Friday, October 4, 2013

Featured Author: Roje Augustin

Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours brings Roje Augustin here today to talk about her new novel, The Unraveling of Bebe Jones. Everyone who leaves a comment on the tour page will be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card. Anyone who purchases their copy of The Unraveling of Bebe Jones before October 21 and sends their receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, will get five bonus entries.

About the book:

When Desiree Washington ventures into the darkly glittering world of legendary singer Bebe Jones, she gets more than just a job. She gets a family in crisis, a diva meltdown, and a head full of stitches...

The Unraveling of Bebe Jones revolves around the rich and famous Jones family and the people who work for them as they cope through an array of personal dramas. The story begins at the height of the Global Financial Crisis, when 23-year-old Desiree Washington lands a job with her idol, legendary R&B singer Bebe Jones. Desiree quickly discovers that the outwardly perfect Bebe is in fact a troubled and lonely diva reeling from a career in decline and a marriage in tatters, and that behind all the money, glamor and fame, there are skeletons in the family closet. Throughout all of this, Desiree seeks support from her best friend Sean Minton, an aspiring music producer who hails from the insulated world of New York’s black elite burdened with secrets of his own. Rounding out the cast are Bebe's husband, Magnus Chadwick, a British hedge fund manager who cares more about money than family; her disgruntled household staff—-all with strange ties to Bebe; and her children, brave casualties of their mother's nightmare.

Interview with Roje Augustin

Roje, how long have you been writing, and how did you start?

I’ve been writing pretty much all my life. My earliest memory is from 5th grade when I was 9 or 10 and working on a book report. We had only to hand in one page, but I ended up writing four pages, and when it came to my turn to read it aloud, I remember some kids griping about how long it was. But by the time I was done reading it, everyone applauded!  It was my first taste at realizing that there was something I could do well. But I didn’t really start to take it seriously as a career until I began work on Bebe Jones. Prior to that, I wrote articles and scripts for work as a TV producer, but it always seemed secondary, until now. Now it’s my primary focus. 

What do you like best about writing?

I love having autonomy over the work. I can create an entire world of characters and locations, and I don’t have to consult with anyone about my decisions while writing. It’s all mine, and I love the feeling of having complete control over my vision at the start.

What’s your least favorite thing?

My least favorite thing about writing is the isolation. So I’ve recently rented an office space where I can still work in a quiet place but have a bit of humanity about. You need that. 

Your title The Unraveling of Bebe Jones is great. How did you come up with it?

Through trial and error! Took years to come up with the title. I just tried to think, "What’s this book about?" My earlier titles were rubbish.

Do you have another job outside of writing?

Television production. Although that’s a bit slow at the moment.

How would you describe your book in a tweet? (140 characters or less.)

A story about the collapse of a rich and famous American family.

How did you create the plot for this book?

Again, through much trial and error. The earlier drafts are completely different to the finished product. When I started I had one story in mind, and the story that exists today emerged after years of tinkering. It told me what it wanted to be. I knew I wanted the story to revolve around this superstar mom and her family and I knew there would be a downward spiral due to this celebrity behaving badly, but everything else was revealed the way and archeological dig might reveal treasure beneath the dirt. 

Do you outline, write by the seat of your pants, or let your characters tell you what to write?

I outline, then let the characters tell me what to write, for sure.

IMO, that's the only way to do it! What about your cover art? Did you have any say in it?

I did have a say in the cover art. I found this brilliant and wonderful photographer named Christian Scott here in Sydeny where I live. We got together to do my press photos, and in the process we discussed the cover. I knew I wanted a face and the cool shade of blue, but Christian designed the look for both covers and I love them. Especially the blue half face, but I love the drama of the cracked mirror cover as well. He did an amazing job. 

Do you have imaginary friends? When do they talk to you? Do they tell you what to write or do you poke them with a Q-tip?

I do have imaginary friends! I talk to them when I’m alone of course, otherwise people might think I’m crazy! Really it’s more of me working out issues that I end up uttering aloud. Whenever the mood strikes me. 

How do you get to know your characters?

By spending time with them. And it’s a combination of me knowing what I want them to be and them telling me where I’ve erred. It’s a wonderfully magical experience.

Sophie’s choice: Do you have a favorite of your characters?

That’s very tough. I really enjoy them all equally. But readers seem to lean toward Sean, which I didn’t expect. 

When you start writing a new book, do you know what the entire cast will be?

In this case yes, because this is a series. All the characters will come back for more drama!

Which character did you most enjoy writing?

