Thursday, February 18, 2016

Dodging Eros by: Cardyn Brooks w/ Interview

Title: Dodging Eros
Author: Cardyn Brooks
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Erotica
Publisher: Private Moments Publishing
Release Date: Jan 21 2016
Edition: eBook & Print
When is love a safe haven, a shield or a launch pad? When is it a mine field or a trap? ​                                                           Dodging Eros, Through Past, Present and Pleasure is something different about love.
Cupid is not simply a cherubic prankster.
Cupid is a tireless hunter. He’s dangerous.
While men and women bait and lure each other into the tricky gauntlet of attraction, Cupid circles, waiting for the perfect moment to strike.
Siblings Danya, Monica, and Warwick Fullerton come from a family tradition of love that endures. They understand the risks and rewards of loving and being loved, but the intersection of the politics of pleasure with the evolution of 21st-century society versus entrenched ideas about who is expected to love whom challenges them to fight for their beliefs, which differ from their parents’ ideas.
Dodging Eros uses the early 20th-century past as prologue about the present day to frame the generational shifts in the risks of loving and being loved as the Fullertons confront their personal demons and battle The Fellowship, a secret society of power brokers conceived during the era of U.S. Prohibition now expanded into a modern international network of corruption.

Bossy v. Moody
Danya and Rick: Their Beginning
Mona Fullerton snagged her husband’s upper arm and tugged until he slowly stepped a few paces backward out of the short hallway in front of the food prep area and into the walk-in pantry in their family bakery in Darlingfield, Virginia.
“Stop looking at our new worker like you’re planning to put him in a headlock, John,” she whispered as they both watched Danya, their youngest child, show Frederick Maxwell how to knead and shape dinner rolls for the final rise. Mona thought the two young people looked adorable standing next to each other in their matching Full Bake ball caps and t-shirts.
“Oh, no, ma’am, a headlock is too good for that boy who keeps looking at our baby girl.” Bewilderment seeped through the menace in the soft growl of his whispered threat.
Mona shifted her gaze away from her daughter’s budding summer romance with the young man who was working off what he owed for his share of replacing the front window of the bakery when he and his friends decided in their drunken inspiration to use the wrought-iron bench on the sidewalk as a ramp for practicing their daredevil skateboard tricks. She thanked God that it was three skateboards instead of three bodies that crashed through the glass.
While her husband scowled at their daughter’s would-be beau, Mona studied John’s stern profile and still recognized the tenderhearted boy and former Black Panther civil rights activist in the man standing beside her.
“Rick is a decent boy, John. He stayed and waited for the police even though his two friends ran,” she said quietly, reminding him of facts he already knew.
She embraced him with one arm around his waist and squeezed when he chuffed with grudging acknowledgement.
“John, your ladybug is now a young woman who’s coming into her own power. We need to trust her to live her life based on everything we’ve taught her.
“Plus, this is just a summer flirtation. In six weeks Danya returns to State and Rick goes back to school in Colorado a few days later.”
Mona’s words were a consoling reminder to herself as well as to her worried husband because at first she had dismissed the idea that this smart, good-looking, privileged white boy was seriously interested in pursuing Danya. But weeks of observing the boy’s awareness of and attentiveness to Danya had made his respectful intentions obvious.
Rick also let Danya scold him about cheerful eye contact and using words instead of grunts when serving customers who might choose to buy their baked goods elsewhere from more courteous workers.
Mona couldn’t blame her daughter for being curious about Rick. She understood that times were different now. Interracial dating wasn’t as rare or dangerous as it had been during Mona’s younger years, but she believed that all three of her children would choose to marry Black people when they were ready to settle down. She needed to believe it for her own peace of mind.
“Come on, John,” she said. “Glaring at the boy won’t change anything. Let’s finish payroll.”
Mona counted his heavy sigh accompanied by his slow turn toward the business office as a win for all four of them--Danya, Rick, John and herself.

