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This Week’s Guest – Monday, April 17, 2017

Maxine Thompson

Dr. Maxine Thompson,
Publisher, Literary Agent, Author, Host of Internet Show is cross-referenced to her other businesses

Dr. Maxine ThompsonArtist First Internet Radio

Dr. Maxine invites you to join her this week on her various shows where she will be speaking with some interesting people.

April 17, 2017

9:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time

This Week’s Guest – Monday, April 17, 2017

Email dj@artistfirst.com with questions for the author or Dr. Maxine Thompson

April 17, 2017

April 17, 2017

Cameron C. Taylor
Author of

The Way of Aloha: Lana ‘i
et. al.

Listen to Archives: Replay

Sponsored by:


January 4, 2010

Dr. Maxine Thompson

Author of
Hostage of Lies

Voted A Best Book of 2009

EDC Creations
Black Pearl Magazine

Black Butterfly Press

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www.maxinethompson.com/artistfirst.html for available dates
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Blog: Ten Tips for Creating Multi-Faceted Characters

By Dr. Maxine Thompson

Taken From The Hush Hush Secrets of Writing Fiction That Sells
by Dr. Maxine Thompson (2002)

When I was sixteen, during the Civil Rights era, as part of a one-way student exchange program (from the inner city of Detroit to a northern suburban, Traverse City, Michigan), I lived with a white family. This was part of an integration initiative. (For me, it was an escape from the drugs taking over my neighborhood and some other demons in my life, but that’s another story.) Anyhow, the mother of the family I lived with was an artist, a sculptress, who encouraged me to write when she saw my love of the written word. Her name is: Verna Bartnick, (http://oldmissiontavern.com/verna-bartnick-studio/). To this day, she continues to create works of art in the form of sculptures.

When she prophesied that she saw a writing talent in me, I wasn’t so sure.

After all, if, at the time, I had told my family I wanted to be a writer, they would’ve laughed and said, “Go get you a good job.”

Well, as life rolled around, I went to college, then became a social worker for the next twenty-three years, while raising 3 children. All the while, I used to wonder, when was my literary destiny going to begin? In 1989, I won money in Ebony’s first writing contest for a short story, “Valley of the Shadow,” then had a few short stories published in a college quarterly, called “Obsidian.” I was happy, but something was still missing.

Ironically, by the time my novel writing did emerge, I had buried my mother and become a grandmother, two milestones, which forced me to take action.

I realized how transient this life is.

From living, I gleaned many things about my journey, but this is one thing I can’t say enough about now—everything I learned about building multi-faceted characters I learned as a social worker.

These are ten tips for building multi-faceted characters.

1. I learned that babies will die from maternal deprivation if a process called bonding does not take place. From that, I’d like to make an analogy. I learned that, as a writer, you must make your reader bond or emotionally connect to your character or your characters will die from reader deprivation. You do this through reader identification, emotions and loyalty. The reader will then begin to root for your main character(s.)

2. Even a “crackhead” has redeemable qualities and a motivation for what led to him or her becoming a substance abuser. Give your villains (or antagonist) a motivation, a past, and some good traits. Also, I learned, just like in life, that in fiction the best lines can come from bums and what I call “street corner psychologists.”

In my novel, Hostage of Lies, these are gems spoken from my character Poor Boy, an alcoholic derelict. “When you don’t love someone, you just don’t love them. They can be ever so nice to you, but you can’t make yourself love them. And vice-versa.

“I been in love both ways. The kind where I didn’t love someone back, and the kind where the other party was just using me. I know this is sad to say, but graveyard love done killed a many people. Got more people in the cemetery than cancer.”

3. Also, just like in life, in fiction, being good is not all it’s cracked up to be. It’s easier to do the wrong thing. The person, such as a do-gooder social worker, who tries to do the right thing, has the hardest struggle.

Show this in your characters, particularly in your protagonist or main character. Fiction is about struggle and the fight to do good in a world filled with evil. Good intentions are generally what lead to conflicts in books.

