Today is the start of Book Insight Fridays where I talk about what I’ll be discussing weekly and I answer questions about myself that I’ve been asked as a writer and author.
Speaker 0 00:00:00 Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Aquarianmind Podcast. Today's podcast episode number three. I'm your host, Jamell Crouthers, today's Friday. So it's Book Insight Day. Um, I was going to go down the route of starting, um, this week with some book insight, but I figured, you know what, let me wait till next week. Um, next Friday, I'll start with the Struggles and Growth of a Man Part One. Today I'm going to go down a different route with Book Insight, and I'm going to share with you some really cool things about me and my writing journey as an author. So, the goal of Book Insight is obviously to give you guys an idea of how I write my books and why, and, you know, the messages behind them and a plethora of other things. So that's gonna be a fun and interesting journey, when I get going with that, starting next Friday.
Speaker 0 00:01:05 So, you know, Book Insight Fridays honestly came to my mind last year, and I knew that a lot of people don't know what goes on behind the scenes of an author. And I feel like it's time for me to share a lot of the things that go on with me as an author. Um, the good, the bad, the ugly, the indifferent, um, from the good investments to the bad investments to, you know, a whole lot of things that go on to, you know, get yourself noticed, especially when you're a self-published author and you don't have thousands of dollars to fork up, to get yourself out there. And even if you are to fork up thousands of dollars, there's no guarantee that, the success will honestly come. So, with that said, I'm going to, um, delve into some questions, and this is going to be 50 Questions with Melo.
Speaker 0 00:02:16 So it's going to allow you to really, uh, get to know me a little bit. So I'm, you know, you know, toss some questions out and then I'll answer them and, um, give you guys a really good insight into how all of this goes with me on an everyday basis for the most part. So, one question that I get a lot is, when did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer? The honest truth is, is it never really dawned on me, because I've been writing since I was 13 years old. So I've been writing for a long time. I started writing poetry when I was 13, and, um, you know, I wrote poetry a lot, um, mostly like the rhyming sing songy stuff. And then as I got older, I started to, you know, write more in-depth stuff. Um, the journey to becoming an Author didn't happen until I went to Los Angeles a few years ago, and I was trying to figure out what my next step was going to be in life. And then that kind of came along, and here we are five years later. <laugh>. Next question. What works best for me in regards to when I'm writing?
Speaker 0 00:03:41 Honestly, I use my Google Chromebook and my iPad. They're pretty much connected through Google Docs. So everywhere I go, I can literally jump into writing and, you know, do what I need to do. I also have an iPhone, so, you know, that allows me to, you know, write down an idea whatever comes to me. Um, as far as planning out my books, I utilize, um, you know, a small book and I write down to-do lists. I write out chapters. I write how I'm going to write, you know, my books, things like that. It's great for me from a visual standpoint when I write everything out in a book, because when I sit down to write, it's just easier to see it and know how I'm gonna write, write a certain book. An example is 'Kids with Guns.' That series has a lot of characters and to put it in the right order and to have a story for, you know, a plethora of characters, I am going to guess off the top of my head, I think there was about 30 different characters in total for a five book series.
Speaker 0 00:04:59 All 30 characters were not in every single book of the series, but I'm going to say in that range between 25 and 30 characters, from all different walks of life. And that is, you know, how I go about, you know, writing. Next question is what inspires me to write? Honestly, it's life situations, things going on around me, things going on in the world for the most part. People's experiences, conversations with people, um, being an observer of world events that's going on, being an observer of just what's going on around me. Um, I don't sit and watch the news. And I have my reasons. Um, it's written a certain way. Um, it's problem, reaction, solution, which is a whole, the whole big thing that I, you know, read about and really delve deep into how the news works. But I do read a lot of articles and I, you know, I kind of pick and choose, you know, you know, what's the truth and what isn't. A lot of the truth isn't, you know, shared, you know, with us on the news. But, um, I kind of put a spin on it when I get down to writing.
Speaker 0 00:06:22 So the biggest question I get asked all the time is, where and when do most of my book ideas come? I'm gonna keep it a hundred with you guys. It comes at the most random times.
Speaker 0 00:06:37 Most of the time it's anywhere between one and 2:00 AM so that's why I try to go to Sleep <laugh>. So the book ideas like, just don't come to me like that. But, um, a lot of my book ideas, when I did leave live on the east coast, um, did come like late at night when I'd be laying in bed, you know, getting ready to go to sleep. I'm in the dark thinking about just things I gotta do, things I gotta focus on. And then those book ideas start to matriculate and they start to come along. And then I have to either grab my phone or grab my book or turn the light and like, you know, get down these ideas. Um, a lot of it is, you know, a book idea, potential chapters, characters names, uh, you know, potential synopsis. And then, then it kind of comes along. Um, ideas come to me when I'm in the shower. Ideas come to me when I'm eating. Trust me, when you're, when you're a writer and you're an author, and a lot of authors can relate to this, the ideas come at the most random inundated times.
