to get a copy of this book? Does it feature a plus size heroine? My newest book, MY LIFE IS A MOVIE was made available during the summer of 2009 and takes the reader back into time. The exact year is 1988. A time when life was simpler, yet an era being duplicated today with fashion, slang, and culture. I delve into the lives of three High School seniors, each going in separate directions of their lives. Consequently, choices are made and based on those choices; life events are forever altered to match those choices. The general theme is upbeat and action-packed, and everyone who reads the book will be able to identify with at least one of the main characters. Although none of the MAIN characters are “plus-sized,” many of the supporting characters can be described as such.
6)Do you plan to write more books featuring plus size characters? Unless I write a non-fiction novel on myself (which is very unlikely to ever happen!), both plus-sized men and women will always have a place in any of my future titles. The reason is simple and straightforward: my intention whenever writing a book is to provide an alternate reality for my reader to delve into a peaceful place. A place which includes ALL types of individuals – both Black and White, large and small, all the way to shy and outgoing. Thus far, I can say with confidence with my present titles – I have a perfect record!
7)When will your next book be released? Tell us a little about your next book? Will it feature a plus size character? The name of my next title, REPRESENT is expected to be released sometime around mid June of this year. The book takes place in modern-day New York and follows the life of a young man who recently witnessed his older brother get a life sentence for his numerous crimes. Now little brother has a choice: take over the family drug business or be considered an outcast to the ones that has raised him. His once promising football career over, he makes the choice to enter the family business – along with all of the dire consequences and pitfalls that come along with that way of life. A critical life choice has to be made within the storyline as he is faced with a major decision – leave his life of crime or end up another statistic. Like all of my other book titles, this book has its share of “plus-sized” characters for everyone to enjoy!
8) What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a writer? My biggest challenge faced as a writer is getting individuals to understand that this business is not as simple as picking up a pen and paper, thinking this is an overnight hobby or spur-of-the-moment idea! I continue to be amazed over how similar the publishing industry is compared to the music industry. In the murky world of publishing, distribution and niche marketing is key. No matter how well you’ve written a body of work, no one will ever know about you unless it is distributed and promoted correctly. Secondly, you need to establish a core fan base. Readers can sometimes be very fickle and possibly forget about you when that next “hot” author comes out. My goal from the very beginning was, and still is to stay humble and appreciative of those that supported my vision from day one. A special “shout-out” to those that I am referring to right now…you know who you are!
9) Where do you see yourself a year from now? A year from now, I see myself concentrating more on putting out that next hot author of the decade. In order to do this, constant and continued dedication will be implemented both towards my writing as well as my publishing company. A year from now, my plan is to take over the literary market. A year from now, I will be reading this interview and telling whoever may be next to me, “I TOLD YOU SO!”
10) What are you reading now? Who are your favorite authors? There are no books that I am reading at this moment. The time it takes for me to read someone else’s book is negatively taking away the time that I need to work on my next novel. Consequently, I do not remember the last title I have read from anyone. One of my favorite authors of the past include: The Honorable Elijah Muhammad. His book Message To The Black Man can be summed up in one word: CLASSIC!
11)Tell us about the online and offline personal appearances you have planned over the next couple of months. Where can readers connect with you up close and personal. Some of my upcoming personal appearances this year include: Delaware Black Expo on April 24th, The Urban Arts Festival in Queens, NY on May 1st and 2nd, Positively Dover Festival in Dover, Delaware on June 26th, the Harlem Book Fair in Harlem, NY on July 17th, and the Brooklyn Book Festival on September 12th. Interested attendees can visit my website for updated information.
12)How can readers get in contact with you? Do you have a website? Readers can get up close and personal with me in a variety of ways: email, website, author sign-ins, etc. I am very much in “the streets” and do everything possible to take questions for upcoming writers trying to get into the industry. Have a question for me or want to comment on any of my novels? Get in touch with me via email at: email@example.com, author website: www.totalpackagepublications.com, or postal mail: P.O. Box 3237, C/O David L., Mount Vernon, NY 10553.
13)What is the one thing you would like all of your readers to know about you? I try to keep my eye to the streets whenever possible. When I’m not writing, I am looking for every opportunity to brand myself and take my writing skills to the next level. Activities that I’m constantly involved in include public speaking in the areas of race relations, self-publishing, and effective marketing and my personal passion – working with at-risk foster care youth in the community. I am often asked what the last book I’ve read was and my answer is always the same: “the time it takes me to read someone else’s book, I could be hard at work writing my next one!”
About David L: David L., author and publisher, holds a BS. in Communications and Human Relations and a Masters in Social Work with a concentration in clinical administration.
David L. has authored several published articles relating to race relations; "How To" articles in becoming a self-published au-thor. David L. is also very active in his community and participates in public speaking engagements with various schools and foster care agencies."