What the Experts say: Antwan Floyd Sr., Author

Antwan Floyd Sr. brings us a crime drama, PIECE KEEPER, with unique characters, according to his reviewers, where “even the good guys are bad.” His reviewers also say that the novel “was on a whole other level.” Floyd believes that the “human element”—where readers can relate to emotional aspects of the characters—is an important element of any genre. He also provides unpredictability with unexpected twists to engage readers, and uses relatable humor to enhance his characters.

Floyd enjoys traveling and also likes to meet other authors and read their books so he can discuss them. He is currently working on Dope Fiction pt. 2 and also on a spinoff from his Black Love Detective series.

Q: You describe PIECE KEEPER as a crime drama, but reviewers have also applauded the unique characters and plot. Is this “just” a crime drama or is it also a police exposé or more about uncovering the gritty side of life?

Antwan Floyd Sr.: Technically it is just a crime drama/mystery novel but like all great fiction it has elements of real life within the pages. In my opinion no matter the genre be it mystery, horror, romance or sci-fi it is all about what I like to call the “human element” and if you can have human emotional aspects to the story and people relate then it will make for a better story.

Q: One of the reviewers of PIECE KEEPER said, “This is a book where even the good guys are bad, it's a matter of degree and intent.” Another reviewer describes them as “think outside the box characters.” By creating more unique characters, what traits do you provide that will enable readers to engage with your characters? What will make readers care what happens to them?

Antwan Floyd Sr.: I just think about what my father told me all the time growing up “it takes all types of people to make up the world.” Now I don’t know if that is an original quote from him but nevertheless it makes sense. So I apply that to my story when creating characters, people interact with a wide array of people sometimes in their inner circle more often than not outside their inner circle and when the main character comes across another character that is a complete opposite of their belief system that makes for not only interesting writing and situations but hopefully interesting reading.

When you give characters a goal they are trying to accomplish and place obstacles in the way then on top of that give that character a human flaw be it a drug or alcohol problem, perhaps they are a chronic procrastinator or a bad guy turned good fighting to earn the trust and respect of another character to achieve said goal. These are all things that the average reader has gone through personally or knows someone who has and that makes it relatable and if well written enjoyable and easily attachable.

Q: “Suspense was awesome.” “Page-turning storyline.” How did you create suspense? Were mystery, suspense, and surprise twists an important part of telling your story—maybe even more than character development?

Antwan Floyd Sr.: When I write I don’t specifically think of a way to add suspense. I suppose it just happens as the story progresses. I just try to keep the story on track and keep the reader engaged. I suppose an important aspect for me is to not have it be predictable so I am conscious of adding unexpected twists.