Speaker 0 00:07:38 Next question. How often do I write? I try to write three to four times a week, whether it is short poems or, um, you know, writing my books. Um, lately, uh, since I have moved to the West Coast, I really sit down and write about one to two times a week. Um, I will really buckle down for longer periods of time when I do write, because I'm not fully immersed in it three to four times a week. Um, I will be getting backs three to four times a week in, you know, the near future. Um, but because I'm, you know, working on so many other projects and a lot of different, a lot of different things are going on in my life right now, um, I have not been able to sit and write down three to four times a week. Next is when do I write the most? And are there certain times of the year? Now,
Speaker 0 00:08:33 This is gonna shock you guys, but I write between May and September the most. Now I know what you people are thinking, okay, those are warm months. How are you writing during that time? Wouldn't you be out enjoying life and having fun? Well, the warmer months is when I have the most focus. That's when my mind is more alert, more aware. The next aspect of it is, is that there isn't much on TV <laugh>. So, uh, the only sport that's really around is baseball. But now because of everything that's going on in the world, well, sports are around, you know, during those summer months now. But, um, you know, before all of this stuff happening in the world, most of the time during the summer, I'd, I'd write about five books. This year I plan on writing 12 books for my Woman's Worth series.
Speaker 0 00:09:27 That will be coming next year. So next question, do I have a set schedule or, or are you one of those who only writes when they feel inspired? Now, I don't have a set schedule. When I do wanna write, I will sit down, buckle down, and really do it. Back home, when I was living on the East Coast, um, and before this whole world did a whole 180, a lot of it was writing on the train. Coming from work, sitting at work on my lunch break, um, about 90% of the time I'm writing my books at ho at home, at a desk, things of that nature. Most of the inspiration is already there, so it becomes easier to kind of process things in my mind, and I'm able to, you know, get a better focus. Next question, how hard is it to sit down and actually write something?
Speaker 0 00:10:27 When I first started, it wasn't hard because I only wanted to write books. I was only focused on that, you know? But now I have this podcast, and now I'm recording audiobooks, and now I'm writing blogs and keeping up on my website and posting stuff. So time management is a little different <laugh> these days. But one thing I can truthfully say is that I will sacrifice doing certain things in order to get my writing done in order and, and in order to finish, you know, books that I want to do. Next question. Do I aim to complete a set number of pages or words each day? No. <laugh> absolutely not. I kind of go with the flow, and then I, you know, if I get into a real, real, real big zone, I will go for an hour to two hours at a time, then take a break and then get back to it again.
Speaker 0 00:11:30 I don't force the issue. I let it come to me. The reason why is because it allows me to really bring out certain characters when I'm writing books, and it allows me to just write freely and not feel pressured. So I think that is the best way to do it. Um, honestly, um, for anyone that wants to get into writing and become an author, uh, this question is always interesting. Um, writers are often associated with the loner tendencies. Is there truth to it? Yes, there is three reasons. One, I'm a writer. Two, I'm an Aquarius and three, I'm an only only child. So honestly, I'm by myself a lot of the time <laugh>. So, and I'm really by myself now, now that I'm on the West Coast and, you know, kind of doing my own thing. But honestly, I'm comfortable with making myself happy. Listening to music really keeps me going, um, where I am now, I have really awesome neighbors that, you know, are creators themselves.
Speaker 0 00:12:34 So that kind of gets my juices flowing also. So, according to me, what is the hardest thing about writing? It's the distractions. Cell phones, iPads, TV, sports, social media. Yeah, that's the hardest part about writing. It's honestly not the writing part. It's some distractions to be brutally honest. Um, and you know, the great part about it's that I can buckle down and get things done when the time comes and, you know, when it's like, okay, Melo, buckle down, let's get the writing done. That's what happens. What's the easiest part about writing? The easiest is getting into that zone and knowing what you wanna write about. You know, it's, it's the storyline, the plot, the characters, everything just flows. You know, I've had days where I've written for like five hours straight, like a nut. I do not recommend you do that, but <laugh>, but because I get into those zones because I brainstorm so much before I start writing my books.
