Monday, March 24, 2014

Guest Blog D.J. Swykert

by D. J. Swykert

Jude St. Onge is a man on the run. He is an addict who has stolen a large cache of drugs from Detroit drug kingpin Mitchell Parson, who is determined to retrieve the drugs and take his revenge on Jude.

After the torture slaying of Jude’s wife, and the kidnapping of Jude’s daughter, Angelina, the last thing Mitchell Parson expected to hear when he picked up the phone was: “I have your sons.”

Detroit Homicide Detectives work the case unaware of all that is at stake in the investigation. Only Ray and Ted can save the endangered children in Children of the Enemy.

Where Do Stories Come From
Guest Blog, from author D.W. Swykert

I’m a blue collar person from Detroit. I’ve worked as a truck driver, dispatcher, logistics analyst, operations manager, accident investigator, and ten years as a 911 operator, which was the very best job of them all. They say write what you know, I know Detroit, and it’s underbelly.

I wrote a story that is an unpleasant truth. The Detroit Police Department solve about one third of the homicides in the murder capital of the world. My story is about the crime you seldom hear about and is almost never solved. It occurs in the netherworld of the drug culture in Detroit, slipping through the cracks of the police, the justice system and the media.

I have a pretty straightforward style of telling a story. I write a book like you’d watch a movie and put it down on paper. I’ve discussed themes and story frame many times at our writing group. The idea of which came first, plot or theme, invariably arises. Many writers begin a book with a theme as the motivation for the story line and then characters to express their theme.

When I write a book my characters always come first. I develop a story around a character I find interesting. I get a characterization in my head and then put this person into a situation that I can visualize he might find him/herself in. This becomes the conflict in my story and the book evolves as chapters focus on resolution of the conflict. I generally have the resolution already formed in my mind from the very beginning, which is what propels the chapters forward, each chapter pointing towards my ending.

Within this framework of my story there is always a theme. But I think its underneath, a presence even before I begin, though is not a primary concern of mine in writing the book. It’s a current that runs through the story and motivates the characters, plot, and resolution in the story, but it is not what began the story, the characters did.

Children of the Enemy began with a junkyard operator. He was sitting on a chair in front of a house trailer, smoking a cigarette, tending a land fill. He was older, had a grizzled look, and I there was perhaps a fascinating story how he came to this astute position. I developed the character Raymond Little, a former drug addict and convicted murderer, with a picture in my mind of this man tending trash. I never actually spoke with him, simply conjured up a past life for him and turned it into a story.

DJ Swykert’s work has appeared in: The Tampa Review, Detroit News, Monarch Review, Lunch Ticket, Zodiac Review, Barbaric Yawp and Bull. His books include Children of the Enemy, Maggie Elizabeth Harrington, Alpha Wolves, The Pool Boy’s Beatitude and The Death of Anyone.

You can find him hanging out on his website page:  He is a wolf expert.

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