In this sequel to THREE SIDES TO EVERY STORY, daring and acclaimed writer Clarence Nero takes us back into the lives of Johnny and James in a powerful novel about fraternities, family, and college drama.
Johnny and James survived the tough streets of New Orleans, but when Hurricane Katrina lays waste to their beloved Ninth Ward, they are forced to begin a new chapter in Washington DC. For Johnny, this means finally pursuing his dream of a becoming a student at the historic Wheatley College. James soon joins Johnny in the Nation’s Capitol but the strong connection that brought them together in prison is strained by the pressures of their new lives. Then Johnny’s brother Carl and his wife, Tiffany, introduce Johnny to the beautiful, sexy, and smart, Sheila Doggett with the intent of steering Johnny in a different direction. The entire family rallies around Johnny and Shelia’s budding friendship and Johnny prepares to join the frat that is a legacy in his family.
But once James gets wind of what Johnny’s family is up to, he decides that he’ll stop at nothing to save his relationship. Meanwhile, Johnny is struggling to keep the peace with everyone and keeping a potentially deadly secret that could stand in the way of his dreams. Everyone is soon confronted with the truth that the havoc in their lives has only just begun…
How far will you go for love?
Our heroes and sheroes wrestle with this question as they struggle to do right by themselves and those they love and the result is a fast-paced, thought-provoking roller coaster of a read.
What would you like readers to take away from your book?
Of course, I hope they are entertained. If you buy a book or a go to a movie, you should be entertained. But I want the readers to understand that I have a message and a bigger purpose then simply entertaining. I also to want to educate, inspire, and expand the reader in some way. Get them to think beyond their world—their comfort zone. It’s all about breaking down barriers and opening up yourself to understanding that there are other people on this planet besides me and you. There are many social issues that I address in the book and I hope the reader will think about these issues and walk away with some knowledge that may change their lives for the better. We have to stop hating one another and learn to love everybody like God loves us all.
Why did you choose to write this book?
It’s a sequel to “Three Sides To Every Story” and I felt that I still had more ground to cover from the last book. The characters are now displaced from Hurricane Katrina to Washington, DC. They are dealing with a lot of drama surrounding that issue as well as in their own personal lives. It’s really about Johnny, a young man coming of age and trying to find the courage to love despite his family’s disapproval of his lifestyle.
What did you learn while writing this book?
That I have to allow the characters to speak through me no matter how hard or difficult it may be. You see, sometimes the characters and I don’t see life the same way. Sometimes I hate how they may react in a particular situation. But I learned to allow the characters to be who they are and then the story will become or rather be more authentic.
What was your favorite scene/chapter from the book?
The scene where Sheila and the principal are meeting with Lester’s father, Mr. Toole, about his allegations that James molested his son. I love it when James and his momma Flo show up on the scene and Flo is raising all kind of hell about what her son is being accused of. I love the way Flo stands up for her son although his gay and feminine. I think that’s unconditional love and we all should strive to be that type of human being. To accept people as they are. I love me some Flo.
What is the best lesson you have learned from another writer?
Maya Angelou recently told me not to read reviews. Because if you get a really good one then you may think that you are too good and don’t need to grow. If you get a bad one, then you might just stop and no go forward when you very well need to. I’m going to try to follow her advice and lead, but I have to admit I love to hear what people think about my work.
What is the toughest test you’ve faced as writer?
When my editor didn’t like my first draft and I had to rewrite the whole book from start to finish. It was hard to do this, because I had worked so hard on that draft. I didn’t want to start completely over. Writing is hard. But I did start over and the second draft was much better. It’s hard sometimes to accept criticism. In some cases, it really helps you become a better writer.
What is something readers would be surprised you do?
After I finish a chapter of a book, I print out the pages and sleep with them. I love to see those pages coming off the printer. I rocked them like a newborn baby.
What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?
1. That sometimes you can’t take everyone with you along the journey. What’s meant for you ain’t necessarily meant for other people.
2. That everyone is not going to support what you do or see the vision you have. “Everything ain’t for everybody,” my mama always say.
3. That the road would be hard and that many sacrifices would have to be made in order for me to obtain the success I’m seeking.
How do you reach new readers?
I’ve been on facebook. It’s a great way to reach people and tell them about my book. Also blogs and Blog ADS.
If you could have dinner with 3 authors to talk with about their writing (living or deceased) who would you invite and why?
Maya Angelou, E. Lynn Harris and Alice Walker. These are three writers who I admire and have inspired me in some way. I would love to sit down with them and just shoot the breeze sort of speak. To hear them talk about their struggles and laugh about the success they now have obtained. And listen to the advice they would have for me.
Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?
One do is to finish novel or book no matter how busy you are. Never stop writing. If you don’t finish, you will have nothing but regrets.
Don’t try and copy another writer’s style. Write from your own voice and experiences.
How can readers get in contact with you?
They can go to website at www.clarencenero.com and sign my email list and/or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our theme for this month is AGENT HUNTING. Do you have any advice on finding a good agent?
Finding an agent is sometimes just as hard as finding a publisher to publish your novel. But if you believe in your work and have a really solid story than you will ultimately find someone interested in representing you. Do some research on books that might similar to your book. Go the acknowledgments and see who the person’s agent is. Most writers thank their agents in the acknowledgments. Contact the agent with a query letter explaining how your work is similar but different the author the agent currently have under contract.
Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?
It’s the final installment in the trilogy and it picks up where “Too Much of a Good Thing Ain’t Bad” ends. Tonya from the first book returns and one of my main characters die! It’s juicy and hot and exploding with drama. Things get really intense as everyone is after the sexy and hot Johnny Lomack. Everyone wants Johnny but loving him will come at a high price!
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