Thursday, January 30, 2014

Q&A with Readers



Q: In War Angel it seems that everyone is living for the love of something or someone’s love. Why did you decide to make this suspense thriller a love story, but also a story full of unrequited love?

A: No matter what genre I write, I always try to weave in certain universal elements of the human condition. “War Angel” is riddled with murder and violence but, in order for a reader to CARE about the characters outside of the “shock value” of blood and guts related events, they have to be able to see them as relatable human beings. The pursuit of love was what drove most of the characters to do the things they did in the story.

Q: In one scene late in the book Jahaira thinks about how Hector pursued her relentlessly, professing his love for her. She thinks, “She had always believed that he was so persistent in his pursuit of her affections because he blindly saw perfection in what he did not possess.” Is this a key statement in the book, one that holds much greater meaning throughout, as it relates to the characters and what they are “coveting”, be it power, love, control, or otherworldly benefits?

A: It definitely was and I’m glad you picked up on it. Hector’s relentless pursuit of Jahaira’s affections is a perfect metaphor for people simply wanting something because they seem to not be able to possess it. We lose ourselves at times chasing what we want instead of the things we need and while we hunger for things that seem out of reach, we invent perfection where sometimes none exists. I think we’ve all had experiences where the fantasy was way better than the actual reality once we got a taste of what we were chasing. For example, everyone wants to be a king/queen but often find the weight of the crown very heavy once they’re wearing it.

Q: You placed some statements in the book that were taken from some of your previous works.  For example, Jahaira finds she is becoming more and more jealous as Lenox is obviously keeping something from her, and she states to herself; “Normally she wasn’t an insecure woman at all but lately, with all the open spaces that seemed to be widening between them, she had started to be driven crazy by her own jealousy.” Can you elaborate on how “open spaces” directly relates to your previous novel, Open Spaces ? Are there other open spaces being created or widened in War Angel besides between Jahaira and Lenox? I love this connection to your previous novel, Open Spaces; it is one of my all time favorite novels.

A: “Open Spaces” is one of my favorite novels as well. One of the themes of that book was how easy it is at time for people to drift apart, even when they love each other deeply, if they don’t find a way to keep the world outside of their relationship where it belongs. Lack of communication and misplaced lust which weakens trust has destroyed many a home. In “War Angel,” Jahaira knew Lenox so well that she could FEEL that he was keeping secrets from her which in turn made her begin to doubt his honesty. Although he meant to spare her pain by not sharing everything with her, it began to slowly eat away at their relationship and drive them apart. Also, after her own husband’s death, Carmen, Jahaira’s mother, becomes very jealous of the happiness that her daughter has found with Lenox. She pretends to want to strengthen their bond but secretly wished to destroy it, by any means necessary. Then, there is also the strange taboo relationship between Carmen and Hector. We learn in the book how that started and how it was the catalyst that drove her husband, Caesar, so very from away from her.

Q: You wrote in War Angel; “These elderly folk who had lived their entire lives with poverty’s boot heel on their throats didn’t pray to get to heaven or for forgiveness for any of their sins. They only turned eyes upwards to God to ask for a little bit of luck. It was a tragedy that played out daily in a place desperately lacking hope because of the absence of faith.”  I took these statements in addition to the paragraphs surrounding them to reflect a human condition; when and where more hope is needed there is little or no faith, which unfortunately doesn’t help anyone, it only makes the cycle continue. Can you explain your precise or implied meaning for this statement/section? 

A: That was one of my favorite parts of the book because I got to express my feelings about all the lives I see wasted. Crime and untimely deaths aren’t the only things plaguing urban communities like the ones I grew up in. There’s a sense of people being cheated out of life because they’ve been fed false dreams to chase and waste their entire lives slaving away for other people, believing that there’s a slice of pie reserved for them for being model “citizens” that report to work and do what they’re told. People aren’t taught to think. We’ve been conditioned to follow and I see where it ends…playing lotto and hoping to get lucky. I still believe that many people are still enslaved. It’s just that you can’t see the chains. In its own way, that’s a cruel, extended death sentence as well.

Q: “Evil only wins and heinous deeds only go unpunished when good men stand aside and do nothing.”  Is this statement from Chapter 12 a foreboding of what is to come later in the book and in the sequel?