Bebe, because she can be such a complicated bitch! Plus, she’s rich and famous and can get away with a lot. That celebrity world is fascinating to me, because these really famous ones who’ve been in the game for decades are totally divorced from reality. That’s great material to work with. 

Yes it is! I’m constantly on the lookout for new names. How do you name your characters?

I try to find names that incorporate a bit of the character’s main traits. For example, Desiree is a young woman fueled by her desire to become a successful writer, Sean Minton comes from an elite family who are ‘minted’ as in a lot of coin, and Bebe is often a big bitch!

Be honest. What would Bebe say about you?

She’d probably say that I’m a pain in her ass!

Well, that's very honest! Are any of your characters inspired by real people? Who?

Bebe is definitely inspired by all the larger than life divas out there that I love.  There’s a bit of Whitney Houston, God rest her soul, in Bebe, a bit of Madonna, a bit of Mariah Carey, Aretha.  She’s a composite of all of these women. 

Are you like any of your characters?

I think I’m most like Desiree. She wants a successful writing career, I do too. She’s intrigued and fascinated by Bebe’s celebrity life, I am too. She’s caring and means well but is also flawed and a bit self-serving at times. And she sometimes struggles with self-confidence. I’m guilty of that as well. 

I like writing characters who do and say things I never would, as well as characters who do and say things I wish I could. Do you have characters who fit into one of those categories? Who, and in what category do they fall?

Bebe is definitely the character that does and says things I never would or wish I could.  That’s why I love writing her. She’s like my alter ego. 

If you could be one of your characters, which one would you choose? 

Again, Bebe. She can get away with bad behavior because she’s rich and famous! I think that would be fun to do, but only for a day...

With which of your characters would you most like to be stuck on a deserted island?

Bebe. She could entertain me!

Tell us about your favorite scene in the book.

The scene that comes to mind is the first scene in which we get Bebe’s pov. It’s called "A Night For an Inventory" and it’s the first time the reader gets into Bebe’s head. You learn about her fears and her wishes, her sadness and loneliness. I don’t know why but I really enjoyed writing this scene. I also enjoyed the scene by the lake with the children and the scenes at the Caymen Gables Luxury Resort. 

What song would you pick to go with your book?

Funny you should ask because my book also has a "sountrack!" There’s the opening theme song: ‘L.E.S. Artist’ by Santigold, the end credits song: ‘Ready’ by Elizabeth Rose, and a couple of other songs listed in two chapters in the book: ‘Disparate Youth’ by Santigold, and ‘Calling Out’ by Lyrics Born.

Who are your favorite authors?

James Baldwin, Zoe Heller, Alexander Mccall Smith, Emily Bronte, James Joyce, Stephen King, John Knowles, Truman Capote, EB White, Maya Angelou, and Kate Grenville.

What are your favorite books...

A) as a child:
To Kill a Mockingbird  B) as a teenager: Tropic of Cancer C) as an adult: Notes on a Scandal.

Which author would you most like to invite to dinner, and what would you fix me? I mean, him. Or her.

Hahaha!  I would love Zoe Heller, I love her prose. She’s amazing. I’d make her Caribbean Oxtail. And you too!

Thank you for including me! What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?

I’m currently re-reading Wuthering Heights on my Kindle. Such a great story. 

How do you handle criticism of your work?

Pretty well I think. I’m under no illusion that my book is perfect. No book is perfect. There will always be someone who just doesn’t like your work. That’s okay with me. My self-worth or my passion for what I do is not shattered at all by criticism. 

Do you have a routine for writing? Do you work better at night, in the afternoon, or in the morning?

I have a little studio office space I rent, and I walk to work after school drop-off and work solidly until school pick-up. I do this three days a week for now but will pick up to five days a week when my youngest starts kindergarten. I prefer to write at night, but with two young kids, it just doesn’t work. So I’ve trained myself to get the juices flowing during the day, and it’s worked out just fine.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

I prefer to do it in bed at night!  But I do it during the day at my office.

Where’s home for you?

Home is wherever my husband and daughters are. Really wherever my husband is, forget the kids! I love that man to death.

Tell us one weird thing, one nice thing, and one fact about where you live.

Nice thing about living in Australia is the weather and the space to relax. Lots of beaches, which I adore. One fact about Australia is that it is geographically as big as continental U.S. but only has 22 million people. The middle is freakin’ empty! Can’t think of anything weird about Australia, unless you think living with spiders and skinks and all kinds of motherflippin’ critters in your home is weird. 

