Choosing Cincinnati as My Setting
The germ of an idea for the plot for Brought To You By The Color Drab was a story about a teen boy trapped in the ghetto who becomes a driver for a blind piano tuner. To write the novel, I needed to know more about an inner city ghetto as my hometown was too small.
Since I had done a great deal of research about Cincinnati when writing novels for Barbour Publishing’s American Adventure Series, I chose that city.
Choosing Cincinnati Christian College
My thought was to locate a young college student who might agree to drive me around the city to aid in my research. When I selected Cincinnati Christian College (now University), I had no real agenda, but God did.
Enter: The Carmichael Family
I called the college and a courteous young woman answered. I explained that I was an author and needed help with researching her city, especially the inner city.
Her answer was, “My father pastors a church in the inner city and he would be more than happy to assist you.” Or something to that effect—I forget the exact words. For an author, this is like hitting the mother lode. What an exciting moment.
The young lady turned out to be Christy Carmichael (now Acheampong), who also proceeded to explain that there was lodging on the college campus used by visiting missionaries. She was sure I could stay there for a modest fee. And I did exactly that. (So much better than a hotel—for me that is.)
My Stay in Cincinnati
I began to put plans into motion to fly to Cincinnati. The year was 2004.
Christi, her parents James (Jamie), and Kathy, and her sister, Melissa, became my hosts during my stay. (Even Christi’s aunt Nancy was brought in on the scene.) I was a guest at their home for dinner. They drove me around the city and offered a great deal of background information that later showed up in the book. The entire visit was so beyond anything I could have ever imagined.
Why it took from 2004 to 2017 for Race’s story to finally see the light of day, is a story too lengthy for this blog. Much had to do with my decision to become an indie author. I stopped chasing agents and publishers and struck out on my own. I wanted to use my past titles as a proving ground, before bringing Race’s story out of the shadows and into the light. (Which is now, Brought To You By The Color Drab.) The strategy turned out to be a good one; albeit a lengthy one.
Your Behind-The-Scenes Glimpse
This then gives you a brief glimpse of how a book comes together. It’s never an isolated event, but involves many kind, caring, helpful individuals. Like the Carmichael family.
Race and I are both very thankful!
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