A: It definitely was a foreboding of things to come in the sequel. At the time, Carmen also used the statement as a tool to try to motivate and manipulate Lenox into thinking that what he was about to do for her was righteous and justified.

Q: Why does the butcher’s knife in Jon’s house have pb&j on it? What are you saying to the reader here?

A: That was a little bit of dark humor on my part. I though t it was ironic that he eventually got stabbed to death by the same knife he had used to make a PB&J sandwich a few minutes before. (Remember that he was eating his sandwich when Lenox knocked on the door) If he had used a butter knife instead, that’s what would have been sitting within Lenox’s reach during their violent confrontation in the kitchen. I wanted to give the reader a sense that he might have had a chance if he had done things differently, even if it was something minute and trivial. It kind of showed that he was doomed no matter what and deserved his fate. I despise human beings who harm children the way Jon did.  

Q: I noted throughout my reading of the novel there were many parallel references or similarities to one of Shakespeare’s most popular and bloody plays. Particularly I noted the 3 weird/ghostly sisters, bloody hands, and murder by a large knife, secret plots, and secrets kept, guilt, hallucinations, and even a dinner party as a place where someone is drugged or begins to hallucinate.  What motivated you to embed elements that reference Shakespeare’s play? Do share other references I’ve missed.

A: The sisters were definitely a homage to the weird sisters in Macbeth, as was much of the novel. I see you noticed the scene where Lenox imagined the blood on his hands, just as Macbeth had. Carmen is a modern, Lady Macbeth but to the tenth power. She pushed Lenox AND Hector to do the things they did. Macbeth has always been one of my favorite Shakespeare plays.

Q: You put a statement in the book that can be paraphrased as saying “One moment, one choice, creates a tidal wave through time. Setting events into motions that cannot be stopped...”  Did any waves stop in War Angel? If so, where did the wave begin and where did it end? Will the sequel see these waves through time stopped?

A: The waves started in this book carry over to the sequel in a BIG way. “War Angel” was just the beginning. The subtitle for “War Angel II” his “Where Angels Fear to Tread” for a good reason, believe me. I also give the reader a glimpse at the past to provide more insight about Jahaira’s family’s history. There are also some new, very interesting characters that get involved. Now that I think about it, some of the events in the first book could be considered pebbles that lead to an avalanche.

Q: What are some of the lessons or themes throughout the book? What lessons might we learn in War Angel II?

A: One of the main themes of “War Angel” is love and what people are willing to do to keep it, chase it and even deny it. The main driving force behind everything that happens is Lenox and Jahaira’s unbreakable bond. I wanted to write a story where the male lead was totally devoted to the woman he loved instead of making it into the typical “unfaithful man” kind of storyline. I’ve been in love and totally devoted to a woman so I know for a fact that that type of love does exist. I surrounded that very real theme with an outlandish paranormal, action-packed, bloody thriller type of story. I think it gave the rest of the mayhem a calming center and a rock-solid central theme. It carried over into “War Angel II” in a major way. Without giving away TOO much, I’ll say that Jahaira certainly isn’t the “damsel in distress” in the sequel. You got a chance to see what she was capable of at the end of “War Angel” but I’ll say this, You ain’t seen nothin’ yet kiddo!

Q: Who is your favorite character and why?

A: That’s a tough one.  I have a few but, I would have to say that Lenox and Jahaira are my favorites in the book. I see them as one unit and I admire the love that they share and what they’re willing to do to protect it. Carmen is one of my favorite villains because of how complex she was.

I’d like to thank Ann for sending me such insightful, intelligent questions. It’s always a pleasure when someone reads my work and picks up on the subtle themes I work into my fiction and I really enjoyed answering them.

Monday, January 20, 2014

A Sample from Chapter 30 of "War Angel II" - Siege

I'm in a sharing mood, here's another tiny excerpt, taken from Chapter 30 of "War Angel II" to wet your appetite. Enjoy and feel free to leave comments.

