Tricks for a Trade: Intimate Conversation with Lloyd Johnson
Intimate Conversation with Lloyd Johnson
Lloyd Johnson was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Although he has dabbled in the creative arts since elementary school, he rediscovered his passion for writing in 2004, and has been working on his craft ever since.
Lloyd has traveled both domestically and abroad, having visited 14 countries. Besides the relaxation traveling has afforded him, he has found much of his creative inspiration. An avid reader, he enjoys African-American fiction and biographies.
Lloyd Johnson is currently working on his third novel. He lives in New England.
BPM: How did you get to be where you are in your life today? Who or what motivated you?
When I turned 30 back in 2004, I realized that playtime was over with. I knew I had to do some soul searching to figure out what it was that I was relatively good at and could commit myself to. What kept me motivated was to see my name on the cover of a book, and my dream to move to NYC.
BPM: Could you tell us something about your recent work?
Tricks for a Trade explores the question, “Does everyone have a price?” and what happens when desperation is thrown into the mix. In this story we watch as people get in way over their heads.
BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers in Tricks for a Trade. What makes each so special?
Armando is the grey-eyed specimen of walking sex. He knows he looks good and can have any woman he wants. He has “playa” in his DNA, but is trying to behave because he’s got a good woman. But he keeps getting dogged out by her insecurities.
Gary is a jack of all trades, master of none in his early fifties. He’s been living in the shadow of his very successful wife, Wanda. When an opportunity comes that would put him on the political map, she doubts he has what it takes to go the distance.
Cabrien is a talented hairstylist who aspires for a clientele list of who’s who in the entertainment industry. But after being black-balled he has settles with turning tricks to make ends meet. He falls in love with one of his johns, Drake, who manages to pull everyone’s strings.
BPM: Who does your body of work speak to? Do you consider authors role models?
I’m very focused on the 18-49 demographic, broken into 60% women, 20% gay men and 20% other. E.Lynn Harris had that demographic. As for role models, I try not to exalt authors too high because if I were to meet them one day I’m afraid I might be disappointed; although, I did meet celebrity biographer and Hollywood reporter, J. Randy Taraborrelli. He is a very nice man.
BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?
I mentioned before that when I turned 30 I felt I needed to get my act together. I had an epiphany. I was washing my face and as I dried it off, I looked at myself in the mirror and said, “What now, my love?” I decided to take a fiction writing class and hammer out the framework for the book.
BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing the book, Tricks for a Trade?
It’s been very sweet to see the looks on people’s faces because I said I was going to write a book and I did it. When I told people, the initial response was very positive. But then after several months and or years go by, people expect to see a book. They don’t realize that writing a book is a lot more difficult than the mere pronouncement. Everyone and their mamas want to write a book but many of them couldn’t even squeeze out a half-way decent paragraph. I accomplished what I said I was going to do, and I’m very proud of that.
BPM: Where do your ideas come from in Tricks for a Trade?
All over the place. They can come from something happening on the streets. I try to remain open to receiving inspiration and ideas no matter where they originate from.
BPM: Are your books plot-driven or character-driven?
I write interesting characters that I place into interesting situations. The two go hand-in-hand for me.
BPM: Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book, Tricks for a Trade?
The book deals with sexuality and its blurred lines.
BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation or personal journey?
I think all of the characters are on the grind and have some kind of hustle, although some are more refined than others. I think wanting this book to be well received from the public has made me bring out my own hustle. I’ve had to stretch myself to do things I’m not naturally comfortable with, but they are things that are nonetheless necessary to make any kind of impression in the book game. Each character has to step out of their comfort zone as well.
BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
I learned that there is nothing wrong with writing sexy. We’re all sexual beings and have impulses. I was able to get in touch with my own as I write the book, and I make no apologies for celebrating sex.
BPM: Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?
I reached back into my days of the bar and club scenes. I met some very interesting individuals. They were useful in creating some of the characters.
BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?
I’m working on a story about an up-and coming Hollywood actor involved in a hit-n-run. Forces around him want to protect their investment so they move to cover up the accident. The question becomes does his desire to come clean get lost in the noise?
BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
I love to hear from readers. They can contact me at www.lloydljohnson.net; author Lloyd Johnson on Facebook; and @lloydjohnson19 on Twitter.
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