People often ask what made me want to write a book at this stage in my life and career? Well, I'm not sure really. I guess I had a story in my head that I needed to tell. That often leads them to ask if the book is somewhat autobiographical. The story itself is in no way connected to my life but the interplay between the characters in some cases includes elements of relationships I've had in my time. So I guess the answer is maybe a little bit?
Some ask why paranormal? I can safely say I've been touched by practically every social disease that exists in one way or another - either personally or with family, friends - be it addiction, violence, disease, incest, mental illness, lack of faith, dysfunction, racism, sexism, or . . . you name it. I guess these pieces since already explored in my real life, lost some of their horror and only seemed interesting enough to write about when rubbed up against the 'other worldly'.
Who is Lyla? I get that one from time to time. Throughout the two years it took me to write the book, I believed Lyla to be more closely aligned to my daughter - saucy and sassy personality, appearance, multi-culturalism, etc. But later as I talked about the characters in detail, people closest to me pointed out that Lyla can only be 'me'. I guess I've accepted that to some degree at this point.
What about Brian, and the sick relationship between he and Lyla? Well, I'll keep the answer to that between my therapist and I.
And, Ollie? I sometimes think that character represents all I once thought I had to be in life: self-less, dependable, extremely capable, and hopelessly bound by the past.
And well, of course, there's The Bishop. Everybody asks about The Bishop. I can only tell you - He Exists. :)
Why do I think 'Standing in the Gap' is something special? Well, because I wrote it, of course. :) But beyond that, it falls outside the commonly defined lines of street lit or urban fiction. While it certainly has its share of drugs, violence and sex, it is not really about street life per se- in fact, I believe its gift is the juxtaposition between those raw elements and that of the magnificent and mystical world of the Seioka (the meaning of which you'll only understand if you read my book).
From the moment I sat down to key the first words of the book, I knew it would include lots of jaw dropping moments, tear jerker moments, and elements people with high sensibilities might find unacceptable or offensive. I wanted the reader to be completely surprised by the twists and shocked as the shameful secrets are at last revealed. I knew I had to deliver fast-paced action and the romance must be highly charged. I wanted the reader to truly feel it as the characters' lives spun out of control - there could be no 'down time' !
While paranormal is the backdrop, the story is on the whole a hybrid of a crime thriller, erotica, and a tiny bit of existential philosophy.
It would bring me absolute delight to have you read my novel!