Hi everyone!! Welcome back to the 30 days event! Today, we have Maurice M. Gray, Jr. gracing us with his book collection. Check out his interview and get to know the author behind such books as Like a Brother, and All Things Work Together.
Now, here’s Maurice! 🙂
Maurice Gray is the author of three novels (To Whom Much Is Given, All Things Work Together and Like A Brother) and a contributor to four anthologies. He is also a skilled proofreader, copy editor and development editor for several clients, both individual and publishing companies.
Maurice serves on the faculty of the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference, where he teaches workshops on various literary topics and works one-on-one with conferees.
Maurice is a member of Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Delaware, of the Wilmington (DE) Alumni chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and of the Greater Newark Area Toastmasters club. He lives in New Castle, DE.
1. Besides writing, what else do you like to do?
I LOVE to read, which to me, goes hand in hand with writing. If you read, you have it in you to be a writer even if you don’t actually try it. If you write, reading will make you better. I cringe when I hear an author say they don’t read.
2. What inspired you to become an author?
I always liked writing book reports and such in school- I suppose it was inevitable 😊. I had this idea for a short story right after I graduated college (1990). I started fleshing it out and next thing you know, it was a novel. The first draft took three years. After I had a literary agent look at it and tell me how much it sucked, I went back to revise it. I attended the Sandy Cove Christian Writers Conference in 1996 and got more input that helped me get it ready to go. I met publishers at that conference who asked to see my manuscript, but none of them took it. When a fellow author (Patricia Haley-Glass) took time out to explain self-publishing to me, I eventually took that path. Thirty rejection letters helped push me in that direction 😊. I got downsized from my job in February 2000- I took the severance package and used it to publish my first novel, To Whom Much Is Given.
3. What was your first reaction when your debut novel was published?
When I got that first shipment of books from UPS, I was beyond elated. The best part of that was the delivery man. I went to high school with him, and when I told him what was in the boxes, he bought the first copy and insisted I autograph it for him. That’s when I knew I was an author.
4. Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
I intend to be full time literary by then. Between writing more books, editing for other authors and teaching writing workshops, I think I can make a decent living.
5. Do you have any new projects that you are currently working on?
I have two projects rolling right now. One is my next novel, Female Problems. It features Erik Dawson, who was a supporting character in Like A Brother, and two men; the three of them become as close as brothers. The other two will be featured in the other two parts of the trilogy.
My other project is a call back to 2001. When I was extremely new as an author, a man in my church (Livingston Lee) approached me for help with his memoirs. I had no clue how to write for another author; I just sat with him, recorded him telling me his story and then did my best to put it in book form. I think we did okay- he had the book with him when he went out speaking at different venues. It’s called I Really Didn’t Mean To Get HIV. He stopped speaking so much after about five years or so, and we let the book go out of print.
Livingston passed away recently, and those who remember him fondly keep asking me for copies of his book. I’m going to revise and re-release it to keep his legacy alive.
6. What advice can you give to anyone who wants to become an author?
Learn all you can about independent publishing even if you don’t intend to publish that way at first. That way you have all options in front of you; if you can’t get a traditional publisher to take your work, you’ll be in position to do it for yourself.
All books are also available on Maurice’s website:
Excerpt from Like a Brother:
“I caught the bouquet!”
Jeremiah McAllister resisted the urge to roll his eyes.
Of course you caught it. You only posted up the other women like a power forward. I’ve seen LeBron James grab rebounds with less energy.
“Good! That means you’re next to get married and you’re out of my hair.”
Jenisse threw a gentle punch at Jeremiah’s shoulder.
“Uh uh Jay, you don’t get rid of me that easy. At least not unless that guy catches the garter.”
Jeremiah instantly hated the man she indicated. He was Jeremiah’s polar opposite: where Jeremiah was brown-skinned, this man was bronze. He was well over six feet tall to Jeremiah’s five-foot-eight. The other man had a six-pack of abs evident even under his suit. Jeremiah on the other hand seemed to have misplaced his pack somewhere around puberty and had yet to find it. He felt like Gumby standing next to a body builder.
Jeremiah pulled Jenisse to her feet and led her back to the dance floor as the DJ promised to pull out some oldie slow jams. They settled onto the dance floor to the strains of Love Takes Time. She looked Jeremiah in the eye, amused as usual at the fact that they were the exact same height. After her weight loss, she was only ten pounds less than him to boot.
Jeremiah caught Jenisse side-eying her dream man, who danced contentedly to their left with one of the bridesmaids. They’d been together most of the afternoon, and clearly enjoyed each other’s company.
As Jenisse silently wished that someone who looked like him would dote on her the way Jeremiah did, the song changed to Luther Vandross’ If Only For One Night. Jenisse looked at Jeremiah, and by unspoken agreement, they abandoned the dance floor, fighting unwanted memories all the way back to their table.
Win an eBook copy of Like a Brother, along with books from each participating author in the 30 Days giveaway!
To enter, please click on the link below: