Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Writer Wednesday featuring Carey Anderson

Good afternoon guys and welcome to another "Writer Wednesday." I do these blog features to introduce you guys to other authors and entrepreneurs that are doing their thing and deserve your love and support. This week, I'm very pleased to introduce you to an author friend from the west coast, Carey Anderson. Take a moment to read about her, check out the sample from her novel and show her some love...because I said so.  Enjoy.

Author Carey Anderson
Bio:
Carey Anderson was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. At a very young age she learned that she had a natural gift for storytelling. Carey would entertain her family and friends with stories about anything going on in her life or theirs. 
During a time when everyone begins to ask their selves "who am I" this question was answered for Carey. Her teacher, who brought out all things creative within her, read her story aloud to the class. "Mrs. Dyes assigned a homework assignment to write a story about where Butterflies got their colors. I turned in my tale of how Martin Luther Butterfly helped all the world, and most importantly butterflies, receive their much-needed colors to make the world a wonderful place. At first I was so embarrassed, because I thought everyone would laugh at me and make fun of my story. When I realized they were laughing with me at my colorful story I couldn't put my pen down. I’d write short stories, poetry, journal entries, etc." Carey started writing stories as an outlet for the things going on in her life. Once she was in high school she began receiving extra credit from her English teacher for writing stories during her free time after school and on the weekends. Her English teacher suggested that she look into writing children's books, which she still, may do one day. However, writer's block affected Carey for quite a few years. She would attempt to start stories, but she would never finish them. 
During a really turbulent time in Carey's life she began writing what is now known as The Wallace Family Affairs Volume One Tracy's Complications, on her iPhone just as a little doodle. "I was going through some pretty rough things. My only escape from that reality was to look at my situation and imagine it differently. That's why Volume One starts off like it does. I didn't know it was going to be a story when Tracy started telling her story. Through the encouragement of my oldest and dearest friends my escape took me to a whole world of it's own." Carey wanted to share her stories immediately with the world so she decided to go down the path of self-publishing. 
Quickly after finishing Volume I, Carey began Volume II the story of her life. "I put so many of my family members in that story it's ridiculous!" Carey comes from a large family of cousins, and siblings so having such a large family on Amber or Malcolm's side is not strange or unusual for her. "The Latour's and the Wallace's in a lot of ways are like both of my parent's families, with lots of sprinkles of imagination. Neither side is directly represented in one family, but they're all in there." Again using only her iPhone, Carey crafted this master piece losing lots of sleep because Amber or Malcolm would wake her up to tell her more about their story. 
Thus far Carey's stories have been relatable and entertaining. They have been received well by the public and she looks forward to continuing to entertain you. "I get excited whenever someone reads one of my stories. I wanna know what they think about the characters? Are they entertained? Would they like to continue? So on and so forth. Everyone knows when they tell me they're reading I ask them where they are, and what has happened so far. I love interacting with my readers and discussing my characters as if they're real people. One of my biggest debates is the visual reference to what my characters actually look like. I see my character one-way, and my Rough Riders will see them another sometimes. The other debate is, once you've finished Volume Two Part 1 & Part 2, are you #TeamMalcolm or are you #TeamDwayne? I love to see this debate play out amongst my readers. I try to stay as neutral as possible, because I have love and affection for the two of them." Make sure you drop Carey a line and let her know whether you're #TeamMalcolm or #TeamDwayne, she loves to hear her reader's answers to this question. If you haven't done so already, check out Carey's stories on Amazon. You can either search "Wallace Family Affairs" or simply click on one of the links on the right.
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1st Chapter - No Regrets

Chapter 1
                                                                                                                   
"The usual?" I asked him.
He gave me a funny look. "Usual?"
"Yes, it varies depending on your mood but normally you order the pineapple peach smoothie. Sometimes you'll order a strawberry banana smoothie, but that's normally when you're kind of sentimental. I haven't put my finger on what triggers your chocolate peanut butter mood yet."
He didn't smile; he stared at me for a minute like he was taking everything I said in. He looked at the menu, and then he rolled his eyes and looked at me. "I'll take the chocolate peanut butter smoothie." There was no smile or friendliness in his tone. He watched me for a minute then he paid for his smoothie. 
Everybody else is scared of him; Shelly always breaks out in a sweat when she sees him coming. She says he's really scary. He's not so scary to me; actually, I think he's sexy as all get out. He's not like these goofy boys who run around here like kids. He always looks like he's thinking about something. "Someone will call your name when your order is ready." I said
He stood over to the side to let the next person order, but his eyes stayed stuck to me. I blushed cause I didn't know what to do. I wanted to get his attention, but now that I have it what am I supposed to do? 
