On Twitter: @C2esq and @TWMIG_Novel
On the web: www.CeciliaCapers.com
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself?
I was born in Queens, New York and grew up on Long Island. I was a very creative kid but I tried to convince myself that I could be a medical doctor so I entered college as a Biology Major. After four grueling semesters I became an English Major with a concentration in theatre and film. My full-length play “The Life and Death of the Existential Black Man” was produced in undergrad. I worked for almost two years on the play with guidance from my theatre professor.
I gave up an opportunity to go to graduate school for film. So I graduated from college and became a teacher for almost four years before going to law school. I’ll always be a member of the bar but I made a decision to return to writing because I felt a void in my spirit without it.
Tell us about your book. How did it get started?
To Whom Much Is Given – A Novel is contemporary women’s fiction. Set in New York City, Avery Benjamin is a talented, intelligent, and beautiful ’30-something’ attorney of Jamaican and African American heritage. Avery is in a serious relationship with Antonio Dawson, a professional football player four years her junior whose family is part of Atlanta’s wealthy and influential ‘African American elite.’
However, like so many contemporary women, she longs for the days when she pursued big, passionate dreams. During this introspective period, her former lover from law school, Dean Everard Swithin, a British aristocrat, re-enters her world making her an offer she cannot possibly refuse. That is when Avery’s own drama begins. As the story progresses, readers quickly learn: Success has a price, and sometimes loved-ones become collateral damage.
After a hiatus from writing for ten years, the story came to me literally in a flash. It kinda freaked me out. I was sitting in my house not even thinking about writing. When it occurred, I took out my laptop and typed the entire scene with dialogue that would eventually become a flashback sequence in Chapter 10 of the book. I guess it is safe to say my muse brought me a wild surprise. Avery and Dean were the first characters I met. I care about them a lot.
How do you create characters?
Like I just said, I “met” my characters. Honestly, I feel funny saying it. Like I spoke in the cinematic book trailer for the novel, “I don’t find the stories, the stories find me.” I’ve written stories based on assignments or topics I wanted to explore but the most organic stories I write come from out of nowhere and I just follow the muse.
What inspires and what got you started in writing?
It makes me uncomfortable to say I’ve been writing since I was a child because every kid has done that. Most of my high school classmates in my English classes thought I would end up writing. I was good at it but I didn’t think it was valuable because it was easy for me to do. I ran away from writing after college because some family members told me it was not a stable or lucrative career.
The thing that got me inspired to return to writing was the very thing I thought would give me the perfect life. I thought the practice of law would fulfil what I needed to make me happy. I’m inspired to write because I’m older and I have some life experience. I squandered a lot of time and lost opportunities. This time around, I better stay the course. I’m not sure how it will turn out but I better be consistent.
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write? (music, drinks)
The kitchen. I wrote a lot of my debut novel in my cousin’s kitchen in Maryland. Water helps me write as well. Sometimes music is important but it has to be specific to the scene I’m writing as if I was synching a soundtrack to film sequence. I type almost everything so electricity is darn important too.
What do you like to read?
I like fiction and nonfiction as long as the writing is good and I have the opportunity to learn something new. I choose an author based on their ability to paint with words. I like to be enlightened.
What would your advice be to authors or aspiring in regards to writing?
Writing is a very solitary experience. If you can find a loyal support team in your family, friends, or online connections, take advantage of having those relationships. There is no such thing as “Build it and they will come” in fiction writing. It is a daily hustle to cultivate relationships—and the relationships should be authentic. Not everyone will invest in your dream so it is invaluable to cleave to the ones that do!
Anything else you’d like to share?
I hope people will check out the cinematic book trailer that is a companion to the book. It was a privilege to work with actors, a director, cinematographer, and production team. I wanted to script and shoot a short film since 2007 and my wish came true with my book project.
The cinematic book trailer featuring Lawrence Saint-Victor, who appears on CBS Daytime’s “The Bold and The Beautiful,” Toni Robison-May, and John J. Thomassen on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eRM2CpqPHs. Distinguishing the production of this novel’s cover and accompanying cinematic book trailer from other fiction works, the characters on the cover feature the same actors who appear in the cinematic book trailer.
Thank you so much to The Pen and Muse for letting me introduce myself and share some background on my characters.
Readers can read an excerpt and purchase an e-book on Amazon at http://amzn.to/1c094gL
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ToWhomMuchIsGivenNovel
On Twitter: @TWMIG_Novel
On the web: www.CeciliaCapers.com