Denise Coleman was born and raised in Camden, NJ where she still resides. As an avid reader, her love of the written word has grown into a passionate desire to share her stories with the world. Although she has penned four novels to date, she continues to work tirelessly at her craft, as she wants to grow as much as possible into a better writer and story teller with each work she creates.
As a former student of Woodrow Wilson High School, and the parent of four, it is her hope that the young people of Camden believe enough in themselves to dream big… And, in doing so, go after the best that this life has to offer.
Her first novel, Drama with A Capital D, is doing very well. Also, her most recent release, Keisha’s Betrayal, is the finale of her Shattered Innocence trilogy. She looks forward to putting out many more books in the near future.
BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters What makes each one so special?
My most recent work is the Shattered Innocence Trilogy which is available on both Nook and Kindle.
The main characters, twins Angel and Teek Kyle, and their cousins Troi and Keisha, who early in the series are forced to leave home to live with relatives they hardly know. Each girl has her own distinct personality. We have Angel, who is the nurturing leader of the group. Teek is the perpetually confused, yet supportive twin.
Then there’s Troi, who is sneaky, selfish and almost always up to no good. Keisha, the baby of the group, is unsure of herself, and often times, finds herself trying to figure out where she fits in.
BPM: Is there a specific space or state that you find inspiration in?
I actually find my inspiration in people. A look, a conversation, a mood, a feeling. other human beings seem to spark something in me at any given moment.
BPM: Tell us a little about your creative process. What brought about the title “Shattered Innocence”?
My creative process is always far more difficult for me than I intend. Whenever I have an idea, I start with an outline. However, every story I’ve ever written develops organically. I allow the characters to take over. The title Shattered Innocence literally comes from the circumstantial effects of the main characters’ displacement.
BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-drive or character-driven?
The idea for this particular series came from witnessing some of the issues our young clients have at my place of business. I work in child protection services. Although I am more interested in the plot, I do allow the character’s personality to take over. They seem to always drive the story forward.
BPM: Is writing easy for you? Do you feel lonely being a writer?
I find that writing is some times difficult for me because, I put a lot of pressure on myself. I want to be considered a great writer. I am continually pushing myself to do better and be better. Yes, I always feel that being a writer is a lonely business. The creation process is a singular experience for each writer.
BPM: What did you enjoy mot about writing this book?
The most enjoyable part about this series was seeing where each character went, and how they evolved more with each installment.
BPM: How much planning goes into writing a book? How long does it take to complete one of your books?
The only planning I do is, taking notes about the situations I want to place the characters in, and how I want to resolve the issues created. It can take me anywhere from a few months to a year to complete a book. it depends on so many external factors.
BPM: What advice would you give aspiring writers that would help them finish a project?
Well, because I feel that writers are dreamers to a degree, I would say never give up on your dreams! Write, write, and write some more. We all get discouraged, but the end result is pure joy.
BPM: What period of life or topics do you find you write about most often?
I am focused on young adults in this particular series. I simply wanted to understand how adults get to be who they are, how they are, and here it all began.
BPM: How do you feel when someone disagrees with something you have written?
I actually use different opinions to gain a different perspective into the human condition. If I do find myself offended, I try to turn that around to be useful for my growth as a writer.
BPM: Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book? If so, discuss them.
If I had to say there was an under represented group in my series, it would have to be the LGBT community. I felt that it was important to have at least one character who was the extreme opposite of the rest of the family. I wanted to explore her emotional perspective on being gay.
BPM: Share one specific point in your book that resonated with your present situation or journey.
The one point that resonated most with me was learning how to accept myself as I am. In doing so, I learned how to recognize when changes in my own behaviors need to be made.
BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
Writing “Shattered” actually taught me how much I’ve grown over the years. As well as, how much I am still very much that girl I once was.
BPM: Can you share some stories bout people you met while researching this book?
Because the business I work in is strictly confidential, I’m not sure it’s a good idea to share specific stories. I will say that I’ve witnessed and had conversations with clients which inspired the thoughts behind how very specific events can change the trajectory of one’s life.
BPM: How has writing impacted your life?
Writing has opened me up to a whole new world. Where I was once shy, I am now outgoing and more personable. Meeting people and engaging with them brings me joy.
BPM: What does literary success look like to you?
For me, literary success would be to create works that make people think, feel, talk and want more.
BPM: What are the 3 most effective tools for sharing our book with the world?
Social media, word of mouth and participation in literary events whenever possible.
BPM: What projects are you working on?
Right now I’m working on a piece about the loss of a child to gun violence. Being from a city like Camden, so many of us have lost someone in this manner. I feel I have to write about it.
BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Contact and comments can be sent to my website: DeniseColemanBooks.com
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