Duke buried the blade of his axe in the doorframe and hung his suit jacket on the hooked back end of it. He hated getting his jacket dirty. He loosened his necktie and tightened his suspenders. He needed to be comfortable to enjoy this. Just as Olive and Jahaira reached the top of the staircase inside, the lumbering brute of a man with the twisted face stuck his head through the opening in the front door that he had savagely cleaved like a lumberjack. He slowly turned his head to look left, and then slowly to his right but saw no one in the living room. However, he was certain that the pretty, pregnant woman was home, somewhere hiding in the house, crouching in some dark corner, hoping against all hope that he might not find her. Just before he had practically reduced the thick door to splintered kindling, he had spied on her through the front window. He hoped that she was terrified. He loved it when they were scared.
“Hello pretty lady. I’m coming inside now,” were the oddly slurred words that bellowed and echoed through the house, formed from the crooked mouth of the stranger downstairs. Upstairs, both women’s blood curdled at the sound of his voice.
“Get in! Get your gun and lock the door!” Olive told Jahaira as she shoved her into the bedroom.
Jahaira stumbled across the room until she bumped into her bed and leaned against the mattress for support to keep from falling down.
“And where the fuck are you going?” she asked Olive.
“I’m going to try to stop this,” she answered before slamming the door shut.
Copyright © 2014 Keith Kareem Williams
All Rights Reserved


Another Excerpt from "War Angel II"

I would like to take a moment to thank everyone that has pre-ordered their copies of "War Angel II: Where Angels Fear to Tread" via my PayPal Link and to show my appreciation, I've entered everyone's name in a raffle to win a War Angel T-shirt. Keep checking the Blog and my Facebook Author page because I'll be announcing more contests and prizes after the book is released. And now, here's another excerpt to wet your appetite.

CHAPTER 13 – See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil

Granny had tossed and turned for most of the night, unable to fall into the kind of deep sleep that she needed after a long day of chasing children that were visiting for their summer vacation all over her house. She loved having her home so lively and full of youth but at her age, it wore her out. She wondered if the horrific dream she had about Jahaira might have been the reason why she couldn’t comfortably close her eyes. As she stared at the ceiling fan spinning above her head with heavy eyelids, a chill shot though her body which was strange, especially in the midst of a heat wave that had plagued the city with boiling temperatures for weeks. Granny even wondered if she might have been dying when goose bumps rose up on her skin and her teeth began to chatter. That’s when, from the corner of her eye she saw something that made her sit up in bed. In front of her closet, cloaked in the shadows, stood two pale women, identical in height and stature who kept their identities was concealed with black masquerade masks.
“Caesar’s sisters? What are you doing in my bedroom?” Granny asked but neither of the women answered. “Might as well take off your masks so I can see those pretty faces.”
“Good evening love,” the twins spoke together and greeted her, grinning as they removed their masks.
“Wow, you really are identical,” said Granny, straining her eyes in the dark gloom to see them clearly without her glasses. “Now, what do you want?”
“We’re here to help you. You won’t have to worry about nightmares anymore,” Anya answered.
“Your time is done here. Are you ready to meet your husband in the afterlife?” Anika asked as she and her sister walked to opposite sides of the bed where Granny lay like two pale wraiths straight out of a horror movie. Their steps barely made any sound on the creaky, worn and weary floorboards.
“You think I’m afraid of you?” Granny laughed bravely in the face of what she knew was coming. “I’ve been ready for years.”
The twins’ blue eyes looked even creepier in the dark as they flanked both sides of the bed and stared down at the woman they were about to murder.
“Pray to whatever god you believe watches over you,” Anya told her and then nodded to her sister.
Copyright © 2014 Keith Kareem Williams
All Rights Reserved


Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Writing Room - January 18, 2014

Welcome to another installment of "The Writing Room" with Keith Kareem Williams aka @reemafterdark (if you Tweet or love Instagram.)
Subtle differences in descriptions tell the story without you having to beat the reader in the head by TELLING them everything. For example:
SENTENCE 1 - "He smiled at her with yellow teeth."
SENTENCE 2 - "He smiled at her with nicotine-stained teeth."
The 2nd sentence SHOWS that the man smiling was a heavy smoker without you having to TELL the reader. Readers are smart. They get it. Don't insult their intelligence. --- Show vs. Tell

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

War Angel II Preview (Chapter 2 - Gunslingers)

