Monday, June 28, 2010

Visible Lives

Welcome and Hello Terrance Dean

Who are you? Author, Speaker, Columnist

1. Tell us, what led you to write, “Visible Lives: Three Stories In Tribute to E. Lynn Harris.”
I wanted to celebrate the life and legacy of E. Lynn Harris. He was a major figure in the literary world and an inspiration to many writers. He encouraged and helped so many others and I wanted to acknowledge his life and contribution to our community and the literary world. I also wanted to honor my friend and mentor.

2. What genre is it?

3. What is “Visible Lives” about?
In VISIBLE LIVES, readers are introduced to three novellas House of John, The Intern and Is it Still Jood to Ya. In House of John, Jesse Templeton is a thirty-eight year old freelance photographer still reeling from a recent breakup with his live-in boyfriend Sean. He thinks he’s done with love —that is until finds he starts falling for a gorgeous local at an annual sex retreat in Santo Domingo. In The Intern, workaholic television executive Chase Kennedy finds himself drawn to the office’s new intern, sexy college student and basketball star Quincy Thornberry. Things couldn’t be going better until Chase learns that Quincy’s father may be the man he lost both his virginity and his heart to years prior. Lastly in Is It Still Jood to Ya?, actor Raheim Rivers is anxious to be reunited with his lover Mitchell Crawford after being away a long time. Uncertain about the future of their relationship, Raheim and Mitchell are forced to confront their issues and each other when a summer blackout strands them together in New York.

4. Are any of the characters you or someone you know?
In my novella, “The Intern,” the story is loosely based on a true story and real persons.

5. Introduce us to your characters and what do you like most about them?
My characters are Chase Kennedy, Quincy Thornberry, and Ashley Colby. I love them all and they each have characteristics I adore that make them lovable. Chase is mature, put together, and a really nice guy. Quincy is every woman’s, or man’s, dream. He’s innocent, sweet, and aggressive. Ashley is the good-girlfriend you want to hang with because she knows how to have a good time.

6. You have another book coming out also, let’s chat about that.
I actually have two books coming out. In the fall, “Straight From Your Gay Best Friend” drops. It is an advice book for women. Because I believe and feel every woman needs a best gay friend to tell them straight up truth about life, love, and relationships. And, next year, 2011, my first full-length novel is being released.

7. What were the easiest and the hardest parts to write?
The easiest is when your characters come fully developed with their stories and characteristics. They have personality and are full of life. It flows easy to write about them and hear them tell you their story and what’s going on in their lives. The hardest part of writing is trying to go to bed, or doing anything when you’re not writing. Your characters will start speaking and setting up the story and you have to wake up, or rush to a computer to get it all down. That is why I have notepads, my I-Touch, Blackberry, and computer on at all times.

8. Has writing “Visible Lives,” given you any AHHH HAAA moments?
Yes, I get them all the time. I feel any project you work on should be filled with Ah Ha moments. If you’re not inspired, then the reader won’t be inspired.

9. Has a fan, ever realized a point in your book, that you failed to realize?
I think every reader sees and realizes something different from you, along with other writers. It depends on what’s going on in their life at the moment and time. A lot of readers pick out various passages that resonate with them.

10. Has your journey been what you expected?
It is more than I could have ever dreamed. This is truly God’s work and destiny for me and I am so glad to be in alignment with His purpose.

11. How many books have you written?
I have written three books that are currently published. I have contributed to two anthologies, and I have two books currently being published.

12. Not calling any of your babies ugly, but which was your favorite?
I can’t choose a favorite. They each have sentimental and emotional value for various reasons. I love them equally for the purposes they serve and what I was experiencing at that moment in my life.

13. As a writer, what has been your epiphany?

My epiphany has, and is, witnessing how God works. When you surrender to God and allow Him to work in your life you will experience purpose. Your gifts will shine bright as the stars in the sky.

14. Have you ever written anything that left a bad taste in your mouth?
No, there has not been anything I’ve written that has left a bad taste in my mouth.

15. What else do you have brewing?
I have several ideas for books that I am working on currently. I am very creative and imaginative. I come from the entertainment industry. There is not a shortage of stories from my experiences.

Tell me about Hello Beautiful
I currently have a weekly advice column, “Straight, From Your Gay Best Friend,” on the popular website, Hello Beautiful, ( the sister site to Black Planet, and a subsidiary of Interactive One. His popular witty and humorous relationship advice column reaches over 100,000 readers weekly. Popularizing off my weekly success, I also created the widely popular weekly series, “He Can Get It” Wednesdays which features sexy and gorgeous male models, and “Read A Book” Thursdays which profiles authors providing a platform and outlet to showcase their recent book releases.

