At fifteen, Eileen Robinson lives in an ideal, middle class African-American family in Houston, Texas. When her father is murdered, an innocent victim in a drive by shooting, her sheltered life spirals downward into gloom. Her once stay-at-home mother is forced to go to work cleaning offices at night. Instead of enjoying her carefree teenage years hanging with her friends, Eileen is relegated to babysitting her two younger sisters. One night she sneaks out on them. Trying to cook something, they die in a fire. Tormented and wanting to kill herself, Eileen runs away from home. Befriended by a drug dealer, she moves in with him. At twenty-one she is a single mother of two, falsely convicted of killing a state senator’s son. At thirty-two she is executed. Or is she?
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How is Writing In Your Genre Different from Others?
I create characters in conflict. It is characters in conflict that keeps the reader turning the pages.
Reviewers have said: “Spirited Prose” “A Real Winner” “Twisting Action” “Authentic Dialogue”
“Thought Provoking” “A Fast Paced Thriller” “A Sympathetic Character”
“A Strong Female Protagonist”
Read the full reviews at: www.silklegacy.com or at the amazon.com page for Beyond Guilty
What Advice Would You Give Aspiring Writers?
Once you begin your writing try to find a critique group that will give you honest feedback on character development, dialogue, voice, plot, conflict and setting. But don’t automatically take anyone’s critique as gospel. Remember, it’s your story. Analyze the critiques to see if they have merit. Say you have a six person group. If one person criticizes something then it may or may not be valid. But if three or four in the group say the same thing about a segment then you should take it under serious consideration.
After graduating the University of Florida and a six month basic training tour in the National Guard, Richard worked 35 years in the textile industry. Always an avid reader, Richard began writing mystery, suspense and historical fiction novels in 1994. When not writing, he spends his time sailing and growing roses. He has two married daughters and lives in New Jersey with his wife.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
“Beyond Guilty” was inspired by a screen play written by my daughter. In her script, the protagonist is an African-American male wrongly convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Despite her being a lawyer in the movie industry and the screen play winning a number of awards including $1000.00 from a “Writer’s Digest” contest she was not able to generate interest from her associates in Hollywood. I said to her, “Let me write it as a book with an African-American female protagonist as there are many African-American actresses looking for a strong, leading role.” Thus “Beyond Guilty” was born.
However, in the process the book took on a life of its own and dramatically deviated from the screen play. The only parts that remained the same were that the lead character was wrongly convicted of murder and sentenced to death; and she escapes death row and fights to prove her innocence. All the fighting, chases, and the ending are entirely different from the screenplay.