JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Soltreu, author of Dreams Deferred
“Dreams Deferred” is a heart-wrenching story about the pursuit of dreams and how they come alive through endless journeys and struggles. With every obstacle, there is a lesson and a victory.
Darren Wright is a young Black man from Detroit, Michigan, with a passion to move to New York City and become a famous painter. An unexpected blessing may get him there, but delays and tragedies cause Darren to question his future.
After doing six years in prison for selling drugs, Darren is eager to face the world as an asset. The theme for “Dreams Deferred” is the author’s vision of the Circle of Life. “We need to pull the other up in order to make it” is her belief.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write “Dreams Deferred“?
Soltreu: In 2008, I was dating a teacher/painter, Darnell Green, who challenged me to write a story based on some form of urban plight. “Dreams Deferred” was originally a short story with three parts to it: the main story, a sequel, then a prequel. He and I were going to do a collaboration with his paintings and my writings.
The end of 2010 and beginning of 2011, another writer and I started meeting at Panera Bread restaurant for writing sessions. I had several different stories started, but “Dreams Deferred” and I had an extra special bond. I had more material on this story than my others. I spoke about the characters like they were real. My writer friend suggested I work on “Dreams Deferred”.
The inspiration came from my desire to follow my dream of writing and helping others in whatever capacity I can. I wanted the novel to show that life really should be a circle of helping the other.
JP: What sets “Dreams Deferred” apart from other books in the same genre?
Soltreu: “Dreams Deferred” is different than others in the same genre for many reasons. This is a story focused on a positive path. It does not glorify the sex, drugs and violence of the times and life the main character is living.
This novel showcases the arts as opposed to sports or music. I am also showing my city, Detroit, in an uplifting light even though you see the decay of the land.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to Dreams Deferred getting out to the public?
Soltreu: Great question. I have a wonderful support system. It seems at every stage of “Dreams Deferred”, there was someone who was asking me, “Hey, where’s the novel?” It caused me to hold myself accountable.
The fact that I allow negative thoughts and self-doubt pop up and roam around for a time helps as well. It is natural, so why push it away? Let it out, so it can move on.
The desire to be successful in order to take care of my family and have them proud of me is another key. As a writer, that strong nagging feeling I have always felt: If I am not writing, I am not breathing.
I have been writing since the first grade, so how could I NOT share myself with the public?
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish Dreams Deferred?
Soltreu: Sadly enough, I really have not perfected a process yet. I initially met up with a writing companion. We worked on our separate works, then I would write at night until I needed to take a break.
Once I got started, “Dreams Deferred” took a few months. Self-editing took a bit longer because I wanted to do my best.
JP: What’s next for Soltreu?
Soltreu: I am working on the sequel to “Dreams Deferred”, “Dreams Deterred”. I am also co-authoring a novel with a friend/big brother about his experience being clairvoyant. I am also often at some open mic in Detroit where I recite poetry.
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I just want to thank you for the opportunity to introduce my work as well s myself. I truly believe in chasing your dreams as if they owe you something. Living is about pursuing and doing our passion, and we will never truly be free until we are doing what we were created to do. That is true peace.