Speaker 0 00:13:46 So it becomes easier when I sit down to really write and get these books done. So that's the great part of everything. So do I read and who are my favorite authors? Yes, I do read, I read books about social issues that are going to kind of fuel me. They're gonna gimme ideas. Tom Burrell's 'Brainwashed' was an amazing, um, book '1984' by George Orwell, 'Behold A Pale Horse by Milton Cooper, William Cooper. There are a lot of other books, um, that are, 'Evicted' by Matt Desmond. There's just a lot of books that I've, you know, read, you know, within the past few months that are amazing and, you know, the 'Color of Law' right now. But Richard Stein, that's, you know, kind of what I'm currently reading. Um, that is a great read. Also, I have a lot of other books that I'm going to get to, um, down the road. So yes, uh, I do read stuff, um, that will get my juices flowing over the years. Would I say that my writing has improved? Yes, I would say that my personal opinion, but I will say that I like to leave that to the readers.
Speaker 0 00:15:18 I say that because 'The Struggles and Growth of a Man' was the first series that kind of started writing. Then there was 'Code Blue,' then there was 'The World We Live In,' then there was 'Kids With Guns.' So those are series that I've written. And in between I've written a few standalones, like 'America Under Mind Control.' 'America A Country Divided,' 'The Man Who Lost His Soul,' 'The World In Ruins,' 'Living Life to the Fullest,' which is the newest book that's out right now. So I like to say that I want to let the readers decide that. Um, and that's the best way to say it. I will say that one person, she's a radio host, and I do interviews with her once a year, and she, she has told me that my writing has significantly gotten better, more interesting and more intriguing, which is one of the best things to hear. Next question is, what are my main goals with writing books? And do I have a certain amount I want to write?
Speaker 0 00:16:27 If you guys don't know why, now my goal is to write 60 books by the end of 2024. And yes, I am going to complete that. I do have all 60 of my books planned out. It sounds nuts, it sounds maniacal, but, it's because I am a creator. I am blessed by God, and, uh, he gave me this talent and ability to write on behalf of him. And my mantra and goal is to "change the world" one book at a time. And hopefully this podcast will allow you guys to really get to know me. I'm a lot more and way better. So, next question is, any advice that you would give to inspiring authors? This is a question I get a lot from, like, when I do, you know, interview, like small radio interviews or, you know, interviews in like publications, things like that. I always say, write what you know and what you love. Do not go down the route of what's trendy. I say that because, um,
Speaker 0 00:17:49 The internet changes, the market changes. So you, you guys see how like E.L. James kind of started, you know, with, you know, her 50 Shades of Grey, and then you notice how the market, everyone tried to, you know, replicate that and it really couldn't be replicated. Now that market's changed, now it's more of social issues and, self-help books and motivation and inspiration, right? And the market will change again, you know, in the coming years. So I tell people, write what you know, and write what you love. So whether it's sci-fi, fiction, non-fiction, social issues, whatever you're comfortable with, motivation, inspiration, religious, whatever you want to do, do it. Learn as much as possible about the business. Budget yourself. Make sure you're not spending too much. Make sure that you're investing into the right arenas and getting your book noticed. And definitely follow your passion. Don't let anyone change your focus and your vision. Um, that is big, big, big, big, big. So what did I wanna become before I already came an author? And, you know, what were my kind of, you know, aspirations as a kid? I wanted to be an a, I wanted to be a lawyer.
Speaker 0 00:19:10 Now, that may surprise a few people, but I was big into crime TV shows, so I was the guy that watched New York Undercover when I was a kid, and that fascinated me. Cop shows and things like that. And to this day, I still watched Law and Order sbu and I loved Law and Order, criminal Intent, and, you know, a whole lot of other like, police officer shows and things of that nature. Um, you know, so I was definitely into like law and things like that. My first high school was focused on, you know, law classes. But then that changed when I realized that I had to be in school for a very long time. And yeah, then I wanted to go become a sports broadcaster or like a sports analyst. And I did have my own YouTube show for quite a while until the laptop crashed.
Speaker 0 00:20:09 And then, yeah, that was end of that, that was in my twenties, and I kind of walked away from it. And no, I did not know about external drives back then. Um, so there was that, and here I am now an author, and it's been an amazing journey. It's been fun, and it, it has its ups and downs, and I will say none, none of it is easy, but nothing great is easy. So my writing style and how is it different from other writers? All of my books are in a pros format. It's not the traditional book that you would pick up and read. Some people struggle with it. Some people think it's easier to read. You know, my books, the goal for me was to incorporate social issues and poetry prose into my books. So I want to stand out from the pack, and I feel like carving my own path is imperative to me, and that's what I want to do.
