Date Published: July 2013
When crime scene cleaner Charles 'Yey' Reyes helps a detective friend solve a Roanoke homicide, he shuns the praise. He quickly changes his mind when his friend is killed while on duty. But this time, his offer to help is rejected by the police captain. Meanwhile, homegrown celebrity Sydney Estes buys a house near town. As the citizens swoon, Yey notices a link between Sydney and a flurry of homicides. Harangued by the captain, local media, and Sydney's fans, Yey struggles to connect clues which will prove his theories.
#1 - Do You See Writing as a Career?
Writing is a calling for me, not a career. Thank God that there are such things as the Internet, ebooks and print-on-demand publishing. It's meant that the gatekeepers are less powerful, that art and messages can't be as easily controlled. But even if there was no way for me to be published and read, I'd be writing or speaking my stories. When I was in the Boy Scouts and we would have skits or stories around the campfire, there were times that I would talk for a half-hour to the other boys, simply making up tales out of thin air. I work regular jobs for my food and lodging. Unless I strike a vein with the reading public and make retirement-level money, I always will enjoy getting away from the computer from time to time to recharge with manual labor. Working with my hands is a good counterbalance to writing.
#2 - What was the Hardest Part of Your Writing Process?
The freedom of creation is sometimes very difficult to deal with. You can go in so many directions, and that leaves a lot of would-be writers frozen. I'm blessed that I have crossed that threshold. Cap'n Random was a twenty-page snippet of story for three years, lying in a drawer while I learned to play the drums and guitar, and I was able to return and blast out the following 100 pages in about two inspired weeks, because I didn't care about anything but forming the story.
The actual writing has been a result of years of personal struggle, of simply editing what I did yesterday and building on it. "Wait, this character wouldn't say it that way," and such. One writer described it as alphabet manipulation. The same writer said, "Writing is like falling down. It's not hard, but doing it can hurt. Sometimes you don't land right." It comes down to you and that QWERTY keyboard, and the best way is to put your expectations and fears of what people might say aside. The hardest part of writing is making the time and having the patience to simply write without micro-managing the imagination. We just have to let it flow! Take the craft seriously, not yourself.
#3 - Did you have any One Person Who Helped You Out with Your Writing Outside of Your Family?
I haven't had a lot of support or mentoring for the art of writing, probably because I have not sought it. Experience truly is the best teacher for this. Respectfully, I've found that even well-meaning people and "writing experts" end up projecting their sensibilities onto what I'm doing. The time spent consulting someone else's thoughts could be used on your story. No one can really help you write. You can go to all the retreats, seminars, classes, reading groups and clubs you want. You can get people to read your stuff and critique. But opinions are like armpits--everybody's got a couple, and usually they stink.
#4 - What is next for your writing?
As of summer 2013 I'm finishing a book that is an examination of black America's relationship with the Holy Bible. After that I'll finally publish the next part of my "Selective Focus" series, which I call a comic book in the form of novels. The latter is more than ten years in the making. It is such a huge story that for a while I was intimidated by the possibilities, in the way that I described earlier. But I'm reaching the end of my thirties, and have lately been nagged by the thought that my time is not unlimited. This realization motivates me to be more prolific.
#5 - Do you have an addiction to reading as well as writing? If so, what are you currently reading?
I used to be a kid who would empty out his bookbag before going to the library, because I knew I'd be grabbing a dozen or more books. But though I still love to read, I don't do it for pleasure much because I simply don't make time for that anymore. I read the Bible most every day, or several times a day, and that easily satisfies my reading addiction and need for wisdom. Even on a strictly entertainment level, the stories in there are better than what's on the bestseller lists or in theaters.
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Amateur detective Yey Reyes struggles with police and star-struck fans to solve a series of homicides.
This or That?
#1 - iPod or Mp3?
I'll take iPod if I must, but I'm old school and would rather play vinyl.
#2 - Chocolate or Vanilla?
Vanilla, because you can dress it up in more ways.
#3 - Mashed Potatoes or French Fries?
Potatoes are my all-time favorite food. I'll take them in almost any form.
#4 - Comedy or Drama?
Drama. You can mix comedy into drama, but doing the opposite is more difficult.
#5 - Danielle Steel or Nicholas Sparks?
Next question, please.
#6 - Fantasy or Reality?
Reality is always waiting for us in the end. Better to take the pill early.
#7 - Call or Text?
I will take the phone call. I like voices.
#8 - Public School or Home School?
Since public school teaches children unbelief in God, home schooling is better.
#9 - Coffee or Hot Chocolate?
Both can taste amazing, but coffee has the kick.
#10 - eBook or Paperback?
Paperback, because there is nothing quite like the smell and feel of old books.
Chris DeBrie is an American publisher, author, and artist. He has written hundreds of news and sports articles for a variety of sources. DeBrie has independently published several novels and comic books. He lives in Roanoke, Virginia.
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