In my conversation with author Jr Strayve Jr. (Jerry) last week on my Youtube channel, we covered a variety of topics including the task of linking real-life experiences to the page. In Jerry’s book, First Spouse of the United States, we follow Ricardo Chambers, Rocky, as he pursues his dreams amid a multitude of challenges that touch on topics that have touched or affected us all.
We discussed how our characters take the reigns of our stories, and whether we’re a “plotter” – someone who meticulously details what will happen next, or a “pantser” – a writer who sees where the pen takes them, our characters find a way to take the lead and guide us through the rest of the story. Being that our characters are holding our hands through their journeys, we authors become so intimately connected to our characters that they become strong parts of our lives, long after we finish writing the stories. They occupy our thoughts for such spans of time that we think of them and the adventures that we take them through as our children. How could we not?
Like so many of us authors, after Jerry finished writing his book, he began to ask the question, “what do I do next?” How do I help this “child” spread its wings and fly? In our interview, Jerry talks about how he realized that there was a mountain of resources and possibilities for authors to achieve success, but that they would have to take the reigns of their marketing to truly succeed. In his journey to learn and to grow, Jerry came to see that the best way to learn was to teach. He and fellow author, Tamara Merrill, joined forces and created WritersCrutch, a class for fiction and non-fiction authors that teaches a huge variety of marketing skills. I was honored/blessed to be able to attend the class and I HIGHLY recommend taking it. On top of Jerry and Tamara being excellent teachers, they provided a template of how-to’s that brilliantly guides authors toward their goals. To adapt to the times, it is currently an interactive, online course, so no matter where you are in the world, this class is available to you.
In these last few weeks of quarantine, I’ve been quite grateful to be reading Jerry’s book First Spouse. The protagonist Ricardo possesses a beautiful determination to see his dreams through. Though he experiences great tragedy and suffering, the laser focus he maintains on his goals pulls him out of the darkness. Maintaining our tenacious spirits is going to pull us through this period of uncertainty. How many of us had plans, dreams, hopes we intended to see through but were interrupted by this global pandemic? It is in these times we must turn to characters, historical or fictional, like Rocky who never bend in the face of adversity. Find your “Rocky” and remember your dreams. They’re still attainable. For now, they’re just delayed. This time we have now gives us the opportunity to plan out our dreams in our best ways.
Be sure to subscribe to this blog so that you will be in the know when Jerry’s upcoming book, Braxton Century, releases. To see the rest of our interview and to see more author interviews, head on over to my channel on Youtube by clicking here.