Tuesday, June 1, 2010
The Gatekeeper, a Novel by C. Alease
Anyone can have a “Trollop,” a “Chatterbox,” a “Mushy,” and even a “Perfectionist” in themselves. We all have aspects of ourselves that we may want to keep buried, or that we like to project to the world. But what if these aspects were actually alive – living, loving, hating – and all in your head? And what if you didn’t even know that you were NEVER really in control of your own mind?”
Our main character and narrator in The Gatekeeper, a Novel by C. Alease, contends that some of her best friends live inside her head. “So it appears that I am fragmented, though not completely split.” In reality, this woman is a human jigsaw puzzle not yet assembled, cracked mirror pieces in a worn, weather beaten frame, ready to fall apart.
Something inside her believes that her desire to find a therapist is actually for her eighteen year old son, to manage his anger issues. A close friend recommends one, and after a few visits with her son, the therapist becomes much more interested in her. And so begins an unintended journey through her fractured, but not broken, dissociated mind, to places she did not know existed, chose to forget, and was not prepared to revisit.
This odyssey takes the reader and our main character through an obstacle course of events, a journey of self-actualization and recollection, trauma and confusion as she learns the agonizing extent to which she has been guided by, interacting with and struggling to find a precarious peace amid these fractured pieces of herself, all living inside her head, and all of whom were created for their own specific purpose.
Our main character’s exquisite narration enables readers to identify clearly with each of the characters as the situations unfold. Readers will find that the story of The Gatekeeper is dark and foreboding, yet amusing and playful, providing a proverbial rollercoaster of emotions that will touch the reader’s soul, as these multifarious personalities emerge alive, completely different, yet being, loving, and living, much like the best friends that our narrator believes they are.
Born Cynthia Alease Smith, in New York City, NY, C. Alease Smith is a resident of Philadelphia, PA and attended the Philadelphia public schools. She has been writing since the age of five. She is also a talented artist, and received a scholarship to study for a year at the Fleischer Art Memorial , in Philadelphia, PA, while in middle school. As an art major in high school, she received a special Loeb Laboratory scholarship to study for a year at the Philadelphia College of Art, (now known as the University of the Arts), also in Philadelphia, PA.
C. Alease Smith is an Information Technology and Systems Manager, involved in information technology management for almost 30 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree, summa cum laude, with honors from Kaplan University, Davenport, IA, and is a member of the Epsilon Delta Pi National Honors Society for Computer Sciences, National Scholars Honor Society, Alpha Beta Kappa National Honor Society, IEEE Computer Society.
She is happily married, with three wonderful adult children.
INTERVIEW WITH C. ALEASE
1. What inspired you to write or moved you to begin writing? My Father in heaven inspired me to write The Gatekeeper. Although I’ve been writing since I was five years old, and always loved to write, I could never seem to focus long enough to write more than a couple of paragraphs at a time. I have an extremely vivid imagination, and I always had plenty stories that I would share with friends and coworkers. I believe that having to write long papers for college, researching and finally capturing my thoughts on paper made me realize that I could actually write more than business memos and letters with impact.
2. What are some major obstacles you had to overcome as an author or writer? What do you hope to accomplish as an author and with your book. I didn’t go into this experience blindly. I prayed the same prayer that I prayed when I decided to go back to school. I asked God to remove all of the barriers, even the ones that I would place in front of myself in order to accomplish my goal of completing The Gatekeeper. The only obstacle in front of me that I have to move aside is the prejudice that is applied to self-publishers and inde-novelists today by the traditional publishing and literary industry. Vanity is not the reason why I wrote The Gatekeeper. I wrote it to entertain readers as well as to bring to the light one of the most pervasive secrets in African American society; that of mental illness.
3. What process do you go through as a writer? Research? What time do you write? Do you need a private space to write, or you can write anywhere at any time? I definitely do my research. College writing taught me the importance of that. I also go through processes. I think. I am in my car, and I think of something, so I try to remember what I was thinking if it is funny, or in some way relates to one or more of my characters. I listen. Just the other day, my mother said something to me that I thought would be excellent for a character. I wrote it down while we waited for our lunch to be brought to us. I find that weekends are good for writing, but when the inspiration comes, it can come at virtually any time, and I have to be ready, so I keep a pad and pen ready.
4. What defines your target audience? My target audience is anyone between the ages of 18 and 9999; people who can relate to life experiences of others and draw from them something about themselves. That makes the audience very large and diverse.
5. Do you believe reviews are important to the success of a story? Reviews are very, very important. Reviews give other readers a glimpse into whether the book is worth spending money on, and whether the book will be an interesting read. Reviews are also a great way to gauge audience reaction, for good or not. Constructive feedback is always a good thing.
6. Are you working on any other projects at this time? Yes. I am presently working on two stories, one fiction, and one real life experience. The real life experience story is the one I am the most excited about.
7. Where can readers purchase your books? The Gatekeeper is published by CreateSpace, an Amazon company, and distributed by The Ingram Group, ISBN: 1449552641, and EAN: 1397814495526. Readers can also visit my website, http://bumblebee.cadsmith.net or http://thegatekeeper.cadsmith.net. The Gatekeeper is also available on www.amazon.com, including both the trade paperback and the Kindle electronic version, www.barnesandnoble.com, www.iFOGO.com, and Classics Books, 117 S. Warren Street, Trenton, NJ 08618.