I can finally say that I'm almost finished. For now, I'll just share an early, unedited chapter with you. Enjoy and as always, feel free to leave comments. Also, here is the PayPal Purchase Link for those of you who have been asking about pre-ordering autographed copies directly from me. It's been a long, strenuous process to get this book done and I thank you for the support along the way.
Jon the molester, Margaret Chance the lawyer’s daughter, Wolf the drug dealer, Caesar Ruiz the witch doctor and Hector, the hater were all recurring figures that weighed on Lenox’s conscience. They were also the faces he saw on the empty bottles and tin cans he used for target practice as the sound of Jahaira’s grandfather’s revolvers echoed like cannons through the trees. In one way or another, directly or indirectly, he was responsible for all of their deaths. Occasionally he saw Carmen’s face as well but only because it pleased him to imagine blowing her head off. He squeezed the trigger of the chrome magnum in his right hand and a fraction of a second later a Heineken brand beer bottle exploded and sent bits of green glass flying in every direction. He had been aiming for the small red star on the label and his ego convinced him that he actually hit his mark. The sadistic side of his psyche imagined that the scattered fragments were chunks of skull and brain from Carmen’s head. She was gone from this world but his hatred for the woman had not died with her or even diminished. He slowly raised the revolver in his left hand and pointed it at a dented tin can that had once contained sweat peas on a log about twenty yards away. There had been a time when his hands would shake whenever his mind replayed the cold winter day he killed he blew holes in Hector’s frame and left him with his brains leaking all over the snow-covered sidewalk. He was past that now, especially after Jahaira told him about everything that had happened, and almost happened to her. His hands were as steady now. He closed one eye, aimed at the faded label on the side of the can, squeezed the trigger …and missed. He didn’t stress about it though because when it had really mattered, in front of that damned warehouse, when he had rolled down his car’s dark tinted window, he hadn’t missed and THAT made him smile.
Jahaira had planned to go back to college for the fall semester following that summer but, that was before she found out that she was pregnant, got kidnapped, was almost raped, was nearly murdered and forced to ruthlessly run over one of her aunts with a speeding car to save Lenox’s life. Instead of taking notes while listening to lectures, she found herself at least twenty pounds heavier than she had been seven months ago with a gun in her hand in the woods behind a new house that still didn’t quite feel like home, learning how to shoot just in case their hideaway wasn’t quite secret or safe enough.
While the big revolvers Lenox held in his hands like a modern day cinema cowboy made inanimate objects explode, she took aim with her small .22 caliber pistol. Directly in her sights was an Eastern Bluebird that foolishly hadn’t flown away from the sounds of repeated gunfire, perched on a tree limb with its brown breast bravely poked out. She felt bad for having such a strong, sadistic, urge to kill it for no other reason than it being something to shoot at so she was actually relieved when she fired a single shot and missed. She had been feeling bipolar and crazy lately. The thin branch the small bird had been perched on shattered into splinters and the bird finally took off, flapping its wings frantically as it made its escape into the beautifully clear, cloudless blue sky.
The woods beside the lake they frequently visited for their target practice sessions was clean, pure and pristine. It reminded her of the photos from the calendars she would get every December as gifts from the dry cleaners in her old neighborhood for her business. All the same, despite its natural beauty, the place still made the hairs on the back of her neck stand up. To her, it was also too similar to too many laces she had seen in way too many psycho/slasher horror flicks. She half-expected some machete-wielding maniac in a goofy mask to pop out of the shadows behind the trees to his own spooky theme music. The only reason she wasn’t completely freaked out was because, in the unlikely event that aforementioned clichĂ© movie-maniac dared to attack them, both she and Lenox would riddle him full of bullet holes before he got within ten paces of them. After months of practice, they had become pretty damn good shots.
“You’re getting better. You nearly shot that lil birdy dead,” Lenox complimented her as he used his hand to shield his eyes from the glare of the midday sun while he looked up at the splintered branch.
“That’s good to hear. Maybe now you’ll let me try out a real gun instead of this little thing?” she asked, waving the .22 around carelessly.
“Well, it’s not the size…” he started to say.
“Ha! That’s a lie,” she interrupted, winked and smiled while looking down at his crotch. “I can handle it.”