Speaker 0 00:21:18 So do my books carry a message? Yes, all of them do. It's just figuring out what it is and utilizing that to impact others and change the world that we live in. We are dealing with so many social issues right now. Um, some are more on the forefront than others, but for me, um, the struggles and growth of a man was about men's issues and struggles. Um, right now working on a Woman's Worth, which will tackle women's issues. I have written about women's issues in the world we live in, but this Woman's Worth series will delve deeper into it, um, written about domestic violence on the men's side and the women's side, alcohol and drug addiction, um, America, racism, and the plethora of other subjects. Um, so I don't shy away from controversy. Controversy. Um, you know, my most controversial book is I woke up a black man. Um, I've, you know, had my share of people who, whose eyes get bigger when they see that book cover, uh, put it to you that way. Next question, are there any books that I am currently reading? Yes, I am currently reading The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein. I'll be finished with that in the coming days, um, because I've been so busy with a whole bunch of stuff and, you know, been distracted by things, <laugh>.
Speaker 0 00:22:55 I haven't been able to finish that book the way I want, but I am going to get to it. Um, I did read Brainwash by Tom Burrell and Evicted by Matthew Desmond, which I did mention before. There are a long list of books that I am going to be reading this year. Um, I don't wanna tell you those, I'm not gonna give it away. Anyway, next question. Is there anything you are currently working on that will intrigue people? Yes, I have already discussed that I am working on, 'A Woman's Worth' series. It's a 12 book series that is going to tackle women's issues in today's society, but it's going to be more in a positive light. It's not going to be in a vulgar and, you know, demonstrative or anything like that. Um, I love and respect women in every way, shape, or form.
Speaker 0 00:23:46 About 80% of my family are women. So, you put the pieces together to the puzzle. Um, who, who are my books mostly dedicated to? Well, I would say to my grandparents who, you know, are no longer here. People who deal with tough times in their lives, and definitely the Lord, the man above God, the man who gave me life, the man who has given me so many talents and abilities. So I, I thank him after every book I write. So who is the most supportive in my writing? Uh, I would say my mom for sure. Uh, she has dealt with my craziness for five years, so I would say her, when I start talking about things, it's just like, oh, okay, you've got all this going. Okay, all right, go. Right. Um, so, um, and you know, I would say a lot of my new friends that I have made since I've moved to my new city that I currently live in, um, which are neighbors and also new friends, they're very supportive of what I'm doing. So I'm very, very, very thankful for them.
Speaker 0 00:25:02 So next question was, is did I ever see writing as a career in a full-time profession? No, definitely not. I never saw like being an author as like a career and something that you do. When I was younger, it was like, okay, you're gonna be a lawyer, or are you gonna be in sports? And I worked in sports for a very long time. I've worked for some of the biggest companies in the world, um, that are very well known. I'll put it to you that way. I'm not going to sit here and run down my resume because that's not the goal of this. Okay, so do I have a day job other than being a writing, being a writer? And do I like my job? Well, look, I work in the medical industry on the back end. I'm not on the front end.
Speaker 0 00:25:58 I'm not on the front line, so don't worry about that. The job's manageable. You know, pays my rent, allows me to eat, you know, invest, things like that. So, um, I like it. I don't love it. Um, they were up to me. I'd spend 168 hours a week, working on writing and doing all this stuff, but, um, I'm not there yet, and I will get there sooner than later. So does my day job ever get in the way of my writing? No, <laugh>, definitely not at all. Um, when I started the job that I'm currently working at, I had only published two books. I've been with this company.
Speaker 0 00:26:48 Four and a half years, so I would say I've published another 25 since I've started that job. So you do the math. So how do I see my writing hobby or passion? Well look for 20 years, it was love, hate, relationship, hobby, writing my poetry. Cool, great. Um, published my first book at 33. Um, I just turned 38. So, yeah.
Speaker 0 00:27:24 Once again, you do the math.