Shelly volunteered to take the rest of the orders so that I could make the smoothies. I knew she was trying to avoid making his smoothie cause she was that scared of him. So I decided to upgrade his smoothie to the largest size since I was making it. I turned around and I handed him his smoothie with a straw. "Here you go Derrick." I said with a smile. 
"Thank you Chantel." He said then he walked away. 
I was speechless; I didn't know he knew my name. I didn't have a nametag on and I never wore one here. How did he know my name? I looked at Shelly who was now wide eyed and scared. She said something had to be wrong with him. I didn't think so, but now I definitely wanted to know how he knew my name. 
At the end of my shift, Shelly, Cadence, and I wiped all the machines down and closed up our station within the food court of the mall. Like clockwork, my brother Cyrus was there to pick me up. He worked in the shoe store on the other side of the mall. We both had two jobs here. I worked at the Smoothie Stand and Travel and Beyond, a luggage and travel store. Cyrus worked at the shoe store and the movie theater. Like a good big brother, he always watches over me and makes sure I'm taken care of. Most times, it's like we're all we have. Our mother works and works, when she isn't working she's resting. When she isn't resting she's working. Our father is there, but he's so selfish and self-centered we'd be better off without him. I don't know why our mother keeps him around; I guess she loves him even though loving him has gotten her nowhere. Cyrus and I do our best to ignore them and stay out of their way. We practically raise ourselves. Our mother doesn't have time and our father could careless. 
Cadence gives all of us a ride home. Even though Cadence is older than Cyrus by a good four years, her obvious crush on him was ridiculous at times. I didn't say anything though, cause if I needed a favor her open relationship with my brother worked to my advantage. Cyrus liked Cadence enough, but he wasn't really feeling her. He just went a long with it because he's a horny teenager. 
"How does he know your name?" Shelly asked
"I have no idea. Maybe he was checking me out." I said with a smile. 
"Oh come on. A guy like that checking you out? Get real."
"What is that supposed to mean?" Cyrus asked upset for me. 
"Don't get mad Cyrus. You gotta see this guy. Tall, dark, scary, and handsome. He's way out of all of our leagues." Shelly said matter of factly. 
"Speak for yourself! My sister can have anyone she wants!" Cyrus barked. I thanked him with my eyes. 
"Whatever! If you guys wanna live in a fantasy world, where guys like that want girls like us go ahead. But I live in the real world." Shelly said
"Shelly you could never be on my sister's level! Stop trying to tear her down to be as pathetic as you!" He was mad. 
"Ok guys! Lets drop this." Cadence said trying to be the peacekeeper. 
"Tell her to stop putting my sister down. Just because nobody would want her gives her no right to talk about my sister like that." 
"Shelly you are out of line." She said
"Whatever Cadence you're only siding with Cyrus cause you're hoping to get lucky tonight. But you guys know I'm telling the truth." Shelly said
"No one said he was interested in me. He could've been checking me out because I knew his name. I was just saying I don't know how he knew my name is all."
"You don't have to apologize to her cause some guy was checking you out. Forget her!"
"Cyrus..." Cadence whined.
Cyrus rolled his eyes. "I'm just saying!"
"Well tell me how you really feel." Shelly said insulted. "Just because Cadence swings from your nuts doesn't mean you're all that Cyrus!"
"I do not!" Cadence gasped.
"You're just jealous! If I wanted to smash you right now, I could. You've been wanting me since you were in grade school." The car fell silent. Shelly had nothing to say to that not even a denial. Cyrus laughed but we all remained silent. Shelly got out of the car without uttering a word. 
Cadence grabbed Cyrus' hand as she drove us home. When we got to our apartment, I got out of the car and I went inside. Cadence was in heat; so there was no telling when Cyrus was gonna come inside. 
When I came in the door, my mother was in the kitchen heating up leftovers. "Where's your brother?"
"Outside talking to Cadence." I said as I sat on the couch to finish my homework. 
"Your father said you didn't sweep the floor last night when you did the dishes." I didn't respond I kept my eyes on my homework. Cyrus and I did everything in there. All he did was knit-pick over everything we did. He was no help or example of how to do anything other than use somebody. "Make sure you sweep the floor." She said as she walked to her room. 
Two hours later Cyrus came inside as I put my things away. He didn't look at me; he went straight to the kitchen. "If you don't like her why do you have sex with her?" I asked. 
Cyrus shrugged, "just cause." Then he looked in the fridge. "What happened to the shrimp and pasta? There's only a little bit left."