“You mean you want to see if you can handle one of these?” he asked with a slick, devilish grin, holding up one of the heavy revolvers. The sun glinted off of the shiny end of the long chrome barrel.
“Yes,” she answered, wetting her lips with the tip of her tongue.
“You sure?”
“Yeah, why not? You think I can’t because I’m a girl?”
“Well, technically, you’re a pregnant girl.”
“Oh shut up and just gimme the gun. You think you’re soo funny,”
She handed him the .22 and roughly snatched one of the .45 magnums. He sarcastically and playfully walked behind her then took ten steps away, safely out of her line of fire. She raised her left hand to right wrist to steady it, took aim at an empty cognac bottle that Lenox had missed wide right, twice. She closed one eye, exhaled as she squeezed the trigger and hit it on her first try. They were both equally amazed by how true her aim was as bits of thick glass went flying.
“Wow, you’re a better shot than I am,” he complimented her as he walked up from behind and smacked her on the butt.
“Bet you didn’t think I could hit it?” she giggled.
“I have to admit I’m impressed. Seems like your grandfather’s spirit is guiding those hands,” he said smiling.
He thought she looked beautifully dangerous and angelic in her long white dress, slightly dirty at the hem from walking in the woods, with the smoking gun in her hand at her side.
“Maybe,” she answered. “Or, I might just be a natural.”
“Could be,” he answered, scratching his head.
“Enough shooting for today. Let’s go for a swim. The baby likes the water,” she told him while rubbing her baby bump.
She let the straps of the loose cotton dress fall from her shoulders. Once she successfully worked it down below her belly, she slipped out of it easily and laid it down neatly on a log before she kicked off her sandals. She loved the way the uneven wild grass tickled her toes as she walked barefoot to the lake in her underwear. In all the times they had come there, they had never seen another soul so she wasn’t bashful or hesitant about walking around in her lace, cream-colored bra and panties which weren’t exactly swimwear. Even though she had gained weight, she still wore her fancy undies because she still liked to feel sexy and wasn’t about to let a few extra pounds change that.
The quaint body of water in front of her was one of the few things she had grown to love since their relocation. All those swimming lessons her father forced her to take every summer at the “Y” finally came in handy. Being in the water helped with her back pain and the baby growing inside her seemed to like it a lot. As she stood on the edge of the water waiting for Lenox, she pressed her toes into the soft mud which was soothing relief for her aching feet.
“Come on slowpoke. You still afraid of the water?” she yelled.
“”I’m not that good of a swimmer,” he answered as he slowly walked to meet her.
“Hold my hand then you big baby.”
Tentatively, with Jahaira’s arm firmly locked with his, he tip-toed into the cool, clear water, careful not to wade into the deeper parts where he might panic and flounder. When the water was at his waist she let go of his arm and swam away like a mermaid. He never took his eyes off her as he smiled and wished that he could go with her. She needed this. The times when she was in the water seemed like the only time she didn’t mind their new neighborhood and it’s rural surroundings. For that, he was glad. After all that had happened, she deserved to smile and find some semblance of peace, something that he had been denied unfortunately. Before he died, Lenox’s father always warned him not to love anything too intensely because life had a way of humbling a man by ripping away the things he held most dear at the worst possible times. His dad’s words felt foreboding and now, that warning felt more like prophecy, especially after everything they had just barely escaped. All the same, he didn’t intend to love her any less. He was going to hold onto her as for long as he could and Life would have to pry her away from his stiff, dead fingers.
As she swam farther and farther away, Jahaira occasionally looked back towards the shore to watch him wade nervously in the shallows. She knew how deathly afraid of drowning he was so after aboulf half an hour in the water and blissful relief from her aches, she swam back to him. She hugged him and with her wet body pressed awkwardly against him because of her belly, she felt the muscles in his body relax. He felt safe in her arms for a change instead of the other way around. A few fluffy white clouds floated across the sunny skies above their heads as the couple stood in waist-deep waters, kissing as if the world was ending and that would be the last time they would taste each other’s lips. When they finally parted, he affectionately massaged her belly.
“We should get married,” he whispered after planting a series of soft, wet kisses on her face and neck.
“We ARE getting married. You forgot that you asked me months ago and I said yes?” she asked, smiling.
