I had the pleasure of doing an interview with TES the author of Sweet Surrender as well as the owner of Best Life Publishing. I hope you enjoy this interview and feel free to reach out to the author
Q: When reading your story the first thing you notice is how quickly Marcus jumps in for the kill so to speak. How did you develop your character Marcus?
The idea for his character came from several sources. I used an experience I had in a previous relationship, as well as feedback I had received from male friends in regard to how men may think and/or act in specific situations. I also referenced some of the encounters in my daily life to capture the essence of Marcus’ character. I listened to the dialogue and observed the behavior of men who reflected the social, cultural and economic demographic of Marcus’ character.
As Marcus evolves in the story, I had to keep in mind that he is a man, but it was important to flesh him out from a more raw space so that his actions, feelings and thoughts were not exclusively associated with his gender. I wanted readers to see Marcus as a person, not just as a man entangled in dilemmas of his own making.
Q: Carolyn’s character is a bit reserved in the romance department but it appears as if she has reached a state of enlightenment. When it comes to self-awareness and love were you writing from your own experiences?
Yes, to some extent. I actually decided to use some of my experiences and perspectives from the past and the present to create all of the female characters in this story (Carolyn, Faith, Kathy and Naomi). I wanted to create a balance between these women that would reflect the various ways in which women may behave, think, or feel in different situations and at different stages of maturity and self-awareness in their lives.
Q: You have a very unique writing style that provides the reader with a sense of being taught a lesson as they read. Was that your goal for your first novel?
It wasn’t my goal to teach a lesson. However, I did want to create a story that would not only entertain, but could inspire readers to look at the circumstances of their lives from a different viewpoint, deeper feeling and another way of thinking.
Q: When speaking to other writers I’m always interested in knowing what motivates them to write. What inspires your creativity?
My writing is deeply inspired by my desire to understand how certain aspects of life unfold. I’ve always been fascinated by the dynamics in all types of relationships: social, familial, romantic, and professional. I love listening to people’s stories, observing human behavior, and finding the way in which all of it is connected at a profound level.
Q: You are also the owner of Best Life Publishing was your decision to become a publisher based on the level of difficulty many first time authors face in the publishing game?
Yes, in part, but I also want to retain creative control of my work and the product/brand I am connected to. There are advantages and disadvantages to both traditional and independent publishing, but ultimately my choice to be independent was based on the long-term goals I have for myself and Best Life Publishing.
Q: What is your advice to aspiring writers looking to make it in the publishing world?
Well, I’m fairly new to this business, but what I’ve learned so far is that authors must take the time to learn about the publishing industry in addition to studying and becoming skilled at their craft. No matter what publishing route an author may take, once a book is written there is another level of work and commitment required to get it out there. A large portion of a book’s success is based on word-of-mouth, so it’s key not only to write a good story, but to know what it takes to connect to—and build—the audience who’ll be receptive to your story. Patience, diligence, and the ability to adjust to changing dynamics will help an author endure the many challenges that will arise.
Q: What can readers expect from TES in the future?
Presently, I’m working on my next novel. This story will explore the emotional and behavioral patterns of five generations of women within one family, and uncover how of each of their individual experiences are connected and repeated throughout the family lineage. I plan to publish this story by fall 2013.