G. G. Marcel is an author from Trinidad and Tobago who, from younger years, had always loved reading different types of books, especially thrilling novels with twists and turns that he would repeatedly question and analyze; the same applied to the storylines of movies and popular scripted TV shows, hence the innate enthusiasm and ongoing dedication towards penning his own exciting stories today.
When not writing and editing, the writer is involved with his other business ventures, or at home cooking, baking, gardening, or spending quiet family time with loved ones.
1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most? What about being a writer frustrates you the most?
Hi Jimmetta. It’s indeed a pleasure to meet you, and I’m honored that you chose me for an interview. Thanks much!
Okay, so here we go. I’m a writer from the twin island republic of Trinidad and Tobago …a Trini and a Caribbean brother Ha! Ha!
Although my career has been mainly in broadcasting for many years, I’ve had a passion for writing since childhood — circa the age of nine or ten. That being said, I often started and stopped bits and pieces of stories here and there since then. But now it’s the right time to get my work out there as a self-published author. Nothing before it’s time. I’ve edited and silently co-authored about two books before, but this is all me with my chosen pseudonym, G. G. Marcel.
As a writer I love being able to use my imagination to the full extent and create characters and places that I see fit to a story line, or just for because I can…you know, just for the hell of it… ha! ha! Imagination is an amazing faculty.
The business side of the process frustrates me. It’s tough knowing that you have a great story, and you took your time to pen same, but it may not “truly” get out there and reach many avid readers because of marketing, publishing, and promotional restrictions. There are many great stories, self-published and otherwise, that have been neglected or fallen by the wayside in terms of only selling a “few” copies… nothing close to bestseller levels, although the potential to be a bestseller may exist. Not to mention that as a black novelist the mainstream may not be able to relate to your content. I certainly hope that my books don’t meet that fate. My current novel, Ties That Bind, is truly a captivating and great story for all to enjoy even though it falls under the sub-genre of Black/African American.
There’s more that I can say on this matter, but let’s leave it there for now.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
Okay Jimmetta. So, my first novel (the current book) is published using Amazon’s KDP, under my own imprint of One Soul Publishing, and its titled Ties That Bind. I know that there are some other books out there with the same name — I didn’t realize this initially. I thought about changing the name… I tried. But my story really resonates with that title, so I stuck with it. And I’m sure readers of the book would appreciate “the why” of me using that title. During the early stages of the writing process, it just came to me early one morning, and I grabbed it!
The novel is loaded with the right amounts of suspense, spicy romance, family historical legacy, and drama. There is some explicit content here and there, but that’s not what the story is all about. And one would soon realize that the overall storyline is rather profound.
Plots and characterizations are based in the US, UK, and even Nigeria to some extent… yeah, it’s international — transatlantic— not in a hood somewhere. And also, I’m not writing about the Caribbean, as some people automatically assume I would be.
Readers would be introduced to the main characters, Kadie and Dele, as well as interesting supporting characters such as Professor Maxine Sanderson, Yasmin Okafor — the wealthy Nigerian-British heiress, and the notorious Chinaka Uba.
The book is on sale at Amazon in eBook, paperback, and hardcover formats. Here’s the link:https://www.amazon.com/TIES-THAT-BIND-success-family/dp/1777760402/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=
I‘m in the process of developing a website and building more of a social media presence. I’m on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GlenSoul/
You can also connect via my G. G. Marcel page: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100084354445756
And on instagram@Glen Glen (gsoul69)
My second novel is tentatively titled “From the Time We Met”, and I’m going through the editorial shenanigans right now. That’ll be released sometime next year… maybe early next year.
3) Where do you draw your inspiration from for the stories that you manage to weave together and the characters that you create?
I draw inspiration from different aspects of my life. For instance, I’ve been fortunate to have traveled a lot and interacted with people of different cultures and backgrounds. I even lived in the Cayman Islands for a number of years– it’s still considered as my second home. And during my broadcasting career I interacted with many persons from other parts of the Caribbean as well, apart from my home of Trinidad.
Let me also add that I’m a huge fan of Sidney Sheldon novels. I started reading his books around the age of 14, and I was hooked! I still read over some of his great novels to this day! Other notable authors who have somewhat influenced me are Eric Jerome Dickey, James Patterson… even Zane comes to mind. But mainly, again, it’s all about using my imagination.
4) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel? What projects are you currently working on?
Naw… I don’t really have a schedule, nor do I set any particular outline. My time is flexible, so my process is one where I just go with it when the creative juices and ideas start flowing, and that could be at any time of day. However, I must admit that most of my work is done during the wee hours of the morning when you sleepyheads are in dreamland… ha! ha!
I don’t rush my books, and I’m committed to no set timeline or publisher, but me.
For those who speed write and are prolific… that’s great! More power to you all! But I like to take my time, and review, and critique, and FEEL. before publishing. It all can take about a year, or more.
5) What’s the first book you ever read that really moved you emotionally? Who is your favorite author to read? What book are you currently reading?
Oh wow! What was the first book that moved me emotionally? That’s a tough question Jimmetta. I’ve been reading books for a very long time…ha! ha! The tiny tot books, the fairy tales, the bible stories, the classics, the Hardy Boys books, all those Enid Blyton books — Famous Five etc. And then later on, Michael Anthony (a Trinidadian author), Sidney Sheldon, Stephen King, Toni Morrison, James Patterson, Danielle Steel; the list goes on. I really can’t say which book first moved me emotionally… sorry. But please don’t think of me as an unemotional piece of rock. 😆
Again, my favorite author is Sidney Sheldon… no doubt! The man was a genius! Master of the Game… what a great novel!