"Ask your mother and father, I saw her in the kitchen when I came home." I said
"I had my mouth ready for that. I can't wait until we're out of here, no longer slaving for them." He said. I put my finger up to shush him. The last thing we needed was for them to hear us. 
*******
I was sitting behind the cash register working on my homework when I heard the bell chime that I had a customer. I put my book down and I stood up to greet my customer. My knees got weak when I saw him. "Hi" I said sounding completely surprised. 
"Hi" he said not smiling or anything. 
"How can I help you?" I asked not knowing what else to say. 
His eyes were scanning the store. "I need something for my father."
"Ok, does he travel a lot? Did you have luggage in mind or something more personal?"
"I was thinking something more personal."
"Is it for a special occasion?" I asked
"No, just because."
"What does he like?" I asked
"He's a lot like me; he likes nice stuff but nothing flashy." He said
I loved the sound of his voice. It was deep, but not startling deep. "How about a wallet, a flask, a money clip, or a brief case?"
"That sounds good, show me all of them." He said
"Is there a price range you want to stay within?" I asked as I led him to the left side of the store. 
"No" he said.
Then Mona walked in the store. She was the owner's daughter and my supervision during my shifts. Normally she stayed on the phone or visited with her friends when they stopped by. Any customers that came in the store I was expected to assist them. She was walking towards the back, but slowed down when she saw Derrick. I was hoping she would keep moving, but I could tell she was curious about him. She walked to the counter and sat on my stool. She leaned on the counter watching us. Her top was loose so all you saw were breast when you looked at her. I showed Derrick our wallets; he picked a genuine leather one that was soft to the touch. He picked a flask and money clip that he wanted engraved with his father's initials. He said he would think about the briefcase some more. I got excited cause that meant he could possibly come back even after he picks up his personalized items. "I'll ring you up." I said motioning for him to follow me to the register. 
When we got to the register, Mona sat up. "I'll ring him up. Go unpack those packages we got in today." She ordered. 
I knew she wanted the opportunity to flirt with him, but also she wanted to take credit for my sale like she did with all my high-ticket purchases. "Can I ring him up, then do the unpacking?" I asked wanting to stand up for myself on this one. 
Mona's face turned evil. "You heard what I said!" She said through clinched teeth. 
I started to walk to the back, I was thinking of how good it was gonna feel keying her car and or busting out one of her taillights like I've done before. "Hold on." Derrick said in my direction. I stopped in my tracks and turned around. "Don't you get commission?" I shook my head yes. 
"Kind of but not exactly. She hasn't been making her sales goals, so she's on her way to being fired anyways. It's not a big deal. I can give you a discount for the inconvenience."
She was so busy talking and removing tags that she didn't see his eyes turn evil. "How much of a discount?"
"I can take thirty percent off." She said still not paying attention. 
"Naw! I'm good!" He started walking towards the exit. 
"Wait! Why?" Then she looked at me. "Did she offer you a bigger discount?"
He walked back to the counter; she finally noticed his evil eyes. "No, I was willing to pay full price. I liked the way she conducted business. You on the other hand are not trust worthy. I wouldn't spend anything in this store, and from now on, you can kiss your regular customers goodbye. Nobody's coming in here any more."
"What? Why? Just because I told her to go unpack some boxes?" She looked like she wanted to cry. 
"I don't like the way you conduct business, you aren't to be trusted."
Then she sighed, "oh whatever little boy! You can't threaten me! A year from now my business will still be alive and thriving. You on the other hand will be outside begging for quarters." She said dismissing him. 
"Chantel!" His voice boomed when he called my name. 
Mona and I both jumped. "Yes?" I said nervously. 
"Get your stuff; you don't work here no more. This place is going out of business. I got a job for you."
"Ooh! Scary! Too bad that job will only be in his lap. Go on if you're stupid." She said dismissing the whole thing. 
I wasn't sure if what Derrick said was true or not, but I didn't have to take her treating me like this. I figured I'd find a job somewhere else in this big ole mall. I started grabbing my stuff. Mona huffed and said I was completely dumb for following him. I'm not gonna lie, I did feel a little stupid. But if I stayed after this, she would only treat me worse. When I had my things, I stopped behind Derrick waiting for him to lead the way. Then Derrick rattled off a phone number. "Robert K right? I'll call him and let him know why his business is failing." Then he started walking. 
"How do you know my father's number?" She yelled.
"Only a fool underestimates a stranger!" He said then he walked out the store, with me on his heels. He slowed down so that I could walk next to him once we were in the mall. "Stuff like that happens all the time doesn't it?"
I shrugged, "yeah but its no big deal. I would've gotten her back later."
"How so?" He pointed his eyes at me. 
