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.
Q: “The bad guy is really creepy and evil, a great character to hate.” What character traits do you believe contribute to creating an effective villain that readers would want to hate?
Antwan Floyd Sr.: In my opinion a great villain is one that is as equally good as they are evil sometimes in some ways more good or should I say righteous in their cause or in what they believe to be right but are willing to cross over to the dark side sort to speak to achieve their goals.
Q: How useful was humor to develop your characters or tell the story?
Antwan Floyd Sr.: When it comes to humor I am no comedian by any stretch of the imagination but I do have a jaded sense of humor and sometimes like to add it to my stories, perhaps implement them into the character’s lives to lighten the mood sometimes in the story yet at the same time always make it relatable, someone out there reading that story has either gone through it or knows someone that has.
Q: Were you able to exploit the setting to tell your story? How big a part of your story involves location? Could it have occurred in any city in any time period?
Antwan Floyd Sr.: Not for this particular story, no I’ve never been to Danville, IL so I relied more on interior locales, things that I could use my imagination for depending on the character and their lifestyle in the story: where they lived, bars or restaurants they would frequent, placing them in places outside of their comfort zone be it beyond their wealth status or beneath it. All of these aspects of locale and their comfort zone will dictate how said character will interact with other characters.
Yes, for this particular story it could’ve occurred in Any Town, U.S.A.
Q: You’ve also written a second Black Love novel, CANNIBAL IN THE CITY. Tell us about Black Love. Is he based on anyone? On you? Is he a hero?
Antwan Floyd Sr.: I created Black Love as an ode to strong, book smart/street smart black men. I suppose he could be classified as a hero but he is not without flaws. He tries to do what he feels is right but has his own set of internal code that he lives by and that code is not always on the same side that the law is on so I suppose he is more anti-hero than hero. And no, he is not based on anyone in particular.
Q: What’s next?
Antwan Floyd Sr.: Next I am working on Dope Fiction pt. 2 “Greed Between the Lines.” Black is a prominent character in that story and I am also preparing to write Purple Reign “A Trigger Brown Mystery” a spin-off from The Black Love Detective series.
Q: Tell us about Antwan Floyd Sr. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Antwan Floyd Sr.: I enjoying traveling and meeting new readers. I truly love interacting and discussing books, not only mine but others so I do a fair amount of reading so if a reader I meet talks about a book I can join in the conversation because I’ve actually read it.
About Antwan Floyd Sr.
Antwan Floyd Sr. is the author and publisher of crime fiction novels including the Black Love Detective series which consists of Piece Keeper, Cannibal in the City, Body Bags & Last Rites and A Pound of Flesh, An Ounce of Blood. He also hosts a BookTube channel on YouTube called Dope Fiction Reviews where he reviews books he’s read by independent and national selling authors. He currently resides in Indianapolis, IN.
About PIECE KEEPER
Teresa Prince, a small-town girl with a big heart, had dreams of working in law enforcement. Her goals are deterred when she is violated in the worse way possible. Will she overcome this tragedy and emerge triumphant with her mind and soul intact? Or will the mental anguish be too much for her to bear?
James is a twisted soul with ideals of love and grandeur with a woman that doesn’t feel the same for him, at least not yet. That will all change if he has anything to do with it. To complicate matters worse her old flame has stepped into the picture. Will James be able to win her over and make her the love of his life before the flame is re-kindled between her and her ex? Or will he be left in the cold while they live happily ever-after?
Black Love was always more white collar than rider. When an unfortunate incident occurs in a small town in Illinois he rushes to the side of his ex-fiancé to attempt to save the day. It doesn’t take long to figure out that not everyone wants to see justice served. On top of that, his feelings for his past love may not only cause conflicts in the case but also add a rift to his new relationship. Will Black put his past behind him and find out who violated Teresa?
In this fast-paced tale of pain, misguided passion, and lost love we follow these three souls as they embark on a journey of romance, rape, and retribution. When there’s no one to count on but yourself will you stand and deliver? Or bend and break? Each will be faced with that question in the midst of questioning what they once thought was true. They all find out that when love turns to war, someone has to be the Piece Keeper! Purchase Links Amazon