For example, a good mother, with well-meaning intentions, can overprotect her children, creating followers and people who make bad choices. (So if your main character is a goody-two shoe, give her a critical flaw.)

On the other hand, sometimes you can use the bad guy as the lead character. They seem to inspire a lot of admiration from ordinary, law abiding citizens. Remember how in The Godfather, more people loved the Godfather than they did Fredo, his wimpy son, who was not a murderer? So don’t rule out using anti-heroes as your lead character.

4. Things happen to people that can either build their character early in life or destroy them. One teenage mother can go on to become a lawyer; another will drop out of high school, become a welfare queen or a substance abuser. One child can grow up with a schizophrenic parent and go on to become a successful adult; another child can grow up with a silver spoon in his mouth and become a serial killer.

Remember. A character’s back-story is important, but it doesn’t always determine what kind of person he or she will become. The best early life experience does not always produce resilient, tenacious people, nor does the worst early life experience always produce bad people. That’s why it’s often said that hardship builds character.

5. Life is often about compromise. Don’t give your books neat little happy endings. In my novel, Hostage of Lies, Nefertiti reunites with her birth daughter she’d had as a teen and placed for adoption at birth, but she pays the price of always wondering what would have happened had she opted to raise her child at a time when society was merciless to “unwed mothers.”

6. People generally grow during downward spirals. The worse life experience can sometimes turn out be the best thing that can happen. The grandmothers who had to take in crack grandbabies often looked younger than their crack daughters and were really better mothers the second time around.

Hitting rock bottom is often where people grow (or become discombobulated by life’s mishaps.) Put this in your fiction.

7. Show the dark side of your characters; this adds to complexity. How about a man who works with children, then goes home and batters his wife? People are full of contradictions. Or, the flaw could be more subtle. Perhaps look at how people get stuck in bad relationships and refuse to move on—that is, until something happens (the death of a child) such as in Anne Tyler’s novel, The Accidental Tourist, which forces the characters into action.

8. In the capacity of a social worker, I buried an AIDS baby and a Down Syndrome’s baby. I witnessed the after results of murder—a man had killed his wife—(which I revisit in my novel, LA Blues), and I had to place the surviving children in the middle of the night.

From this I learned: the line between life and death is tenuous.

Capture this dichotomy between life and death in your fiction.

9. Life is full of stories. The caseload’s foster mothers used to tell me stories. My clients told me stories. My clients’ families related all the family skeletons as they pointed to the “black sheep” of the family as the fault-line.

From this, I learned that everyone has a story. Everyone has a secret. Show me the inner life of your characters.

10. The Ten Commandments were written because man is essentially in need of God. How different men find their spirituality and their salvation can be a rocky road such as Paul on the road to Damascus. Take me, as the reader, on this journey. Walter Mosley does this in Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, as we travel with Socrates, as he redeems himself for the murders that he committed earlier in life.

In summary, show how your flawed characters try to redeem themselves.

Try some of these tips and see how your readers will fall in love with your characters.

About the blogger:

Dr. Maxine Thompson is a novelist, poet, columnist, short story writer, book reviewer, an editor, ghostwriter, Internet Radio Show Host, and a Literary Agent. She is the author of Novels, The Ebony Tree, Hostage of Lies, LA Blues, LA Blues 2, and LA Blues 3, A Place Called Home (A Short Story Collection), The Hush Hush Secrets of Writing Fiction That Sell, a contributor to bestselling anthologies Secret Lovers, (A Black Expression Bestseller) All in The Family, and Never Knew Love Like This Before, (Also a Black Expression Book Club, and Kindle Bestseller).

She is also an ebook author of The Hush Hush Secrets of Writing Fiction That Sell 1, 2, The Hush Hush Secrets of Making Money as a Writer, The Hush Hush Secrets of Creating a Life You Love, Novellas, The Katrina Blues, Capri’s Second Chance, and Summer of Salvation, contributor to Proverbs for the People, and Editor/Contributor to anthology, Saturday Morning.