"I didn't have an exact plan yet. But I would've figured something out." I said
"Let's go tell your brother where you'll be working on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays."
"You know my brother? How do you know my schedule?" I asked
"I know a lot of things. Come on..." He said leading the way to the theater. Cyrus was emptying the trash at the entrance when we walked up. "Hey D-Rick what's going on?" Cyrus said not realizing I was with him. 
They shook hands, "nothing much. We just wanted to let you know that your sister just quit over there at the travel store, she's gonna work for my father at the Mitigated Staffing Services remote office here in the mall." He said matter of factly. 
"O....k.... I guess I'll see you there in a little bit." Cyrus said to me. 
I had serious butterflies in my stomach as I waved bye to Cyrus and walked away with Derrick. "How do you know my brother?" I asked
"I know a lot of people for a lot of different reasons." He said. I guess that was supposed to be an answer. I decided to accept it for now. He held the glass door open for me when we got to the office space. An older Grandma looking lady was sitting at the receptionist desk. "Ms. Laverne this is Chantel. She's gonna assist you on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays." Derrick said
"Hello baby, how you doing?" She said getting up to give me a hug. 
She seemed like she was a sweet lady. "Hello" I said
"You can sit at this desk." Derrick pulled out the chair. I sat down. "You can put your stuff in the drawers; this will be your desk."
"Thank you." I said feeling somewhat funny about being here. 
"Ms. Laverne can you give her a little orientation and show her what you need her to do. I gotta call Malcolm and tell him she's here."
Then a bigger and blacker man walked in the door, his face was even more serious than Derrick's as if that could be possible. His eyes were stuck on me. "Malcolm we just said your name." Ms. Laverne said
"Did you now?" He said, his voice was a lot deeper than Derrick's.
"Malcolm this is Chantel." Derrick said plainly. 
Malcolm finally looked at someone else. "So what's the story?"
"I went in, she's here." Derrick said
Malcolm looked at me, his face was serious. "So I guess this means you have a plan." Malcolm said walking to the back. Derrick walked with him. 
I exhaled, Ms. Laverne laughed at me. "Oh honey you can relax. If you're here that means you're good people."
"It does? How would they know.? I asked
"Trust! They do their homework. Come on let me show you around." She said
Ms. Laverne showed me around the office. There was a bathroom, offices, a conference room, a small kitchen, and a room she called the mailroom. There was a ton of mail slots on the wall. She said some staff members drop by to pick up their mail. She told me to continue to dress like I was now. Slacks and a blouse. She said on Saturdays I could wear jeans. After talking to me for a while she smiled at me and said I was gonna fit in nicely around there. I smiled because I had no idea what she meant. I felt like I just joined a secret society without knowing I was signing up. 
"How did you end up working for Derrick?" Cyrus asked as we made our way to the bus stop. 
"It all happened so fast, I can't really tell you." I said scratching my head. 
"Be careful, I don't know if I like you working there." Cyrus said thinking about it. "D-Rick is cool and all, but I hear things about him and his family. You remember Pearla?" I nodded, "that's his cousin."
"She's crazy!" I said wide-eyed. 
"I know! But as crazy as she is, she doesnt jump bad with him, but then again remember Tim on my baseball team? That's his cousin too."
Boy, do I remember Tim. I had the biggest crush on him when my brother was playing. Tim was Asian and black and SO FINE! Tim was always respectable, well mannered, and focused on the game. He never knew I existed. His sister Tina was stuck on herself though. A little boy crazy, but you know how gorgeous girls are... It is truly a small world. I wondered how they all interacted. Was Derrick crazy like Pearla, or disciplined like Tim? And why did he notice me when he could've brought anyone in this office? As I was lost in my thoughts, I realized my mind had wandered off and Cyrus was now blank staring at me. I guess he said something when I stopped listening. I smiled a guilty smile at him. I was getting ready to say something when a beautiful old school car pulled up next to us. Both of us looked into the car. "Get in," Derrick said.
Cyrus looked at me like I did something wrong. I shrugged and then walked to the car, it was cold and dark. I knew he didn't want to be out here no more than I did. I got in the backseat. "Thanks man!" Cyrus said. 
"No problem." Derrick said glancing at me. "Why don't you have a car?" That question was for Cyrus. 
"Can't afford one right now. The bus works fine, sometimes we get rides."
Derrick nodded his head. "I hear you. You going to school after graduation?" Derrick was heading towards our apartment even though neither one of us were directing him. 
"Naw! I gotta get a job. I gotta move out as soon as I can. Saving as much money as I can right now. I might loop back around and take some classes later though." Derrick nodded his head like he understood. "You going to school?"
Derrick exhaled, "yeah. I'm going." He said like it was no big deal. 