Yeah, that would be me. Spiders and skinks and motherflippin' critters are weird to me. Do you ever get writer’s block? What do you do when it happens?

I never really get writer’s block. I think it’s because I’m very comfortable with writing garbage so as to get started and then letting the treasure emerge from that garbage over time. I never expect my first drafts to be anything but getting the thoughts down on paper. To that end, I can write whenever I need or want. 

Is there anything in particular that you do to help the writing flow? Music? Acting out the scene? Long showers?

I never ever write with music. I need quite. But I do like to act out scenes. Helps to get a level of authenticity in the writing if you can act it out. 

What’s one of your favorite quotes?

“I’m thankful to all those who said no (to me). Because of them, I did it myself.”  --Albert Einstein. 

What three books have you read recently and would recommend?

Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, and The Secret River by Kate Grenville.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I love to watch a good TV drama series. My husband and I really get into them. Or I’m partying with my friends!

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I think I’m where I would choose. Sydney is a beautiful place to live.

If you could take a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I would try out every 5-star luxury villa in the warmest places on earth and just be totally pampered.

Take me with you! Please? Last question: What are you working on now?

I’m working on the second book in the Bebe Jones series. And a few other TV things.

Please come back and tell us about them!

Guest Post

Time and Heart: A Writer’s Best Friends
By Roje Augustin

One of the questions I get asked a lot is ‘how do you do it?’ ‘How do you get down to the business of writing a book?’ My first answer is, “With a pen and paper!” Then I get serious and tell them what I really believe to be true: Time and heart. That’s all it really takes to write something that is, at the very least, decent if not good or great.  And that’s not just time spent writing, but time spent reading and learning the craft.  The heart comes from your personal life.

In terms of writing there are very concrete, nuts and bolts things to keep in mind when getting started.  Most important is managing your expectations.  I think a lot of people get discouraged because they expect their first drafts to be good and I’m telling you right now, that is IMPOSSIBLE.  Veteran writers will know this already, but if you’re new to the game and reading this, please understand that no one ever writes a good first draft of anything, EVER.  The minute you give up this expectation, you’ll be well on your way to honing what I consider to be magical skill. 

That’s not to say that getting started isn’t difficult.  It is.  But it will be much easier if you make your first draft purely about getting your thoughts and ideas down on the page.  I like to pretend that I’m talking to a friend over dinner or a drink and I’m telling this friend my story.  I write it just as I would tell it, because after all, no one ever gets talkers block.  When someone asks you ‘what happens?’  I’ll bet that you can pretty much launch into a retelling with ease.  Well, listen to yourself telling the story to a friend and transcribe that voice.  Complete with ‘ums’ and ‘you knows.’  Grammar, syntax, style, structure, punctuation and even coherence are not important at this stage.  What’s important is getting it out of your head and on to the page.  It will be a mess, yes, but it’s also a start and that’s what you’re after at this point. 

Another helpful tip is to work in chunks if that’s easier.  Shoot for 10 pages a day, or whatever you’re comfortable with.  Once you’ve got your whole story out of your head and down onto the page, leave it alone for a few weeks and have some fun!  When you return to your draft, you’ll be reading it with fresh eyes.  You’ll no doubt cringe at what you’ve written, but you’ll also find some gems, things that resonate with you.  Those are the things you keep.  The other stuff either has to be reworked or taken out.  This is the start of your second draft, what I find to be the hardest phase because it’s here that you’ll start to shape your material for grammar, syntax, punctuation, etc…  This second draft is the beginning of your baby. 

In my own experience, getting past the 2nd draft is always a relief.  Subsequent drafts become more fun and exciting because by then you’ve hopefully got the foundation of your story built.  From there give it heart and spend TIME with it, lots of time, massaging the text and the prose until you have something that doesn’t make you cringe too much and that you can start to show others, preferably a paid professional editor.  Well worth the expense I assure you! 

After you’ve had professional eyes on it, leave it alone again for a few weeks and have some more fun!  Then come back and massage it some more and give it some more heart.  Do this until you can’t do it anymore.  As long as you’ve put time and heart into your work, along with some outside professional help, you’ll get great results.  Remember, no book is ever perfect so go for lots of time and lots of heart.

Excerpt from The Unraveling of Bebe Jones

WHILE DESIREE WAS fabricating her way into employment, Sean was seated, for the next eight hours, in chair #801 in the massive hall of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center for the New York State bar exam.  It was a viciously cold morning in February, the first of two days in hell, as far as Sean was concerned.