Her novels, The Ebony Tree, (Won a Pen Award in 1997), Hostage of Lies, (Voted a Best Book of 2009), LA Blues, (2011), and LA Blues II, (2012), which were featured in Black Expressions’ Catalog in August 2012. LA Blues 3 was published in August 2013.

Step out on Faith and Pursue Your Dream

Last night (4-27-11) I watched songstress/actress Jill Scott on the Monique Show (by the way, she looks really fit!), and I remembered the first time I saw her perform in person 11 years ago. I didn’t realize at the time, I was seeing history be made. This had to be among one of the first sets Jill performed.

At the time, I was writing for the now defunct website, Netnoir, and, as being part of the press, my sister, Sonya Vann and I, were given free tickets to an exclusive Hollywood party, which was packed with movie stars.

This fortuitous event all came about because I had left my social work job in October 1997 and stepped out on faith. Because of my being self-published, interviewing authors on my website since 1998, and writing book reviews, I had been invited to write for Netnoir a year earlier.

Anyhow, when this young woman, who wore an Afro, and crooned in a Nina Simone-sultry voice, sang, “The Way?” I knew she had a unique sound. I had no idea what a stellar career was being launched.

On Tuesday night, 4-26-11, on Monique’s show, Tyler Perry was the guest. I only caught the last 30 minutes of the show, but, of, course, I wanted to hear the interview. That previous Sunday afternoon, I’d gone to see “Madea’s Happy Family” in order to escape the pressures of being a caregiver. I needed to laugh and enjoy myself.

Well,after almost running up the movie theater aisle screaming in tears at one scene, then, within minutes later, almost rolling in the floor with laughter at another satire scene, I wanted to hear what Mr. Perry had to say.

I discovered something new. Tyler Perry employs 400 people at his movie studio, and, just to name a few, has been able to donate large sums of money to disasters such as Haiti and Katrina. Thus, I realized how important having and following a dream can be. It can provide a living for yourself, as well as others. Isn’t that what the government is saying we need—new job creation?

What if Jill Scott and Tyler Perry hadn’t pursued their dreams?

In my case, I never knew how far pursuing my self-publishing dream would take me. It has taken me to Internet radio in the virtual global world for over 9 years, and literally, it has taken me as far as China. Recently, it’s even afforded me the opportunity to contract out work to other editors. I also just signed the 67 literary contract for Brian W. Smith, and published massage therapist, Van T. Womack’s book, The Miraculous Power of Massage. I hope to be able to do even more in the future.

So if you have a dream, step out on faith, and pursue it. You never know where it will lead you. It can be a blessing to you, and to the world.

Dr. Maxine Thompson’s Upcoming

June 15, 2011 Interview with Fran Lewis

June 11, 2011
National Black Book Festival
Literary Agent Panelist Presenter

April 28th, 2011
Morning Side Library 4:00 p.m.
Inglewood, CA
Writer’s Workshop;
“How to Write a Best-selling novel”

Red River Radio
Blogspot with Barbara
http://www.facebook.com/l/7f410VJ9ca0yE3eL3z6I640Kqmw;blogtalkradio.com/rrradio (or) Call-in Number: (646) 595-4478
3:00 p.m.

April 16, 2011
Black Writers on Tour
Workshop Conductor: How to Write a Bestselling Novel
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Hostage of Lies by Maxine Thompson

Book Review by Leigh McKnight

Suspenseful, Educational, Enjoyable, Powerful—All that and more
Returning home after seven year, Nefertiti is faced with a number of unresolved issues with the men in her life, including her father who did the unthinkable—forcing her to give up her daughter at birth. Though she returned home seeking answers, she also knew she owed some answers as well—her husband from whom she had kept a secret that could have ruined her marriage.

