Represented by one of the top literary agencies in New York, Edward Dean Arnold is the author of Soul Disclosure and Lovin' Mrs. Jones. In addition to being a full-time writer, he is also the President & Publisher of PENDIUM Publishing House and the founder of the creative venue selfplug.com. Born in Eastern North Carolina, Edward is currently working on several literary projects which include his next novel titled No Love Left. To find out more, visit his website or check him out on Facebook.
Reminiscent of The Best Man, with the solid, sexy, urban style of Love Jones, Lovin' Mrs. Jones is a romantic drama filled with regret, betrayal, and irreversible outcomes. It explores what happens when you finally meet the love that is really meant for you...but you've already said "I do" to another. What do you do?
Meet Gabriel Washington. To all who know him, he has his act together -- financially secure, spiritually grounded, and he's just five days away from marrying his college sweetheart, Tracee Andrews. Despite her sharp tongue and sometimes manipulative ways, Tracee represents everything any sane man would want in a woman - ambitious, stunning, and has a gorgeous figure that intimidates the most confident of men. But as Gabriel will discover, the appearance of having everything is sometimes not enough when it comes to love, and definitely can fall short when it comes to being in love. So when this soon-to-be groom meets Alexandria Jones, a soft-spoken woman whose marriage to her husband just happens to be on shaky ground, a mutual, irresistible attraction will quickly transform Gabriel into a reluctant brotha just days prior to when he should be saying "I do".
At a time when things are seemingly perfect on the outside, Gabriel is conflicted on the inside whether it's worth risking a future he's somewhat certain of in exchange for a moment that may hold no promise. He will find out that falling for a married woman in the midst of her own marital breakdown comes with serious consequences. Falling for her on the week of his wedding, well...creates even more drama than he can imagine for an already complicated situation. Add to the mix Gabriel's not so innocent bride-to-be, Tracee, who has a few hidden skeletons of her own and Alexandria's husband, Lionel, who has been secretly covering up his ultimate betrayal for years. But it's only a matter of time before all secrets are revealed and lives are taken on a rollercoaster ride and turned upside down in more ways than one. And in the process, both will leave you personally invested in their lives and the choices they make beyond "The End".
In your opinion, what are the ingredients to making a great character?
The ingredients to making a great character is placing a little of yourself in each one. This helps to develop even the smallest characteristic to the fullest because you know it so well because it is a part of you. In addition, our family, friends, and those who we encounter in our daily lives make the best characters without a doubt - especially those that everyone can relate to. And the more complex they are, the more readers want to know them. I believe we're all a walking novel with a story to tell. If you sit with someone you know and really learn the backstory to their life, that part of them way before you met them (their childhood, teenage years, etc.) you'll see what I mean. Some of those in our friends circle have lived extremely interesting lives. And those who've had struggles, didn't grow up in the perfect two parent home, have experienced loss as well as gains, know what it's like when the ends don't always meet, etc. make the best of the best character mix in your writing. These are those that we can understand and feel a sense of connection to because most of us have been where they are at some point. Even those characters that we write about that might appear perfect on the outside are flawed in some fashion on the inside. Really developing a character based on their past, not just their present, is really an area of focus that should not be left out. To really get to know a character, you have to know where they came from to understand why and where they are presently.
Who is your favorite character from someone else's work and why?
In all honesty, I rarely have the opportunity to read works of fiction. Most of my reading relates to publishing, marketing, industry news, technology, etc. I try to keep my mind clear of other writers story ideas, characters, etc. This is part of my creative process of making sure my own characters are fresh and new, and haven't somehow unknowingly fused with something I may have read in the past.
Who is your favorite character from one of your works and why?
Gabriel Washington, from my novel Lovin' Mrs. Jones, is my favorite character I would have to say. Female readers often ask if he is based on someone I personally know and if so, where can he be found - they must know. He's a character that strives to be perfect in the sense of what might be viewed as the perfect man, even though he does have his recognizable flaws. He's that guy you would meet and be glad to have come across because he's genuine, knows who he is and what he wants. He's a confident character, but not because of his social status. His confidence comes more from how he was raised and those he surrounds himself with. He's that guy that knows when to just listen when that's all that is needed. His faith also plays a part of who he is, something he's not afraid to make known. I think female readers are immediately attracted to his character also because he's in a sense undervalued by his fiancee, a woman who thinks he's the lucky one and not the other way around.
“I SAID GET OUT!” Alexandria had screamed at the top of her lungs, furious.
“At least let me explain,” Lionel pleaded while following closely behind Alex in desperation, like a man about to lose everything sacred to him.