The fear and anxiety of nearly 2000 individuals surrounded him like a steady, low-grade electric current. One of the first things Sean noticed when he entered for registration that morning was the paramedics on site.  In case anyone passed out, or God forbid, died from the pressure.  Last year someone collapsed and had to be carried away on a stretcher.  But then it was the nature of the bar to reduce test-takers to a concentrated knot of stress.  Not only did it give Sean a supreme headache, it made him think of an unfavorable quote he’d read once, whose author was unknown to him, and which said, ‘If at first you don’t succeed, you’re about average.’  He’d been told dozens of times throughout his life to try try again.  It was a grade school mantra, for Christ's sake, a national anthem!  And the implication couldn't have been clearer: Trying was the sure step to succeeding.  So why wasn’t it working for him?  At the time that he’d read it, the quote had made him chuckle.  Not so much anymore.  Now he simply inched his way toward resignation, toward the devastating possibility that not only was he about average, but perhaps he was duped as well.

Six.  That was the number of times, including the present occasion, that he would sit for the bar.  There were the four failures since graduating from Hounslow University.  Add this year, and the year he walked out after lunch because his brain just couldn’t process anymore, and the year he chose not to sit, and that amounted to seven years of limbo, seven years of drifting toward uncertain tomorrows.  He was like Captain Ahab chasing the elusive white whale. 

He hated being there, hated it.  To him it was the path to an incommodious life.  But he had no choice.  His father had him by the purse strings, as it were.  Pass the bar or lose a sizeable trust fund.  It was that simple.  When Sean graduated from law school, his father had agreed to support him while he studied for the exam.  But after his fourth failure, he was cast adrift.  The senior Minton now only covered the monthly fees on the East Village apartment he owned and which he allowed Sean to occupy.

In the exam room, a cadre of senior citizens was peppering the aisles, keeping a shepherd's eye on the flock.  The lead proctor’s voice boomed suddenly over the heads of the bar applicants, calling out instructions.  Sean didn’t bother to listen.  Like a frequent flyer who has heard the what-to-do-in-case-of-emergency spiel, he knew the drill.  He knew what he needed to do.  The problem he faced was how to do it.  Try try again. 

With the instructions finally done, and the necessary materials handed out, a general sigh swept over the center and the test began.  Sean fixed his attention on the first question as one might a riddle that held one’s life in the balance.  Every question, in fact, would be read with the same exhaustive focus.

Question 1: In 2003 Sarah and Dan both operated a wholesale import clothing business next door to each other.  In the course of their dealings, Sarah and Dan became friends.  In 2005 they decided to go into business together...

Already he thought of cheating.  He would never do it, of course, but he would be lying if he said it wasn't a challenge to keep from peeking over his neighbor’s shoulder.  It was the ultimate irony, really.  The one area of his life in which he walked the straight and narrow was the one in which he continued to fail.  He scratched his head, bit his fingernails, crossed and uncrossed his legs.

...In 2006, Sarah won a lucrative contract with the large retail chain Mall Mart to supply them with clothing from her import trade business.  She and Dan had not yet finalized their merger...

Medicine just wasn't in the cards for him; he hated the sight of blood.  And injuries haunted him.  Politics was out of the question, as well, as it brought the wrong kind of fame, and there were too many skeletons in his closet anyway.  So he chose the law to please his father, a man rigidly against any profession outside this sacred trifecta.  But Sean had not anticipated the mind-numbing complexity of legal jargon.  To his mind, it was like a foreign language.  He’d spent literally hundreds of hours studying at the law library.  The staff had gotten to know him quite well by his third try.  A month and a half ago he turned thirty and that made his parents suddenly take notice of him in a way they hadn’t previously.  His mother had started really pestering him about marriage.

...Dan inadvertently learned of the Mall Mart contract through Sarah’s assistant, including the amount of the contract, which was estimated at $600,000 for the first order...

Music.  That’s all Sean wanted.  To be like Farrell, Kanye, Timbaland: a songwriter, rapper, music super producer.  But he’d never had the guts to go against his father, chief of surgery at Albert Einstein Medical, Summa Cum Laude graduate of Cornell University, president of the Medical Society of the State of New York, member of the Boulé.  It wasn’t until he’d struggled through law school and failed the exam the first time that Sean realized what a huge mistake he’d made.  That was when he had given the music a serious effort, at twenty-five, with no experience whatsoever.

