JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Rose Jackson-Beavers and Edward Booker, authors of A Hole in My Heart and Caught in the Net of Deception
(One of the first ten people to comment on Rose Jackson-Beavers’ and Edward Bookerâ€™s author interview will win a FREE copy of A Hole in the Heart and Caught in the Net of Deception from JoeyPinkney.com)
I co-wrote A Hole in My Heart with Edward Booker to help kids seek God in prayer when they find themselves hurting. This 109-page novel chronicles the trials of a 13-year-old youth whose drug-addicted mother pursued a path of self-destruction. Booker created the character Darrius, a teenager who found his strength in the love of his grandmother. Granny is an endearing woman who taught Darrius that prayer changes things.
The book, Caught in the Net of Deception, is a collection of short stories about teenagers facing danger while meeting strangers on the Internet. As these teens look for love, fun, and opportunities to make money, they will face many problems. Most teens are familiar with Facebook, MySpace and spend time surfing the Internet. If they are not careful, they could be sucked into a world of horror.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write A Hole in My Heart?
Rose Jackson-Beavers: It came from trying to help my nephew deal with emotions he was experiencing as a result of having a mother who was addicted to drugs. My nephew was really going through some stuff.
A straight-A student, we noticed that his grades were dropping and that he spent time being angry. He was so young, so to reach him I asked him to journal his feelings since he was not ready to discuss them.
Once I read his journal, I saw how it could not only help him but so many other children and teens that were going through something similar.
He wanted to share his writings with others, but he wanted his mom to agree. Once she read the manuscript that I presented to her, she was in total agreement. The title came from Edward.
Edward Booker: I was going through a lot, so my aunt told me to write down my feelings. Like she said, my writing started off from journal entries. Everyday, I wrote down how I felt about my mom and my life.
My aunt read it, and she told me how good it was. She thought I should turn it into a book, and I never looked back.
JP: What sets Caught in the Net of Deception and A Hole in My Heart apart from other novels in its genre?
EB: Basically, all I really wanted these books to represent is the fact that you can overcome any obstacles in life no matter how hard or how big the stones are that life throws at you. The real truth and living it would set these books apart from others in the genre.
RJB: The bulk of the book was written by my pre-teen nephew who was going through the emotional turmoil similar to what it found in these books. He lived this book. It is based on real life experiences.
My contributions were adding the counselor, strengthening the grandmotherâ€™s and the best friendsâ€™ roles. I also made sure the book flowed and that the intended message was clear.
Caught in the Net of Deception deals with both of our experiences with the Internet. These books are not born out of our imaginations; we lived it.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to A Hole in My Heart getting out to the public? What is your writing process?
RJB: We went through five printings with this book. Still, when we attend book signings, it is a high seller. Connecting this book to schools, churches and organizations in our community helped give this book great local exposure.
Because of Edwardâ€™s age at the time the book was written, he was not willing to leave the comforts of his hometown to market and speak about the book. He was, and still is, a very shy young man.
Because of his shyness we hit the Internet. But still, if you want your book to really reach a lot of readers, you have to go where they are.
First, I write from experiences because that is what I am most comfortable doing. I write what I know and what I lived. I also work with teens and have more than eight nieces and nephews under the age of 21, so it is easy to come up with topics that affect teens.
Once I come up with a topic, I generally query other teens to find out if the subjects affect them. It is not uncommon for me to host rap sessions to make sure my topic will have universal appeal.
I do not write with outlines, etc. I write as it comes to me. It flows out of me and then I edit for flow, consistency, etc.
EB: First you have to always feel good about your manuscript and be comfortable at what youâ€™re doing. I also think you should put out a strong message that is positive that allows people to understand that you can get through the problems. Having similar experiences that others share is one way to get the book out.
When I am going through things, I tend to write about my feelings. Writing about what is bothering me or what I am experiencing helps me to deal with issues. If what I was going through could help someone else, I turn it into a story.
JP: How long did it take for you to start and finish A Hole in My Heart?
EB: Iâ€™ll say around four months for me to write it and about a year and a half to make it a book.
RJB: Itâ€™s really hard to say. The book started out as therapy to save my nephew. I actually counseled him through this dark period in his life. I would say with the counseling, analyzing the journal, spending time with him, writing the manuscript and going to print, maybe a year and a half.
JP: What’s next for you?
RJB: I plan to release two books in 2010. One is about domestic violence, Attacked by Love, which is for teens and A Sinnerâ€™s Cry, a Christian novel.
I have also completed a book to be released for Fatherâ€™s Day, tentatively called Daddyâ€™s Little Instruction Book for Finding and Keeping a Man. This book is based on principles and tidbits my daddy told his daughters to help us get a man and keep him.
Daddyâ€™s tidbits worked. My sisters and I have been married it seems forever. Thatâ€™s a good thing.
EB: I have two books coming out early next year 2010. Now that I am 19, I am writing about falling in love and the obstacles that someone young and in love may endure.
My book is tentatively called Love in the Hood. I am finalizing my first street novel and have also produced a couple of songs for an artist you will hear more about in the near future.
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