Hostage of Lies is a powerful portrayal of African-American lives with all the ingredients for a best seller. Maxine Thompson engages you from page one to page 310 with a rich mixture of love, lies, secrets, believable characters, rich African-American history, skeletons, betrayal, pain, racial issues, status, humor, lost loves, infidelity, mental illness, black sheep in the family and many other family issues that leave you wanting more—much more.

Titi’s quest to find her daughter after decades is very real and moving. It lets one know that very often when love is involved, time stands still. I was deeply touched by the warm spirit, perhaps the forgiving or just moving forward and live attitude of Zora Desiree Fairchild, Nefertiti’s daughter.

The structure of this story was brilliantly and flawlessly executed by Thompson, the voices of the characters were strong and believable and I love all the back story that brought me to where Nefertiti’s journey ended. Hostage of Lies is so rich in African-American history that it wouldn’t surprise me if it becomes a required reading piece in schools. This story crosses all kinds of lines. Any and everyone will enjoy.
Fantastic Maxine Thompson—–5 *****


Dr. Maxine invites you to join her this week on her various shows where she will be speaking with some interesting people.

Check out

Book Promo

Maxine Thompson
Author of Hostage of Lies

Voted a Best Book of 2009

Black Butterfly Press

Maxine Thompson’s Blog and Books


I want to thank my readers and writers who have supported the books of the authors represented at Maxine Thompson’s Literary Agency.

That being said, a book is a cheap Christmas gift.

Check out some of these books and order or preorder at Amazon or Barnes and Nobles on line or go to your local Black Book store or independent book store and order.

New Book Release:

West End Girls 2 by Lena Scott
Came out 10-26-10

West End Girls

Upcoming Books:

Look for upcoming women’s novel, Betrayed, by Suzetta Perkins in Spring 2011.

Look for Urban Christian Novel, Delilah, by Shelia Goss Due out December 28, 2010


Delilah Review by Angelia


We Ain’t the Brontes by Rosalyn McMillan

We Ain’t the Brontes

2011 Releases:

Look out for upcoming urban crime novel, LA Blues, by Maxine Thompson Due out in July 2011.

LA Blues

Order Maxine Thompson’s books in ebooks on Amazon Kindle Book store

Short Story Collection: A Place Called Home by Maxine Thompson

Best-selling A Place Called Home

The Hush Hush Secrets of Writing Fiction That Sells by Maxine Thompson

“>All in the Family

Never Knew Love Like This Before (Anthology) by Maxine Thompson, Michelle McGriff, Denise Campbell.

Never Knew Love Like This Before

Swerve, beginning of a new spy series, by Michelle McGriff, due out November 30, 2010

Hostage of Lies
By Dr. Maxine Thompson

Throughout our lives, we make choices that mold our futures and sometimes affect us in both positive and negative ways. Spouses, boyfriends, first loves and career decisions affect our futures and often reflect on the way others treat us. Unfortunately, mistakes and digressions into paths we should not follow, often cloud our judgment, and reflect poorly on the way others act toward us in our presence. The characters in Hostage of Lies, all harbor secrets that they do not want uncovered. Some secrets are more harmful and destructive than others. Those that pass judgment should not cast the first stone on others since their records are not pure. This brings me to my review of Hostage of Lies a novel that brings to light many relevant issues of the present and comes full circle with some from the past.

Nefertiti is a proud African American woman who has reverted back to her African American roots. Changing her appearance and wearing the clothing indignant of her heritage, she returns to her home after being castigated and banished by her father, she reenters his life and others in Shallow Falls to find the answers to many questions that have been harbored within her soul and mind for too long. Married to Isaac Thorn for 12 years and having two children with him, her bond to this small town is still quite clear, but how strong remains to be seen. Pharaoh, Isaac’s half brother was the first man that she was intimate with and these two men have been reliving, reviving and rekindling in their own minds the feelings for her, their animosity for each other and their own brand of anger that spews from their lips when together.