Jahaira would never forget the day, or the way he had proposed. They had been staying in hotels, moving from place to place and never staying anywhere for too long in fear that trouble would be following, hot on their heels. Although they had only been defending themselves, there would be serious consequences if they had to answer for the corpses they were responsible for. She remembered how he had come back from a routine trip the grocery store in a panic, telling her that they had to go right away. She loved him and trusted him so without hesitation, she grabbed everything and rushed off with him. For almost two hours, they drover farther and farther out of the city. She remembered how clear the sky was once they were clear of the cloud of smog that hung over it. That night, the moon glowed like a giant pearl floating in a black ocean with stars that twinkled like distant, precious gemstones. They hardly spoke the entire drive and she was too afraid to ask him exactly what they were running from or who might be after them. He finally pulled up to a house with a tree in the front yard with a wooden swing hanging from one of its limbs. He shut the car off, came around to her side and opened the door. Fright, fear and curiosity made her head spin as he took her hand and walked her across the yard. She could still remember the silence, only disturbed by the crunching of their feet in the snow that covered the front yard. As they got to the swing, she noticed fresh, red rose petals scattered all over the ground randomly which she found unusual, seeing as how it was the dead of winter. Lenox sat her down on the swing, got down on his knees on the frozen ground and proposed in front of the house he had bought for her. Through her own tears, she barely noticed the gorgeous ring he presented to her but instead, she saw God deep in the pools of his dark brown eyes. She would never forget that.
“I meant that we should do it right now. I don’t want to wait until after the baby,” he answered.
“But look at me,” she said, staring down at her belly.
“I AM looking at you…and I see you,” he answered as he looked at her that way that every woman who ever lived wanted to be looked at.
“I wanted to wait until after the baby was born…so I can look pretty in my wedding dress. What woman hasn’t dreamed of walking down the aisle, looking as beautiful as she will ever look in her entire life on that one, magical day?” she asked.
“Since the day we first met, you’ve never stopped being the prettiest woman I’ve ever seen.”
Jahaira wasn’t sure if it was the baby or what Lenox had just said that caused the fluttering in her stomach. His sincerity warmed her heart in ways that no one else had ever been able to. She wished that she could relax and bask in the moment but, there was fear in his voice and although he tried to mask it behind the truths he spoke it, she heard it clearly all the same.
“What’s the matter? I can tell something’s worrying you.”
“Nothing’s wrong,” he answered quickly.
“Really. You know me. I’m always like this.”
“Ox, you promised me that there would be no more secrets between us.”
“I promise, there’s nothing wrong J. It’s just that I’m ALREADY waiting impatiently for the baby. I just don’t want to have to wait any longer than I have to for you to be my wife. I’m anxious because I want you,” he explained while hugging her tightly.
“You already have me,” she told him.
What Lenox told Jahaira was the truth but the sense of dangerously dark future crawled up his spine and he did not want to share or worry her with the doom he felt closing in on them. Something sinister was coming for them and he wasn’t entirely sure that he would be able to stop it. All the same, he stood firm on the certainty that he would sacrifice his own life to save his family if he had to.
“What really has you so worried? We don’t keep anything from each other anymore remember?”Jahaira asked him. She felt the emotional dam he had built weakening and she wanted his true feelings to flow even at the risk that she might drown in them.
“I’ve been thinking about my father a lot lately,” he answered.
“Well that shouldn’t be troubling you. From everything you told me about him, you had a great dad.”
“That’s just it. I don’ know if I can be what he was as a father ways and I’m not sure if I want to be the type of husband he was.”
“Haven’t I been telling you over and over again that you’re going to be a great daddy? Besides, I’ll be there to help you. We’re doing this together babe,” she tried to reassure him.
“But J, my father ended up raising me by himself. He must not have been that good a husband if my mother walked away,” he answered with such sadness in his voice that Jahaira’s heart ached.
“I’m never leaving you Ox. Only death can take me away from you and even then, I’ll come back to haunt you. I’ll always watch over you both,” she answered with one hand on the back of his head and her other hand on her belly.
They brought their foreheads together gently and both began to cry.
Copyright © 2014 Keith Kareem Williams
All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

