Help Wanted!

ImagePhoto Credit: Sports Monger Outdoors

As writers, which I assume that most of you are, we like to think that our writing is something we’re able to do on our own. We can sit alone at our computers for hours without interacting with another human, and we’re okay with that. I know I am. But think about it, is writing really something that we do on our own? Or do we have help at multiple junctures along the way? For me, I NEED all the help I can get because of how new I am to this whole writing thing, but also because I simply couldn’t have accomplished the task of writing a book without the help of others. Yes, it may be bad or have this many typos or whatever, but no one can doubt that it is a book. So as you read today’s post I’d like you to think about who has helped you along your writing journey. Because I’m going to talk about someone who I believe is my greatest supporter.

Introduction

First, let me introduce you. Her name is Stephany. Yes, it’s spelled that way. Isn’t that so cool? Anyway, I first met Stephany at the start of my final semester of college in January 2013. So we haven’t known each other very long. Let me tell you a few fun facts about her so you get an idea of the person I’m talking about. She loves Oreos. She once told me that if she ever got a tattoo, which I don’t think will ever happen, that it would be Penelope Cruz riding a turtle eating an Oreo. Haha! I thought it was hilarious when she said it and still think so now. She’s starting law school in the fall. She says “Oh my stars.” Which I think is the greatest thing. And I’ve never met someone as funny as her who didn’t have to try at all. Oh, and she’s read my book!

The why

Now if I were reading this post I’d probably be asking myself a few questions. Why is she so important that she gets a post written all about her? Or, so y’all are dating, right? Or, what does this have to do with books?

First off, we are just friends. Believe it or not, a guy and girl can be friends once into their twenties. Second, why is she so important? Well I’ll save that one for the third part of this post in just a bit. Lastly, what does this have to do with books? No, she isn’t a writer. She doesn’t have a cool blog like this. She has nothing to do with books or writing or any of the things I post here, except that I can probably count on one or two fingers how many people I know personally who are 100% behind my writing. And she comes in first.

So yeah, maybe you’ll just go on to read another blog somewhere else on the internet because you’re not going to get any cool book info from the rest of this post, but I would encourage you to stay. Because as a writer you likely have someone or multiple someones in your life who you know are always in your corner. I have Stephany. And she’s really about it. Now onto the third portion, which will tell you why I’m writing this post in the first place.

The letter

This last part will simply be a letter written from me to her. Why? Because it’s her birthday! And sending a stupid text message just doesn’t cut it for some people. So, here it is.

Stephany,

Honestly, I hesitated to include this part of the post because of how many people could potentially read it. But what the heck, right? Let me start with a story I’ve actually never told you. I never told you because it’s so embarrassing and because I honestly thought we wouldn’t talk much after I graduated. So glad I was wrong about that part.

It was one of the very first days of the semester in Dr. Cavanaugh’s class and we’d been assigned our first reading of the semester. On the day we were to discuss it you asked if I’d actually read what we were supposed to. I said no. But in my head this is what I was thinking, “Why in the world is this girl talking to me?! She’s like…pretty. I’m just awkward and weird.” Hahaha so yeah. Hopefully you laughed a little at that because I’ve always thought it was hilarious.

Now for a little more seriousness. Sorry, but we’re both sarcastic every other day of the year. What do I want to tell you on this rather public forum for many eyes to see? Hmm that’s a tough one. But not really. So I’ll just start rambling a bit. First, I’m sorry I made you BUY my book from me. What the heck was I thinking? And then you had to buy me lunch when I didn’t have my wallet. I think I owe you. Feel free to make a list as you read this. Second, you are undoubtedly my biggest supporter when it comes to my writing. And I know I don’t let you ask about it or anything, but I don’t think I’ve ever once believed since the first time I told you I wanted to write books after graduation that you weren’t sincerely interested. So that’s…well it’s a bigger deal than you could possibly imagine. It’s HUGE. Because you don’t have to be. And you get nothing out of it. Just ask every other person I know. I can’t even talk about it with anyone because they sincerely don’t care. But at least now you know why I was so eager to write a character after you in my second book.

Third, oh, I was kind of disappointed that you didn’t invite me to your graduation in December. I would have loved to go. Even though someone I invited to mine didn’t go. Hmm. Who could that be??? But that’s okay. Oh, AND when you read this you better follow my blog via email. You don’t even have to read the posts, just do it because I was awesome enough to write this for you. Okay? Okay.

