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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. 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!

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Treacherous: Grifters, Ruffians and Killers was my first foray into the writing styles of author Gary Philips it was a cool read or should I say reads? The said title is a collection of short stories by the author the strong points for me are the different tones and feels of each story presented in the anthology. The way the author details the characters makes me have an instant attraction to the characters which is what one hopes to achieve when writing a short story. The overall project was just cool, it didn't wow me but it did entertain if you are a fan of mystery titles I say give it a go!

New to Me

I have heard of Octavia Butler before but this was the first time reading one of her books which was adapted to a graphic novel. It was an excellent read very descriptive and easy to visualize it dealt with a lot of complex emotions got unpacked when dealing with the different hierarchy of the black race on the slave plantation when dealing with one another and dealing with the white people they were forced to work for well worth the read.

It Was Different

I bought this book without reading what the description of the book was, being a Walter Mosley fan it didn't matter I was confident that I would enjoy it. And for the most part, I did it was a different read for me from this author, I'm sure he's written in this genre before I just haven't had the pleasure to read any of it all I've read are his detective novels for the most part. Jack Strong was a nice quick read, Walter Mosley did a great job describing the different characters inhabiting the mind of Jack Strong. I could easily picture this being a series on SyFy or AMC the way that it ended it was set up for a possible follow-up title and I look forward to it!

Very Descriptive, Easy to Visualize

The Scavenger by CL Lowry was my first read by this author and it was good! I could easily follow the characters and picture the scenarios and situations throughout the book very vividly. I could easily see this being a series on Netflix or Amazon Prime. Good story. Good job!

Good Story

The 716: Love & Consequences by author A.A. Lewis was my first read by this author, reading the story brought back a lot of memories I could relate to coming up in the '90s. Love & Consequences follows four friends coming up together having fun, living carefree, and navigating different relationships with men with varying personalities this makes for great conflict and adds grit to the story. Overall I viewed as a coming of age story they all matured at different rates in different ways throughout the course of the book. I liked the story, had to give it a 4* because although I understand why the "hood aspect" was attached to the story I feel like it missed the mark it could have been told just as well without the crime family portion it just didn't hit for me. It is definitely worth the read though!

Worth the Effort

Disclaimer Alert: This is not my genre of reading at ALL! The only other books that I've read that I think may fit into this category are Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi and The Patriarch by Brandon Massey. I enjoyed both so why not give this one a try. Let me get what I didn't like out the way first: It is written as a script, although the story is good reading it in script format with directions given as such took me out of the reading experience I had to adapt to the style that it was written in. I'm not 100% sure but I believe that this is the first release by this author, he has the talent and I could no doubt sometime in the future see this on the big screen or in today's times streaming on my screen from home. I really enjoyed this book and fell in love with Jousha's voice right from word one. The opening scene at the church door and the red wine are very visual. I love the idea of the hero having somehting on the line that drives him to save not only himself but others. Overall I say give J. Leon a shot and check out his work the read is definitely worth the time and effort.

Good Book

I've read all the titles in the Sleepy Carter mystery series I've enjoyed some more than others but overall they've all been solid and Coffee, Beignets, and Murder is no different actually it is I think this is the book in the series I like the most. Each book develops the characters a little bit more revealing who they are and why they have the motives that they have. For me, I like the character's and their flaws more so than the mystery aspect of the stories. If you haven't read this series yet I suggest that you do as I stated before it's a solid read.

Sleepy Carter

This is the third Sleepy Carter novel that I've read, and I was anxious to do so. After completion of the work, I have to say in my opinion it was cool, not bad. But not great either. Sleepy does what he does and detects from the garage with little to no evidence he hands Silverman her cases on a silver platter. Not to say that it can not be done I just find it a bit unplausible. True this has been the formula from the first two Sleepy Carter novels, I guess I expected a bit more. If it works why change it right? Being that I am a fan of mystery novels I still found the storyline a bit entertaining.

Good Book

The Patriarch by Brandon Massey is a really good short read, I was pleasantly surprised.

Satsified Reader!

Failure to Protect the fourth in the Dre Thomas and Angela Evans series was another satisfying read for me. After reading the first three I was excited to find out the fourth was released and was eager to read. I don't know if I am becoming more impatient or my preference for more action-packed reads is increasing. I have to admit that this title was a slow read for me, I understand that they have to character build and layout the plot but it seemed to move extremely slow for my taste. All of the usual characters were there Dre, Angela, Jenny, and Apache. I have to say that I didn't find myself getting engrossed in the story until Apache showed up and was a bit disappointed that he wasn't utilized more than he had been. But at this point the story had begun to pick up steam and found myself getting excited, anticipating reading the next page and laughing at the character's antics. So the last part of the story brought it all home for me and it made it worth the read. Curious to find out where Pamela Samuels-Young will go next with the Dre and Angela series.

Nice Prequel

This was a decent prequel, not great but not bad. I liked the overall story, it had a quick little case that he solved not unlike the other titles in the Leonid Mcgill series. What it was missing for me is a detailed origin story of how he became a P.I. I think that would have made it a better prequel showing some of his seedier side of doing business. Oh well, guess I'll wait until the next Mcgill story drops.