And more importantly than that--each of them in turn--have demanded I write this story. So to answer the "is this novel autobiographical" question--the answer is Yes and No. Yes, my fictional characters will go through instances and circumstances that were real--maybe not to me, but to someone I knew--and No, there is no character in this novel that is written about anyone I know--INCLUDING MYSELF!
I have spent this past week talking to each of them--Big George in Houston, McManus in Jersey, Velez in Florida and Ponce in Lubbock. The only one I haven't spoken to or seen since 1997 is Denn-o. He lives in Ohio and he is flying in Friday evening. Already this week we have reminisced and laughed on the phone together and each time I talked to one of them, I couldn't help but relive the memories of my time in the Marine Corps.
Knowing how important this story is to each of them, I feel more pressure to produce this story than my first novel. I know I won't let them down, but there is still the pressure to maintain the integrity of the emotions we underwent while abroad.
So far in the story I have introduced Joey Allario--my protagonist, the hero of my story--and two supporting characters--Vincent "Vinny" Lozano and Michael "Mikey" Alaniz. Mikey is the antagonist in the story and he is the polar opposite of my hero, Joey. Vinny's role in the story thus far is to play mediator between the two characters. He provides the balance between two opposing forces. We are introduced to Joey as he flies into Ellis Airport and the reader is given the opportunity to evaluate his qualities as the "good kid" in the story. He is proper, even when people aren't nice to him and as we see in the third chapter, he is non-confrontational. He chooses to walk away from a fight, in liue of "not getting in trouble." He is well-mannered and proper, cordial to the ladies and excited about joining the Fleet Marine Force and his fellow "brothers" within the Marine Corps. What he is about to experience however will be small isntances of disappointment, the type that can alter a man's way of thinking just enough so [that] the inner child who chooses to dream...may die...
Mikey on the other hand is introduced while lying naked with a woman in a hotel room. She is a woman he met the night before and he is soft with her, cradling her in his arms and at the closing of that scene, he tells her good-bye, letting her know he will "never see her again." He is confrontational and his sexual frustrations, his frustrations of being away from home, etc, have him walking on pure emotion. He thinks out his decisions but often chooses his gut instinct over logic or rational thinking. He is the typical "fly by the seat of your pants" leader who is adored by those around him and hated by everyone who isn't because he isn't easy to understand or comprehend.
Well, I am off to finish Chapter 5...where the readers will get an inside look at "Fat Bottom Girls Gentlemen Club" where Mikey will meet a woman who plays a significant (and private) role in his life and the decisions he will make later on... Her name is Victoria Roxby and she works as a waitress in the gentleman's club.
Both my characters will have women in their lives in a private manner--meaning they won't announce their affairs to the friends closest to them. These women will play the mentor role to each man in turn. One of the twists in the story however is where we learn one of the women has shared herself with the "other" man in the story, thereby becoming the catalyst that forces our hero and villian (for lack of proper terminology) to constantly come together.
"Drawing Stories...With Words"