Thank you for joining us today. I hope we haven’t interrupted your busy schedule too much.
My pleasure. Thank you so much for inviting me to chat. There’s always room in my schedule for fun stuff like this.

Can you tell us how you came to be an author? Has it been an easy or difficult journey?
My parents hooked me on reading at a very young age. They’re artists who would use brown crayons and markers to make some of the characters in my books resemble my complexion. Their doing that showed me how to customize a story cast even though I couldn’t verbalize that idea when I was a kid. Later, routinely having my expectation of being represented in a story unmet in mainstream fiction motivated me to write my own stories with casts of characters who resonated as familiar to me.
Because every aspect of writing is enjoyable to me, my journey to broader publication has been long rather than easy or difficult. It’s been very challenging to push back against really narrow stereotypes about what’s considered authentically black writing.

What motivates you as an author?
There isn’t enough variety and volume of smart, fun fiction written by and about actual grown-ups, especially women who are self-confident and pursuing their intellectual, academic, creative and professional interests as primary objectives, not just consolation prizes until they become girlfriends, wives and mothers. They’re also not anti-men by being pro-themselves.
There isn’t enough mainstream contemporary fiction where the casts of characters reflect the current demographics of the U.S. and the world. All kinds of people occupy every level of society, but mainstream contemporary fiction is slow to portray that truth as the norm. Stereotypes shaped by the legacy of patriarchal colonial imperialism persist.

How do you deal with rejection and setbacks as an author?
Well, after some tears, swear words, and premium ice cream (and/or chocolate depending on how harsh the no was), I remind myself that every rejection brings me one step closer to an acceptance. The rejection is a gift that kept me from ending up with the wrong (for me) literary agent or publisher. And I keep chanting that thought in my head until I mostly believe it.

How do you deal with writer’s block?
I think of writer’s block as my brain’s signal that I’m on the verge of a breakthrough. Rather than brood about not writing, I’ll read some non-fiction related to my story or exercise or do chores or run errands. The blockage usually dissolves within a few hours. If it doesn’t, I skip forward to write what’s flowing for me later in the story, which often shakes loose a solution for the blockage.

Do you have any motivational books or websites which you find useful from time to time?
I’m a compulsive writer who often looks at a glass as one-tenth full so motivational content isn’t really my thing.

Who has been the biggest influence upon your writing?
My parents and my family have completely shaped the way I write about what it means to love and to be loved.

Tell us about a typical day for you. Do you have any special routines which you strictly keep to?
On weekdays: Up around 8am. Exercise for 20—60mins, depending on my mood and schedule. Eat breakfast. Shower. Dress. Head to the library to work for 2—4hrs, or data entry at home if I’m transcribing my handwritten first draft of a project. Lunch. Errands. Chores Start dinner. Family time. Write for 2—4hrs until bedtime.
Weekends are a grab bag depending on an assortment of variables linked to family and friends, but I usually get in a few hours of writing on Saturday and/or Sunday.

How have family and friends reacted to you as an author? Are they supportive?
My family is unshakable in their support for me as an author. They understand my mission to expand mainstream contemporary fiction to include diversity as a given.

Do you have a muse? If so, please could you tell us a little about him/her?
No muse for me.

What have been your biggest projects so far this year?
Launching Dodging Eros and refining my upcoming series about powerful women in love are my two biggest publishing projects, while also developing my swim cap for very thick, long hair for the retail consumer market.

Going forwards as an author, what do you realistically hope to accomplish?
Expanding the conversation started by MissRepresentation and #WeNeedDiverseBooks about the overdue need for inclusion of all kinds of people as multi-faceted human beings in the casts of characters in mainstream contemporary entertainment media is my intention.

Cardyn Brooks writes erotica as social commentary. Her C. X Brooks persona writes edgier variations on similar themes.
Cardyn Brooks writes erotica as social commentary. Her C. X Brooks persona writes edgier variations on similar themes. 

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