Speaker 0 00:27:28 So is it true that anyone can be a writer? Definitely, definitely, definitely. Um, if you're able to express yourself and formulate your thoughts and be able to put it on paper, um, you definitely can write a story, it can be done. Um, it's about self-awareness and yes, I got that from Gary Vainer, Chuck. He's like, secretly my Uncle <laugh>, he just doesn't know it. Anyway. Yeah, you can be a writer for sure. Um, you just have to be able to, um, organize everything, um, in a way to where when you're writing your story, it flows smoothly, it makes sense, and it keeps the reader engaged. Um, I definitely, um, am a big person of being organized. I'm very meticulous. So for me,
Speaker 0 00:28:25 It's easy for me to sit down with people and have conversations and say, okay, what do you wanna write about? And then from there, you know, everything's cluttered. And then I declutter and I formulate things to where it makes sense as best as I can. Um, I try to give more guidance, more, more than telling people what to do, um, because it's their story. So I don't want to be that person that says, well, you have to write it like this, because everyone has told me you should write your books in a traditional format. And well, I'm doing all right with my poetry pros format. So next question I get asked is, people believe that being a published author is glamorous. Is it true? No, <laugh>, it's not true at all. It's nowhere near glamorous. It's hard. It's a lot of work, especially when you're self-published. Every single decision falls on you. Every investment, you're gonna have successes and failures. It's part of the process. I'm not gonna sit here and lie to you. I don't sugarcoat anything. For those who know, know me very well, I don't sugarcoat. Um, for me, you know, it's, I have to think of the book idea, then formulate the thoughts, write it in my book, um, then I have to write the book, then I gotta create the book cover.
Speaker 0 00:29:59 Then I gotta edit and proofread the book, format it, put it on pre-order in the bookstores, market it, promote it, get the book reviews, um, and then, you know, then I gotta record the audio books. And now I'm writing blogs every week. And now I have this wonderful podcast that you guys are listening to, which I'm thankful for. So nothing is easy, especially being a self-published author. Next question. Do I like traveling or do I have a first thing indoors? Well, combination of both. I like traveling, exploring, exploring different places, things of that nature. Um, I'm a guy that has spent a lot of time in California, <laugh>, especially in LA County, um, <laugh>. But things have changed. Um, and no, I do not live in California, even though I love it. But I am a no West coast, just to give you guys a heads up. I do like to stay indoors too and relax. Um, I work long hours, so, you know, I'm doing nine hours a day Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and eight hours on Thursday. So, yeah, the body can get a little tired. But the good part is, is that I know how to balance out things. Um, sometimes I like to, you know, go for a run. Um, five days a week, I'm in the gym to kind of keep my body good.
Speaker 0 00:31:25 So I balance it out as much as I can. So I get asked this sometimes, and I'm gonna keep it a hundred with you guys with this. So how does it feel when I don't get the recognition that I deserve? It does bother me, but it makes me work harder.
Speaker 0 00:31:51 Because I know that I'm going to get to where I want to be, and I understand that I am a brand and that nothing happens overnight. There's no overnight success successes in this world. Um, do I market my own books? Yes. Um, as a self-published author, I do market my own books. It's, you know, taking the time to think about what I want to do and how I want to do it. Um, it's fun doing it myself sometimes, but I let experts do it, do it a little bit more these days because I know that I have to focus on a lot of other things. Am I satisfied with my success? So far? Yes and no. Yes, because I've written, you know, so many books and a lot of people are impacted by what I write about, but I don't feel like I'm ever going to be satisfied, and I'm ever going to feel like, yes, I made it, or, yeah, I'm here. Um, for me, I'm very competitive for those who know I'm an athlete. I used to run track in high school. I'm a basketball player. So for me, the competitive juice is always there.
Speaker 0 00:33:14 I'm not competing with anyone. I'm competing with myself to do more, write more, um, impact people, more things like that. So I'm trying to be legendary in regards to me being a writer and an author. And I want my books to forever live on when my body leaves this earth. Is writing book series more challenging? Are writing book series more challenging? Yes, they are.
Speaker 1 00:33:50 <laugh>,
Speaker 0 00:33:51 They are, 'The Struggles and Growth of a Man' series that wasn't too challenging, because I knew, you know, how I wanted to flow with the storylines and the back stories of, Robert. 'Cold Blue' was challenging because that deals with a good cop getting caught up in a lot of corruption. So, with Gary, I knew that I had to bring his family life into the mix and, you know, I had to bring his son into the mix. And, you know, his parents, and, you know, there's a lot of things that went into 'Code Blue,' not just him being on the job and dealing with the corruption on a daily basis. So that was a challenging series, the world we live in series, that, that was my most emotional series. Um, by the time I started to write part four, I made a decision to write part four and part five at the same time, um, because that just took a toll on me mentally. Um, that's a book series that tackles a plethora of social issues from depression, drug addiction, domestic violence, rape, all kinds of unfortunate events that go on in this world on a daily basis. But I try to
Speaker 0 00:35:21 Make sure that these characters got through what they got through 'Kids with Guns.'