War Angel II - January Sneak Peek

Hey faithful readers. Happy New Year and I hope that each and every one of you has an amazing 2014. Personally, I'm glad that 2013 is in my rearview mirror. It won't be long now before I FINALLY finish writing "War Angel II: Where Angels Fear to Tread." I honestly can't wait to share how much stranger than "WAR ANGEL" this sequel is. I shed some light on a few mysteries while slightly opening the doors on a few more. I hope you're ready for some all new, very dangerous people.
In the meantime, here's a small excerpt from "Chapter 20 - Wedding Gown."

Jahaira smiled kindly as Olive left the room but as soon as she was by herself, she breathed a sigh of relief. All of the smiles, compliments and sisterly sentiment that she had been showered with sounded nice but seemed insincere somehow. With Olive gone, Jahaira felt as if the dark clouds that had been hovering above her head all morning had finally become thin across the sky to give the sun a chance to shine. A heaviness had been lifted from her heart. She walked across the room and stared out of the window at the place where she was about to say her vows, under the trestle that her fiancĂ©e had built with his own hands, decorated with exquisite flowers. It was with great care that he had intertwined the curly willows with the purple and white orchids. A flower he had told her was called Artemesia looked absolutely stunning mixed in. For a brief moment, she asked herself what her life would have been like if she hadn’t bumped into him by chance all those years ago in the heart of Brooklyn. Absent the fairytale extravagance that most girls dreamed of, her wedding wasn’t going to be anything like the swanky affairs she had seen depicted in the magazines but, there was definitely something that she had that most of those marriages would never have. Her love was real. Most people lived and died without ever finding what she and her man had. In an era where everyone was disconnected because they texted instead of talking, where broken hearts never healed and love affairs were tragically temporary, she had found a connection that could not be broken. Lenox was her immortal and she was his. They were about to become something more than just husband and wife. Her heart fluttered at the thought of their two souls about to move through the rest of eternity as one because she only chose to entertain the ideal of an existence where they would never be apart. She put both hands on her pregnant belly and rubbed it. Oddly enough, in the midst of such a happy moment, her thoughts suddenly turned to her dead parents.
Neither Carmen or Caesar had been very good people in life but all girls looked forward to having their fathers walk them down the aisle with pride. Over and over she tried to imagine what her mother would have looked like crying tears of joy on her daughter’s special day. Then she remembered the reasons why neither of those things would ever happen. Then, instead of feeling bad about what she didn’t have, she realized that it didn’t matter. Her parents had always treasured her as a thing; their own a porcelain doll to protect and keep safe but had never made her feel like a person whose heart pumped warm blood. That had always made her feel fragile and hollow. No matter how pretty they told her she was, there were millions of pretty girls in the world and she was just one of them. Lenox looked at her in a way that no one else had ever looked at her. He had found something about her to cherish, buried deep inside what she considered to be her own mediocrity. He saw potential in her that now stirred in her soul almost every time she saw her own reflection in his penetrating, dark brown eyes. She longed to be his wife, until death separated them and even then, she would ache for his love in the next life.

COPYRIGHT © 2013 Keith Kareem Williams
All rights reserved


Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Writing Room: Entry 1 "Marble Notebooks"

The Writing Room Intro

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Keith Kareem Williams. I am a father, an entrepreneur and an author. Welcome to my blog and I hope I can entertain you with my posts, make you think, or smile, or maybe even help you along the way on your own journey. If you’re a passionate lover of literature, I hope that my “The Writing Room” series of posts will provide you with an interesting glimpse into how I write my stories as I share all of the odd idiosyncrasies that I use to get me through, from the first sentence to the time I type THE END. If you are a writer and reading this, I hope that you find some, or all, of what I post useful in some way. If not, feel free to poke your finger at me while whispering, “That guy’s crazy.”

January 2, 2014
I'll be the 1st one to tell you that I'm REALLY glad that 2013 is over even though it means that I'm going to be year older in a few days. (I've never feared aging anyway and I wouldn't trade what I know now for youthful, ignorant, bliss...Ok, maybe I would but ONLY because it was so much fun being young and dumb.) 

As of today, I've slept a total of six hours since New Year's Eve. I'm in the process of finishing my sixth novel and being so close to the end makes me restless.
Last year, I found a way to avoid the bane to ALL writer's existence...the dreaded "writer's block." I keep a composition notebook with me at all times and as random ideas come to me for the story, I jot them down. They aren't in any particular order and I find that the randomness of the entries takes the pressure off of me to be perfect. (I'm a slow writer at times because I foolishly try to get everything "right" when working on the actual manuscript.) I've tried unsuccessfully for years to shake that bad habit but I'm just wired that way I suppose. Even on the days when I don't touch the draft, I still scribble ideas in the notebook which keeps me from having those unproductive gaps when I stress about not being as productive as I should have been. It also keeps me vigilante in getting everything that I want to express packed into the story because I write every thought down as soon as they pop into my fevered brain. One of the most frustrating things in the world  is having the doorbell, a phone call, text message, email or natural disaster make you forget a brilliant idea that would have made your story pop.