He managed to get his foot in the door with a few b-list producers.  But in the main, he was sent out to dig for beats from old school jams that could be rekindled into new hits.  When it became clear that his talents weren’t getting the consideration he felt they deserved, Sean got himself the most up-to-date music software he could afford and set up shop in his bedroom.  A laptop, a pair of earmuff headphones, and an IKEA desk and chair became his studio.  He spent most of his evenings in musical bliss, coaxing from the software a beat or a melody that could change his life forever.  His father was openly disappointed in him for pursuing it, referring to it all as a pipe dream.  He insisted that Sean pass the exam so he’d have something to fall back on when the music fell through, or else no more money.  Sean deeply resented his father for this derailment.  They say one is responsible for one's destiny, but Sean wasn't convinced.  He felt like a loser and his father was to blame.

...Using information he obtained from the assistant, Dan offered Mall Mart the same merchandise for $500,000, which ultimately cut Sarah out of the deal...

So far so good, not too many distractions, except the urge to cheat.  The seniors chatting a bit.  Sean was able to block them out.  A cough sounded every now and then.  And a pregnant woman who had gone to use the bathroom shouted across the hall in a panic when she couldn’t find her seat.  But mostly it was the sound of typing that Sean heard around him.  His own included.  He’d opted to use the new exam software on his laptop, a pre-installed security program that put your files on lock-down while you word-processed your answers.  At the end of the exam, applicants were expected to upload their answers over the Internet to a secured site. 

...In 2007, Sarah duly commenced an action against Dan seeking $600,000 compensation.  Sarah also sought a preliminary injunction preventing Dan from furthering his contract with Mall Mart during the pendency of the lawsuit.  Under what legal theory can Sarah seek compensation and what crimes, if any, did Dan commit?

End of question one.  Sean cracked it open and analyzed each section.  A little less than ten minutes later, he began to type in his answer.  The issue, he wrote, is whether Dan obtained his contract with Mall Mart illegally...

He paced himself carefully, calculated where he should be on the exam by what time.  He’d been granted an additional hour for both the morning and afternoon sessions to make up for his ADHD.  Thirty-six minutes later, he was on question two, forty minutes after that it was question three.  By 10:30, an hour and half after he’d started, he was moving onto the fifty-multiple choice questions.  He allowed himself two minutes per question.  Then came lunch, during which he ate a dill tuna wrap followed by a Red Bull, his preferred midday meal for the last two and half months.  At 1:45, he began the second portion of the exam, the remaining two essay questions and the MPT.  He maintained this wave of smooth sailing right through to the end.  And then his computer froze. 

“What the f%$^?”  Sean muttered to himself.  He jabbed at the space bar for a terrifying few seconds before plummeting deep down into himself, into a rising primal scream.  His left eye began to twitch.  He rubbed it furiously, took a deep breath and tried ctrl, alt, delete.  Ctrl, alt, delete.  Ctrl, alt, delete.  He looked around to see if anyone else was having trouble.  His neighbor cast a cursory glance in his direction then went back to his exam papers.  A whirring sound began to issue from Sean’s hard drive.  He felt the scream rising higher in his throat, as if he had come to a great inner precipice from which he could see his trust fund go up in flames.  He was on the verge of crying out, of expelling pent-up years of resentment and bitterness, of blaming the bar, the law, and his father for a wasted life.  It was the sort of gut-wrenching protest that would declare to everyone in the hall that he was fucking fed up and he wasn’t going to take it anymore!

It was so intense and so visceral that he abruptly stumbled back from his internal cliff and was overwhelmed with the urge to laugh.  Of course he didn’t laugh or else the seniors would have kicked him out.  But he had the sense to do just that.  Such cruel irony, you had to laugh.  Or else drown in tears.  It was as if he’d reached rock bottom and was rebooted.  He came up and out of himself feeling like a new person.  In that beautifully horrific moment he decided that he would take his frozen computer as a sign that he and the law were no longer in business together, for this was a failed partnership.  And the stress, it was gone.  Just like that.  A sense of serenity had descended upon him.  Fuck it, he thought, feeling reborn.  F#$% it.  He was free. 

“YOU SHOULD HAVE been there; I don’t know how to explain it.  It was like a religious experience.  It was like an epiphany.”  Sean took a sip of his beer.  He and Desiree were at home, sharing a plate of buffalo wings and watching a dumb comedy.

“Amazing,” Desiree said licking her fingers.

“They managed to retrieve all of my essays.  But I don’t give a f#$% if I fail again; my dad can kiss my ass.” 

“How do you think you did?”  Desiree asked.

