JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Vogue, author of Diamonds in the Rough
(Passionate Writer Publishing)
Carmen Davenport is living the American dream. Born with a silver spoon in her mouth, she has anything that a twenty-one year old college student would want. This includes one of the most lucrative clothing companies in New York. The only thing missing is love until she lays eyes on Jay Santiago, a Puerto Rican drug lord.
Almost instantly, Carmen begins to fall for him. After securing the rights to her inheritance, Carmen soon learns that Flame, Inc. is headed towards a downward spiral. Too ambitious to allow her dream to go down the drain, Carmen begins pulling at all lifelines to save her company. Putting aside everything sheâ€™s ever believed in, Carmen soon finds herself entangled in a web of lies, betrayal, and crime.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Diamonds in the Rough?
Vogue: As an avid reader and lover of street fiction, the idea for Diamonds in the Rough came from wanting to see a different female character than what I had been reading. Most of the female characters in street lit are born in the projects or in harsh environments.
Although I loved these characters, I could not fully relate to them because I grew up in a middle class household. Although I knew that drug cartels, gangs, crime, etc. existed, it was not something that I personally experienced in my everyday life. However, I was born with a very vivid imagination, which inspired me to write Diamonds in the Rough.
It was then that I decided that I wanted to write a new kind of street fiction novel. A novel that featured a female character that came from an upper-class, entrepreneurial household. Not only that, she would be pure, exhibit a strong relationship with God, and possess an overly ambitious spirit.
My next goal was to slowly transform this innocent young lady into a femme fatale. I wanted people to slowly see her transition. A lot of books are focused on the whole â€œgood girl gone badâ€ angle, and this book shows the reader almost step by step how it happens.
JP: Drug trafficking and high fashion seems to be two different realms that you have managed to weave together seamlessly in Diamonds in the Rough. Do these two worlds intermingle more than the average person knows?
Vogue: I believe that at some point in time the two would somehow collide. More than likely, if you are a major drug kingpin or associated with a cartel then you are also a flashy dresser. Some of the most well-known drug kingpins are known for their style of dress, had some of the tightest whips and wore millions of dollars in jewelry. However, it was those things that garnered them too much attention.
JP: Diamonds in the Rough is the first book in a ten book series entitled The Diamond Collection. How do you plan to keep the storyline fresh and exciting for ten books?
Vogue: As I wrote the collection, I told myself to stretch my imagination as far as it could go. However, as a writer, I had to pace myself. I give the reader just enough so that they are left wondering what is going to happen next. Each book has to be better than the last.
Also, the best books are the ones who have twists in the plot. Each book stays fresh and exciting because the reader will view it as a soap opera, but only in words. The reader will begin to feel as if they are following the lives of the characters just as if they are watching them on TV.
Each book also has a theme or message in it. For Diamonds in the Rough, the underlying message mentioned in the book is, â€œWhatever happens in the dark, will eventually come to light.â€ For the second book, Diamonds Are Forever, the underlying message is, â€œNever say never.â€
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish Diamonds in the Rough?
Vogue: I begin writing each book by first jotting down short descriptions of each scene that must be in the book to aid in the plot. Once that is complete, I then outline each chapter scene by scene. Before I even fully write the book, I know exactly how many chapters the book will have.
With a ten book series, I have to outline everything because I have to remember what happened in Diamonds in the Rough even when I am writing Diamond Princess. (This is the working title of the ninth book in the series). I also have to keep the time frame in mind. Hereâ€™s a freebie, the whole collection spans a total of fifty-seven years.
I begin working on Diamonds in the Rough in 2003 as a freshman in college. It went through eight different versions until 2006 when I settled with the current draft. I finished it in the summer of 2007. So, it took about four years.
JP: What’s next for Vogue?
Vogue: Currently, I am rewriting and editing the fourth book in the series, Black Diamonds. I also am outlining a new novel, which is not a part of the series.
Vogue is a 2007 graduate of Winthrop University, possessing a Bachelorâ€™s degree in Social Work. Diamonds in the Rough is her first published novel, which was released on June 1, 2010. She was named by Angelique The Novelist as June Author of the Month.