Speaker 0 00:35:28 That was an interesting series to write. That was very fun in some ways because it deals with school shootings, but there's a loop to it. <laugh>, I won't give it away. I think when I get to that place of discussing 'Kids With Guns' series book insight wise, then you guys wanna understand where I'm coming from. There are more book series that I will be writing, 'A Woman's Worth' and 'Alphabet City.' Those are the two next major book series that I am working on. 'The Private Investigator' series is a continuation of the 'Cold Blue' series. 'The Private Investigator' series will be a five book series that will actually be starting at the end of February of 2021, which is this year. So, that's going to be a fun journey of, Gary becoming a Private Investigator. But overall developing storylines, evolving characters, keeping readers engaged, that's always the biggest challenge of all these things. But my goal always is to write great books and make sure that I am always sticking to talking about social issues and making sure that, uh, we keep these things on the forefront and not forget about them.
Speaker 0 00:36:56 So, yeah, I've been talking about my life as an author, and I get asked, what do I do in my free time? I listen to music every day. And when I mean every day, I mean every single day. It keeps me going. It keeps me in, you know, a very good, very good mood, keeps me in good spirits. One minute I can be listening to Jay-Z. Next could be Kid Cudi. Next could be Data Rebel, Joey Fehrenbach, Mokhov, Kevin George. So I can go from hip hop to R&B to ambient, to Electronic to alternative, Coldplay, Keane, Foo Fighters, please. Yeah, other than that, I do go running. You know, when I have the time, I do live in a warmer climate now, so yeah, running is something I can do a little bit more of.
Speaker 0 00:38:05 I play basketball, um, with this whole situation right now. I can't do it the way I want, but I'll eventually get to that. Somewhere along the lines. I do watch sports, basketball, football, baseball. Right now, basketball is just a move. Football I didn't do this year for whatever reason. Spending time with my family and friends is definitely the most important part. My mom's my best friend, so, um, that she's someone that I, you know, hang out, hang out with, with a lot. But, you know, not that we're, uh, 2,800 miles apart. A lot of my days are spent on the phone and on WhatsApp, but I will see her in the coming months. So did the thought of giving giving up my writing career ever occur to me, occur to me? Yes. I have thought about it plenty of times. Uh, I go <laugh> like the first about three years, I think at least once a month. I was like, eh, forget this crap, <laugh>. But I will be honest. Look, I have a contract with the Lord. I have the contract with God that I'm gonna write 60. So I get to work. And I know that I do not want to be working in corporate America until I'm like nearly 70 years old. I kind of wanna live my life on my own terms.
Speaker 0 00:39:27 What is my motivation for writing more? It's knowing that I can impact people in this world and make people think about the world and what's going on around them. Um, I'm motivated, you know, through the fact that I can reach so many people around the world. Um, I've been, you know, thankful, you know, to God that, um, my books are starting to reach people in Europe a little bit. Um, I get, you know, book sales occasionally from UK and Germany and things like that. So I definitely count my blessings. So, which book would I want adapted for? The Silver Screen. I'm going to say Cold Blue, because it deals with a lot of racism, police corruption, discrimination, things of that nature. The funny part is, is I started writing, um, short films based off of the Code Blue series. I just had to stop doing it because I have 60 books to write right now, so I can't bounce back and forth between writing books and writing scripts. So I am going to start writing scripts again. Um, and that's another goal of mine in the, in the near future, have I ever written a character based on the real me
Speaker 0 00:41:01 In life? Yes, Robert, from the Struggles and Growth of a Man, he has a few personality traits like me. I'll say that. Um, a lot of people don't know that, but you know, a little bit of a tidbit, um, Gary from Cold Blue, his morals and values are like me. I had to write him in an antagonist and protagonist way. Um, you'll understand it when you read the series, like when you start to read that series. He's a, he's a likable guy, but as time goes on, you start to, you'll probably start to get mad at him, um, <laugh>, and then by the, then by the end of the series, you'll like him again. Uh, <laugh>. That's the best way to put it. So, uh, when's the next book coming out? Well, as I'm recording right now, um, the private investigative series starts February 28th, which is my five year anniversary of writing books. Um, so that's the next project, um, that will be out. Um, private Investigator one February, part two, April part three, June part four, September part five,
Speaker 1 00:42:38 December, 2022
Speaker 0 00:42:40 Will be a Woman's Worth. Um, that will be the first of each month, 12 book series. So January 1st, February 1st, March 1st, all the way to the end. That will be a 12 book series. 2023 will be, um, the Alphabet City series, which is a 12 book series that I have planned out. Um, that will be one book a month. Um, so that'll be a 12 book series. And then 2024, I will be moving back into standalone books. Um, I think I'm doing about five books for 2024. Um, so yeah, people will get used to 12 book series and then it'll go back to five. So that's pretty much the game plan in regards to projects. Um, how big of a part does music play in creating 'My Zone?' Yes, it's a huge, huge, huge part in my writing. And, I listen to electronic and ambient music to get me going. So it's Mokhov, it's Joey Fehrenbach, it's Data Rebel, Jani R I'm forgetting people and I apologize. But, uh, those are mostly the people that I listen to when I'm in my zone and I'm writing my books.