“Who knows?  I forgot what I wrote anyway.” An ad came on.  Sean reached for the remote and started to flip through the channels.

“Wow, you’re so blasé about it, I don’t know if I should be worried or impressed.”

Sean turned to her and shrugged.  “Look at you, you look like a hunchback.”  He began to adjust Desiree’s hood, which was crammed down the inside of her hoodie. 

She watched him for a moment while he fussed with her clothing.  It was so domestic; she loved it.  He only did it when they were alone.  Made her feel special.  It was the reason she felt so close to him.  He had a way of making her feel protected and cared for.  Some nights he’d come into her room and they would talk.  He was often high when he did this, a few drinks in him as well.  But she loved their late night chats.  They would talk about everything, their dreams, their fears, about religion, hate, love, sex. “I love your inner gay man,” Desiree laughed, “Can I have more of him, please?”

“I’m not a gay man.  I’m a black man,” he said, settling back on the couch. 

Desiree said, “It’s a wonder your people don’t know.”

“Cuz I’ve got you.  You do a brilliant job of throwing those wolves off the scent, mkay.”

“They must be blind.  Seriously, a year of holding your hand every now and then and they all think we’re getting married, mkay.”

Sean rolled his eyeballs.  “Whatever.  They don’t wanna know and I don’t want them to know.  So it works out.  You just keep doing what you do, woman.”

“I don’t see why you don’t just come out.  Now is a good time, you know.  You’re saying goodbye to the law, you need to say goodbye to the closet, too, like a purging of all your unwanted baggage.”

“I told you, I’m not in the closet niggy-nig, I’m on the DL.  There’s a difference.  Besides, I have a career to build, remember?  I can’t be openly gay in that world.”  He started counting on his fingers.  “I have a father, the very conservative surgeon, to keep on my good side; I have a younger, more accomplished b$%^&*^s sister to resent, childhood expectations to live up to, a trust fund.  I can’t afford to be gay.  And I’m not gay, I’m black, mkay.”

“Whatever,” Desiree laughed.  “All I know is you are living in sin.”

“And who isn’t?” 

They were quiet for a time while they ate and watched a basketball game.  “You know,” he said breaking the silence, “after my epiphany today, maybe what I need to do is pray.  Pray to the Lord for a miracle.”  He brought his hands together, began whispering under his breath, muttering a shapeless litany of pleases and promises, and Guide me oh Lords when Desiree’s phone rang. He continued his silent pleas while she went into their miniscule kitchen to answer it.  When he was done, he crossed himself and tore into another buffalo wing.

“Who was that?” he asked when Desiree returned. 

“It was Anan.  Bebe wants to meet me at her house in Beau Reve, New Jersey tomorrow.  She’ll send a car to pick me up at the station,” she explained mimicking Anan, “and I must remember to call her Miss Jones please.  I can’t believe it.  I’m actually going to her house, Sean!  Bebe Jones!  Gosh, what am I gonna wear?  What do you wear when you meet a superstar?  I wonder what her house looks like.  I wonder what her kids are like.  You know I don’t even remember their names.  Oh my God, what if...why are you staring at me like that Sean?” 

“Sorry, nothing, just thinking.  Please, go on.”  She talked his ear off. 

Later, when Desiree was getting ready for bed, Sean thought long and hard about their conversation.  He thought about her phone call, too, and his prayer, which preceded it, kept turning it over in his mind.  He had a Courvoisier while he ruminated, and then another, and still another.  Then he had a joint.  When he felt sufficiently stoned, he went into his bedroom, sat down at his ‘studio’ and composed beats for the next eighteen hours.  His prayer, he thought, had been answered.

About the author:

Rojé Augustin (pronounced ro-jhay) has more than fifteen years experience in television production. Born and raised in New York, Rojé began her career at the New York Daily News, where she wrote for the lifestyle publication BET Weekend Magazine. She then moved to television, first at CBS New Productions where she cut her teeth on hour-long documentaries, then to 20/20 with Barbara Walters and John Stossel, Primetime with Diane Sawyer, and Good Morning America Weekend Edition as a writer and producer for ABC. She has also produced for The Tyra Banks Show and E! In the summer of 2006, Rojé moved with her husband and two daughters to London where she began work on her debut novel The Unraveling of Bebe Jones. Rojé also established Breaknight Films shortly after her move to Sydney in 2009 to develop and produce television series. Rojé has lived and studied in both Paris and London, and she is an honors graduate of Columbia University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature & Writing.

Connect with Roje:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter 

Buy the book:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble