"I rewrote Champion Bubbler two times. The first manuscripts were erotic, and I got convicted and toned the novel down so that it could reach a broader audience, although it is still very juicy."
CGR: What island are you from? Tell us how your Caribbean culture has influenced you.
Jules: I grew up in a community just outside of Jamaica’s old capital, Spanish Town, where at one time, everyone knew each other and looked out for each other’s welfare. While people living in a community such as the one I grew up in may face a lot of hardships, financially and otherwise, the family dynamics and community spirit superseded all the problems that existed. With sports, reggae music and dance hall a part of our culture, there is always something going on to bring out some positive vibes in the people. The experiences of growing up in such a community still linger with me.
CGR: What inspired you to become an author?
Jules: I have always loved writing and it has been my dream for as long as I can remember to have a published novel. The thoughts of seeing my name on my very own book and having other people read and enjoy what I write was always a burning desire. Writing brings out the creativity in me and allows me to express myself in ways I would not normally do. I also find writing to be very therapeutic.
CGR: Tell us about your first novel, Champion Bubbler -- about the story and lead characters.
Jules: Champion Bubbler is the story of a young woman, Mercedes Ford also known as Bubbler, leaving the inner-city ghetto of Kingston to dance in a club in the tourist area of Montego Bay. She became romantically involved with the club owner, Danny, who sought her help in managing the club. At the same time, she was in love with Greg, a German tourist whom she first met on the beach. One of Bubbler’s lovers was brutally ripped away from her and she sets out to seek revenge against those who she believes wronged her. Champion Bubbler is not just about a young woman and the challenges she faced. It is a story that brings together the people and culture of Jamaica in such a thought-provoking way that it will ignite all kinds of emotions, and will keep you turning the pages.
CGR: What's it like developing a lead character? Is she based on anyone or traits of several people you know?
Jules: Once I have an idea of who my lead character will be and what role that person will play, I allow my thoughts to lead me. The novel, Champion Bubbler, is entirely fictional so my lead character, Mercedes, is fictional. She, however, represents the facet of life of many young girls growing up in the ghetto who just needed a way out. She was very witty and was not an easy force to reckon with, but considering that she grew up in a tough environment, it is only normal that she developed her own defense mechanisms. Mercedes was a natural dancer who turned her skills into a career, and as a people all of us have some “bubbling” in us.
CGR: How do you get in the zone to write -- do you have a favorite writing place or routine to get in the zone?
Jules: Writing comes very easy to me. Once an idea is formed in my head and I start writing, the story just flows. I do prefer to write at nights when the house is quiet and no one is around to interrupt me.
CGR: What's the biggest challenge in being an author -- writing, publishing, or perhaps marketing your book?
Jules: Writing the first draft is easy. What is time-consuming is the revising and editing phase. Every time I read the manuscript, I am certain to see something that needs rewording or something out of place. This really drives me nuts because I want everything to be perfect. I chose the self-publish route because I didn’t have the time and effort needed to research and get the attention of an agent. Now that the book is published, marketing is the next challenge I am dealing with.
CGR: What's your next novel -- is it a continuation of the story?
Jules: My next novel is A Love Bubbling Inside. Yes, it is a sequel to Champion Bubbler. After I was through writing Champion Bubbler, I realized that the story did not end there. The novel ended with Mercedes aka Bubbler in a new environment which also made me aware that she will be living a different lifestyle from the one she lived in Champion Bubbler. There is so much more to her character that A Love Bubbling Inside is necessary.
CGR: When you're not writing, what are you doing for fun?
Jules: I read a lot and spend lots of quiet time at home when I am not working my full-time job. Most of the “fun” that I have now is with my nine-year-old daughter. I am always running around doing something with her and she keeps me busy and occupied.
CGR: Is there anything that didn't make it into Champion Bubbler that you could share with us?
Jules I rewrote Champion Bubbler two times. The first manuscripts were erotic, and I got convicted and toned the novel down so that it could reach a broader audience, although it is still very juicy. There are quite a number of things that I believe I should have included, but did not. Hence, the reason A Love Bubbling Inside is necessary. The question of Mercedes' father is still unanswered and he is going to play an important role in A Love Bubbling Inside.
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