Speaker 0 00:44:16 I don't want to listen to words when I'm writing, writing books because it throws me off a little bit. I like to be in a smooth melodic flow. I need smooth music to relax. The mind allows the thoughts to flow better. The only exception was 'Code Blue.' I had to listen really to certain artists that spoke on social issues, and I had to, you know, get myself into that zone, you know, so listening to Nas and Killer Mike and Killa Kyleon, Lorraine, Lorraine Hotel, like those types of albums. Childish Gambino's, 'This is America,' and, The Black Opera, 'African America.' Like, I had to get into a zone to write, you know, that kind of content. So that's a, I think that's prior probably about the only, only time and exception where I kind of had to get words into my, into my mind and into my brain for me to get like, ugh, you know?
Speaker 0 00:45:17 And yeah, I would say, um, 'I Woke Up A Black Man.' I had to listen to, you know, The Black Opera a little bit, just to get myself in that flow. Next question. Do I need to be in a specific place or room to write, or can I just sit in the middle of a cafe full of people and write? Look, I can't sit near anyone when I write. I have to be by myself alone. Totally immersed in what I'm doing. I write my best at home, sitting at a desk, comfortable chair. Um, long as my laptop is good, I have my headphones charged, my phone is near me so I can listen to my music. That's pretty much it. I get into my zone and I'm flowing. Next question. Some writers create a bubble around them until they're finished with their projects.
Speaker 0 00:46:13 Is that true? When it comes to me, yeah, buddy. It's very true. I'm a hermit when it comes to my writing. Um, and I will make sure that I do everything I need before I sit down to get my writing done. So that can consist of cleaning my apartment, going to the gym, recording this podcast, <laugh>. So I have to do everything, make sure, you know, I've done what I needed to do on social media, and then I get to work. I sit down, I get into that zone, and then I go, so do I mentor? Uh, yes, I do. In regards to up and coming authors, I mentor whenever I can. I try to get, give them insight on experiences, what I've done, what's worked for me, bad investments, failures, good, bad, and ugly and indifferent. Um, down the road I want to do speaking engagements.
Speaker 0 00:47:11 But the way this world is right now, there's gonna be speaking engagements virtually. For the most part. I don't think I'll be traveling as much. I think it just depends on, the next, coming, next few years of, you know, how the world will go and how it will shape. But, um, I'll leave that that up to God and, you know, see how that goes. So how long does it take for me to write a book? It depends on the book. Um, if it's a series, it's gonna take a little bit of some time. Standalones are a little bit quicker. I wrote 'Living Life to the Fullest,' which is my most recent book. I wrote that in five days. And I pretty much crafted the storyline, the title of the book, the characters in about an hour. I brainstormed that in about, in about an hour.
Speaker 0 00:48:06 'I Woke Up A Black Man' took a month, because that was a very important book to me. I had to run that by, you know, some people in my life. You know, and, you know, he, you know, my coworker Rob kind of really put things in perspective for me. So that was good. Um, and then I would say, you know, writing the book series, they take some time, 'Struggles and Growth of a Man' series that took a while. Cause I wanted to make sure that not only did I address men's issues, but I wanted to make sure that, you know, there was messages in every single book. Um, so, uh, 'The World We Live In' series, I would say took the longest to write because that's 18 different characters, and you're progressing their storylines and, you know, making sure that, you know, the story flows and it sounds right and it makes sense.
Speaker 0 00:49:19 So that's the longest series that, you know, that it, it took me a long while to write that. So how active am I on social media and do I think it affects the way I write? I have Instagram, I have YouTube, and then I have this, this lovely podcast. I'm not on Twitter anymore. Didn't really do much for me. Facebook fan pages didn't do much for me either. Um, YouTube, I'm gonna get back to this year. I have a couple of videos up right now. Um, you can type in my name, Jamel Cruthers, uh, and you will find me on YouTube, or you can go on my website and, you know, you'll see the section for YouTube and you'll be able to get to my page there. So, uh, social media doesn't really affect the way I write. Um, but, um, I will say that social media posts and things like that in regards to social issues, if I see it, I'll look into it, and then I'll kind of do my own little research and look into things and try to formulate, you know, how I wanna write it and things of that nature.
