!!!!Rumor Has It!!!!

Have you heard the latest? Did they tell you the buzz? She wore what? With those shoes? While dating HIM??? How ick!

Well, if you haven’t heard the latest, I’m here to spread the news! The news about my good friend and fellow alum of Alabama A&M University, James Tyler! Guess who his latest love is??? His NEW book entitled, “Rumor: Daughter of Lies!” Now, from the title, you may be pondering if ‘Rumor’ is the daughter’s name or if it’s a play on words of what you can expect from reading this remarkable novel?!? Well, honestly…it’s kinda both! But I’m not gonna elaborate on that any further! You’ll have to go purchase it for yourself to find out more! I will, however, tell you more about James! I recently had an interview with him to find out more regarding his writing style, where his passion for writing comes from, a few key things about Miss Rumor, and why we should get to know her ourselves. I even managed to get a bit of information on how he feels having his book on the bookshelves of the Ukazoo Bookstore located in the DMV area!!! That’s WRITE! 😉 He’s made it to the shelves! So watch out! He’ll probably be in YOUR local bookstore soon!

Okay, enough of reading what I have to say! Let’s get to the man behind the manuscript, Mr. James Tyler!

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1. How does it feel? How does it feel to see your book amongst celeritous authors such as Stephen King, Toni Morrison, and even JK Rowling?

Those are some pretty huge shoes to feel, but I’m up for the challenge.  It feels unbelievably awesome to even be considered as a contender for the baton being passed on by such accomplished authors.

 2. As a matter of fact, now that we have mentioned those whose shoes you shall soon fill, who happens to be your favorite, most inspirational, or most influential author?

As crazy as this may sound, I don’t really have one favorite Author.  There are authors who I respect and enjoy their writing styles.  To name a few, James Baldwin would definitely be among the classical authors that I enjoy.  I’ve even been told that there is a small similarity in our writing styles.  I grew up on a few of his short stories like “Sonny’s Blues” so I definitely consider that a great compliment.  As far as contemporary authors go, I’m really into this couple who write as a duo Ashley and Jaquavis Coleman.  They’ve written books like the Cartel Series and Supreme Clientele.  They write page turners.  I love a good page turner, which I believe is evident in my own books.  What I like most about them is that they write for contemporary markets, but they have classical literary skills.  And one more author that I’m only recently finding about is Walter Mosley.  He’s a science fiction writer.  I read an excerpt from his newest novel, Jack Strong, and I’m already hooked.  As a multi-genre writer, I’m looking all over the place for inspiration.

3. Some just know their hearts desires; did you always know that you’d be an author?

I didn’t always know.  During the earliest years of my childhood if you asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always answered, “an entrepreneur.”  I know that’s a pretty big word for a small child but it’s true.  I knew that I didn’t want a boss.  I remember watching cartoons like the Jetson’s where their bosses would always yell at them.  I knew even then that that life was not for me.  I didn’t fall in love with writing until I was about 10 years old.  My 5th grade teacher made us write one short story every month.  I always had a huge imagination.  I mean I would make up episodes of my favorite cartoons in my head to keep me entertained throughout the week as I waited for Saturday morning. True Story!  When it came to actually writing a story, I didn’t know anything about that.  It wasn’t until I read my first short story before the class and everybody loved it that I knew that I was on to something.  From that moment on, all I did was write poems and short stories. 

4. Why do you write?

Writing is therapy for me.  No matter what I’m going through at that moment, I’m able to escape through my imagination.  It’s fun to just completely release your mind to fiction.  I get to go places that no one else has been.  I get to see things that no one else has ever seen.  Then there’s the process of creating different characters.  In order to properly write their dialogue, you have to truly become those characters.  I feel like an actor sometimes.  Who doesn’t want to escape their everyday reality?  Even if just for a brief moment, it’s exhilarating to be someone else.

5. Are you one of those “I need a typewriter” type of guys or is a computer or longhand just fine?

I definitely prefer the computer.  I don’t like writing with a pencil or pen.  They make my hands cramp.  The typewriter is cool, but the computer is my tool of choice.  There’s no need for correction ribbon, and it’s just all around easier to locate and correct mistakes.

6. How do you think you have evolved creatively especially since your last book?

In that short period of time, it even surprises me how much I’ve evolved as a writer.  My dialogue writing and characterization skills are the two biggest areas of growth in my opinion.  I think it’s mostly because I’m more confident now, so I take more risks when it comes to developing my characters.  I’m able to jump further beyond my own personality without a fear of the character being judged as inauthentic.

7. What books are you reading now?

I’m currently in writing mode, so I don’t have as much time as I’d like to read new books; but I’m looking forward to reading Jack Strong by Walter Mosely when it’s released and Alex Cross by James Patterson has been waiting in my kindle for a while now.  Hopefully I get to those sooner than later.

