Saturday, February 16, 2013

Interview with CEO Gary G. Tavares

Give us a quick introduction on yourself and your book . My name is Gary G. Tavares. I am CEO and Founder of Tavares Entertainment, LLC. of Atlanta (founded 2005) We offer a variety of publishing and creative writing services. I am also a screenwriter, playwright, author, poet, publisher, and speaker. I started out writing plays in California in the early to mid nineties. I had all four of my stage plays performed on stage. This is the third book I have written. This is a powerful book based on actual events. It is entitled, "Predator on the Diamond: The Boston Red Sox Youth Molestation Story."

What inspired you to write your first book? My first book was actually a poetry book. I just used it to express myself in a positive and productive way. The poems were educational and inspirational, particularly for youth. I then went on to write a fictional urban novel dealing with domestic violence entitled, "Deceptive Vows." When I came to Atlanta in 2004, I happened to meet and interview one of the actual victims of this current story, which was published in August 2012. ("Predator on the Diamond: The Boston Red Sox Youth Molestation Story")

Do you have a specific writing style? I would say my writing style is somewhat unique. I am able to write several genres (action, urban, horror, fiction and non-fiction) as well as several formats (books, plays, screenplays)

How did you come up with the title? I sat and contemplated for a long time to come up with this title. I wanted a title that would grab ones attention, and make them want to read the book.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes. I want parents to read this book and share it with their children. Knowledge is power. The book shows how these predators infiltrate major organizations with the intent to molest children. Penn State was neither the first nor the only case of child molestation in a major sports organization. I am sure there will be more stories like Penn State and the Boston Red Sox to come.

How much of the book is realistic?
The whole book is based on actual events. Since I did not use the actual names of the victims, it is considered fictionalized. However, these events did actually take place in the Boston Red Sox organization.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? Yes, as I said, I interviewed one of the victims in this case. There is believed to be over a dozen victims in this case. I also have spoke to other victims of child molestation in the past, when I was doing research about this subject.

What books have most influenced your life most?
Many of the books that influenced me were sort of "how to" books. Most of those dealt with writing in general. Some of the books were utilized by me to research the topic(s) I write about. Even though writing is a natural talent I discovered I had, it was good for me to educate myself about the successes of other writers and how they got where they were going, by reading their stories. A lot of what I learned dealt with taking your writing to the next level. I never got a degree in creative writing, but in this industry it does not matter. No matter how much training or degrees you have, you still have to be able to write a powerful story.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Well, as far as writing in general, I like Tyler Perry. Not so much for the content of his work, but because he is able to write and produce his own work. He is also a beacon of hope for many African-American writers like me, who start out with challenging lives. The ability to be successful and overcome so many obstacles is what puts Tyler Perry high on my list.

What book are you reading now?
Well, currently I am a full-time student, so I have not had the time to read any other books. To be quite honest, I don't do much reading of books. I prefer to write the books when I have spare time.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Yes, the three authors I published grasp my interest. Their books are not on the best sellers list but their books were very good, and particularly, well written. I would not be surprised if they make a breakthrough in this industry with their books. Their names are Wallace Durham, Dawn Hampton, Jackie Hampton, and Belinda Lane.

What are your current projects?
My next book will be, "Sinful Affairs," and my next screenplay will be, "Town of the Fatal Curse." I am also currently working on a screenplay entitled, "Don't Forget to Write Home," and a screenplay entitled, "The Prayer Card."

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Generally, I am self motivated and had to rely on my own drive to keep writing. I guess you can say I have had some friends and associates support me along the way. I did have support from the church I went to over the years. Right now I have a Fiancé who is supporting me and my dream.

Do you see writing as a career?
Yes I do. I definitely would love to do it full time with no other distractions. I would love to get to the point where writing becomes a more lucrative experience for me and a full-time career.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? I really don't believe so. I think I did a good job keeping the book as discreet as possible, considering the subject matter. I believe I addressed the issue tactfully and educationally.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Well, it was a way for me to express myself. I had a rough childhood, which included being abandoned by both parents when I was a young child. I was raised in the Bronx New York's foster care system. Rather than become a statistic, I had to find an outlet. I guess that is why I can write these stories of abuse with so much passion and make them somewhat personal.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?
This story is about a Caucasian clubhouse manager, who worked for the Boston Red Sox, molesting over a dozen African-American boys from 1971-1991. This was when their spring training facility was in Winter Haven, Florida. He would go to the urban neighborhood around the ballpark and recruit young black boys to work for him at the facility. Many who were fatherless and/or poor. He pled guilty in 2002, but never received time. He was given a ten year suspended sentence and 15 years probation, and walked away a free man. He died in 2005, but the stories of the victims have never been told. Until now…..

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Sometimes making the story universal, believable and sellable can be a challenge. Trying to be completely original can be challenging. Finding a way to get your work out and marketing with a small budget is probably the biggest challenge.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Well, I don't really have a favorite author right now. There are a few authors that have caught my attention because their style and flow was similar to mine. I have met quite a few authors in the past who I admire because they write original and powerful works.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not at this time. With today's technology, people can go to Amazon and get your book as a paperback, or download it as an eBook. I do believe at some point I will be doing some traveling to market my books after they reach a higher level.

Who designed the covers?
My covers are all done by a local graphic artist, who I think does a great job designing book covers. Her name is Brandy Spain.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I would say the hardest part was bringing this compelling story to life. It is not easy to take a story like this and make it pretty much a must read type of story.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? Yes, I learned a lot about the disturbing statistics of child molestation in this country, through my research. I learned all about what it takes to put a story of this magnitude into a book, where there is potential for millions to read.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
My advice would be to stick to your style of writing. Yes, you should be open for advice and critique on your work, but ultimately you are the creator of your work. I think you must have a thick skin in this business and remember that no matter how many rejections you get; it only takes one yes to put you in a unique position.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I would say to my readers that I hope they enjoy the book, or at least understand where I am coming from with it. Yes, child molestation is a touchy subject, but I hope the book really makes them think about this problem and how it needs to be addressed.

What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
I think the biggest challenge was getting the story from an actual victim. I had to listen to some of these horrible events that took place, which were uncut, raw and unscripted. The research on the story was limited to the few news stories I was able to dig up by Googling the predator, Donald Fitzpatrick's, name.