Speaker 0 00:50:31 So a little bit of some personal questions. Am I single dating, married? Do I have kids? No kids. Single, not dating, not married.
Speaker 0 00:50:45 Focused on a lot of things right now. You know, writing books, podcasts, helping people, um, full-time job, whole lot of things right now. Um, would it be nice if I was dating? Yes. But, um, for now I'm just entrenched in what I'm trying to do with my life and trying to get myself to where I want to be. So what would I say is my favorite book or series, the hardest book or series I've written, and things that, you know, projects that I'm working on that will surprise people. Favorite book series is the Struggles in Growth of a Man because it tackles men's issues and something that isn't discussed enough. So I had to, um, make sure that, um, that series was, uh, was worth, worth Everyone's while. Um, hardest book series, obviously the World We live in series. I've already kind of shared that. Um, the emotions that it took to write that series was a lot. And, um, yeah, it felt good when I finished that series, A book in the Future that's coming that everyone is going to probably be like, what? There's a book that I I'm publishing in a few years. It's called Who Influences Your Children
Speaker 1 00:52:18 <laugh>.
Speaker 0 00:52:20 I laugh because I kind of, I kind of know what people are thinking, but it's more about, um, who and what are influencing your children from the moment they're born until they become adults. And it's social media, tv, radio, print, all that stuff. So it's going to be, it's gonna be a controversial book in a way, but it's going to really delve deep into, um, how your child's mind develops and how, um, the people who you know, try to control us are infiltrating your children's minds. Where do I see the future of writing and authors? It's going to continuously grow,
Speaker 0 00:53:10 It's gonna get better, it's getting better. I'm just hoping that more social issues, more social issue books get written. Um, there are a lot of good ones out there right now, and I have quite a few of them on my bookcase, and there are quite, quite few more that I know I'll be getting in the near future, but I gotta get through these books first. So I can't go buying more books. Um, I'm more of a, a book holder. eBooks, they're cool and all, but it's not the same as holding a book. I'd rather hold the book than hold an iPad. Last question. Where do I see the challenges in authors in growing their brands?
Speaker 0 00:53:58 I will say that too many authors are engulfed on social media too much. I think that's one of the challenges. The other challenge is the budgeting and utilizing the right websites to help people grow their brands. I, and that still, that applies to me. I don't entrench myself on social media as much anymore. Um, I don't think social media has ever really sold, sold me any books. It's more of word of mouth and, you know, doing Amazon ads here and there, but everyone's doing that. So it's trying to find that niche that will, you know, get people, you know, known and things of that, that nature. The future is definitely bright. I'm not seeing that. Um, I see a lot of, um, people doing going this self-publishing route and becoming more successful. The bigger publishing companies are just not, are gonna lose that grip of, um, you know, the smaller authors like me that are looking into that would be, that would be looking for a deal.
Speaker 0 00:55:08 The bigger publishing companies will be able to stick around for, you know, the, the well-known people that own businesses or pol politicians or things like that. I think that's the only survival tactic that big publishing companies will really have. I think in the near future, I think within the next 10 years, there'll probably be maybe about five to six big publishing companies. The rest will kind of fade into oblivion. But I think the greatest part is that authors are starting to take control of their content, their brands, and I love it. It is the best thing ever because we are not depending on the head honchos to get things done. So, um, the way of the world is changing and we're taking back control of what we're doing. So this was a very long podcast today. Um, I hope that you guys aren't expecting me to, um, do podcasts this long.
Speaker 0 00:56:10 So because I won't <laugh> to be brutally honest, um, the next few podcasts are gonna be much shorter. Um, it's just today I wanted to give you guys the opportunity to fully get to know me and that's why it, I did 50 Questions with Mellow. Um, and I appreciate you guys for listening to this in its entirety. If you, if you have and you've gotten to this point, um, next week, um, on Book Insight, you know, I'll start discussing the struggles of Growth of a Man part one, and then I will go through that series and then, you know, some in between stuff, you know, I'll kind of do a couple other things in, in regards to book Insight. Also, it's not going to be books all of the time. Um, so just know that a lot of good stuff is coming. Um, Mondays with Mellow is gonna be fun and interesting and, um, motivation Wednesdays, it's gonna be fun also. So with that said, that is my podcast for today. Hope you guys have a great day, evening, wherever you guys are and, uh, what you guys are doing. Um, be good everyone, and go accomplish your goals.
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