A Bookish Converation with Ms. Johnnie Renee, author of 'Living In My Father's Dream: Weep Me Not'

Ms. Johnnie Renee is a first time author. She is the mother of an at-risk adult child, so she is accustomed to street life, visions, and dreams. Inspired by the eyes of a dead rapper, Ms. Johnnie Renee hopes that by writing this book (though it depicts street life) that a child's mind can be freed from violence, and drugs.

Her latest book is Living In My Father’s Dream: Weep Me Not.

For More Information
  • Visit Johnnie Renee’s website.
  • Connect with the author on Twitter.
About the Book:

Title: Living In My Father’s Dream: Weep Me Not
Author: Ms. Johnnie Renee
Publisher: JR Perez Imprint
Pages: 426
Genre: Urban Fiction

A powerful love story, not between a man and a woman, but a real father and his Mafia-bred son ANTONIO "SHAWN" PEREZ, JR. The only grandson of a Mafia drug lord, Shawn wanted to become a drug dealer at the age of twelve, but his dad said no. Just to teach Shawn that drugs are a killer, his dad made him sit in a country chair and watch him OD. Twenty-one years later, and still mentally screwed, all Shawn wants now is to be free from the memories of his dad's death, and for his grandfather to stay out of his life. Little did Shawn know, that the day he sat in that chair, his grandfather saw his strengths to watch his dad die, and wanted him as a one-time hitman for the family. Now, in order to be free, he must complete the job assigned to him by his grandfather. His job: To kill the baddest drug dealer in the hood. 
Living In My Father's Dream is available at Amazon.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

A: I guess every great story starts somewhere. As for mine, I simply looked into the eyes of a dead rapper. I still see his eyes. It was as if he had something to tell me. Over the course of two days, bits of this story kept flowing into my mind. From there, I just woke up one night (I could see the moon peering through my blinds) and started writing. The experience was like a rush of vomit. Every night, like clockwork, more pieces of the story entered my head. I got up in a hurry, ran upstairs to the computer, and tried to capture every thought. So much came through, so fast, that most nights I did not sleep. I became a night owl.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

A: It was very difficult for me at first, not because I had writer’s block, or anything related, but because I merely started out writing with a dream, a vision, and a desire to free at-risk youth’s minds from the bondage of hell (street life). With just this vision, I must say I was ignorant of the standardized writing procedures for writers. So it was very difficult for me, until I realized that I couldn’t just write a story from the everyone has a story to tell file cabinet. I learned it had to be structured along with standard writing procedures, and flow together through three acts: the beginning, the middle, and the end. My only advice to other aspiring writers is to read everything they see about writing, and when it begins to make sense, read it again. That’s when it clicks.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

A: I am a self-publisher. I believe that says it all.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

A: Yes. The world of writing is very organized, and extremely difficult to penetrate. I think it’s set up to win or lose. I think I lost, which is why I resorted to self-publishing. In the end, however, it all boils down to what I accomplished.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

A: My next adult fiction book Promise Me should be ready for the market summer of 2017. I Hear The Animals Singing, middle grade, children fiction, is almost ready for the market. I just have to illustrate it and make a cover for it.

Q: What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

A: I would say that it would be the statement I made about no other father could love his son more than the protagonist’s dad did. It’s a fact.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

A: I’m glad you asked. I believe that a lot of our problems in poverty-ridden communities are because a lot of our youth head into gang membership than through the front door of a school. I think this causes a lot of the pain in a mother’s heart. That pain as got to stop. It’s real, and it hurts. That’s my message.
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

A: Yes. I would like to invite everyone to help with a cause: The I Have A Heart Cause, for mothers with at-risk youths. RSVP WeepMeNot.com. Amen

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