I’m currently reading my own work as I seek to edit and finish my second book. I’m occupied with that, but I know that there’s good stuff out there. I’ll check them out when I’m finished.
6) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
Well my significant achievement was just getting my book published and out there for readers to read and enjoy. It’s 433 pages in paperback format, and 329 in hardcover, Available for you and yours. That’s a lot of writing!
There have been no awards or great accolades, but It warms and moves me when a reader contacts me to say that they really enjoyed my book.
I spoke to a reader recently who is admittedly not even an avid reader, she prefers to watch movies. And I was humbled and moved by her enthusiastic feedback. According to her she felt as though she was watching a movie, and her detailed feedback about the twists and turns, and characters, and so on, came across as though she wrote the book and was telling me about it… ha! ha!
To write a book and have someone — a stranger for the most part — become so immersed and involved is an achievement. And I’m inspired by that.
In the next five years I’ll continue writing more. Hopefully I could score a bestseller. But staying with Ties That Bind — my current novel — I truly believe in my work, and I think that it has not just bestseller potential, but also Netflix miniseries potential as well. It really does read like a movie. I’ve had many readers say that to me and inquire about the release of a “part two”. So, contact your friends at Netflix Jimmetta… give them a heads up about Ties That Bind by G. G. Marcel. 😁
7) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career? What is your advice for other writers to better be able to cope or navigate their way through the publishing process, be it traditional or self-publishing?
There hasn’t really been any rejection for me because I’m doing my own thing. I’m not beholden to any publishing company and so on. However I would encourage some writers to spend extra time on improving on their craft and style, even if you’re using a publisher and editor. And also to think beyond the common tropes that have become monotonous.
Punctuation, spelling, sentence construction, prose, overall grammar; don’t just leave it all up to someone else to pay attention to. Some folks write and then basically leave it to an editor or editors to rewrite, and by extension, co-author their work. I think that’s sad. It’s your work! You are mainly responsible for what is put out there.
Also, learn the ropes about publishing, whether you’re using a traditional publisher, or you plan on self publishing. Don’t just put your work in the hands of a publisher and leave it at that.
And even though the available self publishing platforms might be attractive. First, do your research, learn about costs, benefits, ease of doing business, ease of uploading your work etc. Then decide which one suits you and your writing.
8) Do you find it hard to juggle the creative side of being a writer against the business side of being a writer, in terms of marketing and promotion and things of that nature? How hard has it been (or easy) for you to build up your author platform?
Oh yeah! It can be tough juggling both sides. Even more so for those of us who are self-publishing, and marketing and promoting our own books. Many run the risks of becoming disillusioned and not having enough time to work on their writing, or to work on writing with any true creative focus. Personally, I’ve been kept back from writing a bit because I had to put extra effort and time into marketing and promoting my current novel… and I’m still not seeing what I would call a satisfactory number of sales.
Anyway, I’m doing a bit better now with managing both sides. Nevertheless, it’s tough. It’s a huge plus when you have extra support to assist with marketing and promotion… and helping to build up author platforms and so on.
9) So many writers say that they hate reading their own work. Do you ever enjoy reading your own work back to yourself after it’s out there for the rest of the world?
Ha! Ha! Ok let me tell you about my dilemma. I enjoy reading my work during the editing and drafting stages. I’m my own worst critic, and I make that work for me in order to put out a good product.
I do my best to have some balance whereas my perfectionist tendencies are concerned, because if I allow that trait to get in the way too much, there will be several delays… you know… procrastination, doubt, maybe even some insecurity. And that’s a no no. But when my work is done, published and out there. I hate reading it unless I really have to. Ha! Ha! At that stage I much rather readers tell me about the book and what they enjoyed about the story.
10) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
No… I don’t think so at all. Sometimes certain aspects of life just get in the way. Your late start is better late than never. So go for it!
My start came fairly late… I’m over 40. But be it writing or anything that you’re passionate about or have the ability, talent and drive to do or accomplish, don’t let age be a hindrance. And don’t let the thought of your age hindering your chances of becoming a successful author plague your mind and stop you — be it old or young, for that matter.
11) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
Power of the pen!
The saying that the pen is mightier than the sword comes to mind regarding this question Jimmetta.
My educational background is in psychology. I even worked as a counselor. And with that being said I’m well aware of how cathartic it can be to write things down; feelings, thoughts, ideas, plans, or to immerse yourself in some form of art. So, I agree with you 100 percent about writing being a remarkable tool of expression and coping emotionally and mentally.
Will you be my therapist Jimmetta? Ha! Ha!… I’m just playing.
I’m somewhat more introverted than extroverted, but I’ve always had a way with words, and usage of words. Even more so when I’m writing instead of speaking. So I guess it had to be this way for me. And although I’ve been a broadcaster for years, writing just comes more natural, and with no momentary jitters before starting.
Lastly, it makes me feel much more than I am in terms of a hidden power that’s hard to explain.
When writing, I’m all observing and able to change things, and create or remove things and people as I see fit. I’m sure you get the picture Jimmetta … It’s a powerful thing indeed, and many don’t understand or realize this.
Ok folks, don’t forget Ties That Bind by G. G. Marcel. get your copy on Amazon today.