8. What advice can you give to aspiring writers?

Just to write.  Whatever method you choose, whether it be computer typewriter, or pen, just start writing.  Let it flow.  Don’t get caught up on grammar, style or structure.  All of that can be fixed later.  Just let your creativity flow and have fun with it.

9. Where do your ideas come from?

I believe that they come from God, because they strike me at the most random moments.  If I’m near a tablet, I’ll jot the ideas down quickly before I lose them.  If not, I’ll pull out my cell phone and record the ideas with voice recorder.  Some of my ideas are inspired by my own truth, but a lot of them are not.  I believe God gifts me with these stories because someone needs to hear them, so I write them.

10. Describe Rumor, the main character, in three dynamic words.

Wise beyond years!!!!  Throughout my life, I’ve been told that I have an old soul.  I wrote Rumor to possess the wisdom that comes with an old soul.  She’s young, naive, and innocent in many ways; but often times in the story, her poetry and her thoughts reflect the deep mind of someone twice her age.

11. What makes Rumor so special?

Rumor’s connection with her mother is what makes her so special.  She has not seen the woman since she was four years old.  Most children can’t even remember life before the age of four, but Rumor possesses very vivid memories of her mother.  It’s not obvious whether those memories are actual occurrences or figments of Rumor’s imagination, but her ability to remain so strongly connected with her mother through those memories is unbelievable.

12. Are you currently working on any books?

Yes, I’m writing the sequel to my first novel.  It took a long time for me to perfect the concept.  It’s changed and evolved several times since I stopped the writing the first novel in the trilogy.  I’m writing this one with a cross-genre appeal.  It’ll be science fiction like its predecessor, but I’m delving deeper into actual human emotions and interactions and realistic societal issues.  I’m also considering the idea of adding illustrations to this novel as well.  My fingers are crossed on that one.

13. Were you ever good at English? (Silly question, I know!)

English and reading were always my best subjects in school.  They come natural to me.  Even though I speak with deep southern, broken English most of the time, subject-verb agreement, sentence construction, and spelling always have always come natural to me.  Many times I know the proper usage without knowing the rules behind them.

14. What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I have so many ambitions.  I want to expand into so many different forms of media.  I love creating, so when the time is right I want to produce short films, write screenplays, and even blog.  I’m currently working on something different that I’m very excited about.  I don’t want to reveal too much because it’s way too early, but expansion may be coming very soon for me.

15. Where can your new book be purchased? (Please list all online and off-line resources)

Rumor: Daughter of Lies is currently available on Amazon, Amazon Kindle formats, and through the retailer Ukazoo Bookstore in Towson, Maryland.

16. Tell me more about this event coming up on June 5th.

It’s a charity event presented by the Cassie Brown Project in conjunction with Atlantic Impact, an organization providing children with a cultural and educational experience this summer in Barbados.  During a cocktail hour, I’ll be auctioning a donated copy of Rumor: Daughter of Lies and an Amazon Kindle Gift Card to help raise money for Atlantic Impact’s mission.  It’s a mission that’s very near and dear to my heart because as a child, I wish I’d had that type of multicultural exposure.  At 28 years old, I’m trying to play catch up. [This event will be held at the Waterstone Bar and Grille located in Baltimore, MD on 311 W Madison Street.]

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17. Will you be book signing at this event as well?

I will definitely have books on hand in case the opportunity presents itself.

18. Do you think you will stick to writing books or eventually deviate to poetry or other literary works?

I’m already a poet.  I love poetry more than any other form of literary art.  It’s one of the few forms of expression that can be beautiful and ugly, revealing and secretive, or over-the-top and simple.  There are no rules.  Poetry is freedom in the purest sense of the word.  I’ll always be a poet first.  Some of my poems can be found on my blog, www.IAmZOGI.blogspot.com.  I’m also video blogging on my YouTube channel with spoken word poetry.  So far I only have one of those, but I’ll be releasing the second one very soon.  If it works out the way that I want, it’ll be very nice.

19. Purchasing ‘Rumor: Daughter of Lies’ should be number one on our priority list, why?

Purchasing Rumor: Daughter of Lies should be number one on your priority list because this novel deals with issues that can hit home for anyone.  The novel touches on teen pregnancy, abandonment, family secrets, abuse, suicidal thoughts, religious corruption, and so much more.  Anyone who reads this novel will leave with a sense of compassion towards others and the issues that plague them.  You’ll learn that everyone struggles with something.  A man’s character should not be defined by the things that he has done wrong, but by the many people that he is able to touch with his own personal light.

→ PLEASE remember to attend the Cassie Brown Project event and purchase this book! Get his John Hancock while you’re at it! I guarantee you will not regret it! Also check out his YouTube channel, ‘JE Tyler’ and his blog (which isn’t cooler than mine!) at www.IAmZOGI.blogspot.com. Once you’ve read his book or if you already have, please a comment below and let everyone know what you thought! ←

 Remember to Live Life, Beautifully <3

Shimmy Sistah

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