“No! You have to go! Right now!” she insisted, pointing to the front door, not wanting to hear any of it. “I can’t believe you even thought you could come back here.”
“I’m not going to tell you again to get out,” she asserted angrily, interrupting. “If you don’t leave now I’ll have the police escort you out. Try me. I am dead serious.”
“What? How can you say that to me like you don’t even know me? I’m your husband. This is my house, too.” Lionel’s facial expression was one of genuine confusion and bewilderment.
“After something like this, I don’t know you,” she uttered coldly.
“Don’t say that,” he murmured, shaking his head.
Pacing heavily, she said, “It’s the truth. But liars don’t know anything about the truth.
You’re a liar, Lionel. I never thought I would say that about you, but you’re a liar. I can’t trust you, in or out of my sight. And I can’t be with you.”
“Sweetie, please. Can you stop for a minute so we can talk about this?” he begged. “It’s not what it seems. You gotta believe me.”
“I don’t want to hear anything you have to say. And what do you think you could possibly tell me that would be worth listening to? Huh? More lies, Lionel? Is that what you want to tell me? I already know the truth. I know what you did. Everyone knows what you did, who you are. It’s in the paper. On TV. The radio. How could you?”
He dropped his head in shame, realizing he had failed. The pain in her eyes was so evident, and hurting her was hurting him. After a brief moment, he said, “I’m sorry.”
“Yes, you are,” she smirked, in disgust. “About the sorriest I’ve ever seen. And sad. You’re not the man I thought I was marrying.”
Lionel let out a heavy sigh.
“I really messed up, I know it,” he added, as if he was confessing to something.
“You’re right, you did,” she said sharply. “I was good to you, Lionel. I’ve never given you a reason to do something like this to me. Never. I don’t deserve this. If you weren’t happy at home, then…”
“It’s not that.”
“What is wrong with you? And with a tra…”
He interrupted before she could finish, and said, “I don’t know. I mean, nothing. It’s not like that. I’m not like that.”
“You need to go. You’re sick.” Her face was serious. “And the more I think about it, it’s making me sick. I literally feel like I’m going to throw up.”
“Oh God, help me. Babe. Please. I don’t want to lose you,” Lionel said.
“Don’t you get it…you already have. I can’t be with you.” Her facial expression displayed pure disgust when she said the words. “And honestly, it’s taking everything in me not to put a bullet in your behind right now. That’s the place you’ve taken me to.”
Lionel suddenly realized she was serious. Never having seen her like this, the look in her eyes had him cautious.
“I’m really hating myself right now.”
“Not more than I am towards you,” Alex replied. She took a breath. “Why won’t you just leave? Why are you still standing here? Do you want me to shoot you?”
Lionel’s departure was Alexandria’s only concern at this point. She needed him out of this house and out of her life before she did something she would regret. But he didn’t move. It was like he thought he was going to change things.
“You know what…keep standing there,” Alex said.
She brushed by him, seething with rage as she bolted from one room to another looking for where she had placed her cordless phone. “I’m calling the police. They’re real sympathetic to black men in domestic situations, especially ones with an already pending case for something else.”
“Don’t do this to us. Please,” he begged, walking right on her heels.
Now with phone in hand, she quickly turned around to him enraged. Pointing her index finger directly in his face, she said sternly, “You did this! Don’t you dare try to turn this around on me! Don’t you dare. So just stop it. I’m tired and I don’t have the strength to do this with you anymore. Do you realize what you’ve done?! You can’t fix this. There’s no fixing it. No matter what you say, or try to do, you can’t. Your lawyers might be able to make it go away, but your money can’t fix us. I just don’t want you anymore. I shouldn’t have married you. You are the worst mistake of my life!”
“Please,” he continued to beg, his voice even more pitiful than before.
“I thought you were different. You’re not. You’re worse.”
Lionel attempted to reach out to embrace Alexandria. Before he could succeed, she turned on him in a fury. “Boy, don’t touch me!” she yelled and, before she knew it, she had hit him hard against the side of his head with the phone, missing her intended aim for his face.
Lionel was frozen in surprise, eyes blinking repeatedly from the unexpected blow. It was obvious the hit hurt like hell from the explicit word that fell from his mouth. Then, before he could utter another word, and for good measure, Alexandria hit him a second time, this one landing across the right side of his cheek – hindering any form of composure on his part. Lionel looked at her directly in her eyes, his eyes almost to the point of welling up. He was now standing there as if he was asking to be hit if it would make her feel any better.
“You deserve much worse, and you know it,” she said, coldly.