16. Who are some of your favorite authors?
E. Lynn Harris, Iceberg Slim, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Dominick Dunne, Jackie Collins, Octavia Butler, Eric Jerome Dickey, Junot Diaz

17. Why do you write?
I write to give life. To breathe. To escape. To share. To dream. To love. To be.

18. What makes your book stand out and entice a reader pick it up?
My books are emotional and cinematic. I paint the picture and put the reader in the scenes. They feel as if they are actually experiencing what’s happening. They cry. Hurt. Feel pain. Laugh. Smile. Giggle. Scream. Yell.

19. Where do you get ideas? Where you receive motivation?
Ideas are everywhere. I can drive down the street and become motivated. I can hear a song, an artist and be inspired. I can walk in Harlem, Brooklyn, Compton, DC, Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago, Philly, Boston, hell, even, Iowa, Mississippi, and Oklahoma. There is inspiration all around us. You have to be in the moment to experience the moment.

20. What do you do while writing? Music etc?
I have music on as well as the television. I like background noise.

21. When you finished writing “Visible Lives” how did you celebrate?
I always go out to dinner when I finish a book. I get a really good meal and savor the dinner.

22. Which of your books was the most difficult to write?
“Hiding In Hip Hop” was the most difficult, and easiest, to write because it is my memoir. I had to relive a lot of painful memories. I cried a lot while writing that book.

23. Which of your books has bought the most responses from readers?
“Hiding In Hip Hop” received a lot of responses and a flood of personal emails from readers. I was shocked and overwhelmed by the positive response to the book.

24. Do you read you?
Of course I read. All the time. I love to read.

25. Thus far what has been your greatest reward?
My greatest reward has been working as a writing fellow with young people in the Detroit Public School system. The students accepted me and looked forward to my coming to their classroom each week. They were always asking their teachers if I was coming and when I would be there next. They were inspired by me to write and share their stories. I learned a lot from the teenagers I worked with. Their stories and creativity blew me away.

26. What are a few things you’ve done to promote your work?
I hired a publicist to help promote my book. That helped me tremendously. I also did a lot of writing for various magazines, like Essence and VIBE, on stories that were related to my book. That is the perfect tie-in for any author. I also did a lot of writing for blogs, and reaching out personally to a lot of entertainment bloggers.

27. Who are your mentors?
The late, E. Lynn Harris was one of my mentors. Stephen King’s book, “On Writing,” was a great inspiration to me. Also, Danyel Smith, former editor of VIBE, as well as Emil Wilbekin, another former editor of VIBE, and he is the current on-line editor for Essence. Dawn Marie Daniels, former editor at Simon & Schuster, and author of the Souls of My Sisters, and Souls of My Brothers anthologies.

28. What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Never stop writing. Keep writing, reading, and meeting fellow authors. Don’t listen to the “no’s” you will hear. Every author experiences them, yet, those who are committed and dedicated to the craft will shine through and make a living at it. Also, study your craft. Study writing. Take a course, read, or whatever you do, study the craft.

29. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Writing more best-sellers and having them turned into television and film projects.

30. What do you want people to know about you?
I’m motivated, and dedicated to love. I write to inspire, encourage, and allow people an opportunity to escape into a world outside of their own. I’m a giver and love helping others. It feels good to see others make it.

31. What are your future plans? Any new books? Upcoming book signings? Other literary events?
Yes, I have two new books dropping. One is dropping in the Fall – “Straight From Your Gay Best Friend.” And, next year, 2011, my first full length novel is dropping. I am working and writing my other new series. I have a young adult book I am working on as well. I am always touring, speaking at various colleges and universities, and events.

32. If you could have been a co-author, with any writer living or dead who would it be?
I would love to write with Junot Diaz, Eric Jerome Dickey, Jackie Collins, or Stephen King. I would have loved to work with James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, or E. Lynn Harris.

32. What has been your greatest challenge?
My greatest challenge has been accepting that I have fans who love my work. I pinch myself everyday.

33. What do you do for fun?
I love to travel, roller skate, go to the beach, and go to the movies.


**Other than the Bible

1. One book that changed your life:
“Mama Black Widow”

2. One book that you've read more than once:
“Mama Black Widow”

3. One book you'd want on a deserted island

4. One book that made you laugh:
“Water For Elephants”

5. One book that made you cry:
“I’m On My Way” by Christopher David

6. One book that you wish had been written:

My mother’s story.

7. One book you loved to hate

8. One book that you are currently reading:

“A Reliable Wife”

9. One book that you've been meaning to read:
“The Color Purple”

10. One book you've been meaning to finish:
Any of Toni Morrison’s books

11. One guilty pleasure:
Watching reality television shows

12. What’s your theme song?
I have several!

What is your Book and Contact information?


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