Nefertiti returns to her parent’s home for her father’s 75th birthday with one important goal in mind. She intends to find the child she gave birth to 23 years ago and will stop at nothing until she does. Hidden beneath her frustration is anger so deep that nothing will ever remove the pain, degradation, the abuse and the scorn festered upon her by her father. Exiled, banished and forced out of her family’s nest, she is deemed a disgrace, harlot, and embarrassment in the eyes of her father, family and church for one mistake.

There is much more to this story than Nefertiti’s. Calissa, Miss Maggs, Isaac, Tiger and many others harbor secrets that should they be revealed would change the complexion or way people few them even more. Calissa too was banished and cast aside by her husband and diminished in the eyes of her children by their father for one mistake.

This is a story about mistakes of the heart, abuse more heinous than just by inflicting pain on her person physically, and about reopening your heart to others and allowing the hate, the cruelty to finally melt away and allowing forgiveness in. Take an ice sculpture so frozen solid that it looks like it will never melt and will stand the test of the hot burning sun or a burning flame. Nefertiti, Calissa, Ms. Magg and many others have felt the scorching flames as the ice that formed in the heart of the abuser was inflicted so hard that they formed their own private shield in the outside, but on the inside the ice water turned boiling hot and the scars caused by the heat and the flames could no longer be withstood and their self-esteems and their courage dripped away.

Power is what controls who and what you are in Shallow’s Corner in the eyes of Reverend Godbolt and Reverend Deacon. Both are powerful men who lived their lives ruling their families with iron hands and their wives with iron fists and strong words. Power is a funny thing. It cannot always bring you happiness but it can bring you false respect of others and the ability to control many outcomes because of how much you and wield on others. But, for how long before the same people finally take it no more and don’t care about your power and develop a thick skin of their and fight back in their own time and way. This story is all about power and control and who has it. Will the reigns change by the end? Will the secrets of each be unfolded and will the eyes of the town and their opinions unfurl and change on those that are now in power? Wait and see.

While each character reflects on the past and the hidden secrets, family ties and relationships that embrace and brought them to the present, the author eloquently and brilliantly weaves each character’s lines and stories so intricately intertwining and forever sealing their lies, truths and deceits in a tightly sealed, airless vault, waiting for the seal to break and the air to set them free.

As the lies become unsealed and Nefertiti questions her parentage, heritage and confronts her father for the truth, many other lies will be uncovered, a father’s secret will be revealed and many others will never be the same. Ms. Maggs, Bertha, Nefertiti, Sweets and the women of Shallow’s Corner have all been victims of abuse, remained in the background and never hold their tongues. But, not Nefertiti. She was a bold, bright and educated adult, who decided to live her life and finally make the right choices on her own, after being forced to give her child up for adoption by her parents when she was a minor.

One man, Pharaoh, plagued by his dreams and the horrors he faced fighting in Vietnam. Isaac haunted by a woman he so wrongly lost, and Reverend Deacon and Godbolt, so righteous in their thinking and their thoughts cast aside those that truly loved them and filled their lives and the town of Shallow’s Corner with nothing but hostages held prisoners by their lies. Choices are difficult and we have to live with the outcome. Will she find her daughter? Read this outstanding novel and find out.

Who will finally be set free? Who will the final victims be? Read this heartbreaking and heartfelt novel so well written and crafted that the reader will be not only be enveloped but totally immersed in a plot so tangled that only a jeweler with the right tools can untangle the knots. With an ending so riveting and a conclusion so unexpected, Hostage of Lies will keep you in suspense until the very last page where the final lie is revealed. A must read for anyone that has ever been a victim of abuse, prejudice and deceit. A book that lets the reader know that we have come so far in our thoughts and thinking, but we are not there yet.

This book gets Five Stars

Fran Lewis: Reviewer and author of the Bertha Series of Books and Memories are Precious

Hostage of Lies Book Trailer

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