"Must be nice." Cyrus said
Derrick glanced at Cyrus, "do you wanna go?"
"Yeah! I'd be a fool not to want to go. But school wasn't in my parent's plan for me. I gotta make my own way." Cyrus said sounding defeated like he normally did when it came to our parents. 
"What about her? She always got her nose in a book, she going?" Derrick asked Cyrus like I couldn't speak for myself. 
"We're hoping for a scholarship." Cyrus said 
Derrick pulled in front of our building. "It's no problem to bring you guys home when you don't have a ride." Derrick said
"Alright man, thanks." Cyrus said
When Derrick drove away, we asked each other at the same time how he knew where we lived. Cyrus said he probably got it off my W-4 when I filled it out. I guess he's right. 
Cyrus asked me if Derrick flirted with me, and I told him no. Derrick didn't even really look at me except that time when I told him about his smoothie order. 
*******
Our plan is to move out as soon as Cyrus graduates from high school, he says he's not leaving me to fin for myself while our dysfunctional parents forever ruin me. So I take my usual sixty dollars off the top, and then Cyrus and I put the rest of our money in our savings account to save for a deposit when we move out. We've been working on this plan since we were in middle school. We have over five thousand saved combined. Our parents only do what they have to for us, its like they said lets have two kids, then afterwards they changed their minds. The basic necessities we have, a roof over our heads, and beds to sleep in. ANYTHING else we have to provide for ourselves. And since it is their house, anything we have that they may want they take. So if I cook the groceries I bought using their stove, electricity, or refrigerator it is their right to help their-selves to it. Even if they eat it up, it doesn't matter its their house. Even my clothes the little bit that I have. Since my mom and I are about the same size, she helps herself to what I have and if she ruins it or decides to keep it for herself, I can't say nothing its her house. They have to know we aren't staying here, and I really don't think they care all that much. As long as they don't get any bills behind us, they could careless. 
I love working at Mitigated. I quit my job at the Smoothie Stand once Ms. Laverne said I was doing such a good job and she recommended that Derrick tell his father to give me a raise. I was expecting something like a twenty cent an hour raise or something like that. But they gave me four dollars more an hour, which made my take home more than what I was taking home from both jobs and still only working the days I worked. Cyrus suggested that I quit the Smoothie Stand and stick with the one job so I could have more time to study, work on my projects, and rest. I wanted to argue that we could stack that much more money faster if I kept both jobs. But the idea of going to bed like a normal person was appealing to me. Sometimes I would be up until all hours of the morning finishing school work, only getting a catnap and then rushing to school and then work. So I decided to take Cyrus' advice and my energy level at school has tremendously increased.
Malcolm still hasn't warmed up to me yet although Ms. Laverne says he has. I can't tell, he says "Chantel" when he walks in the door. He nods at me, and then he goes to his office. Sometimes I hear Ms. Laverne back there talking to him, going on and on about whatever, and laughing at her own jokes. The way she comes out of there you would swear he was back there laughing with her too. I don't get it, but its none of my business. Its not like he comes in everyday or anything. Sometimes a couple of weeks go by and then boom, there he is. He goes in his office; sometimes he conducts meetings in the conference room. One time I suggested to Ms. Laverne that we order snacks for his meeting and have them set up before the meeting started. When he went in the conference room he called Ms. Laverne in there, they closed the door. I thought he was mad about the snacks. I was sitting there panicking thinking I overstepped my boundaries, but Ms. Laverne came out and said that Malcolm loved the snacks and he was very thankful for them. I was SO confused I thought he was mad. That night when Derrick came out of the meeting he told me I did a good job too. 
Cyrus keeps asking me if Derrick flirts with me or anything and I keep telling him no. Derrick talks to Ms. Laverne and I, but he doesn't flirt with me. Sometimes I catch him looking at me, but he doesn't do anything. Its more like he's thinking and happens to be looking in my direction, and then I look at him. I've seen his girlfriend, and of course she's beautiful! She seemed nice enough, who am I to judge? Derrick made sure he introduced her to me though. She kind of looked at him funny when he did it. It did seem like I was somewhat important, but I told myself to not put more on it than there actually was. Ms. Laverne smiles at me all the time whenever Derrick comes around. I ignore her hoping she's just assuming I like him and that she can't tell that I actually do like him. I try very hard to keep that to myself. I haven't even expressed that to Cyrus, although I think he knows too. As long as no one tries to confront me on it, its all-good. 

2 comments:

  1. Very interesting story on how Carey began writing. Her books are amazing and leaves you wanting more.

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    1. Thanks for those kind words and for showing a great author love.

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