Intimate Conversation with E.W. Brooks

Growing up in a small town fueled E.W.’s desire to see more and led her to larger cities where she always kept abreast of events via the nightly news and local newspapers. E.W. Brooks was intrigued by the stories of those who made an effort at a better life; on the wrong side of the law. Her curiosities led to much research and her writing, Mafietta.

E.W. Brooks is an Army wife, big sister and mentor with a big imagination. She is the founder of the Campbell Sisterhood, a group of women who support and empower each other as well as other Army Wives. Brooks also donates 10% of book proceeds to the Military Matters Project. However, she says her greatest joy comes from spending time with her family and seeing the smiling faces of those she’s helped to find a bit of light along their journey.

BPM: Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in a small North Carolina town with only two stop lights. My desire to see more led me to larger cities where I always kept abreast of events via the nightly news and local newspapers. I was intrigued by the stories of those who made an effort at a better life; on the wrong side of the law. My curiosities led to much research and my writing, “Mafietta” in hopes of shining a light on what the women who aspired to date these types of men would face when they were shipped away.

BPM: When did you first start writing?
I’ve always written. My grandmother communicated with me in letters for as long as I can remember and it ultimately helped me to express myself through writing. Then, after living a bit of life, it was important to me to share the struggle of the single woman and urban community, so writing a novel seemed to be the natural next step.

BPM: Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite book is East of Eden by John Steinbeck because it explains that you may overcome evil. I also enjoy anything written by Maya Angelou.

BPM: How often do you write?
I write daily. Whether it is keeping a journal, working on a blog. or my next project. I have to get it out.

BPM: What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I spend a lot of time volunteering. There is nothing like the feeling you feel when someone finally gets it!! I am just honored and humbled that I can sometimes be used as the tool that brings enlightenment Writing gives me a larger platform to do just that.

BPM: Do you ever let the book stew – leave it for months and then come back to it?
I always let my books stew. I usually write the first few chapters to establish the characters’ position at the beginning of the story. After that I may wait months before coming back to write anything. Doing this gives me time to sort of work out a starting point for the next chapter in my head. Once I get to that point and the writing takes over – I have story lines that came out completely different than I’d imagined, but this is one of the things I love about writing.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? For the Mafietta Series, what came first the characters or the idea?
The idea definitely came first. Then it was up to me to create characters that were consistent with it.  I am intrigued by those who choose to get ahead on the wrong side of the law. I love movies like The Godfather, In Too Deep, American Gangster, and Belly. However, none of these movies really delve into the effects this type of lifestyle has on women.

Consequently, I decided to present a situation where a woman would head this illegal enterprise; so for me the story line is character driven. It is important that Clarke and Errol begin with a pure and innocent love. Creating plots that coincide with that are significant to me.

BPM: Where do you find your daily inspiration or muse?
My favorite positive saying is, “Everyone wants to be loved.” This is somewhat of a prevailing them throughout both novellas. Believe it or not, Jay-Z and Beyoncé were mere my muses in developing the love between Errol and Clarke. For example, both couples share a visible connection and genuine love while being beasts in business.  Clarke and Errol are just going about it a bit differently. In other words, let's tilt the thought and have The Carters be the same powerhouse couple on the other side of the law - Now, that couple is the one in my book. That couple is Errol and Clarke.

BPM: What are your expectations for this book? What would you like to accomplish after the book is released? 
I expect Mafietta 2 to generate interest in the series as a whole. I expect this quick read to please readers from everywhere and leave them wondering what’s going to happen next and how long it will take me to come out with the next one. After the book is released, I would love to see Mafietta as a television show.

BPM: What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate or inspire? Entertain? Illuminate a particular subject?
As I writer, I want to always write content my audience will enjoy. I want my work to, of course entertain, but it is important to me that it also educate and inspire. Each of my characters offer a life lesson. I want the reader to understand the lesson.

BPM: I love the opening for your previous interview on BAN Radio. Readers, here it is:
“I hope to continue to put out content that people want to read. If something I write can take someone away from the stresses of their day, I've accomplished my goal. I don't seek to change the world with my books, I have a blog for that, but I do hope to entertain it.”

BPM: What is the most important message you want the reader to learn?
I would love for the readers to look at these characters and take a self-inventory of sorts. Many times, we change who we are and become someone we don’t even recognize for the sake of a relationship. This could be good or bad, but either way, I wanted readers to use these characters to examine their own lives.

BPM: What defines success for you, as a published author? What are your ambitions for your writing career?
As a published author, success for me, would be defined by the number of people interested in reading my stories or appreciating some other derivative of it. Becoming a published author allowed me to see if I was really any good at my long time hobby. I read each book review as it came in and overall I was pleased. That was one of the greatest feelings in the world for me because ultimately; my goal is to take my writing to the next level and become the female Tyler Perry that Chris Rock wants to work with. I want to get my Streisand on.

BPM: What websites can readers visit in order to discover more about you and your work?