Now let me be serious just a little while longer. Remember my signing back in November? You were really great about helping me with that. So thank you. Thank you for actually taking the time to read my book. I’m pretty sure last summer when I was still writing it that I only texted you about my writing. Thank you for putting up with that. Thank you for the constant sarcasm. Because who likes being serious all the time? Thanks for being an amazing person and even better friend. Okay, enough with all this serious stuff. Wait, one more. Thanks for just being my friend. I could make a list of the close friends I’ve had over the last five years or so who completely lost interest in me, some with reason, and others without. I’m not sure of the definition of a true friend, but I’d bet it’s you. So thank you. Okay, now I’m done.

One more thing. I told you a few weeks ago that I’d probably have about 750 followers when I posted this, well I’m actually just under 900 now. Sorry!

It’s your birthday! La La La La La. Just imagine me spinning in circles while jumping on my bed. Singing too. So, you’re getting kind of old now. I mean, 22. Start checking your hair because you might have some grey coming in! What rhymes with 22? Blue’s Clues, did you ever watch that? Or…Barbecue. Everyone loves that. Or…choo-choo! Hahaha

All sarcasm aside and in complete sincerity, happy birthday, Stephany. I hope you have the greatest day.

JohnRaymond <– 🙂

ImagePhoto Credit: Hotel Berna


 

Now I need YOUR help, fellow WordPress blogger. If you read this far, then you better be wishing her a happy birthday in the comments. Because, after all, you likely have someone exactly like her in your corner who you appreciate a whole lot more than they could possibly know. So do it! Please. I can promise you that Stephany would greatly appreciate it.

 

 

 

Advertisements

The Faces of my Characters

ImagePhoto Credit: Scholastic

I’m really starting to realize that blogging is all about copying someone else. Cause this is another post that I’ve seen on another blog in which the author introduces you to their characters via pictures and short descriptions. Well, time for y’all to meet mine! Even though I think I can count on one finger how many of my followers have actually read my book. But, let’s talk about them anyway.

Andrew

Andrew Banks is the protagonist of my stories. And he’s me. But physically we aren’t the same. If you happened to read my post from yesterday you’ll see that. He’s taller. Bigger. And he’s White. I thought of finding a picture of me to use for this anyway, but I realized that I don’t take pictures. Ever. So you’ll just have to use your imagination for him. I’d call him a mix of Mark Wahlberg and The Rock.

He’s smart. He has a master’s degree in criminal justice. He’s 27 at the start of the first book in the series. He’s never left the city in which he was born, Houston. He struggles with decisions that force him to put his morals aside. He has an inherent need to help every person who walks into his office. He has a library of books in his office that he uses to pass the time when he’s not working on a case. And he would rather die than see harm come to his longtime girlfriend, Sydney.

Sydney

Before I talk about Sydney the character I have to talk about Sydney the girl you see here. Just a little. Don’t ask me what that face is, cause I don’t know. Ha. I let her pick the picture and this is what I got. I think she was trying to represent her character when she took this? Maybe. Anyway, pretend that she didn’t have her glasses on here. And look at her eyes. Seriously, I’ve probably told her eight million times how wonderful they are. Not even kidding. I mean, blonde hair, blue eyes is great and all, but blonde hair, green eyes is SO much better! There’s a lot more to her than her eyes, but that’s all you get by way of intro. Just look at them one more time before reading on! Okay, you can continue.

Sydney the character looks exactly the same as Sydney in the picture. And she’s highly intelligent. She’s a nurse. She’s overly sarcastic. She’s independent. She’s absolutely hilarious. She’s a little moody at times. She gets jealous REALLY easily. I’d say it’s her height. She’s little. She wants to protect Andrew as much as he wants to protect her. She cooks. She’s fit. She makes Andrew carry her around. A LOT. And she wears the pants in their relationship. And she’s always reading something. No wonder they get along so well. AND she’s my favorite character I’ve written. She’s 22 at the start of the first book in the series.

Nathan

I’m not sure how we got polar opposites with these pictures here. One is more playful and this is like “THIS IS MY SERIOUS FACE.” Ha. Again, I let him pick the picture. I only stipulated that it show his hair clearly. He claims to have great hair. You be the judge.

Nathan the character will be known to you in the book as Fox. He’s a homicide detective working with the Houston Police Department. He looks like this guy you see here, but imagine about 25 years older. I aged him in the story in order to give him a bit of experience working in the criminal justice system. He met Andrew in college and they remained in touch afterward. He also has a master’s degree in criminal justice. He’s English. His cubicle at police headquarters is covered in Liverpool memorabilia. He’s Andrew’s go-to guy for everything when it comes to a case. Fox is the guy who will ultimately vouch for Andrew in the event something catastrophic happens.

Hunter David

ImageThis is not someone I know. This is a picture of IFBB pro bodybuilder, Jay Cutler.

Hunter David, on the other hand is the bad guy. I won’t tell you much about him other than a few things. He’s a millionaire. He’s bad. And he doesn’t care what happens to anyone in his way. As I wrote the story, this picture is exactly what I had in mind for him.

Alejandra

ImageHere we have a picture of Melanie Iglesias. Can you say breathtaking? Cause I can and I will. She is breathtaking. Okay, I’ll stop.

Alejandra is a major minor character. She’s the mother of Andrew’s first client, who’s quite young. I wasn’t going to include her in this post until I realized I had the perfect celebrity to match what I came up with in the book. She is Melanie up there. I mean, the first time Andrew meets her she has on an eerily similar outfit. Andrew even makes a remark during the course of the book that she knows she makes other women self-conscious instantly. I don’t have much by way of character traits and things of that nature. She cries. She laughs. She hugs Andrew. Multiple times. That’s about it.

So there you have SOME of the characters from my first book. It’s clearly not an exhaustive list, but it’s sufficient for this post. What do you think of these wonderful faces?

Photo Credits: Healthy Celeb

Hollywood Actors

15 Reasons to Read This Post!

Photo Credit: Leah’s Thoughts

You guys know that I rarely deviate from my books/writing/reading posts. Well, I’m about to. But I promise it’ll be fun. And interesting. So, unless you’re really new around this side of the blogging neighborhood then you likely saw my Liebster Award post from this past Saturday. If not, you can read it here. Anyway, I felt that my readers/followers enjoyed learning a bit more about the guy behind the blog as I listed out 15 random facts about myself. Some having to do with writing and some not. Well since I like you guys so much I figured why not just go ahead and tell y’all even more about myself? Here come 15 more random facts about me. Hope you like.

1. I may have fallen in love yesterday. She took me by surprise and now I don’t know what’s going on! It’s scary. Love is scary.

2. I have a really obnoxious laugh. Like whenever it gets out in public someone always looks at me like…what the heck are you doing? But it’s me. 🙂

3. I want to be able to travel the world someday. The Sistine Chapel. Pyramids of Giza. Stonehenge. Anywhere in Rome. Statue of Liberty. And so many more places. Someone with a lot of frequent flyer miles should loan me a few. Or all of them.

4. I cried when I got the author proof of my first book last year.

5. I come from a rather large Mexican family. Four brothers and three sisters. John. Brandon. Marc. Michael. Christina. Adrianna. Brandi. I’ve also been led to believe that there are others out there, though I’ve never met any more. Eh. We’re Mexican after all.

6. I share the exact same name as one of my brothers and my dad. It’s funny because we all go by something different. Our full name is John Raymond Guillen. My dad is Ray. My brother is John. And I’m JohnRaymond. But only family calls me that, so you guys can’t. Unless you’re the person who I may have fallen in love with yesterday. Then you can call me anything you like.

7. I have a weird double standard that I didn’t realize existed until fairly recently. When I’m around any guy friends I speak pretty vulgarly. Is that a word? But when I’m around a girl friend I won’t even say damn. And I would NEVER EVER EVER cuss at a girl. Nope. I’d hit a guy who did that in front of me.

8. I hate wearing jeans. With a passion. I have to wear them for my job but I honestly couldn’t tell you the last time I wore them somewhere else. It’s cause I can’t find any that fit right. My brother and I seem to share the same problem. They’re just too tight. Probably why I never wear pants once I’m home. Or a shirt.

9. I had an iPhone 4 for more than two years and never had a single problem with it. I’ve since switched to a Samsung Galaxy S4 and the screen went out after about six months and I got a free replacement. And the replacement phone doesn’t lock when I’m not using it. But I’m not going back to Apple! I refuse.

10. I routinely cry while reading books. I’ve cried while reading my own and I always knew what was going to happen. Call me a baby.

11. I don’t talk to a single person from my high school graduating class from 2010. It’s sad. I met some great people in high school. Their loss.

12. I don’t dance. At all. My sister got married about a month ago and I didn’t dance. I wish I could. But I can’t. I have no rhythm. Or anything. I’ve vowed to make a fool of myself at my wedding and never again. You can’t change it!

13. Normal people my age (22) do what on the weekends? Party. Go out. Something other than sitting at home doing nothing. Well I sit at home and do nothing every weekend. Cause I sleep. And read. And occasionally I’ll actually get some writing done. Call me boring. I’ll call you an alcoholic. 🙂

14. I hate when people criticize me for not using my degree a year after graduating. Seriously, get out of my life. I’ll punch you.

15. I went to the gym on Halloween last year in a hot dog costume. Yes, pictures were taken. Yes, I’m more awesome than you.

Yay! So now you know even MORE about me! Are you ready to give me your flyer miles? Say yes. I’ll love you forever.

I usually end every post with a question of some kind. So, tell me what you thought of my randomness. Or tell me something random about yourself. Or hit Like and leave my blog. Whichever you prefer!