Keith Julius – In His Own Words
I discovered John Steinbeck in 1972, when I was 16 years old. I had to read a book as an English assignment, and though I enjoyed reading – and even then had aspirations of someday becoming a writer – I railed against the concept of reading a book because I had to. Naturally, I decided on the shortest selection on the list, which happened to be “Of Mice and Men”.
I thoroughly enjoyed it. To this day it is among my favorite books. I went on to read “The Grapes of Wrath” and anything else I could find written by Steinbeck. I was captivated by the people who charactered his books. There were good people doing good things. Bad people doing bad things. And, perhaps most surprising to me, good people occasionally doing bad things. Because let’s face it, none of us are saints all the time.
What it all boiled down to was a vivid, realistic display of the human condition. Because no matter how captivating a story can be – or how exciting a particular scene – or how rivetingly suspenseful a storyline – it all means nothing if the reader isn’t invested in the characters and finds them worth caring about.
My book “Catch A Falling Star” features Aleisha Turner as the main character. When we first meet Aleisha she is working the streets, selling her body for a few bucks to support the heroin habit her body depends upon. She is hardly a sympathetic character. But as her story unfolds, and we become involved with her life, her sufferings, her tribulations, I like to think a real person emerges. One that maybe isn’t that far different from many of the people we know. Or, perhaps, even a reflection of ourselves.
Aleisha isn’t a bad person. She’s a troubled person, who has made poor choices in her life and now has to live with the consequences of her actions. This is something we should all be able to relate to. I hope by the end of the story the reader sees her as an individual and not as a statistic; as a testament to someone striving to turn herself around and restore some normalcy to a life that has spun sadly out of control. And though – like so much of John Steinbeck’s writing – there is a harshness to the novel, I’d like to think the glimmers of hope along the way make up for the depressing elements that necessarily unfold within the story.
Life is what we make it. Regardless of our circumstances. So make the most of the opportunities you are given. We only go around once.
Please visit www.keithjulius.com to learn more about me and my writing. Here you’ll find links to buying my books as well as sample chapters of each of my novels.
Written by Keith Julius
Categories: Guest Blog