Intimate Conversation with J.M. Lominy
Life for J.M. Lominy began in Port-au-Prince, Haiti where he spent his first years with his maternal Aunt and Uncle. At the age of seven, Lominy and his older sister immigrated to the United States in order to reunite with their mother in Brooklyn, New York.
After graduating from James Madison High School, Lominy entered the United States Marine Corps and served during the first Gulf War. At the age of 22, he was honorably discharged and returned home to attend school. He went on to earn his Bachelors of Nursing degree from the City College of New York.
His work, both poetic and determined in voice, places an emphasis on the history of the Haitian experience as witnessed through the life of passionate characters. A husband and father of five boys, Lominy has been writing since 2000 and specializes in historical fiction.
Mr. Lominy currently resides in Georgia with his wife of 15 years and his three younger sons. When he’s not working or taking care of his family he is writing. Lominy states, “I am a writer with a lot of passion and fury.”
BPM: How did you get to be where you are in your life today?
I’ve gotten where I am by being discipline, writing daily, and researching with passion. I live and breathe publishing.
BPM: Who or what motivated you?
I’m motivated by the desire to write. It’s difficult to explain. I guess it’s similar to a painter or a musician that creates without any expectation. They do it for the pure joy of the experience. It becomes a part of who you are.
BPM: Who does your body of literary work speak to?
My body of work speaks to those interested in fast paced thrillers from the Caribbean, Haiti specifically.
BPM: Do you consider authors as role models?
To some extent authors can be role models by encouraging reading and writing.
BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?
Inspiration for me is like a spark to gasoline. It doesn’t take much to get my pen flowing on paper. It could be something as simple as a word that functions as my spark. This book is a sequel to The Deadly Rose, An Assassin’s Tale. My characters were already well established in my mind. I’m simply giving them a stage to perform on.
Why now? I spent well over ten years making excused why I shouldn’t write. I simply ran out of excuses.
BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
The research I did was an eye opener into the history of my birth country, Haiti. The joy of research is unmatched. Those who know the true history of Haiti hold her with respect and admiration.
BPM: Where do your book ideas come from?
My book ideas come from everywhere; a spoken word, a dream, conversation, and lets not forget history.
BPM: Are your books plot-driven or character-driven? Why?
The Fatal Rose: An Assassin’s Tale, is character-driven because it focuses the challenges the characters face in life and death issues. My previous book, Policeman Legros is plot driven because it’s a mystery/thriller that centers on a murder.
BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent work?
The Fatal Rose: An Assassin’s Tale is the sequel to The Deadly Rose: An Assassin’s Tale. It picks up where the previous book left off with the main character, Pierre-André Franc¸ois (Grimo), is in a life-threatening predicament.
I take you to 1957-1958 Haiti. It was a time of turmoil, violence, and vicious political maneuvering. You get to taste the food, culture, and visit the people. Also, you will get an education in Haitian history.
BPM: Is this book available on Kindle?
The Fatal Rose: An Assassin’s Tale and the first book The Deadly Rose are available on Kindle.
BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special?
Pierre-André Franc¸ois (Grimo) is the most popular soccer player in Haitian history. He has a well-kept secret, he’s the feared assassin known as The Little Rose. Father Jean-Marie Lumier, a catholic priest, was a teenage brigand. As a youth he stabbed Grimo and nearly sent him to the grave.
Frank Gaston, Grimo’s maternal uncle, is one of the leaders of Haiti’s largest crime organization. He is the original assassin in Haiti. Marie-Anne Saviore is Grimo’s friend from childhood. She’s like a sister and mother at the same time. She brings solace to the assassin who kills with little remorse.
BPM: Are there under-represented groups in your book? If so, discuss them.
The under-represented groups in The Fatal Rose: An Assassin’s Tale are the poor, the uneducated, and the unprotected. The poor are l'invisible in Haiti. They are present but for the most part treated like furniture and unseen. One of the characters, Senator Manipolet, understands this well and uses it to his advantage.
BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation, education, spiritual practice or journey?
Your past is always a window to your present. The turmoil going on in Haiti during 1957-1958 caused my family to immigrate to the United States twenty years later. Education remains a focal point in my life. I take my research on Haiti seriously. I go to the extent of traveling there to get the full feel of the environment. For the Fatal Rose, An Assassin’s Tale I traveled to one of the cities in the book to give a true account in my writing. It was a fantastic experience. I learned to appreciate what I have.
BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
I learned perception is mostly subjective. What you perceive you tend to believe. If it’s positive it can propel you to success. It’s also necessary to consider others point of view. My characters have flaws in their beliefs. I try not to make those mistakes.
BPM: Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?
I travel to Haiti at least once a year and blog about my trips. I speak with the poor and the wealthy they all have stories of their struggles. Two years ago on my last day in Haiti I was coming from the beach seated in the passenger seat beside my guide and driver. We saw three agitated men armed with rock, machetes and a handgun. They stood blocking the entrance to a beach resort frequented by the locals. My driver was familiar with the men and tried to intervene. The men warned him to move on, it was dangerous times. The rocks went flying and gunfire erupted when we arrive at the entrance to the highway not too far away. So we stopped at a restaurant within eyesight of the resort. The police arrived and more gunfire. The entire area was soon crowded. There were more people than I’ve ever seen during my visit. I soon learned I’d witness a land dispute between a brother and his deceased half-sister’s family. It was the classic land quarrel situation in the countryside I’d heard about as a youth.
Another interesting situation was going into the Haitian mountains and sitting under a calabash tree that surrounds you like a teepee exchanging blag (jokes). It was here I met the toothless magistrate candidate who couldn’t afford to shine his well-worn shoes. This tree also gave me the idea for my character Goo-Gooze a deaf mute that you will meet in The Fatal Rose.
BPM: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
My goals were to entertain and educate. I am smiling now because this is my best work, so far. A reader may not like my style of writing but they will be entertained.
BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?
I have several projects I’m working on. I have two first draft completed for upcoming novels. They’re scheduled for the end of the year. In addition, I have a short story that is almost complete. My goal is to write four books a year in addition to multitudes of short stories; quite a lofty goal.
BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
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