Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Game of Trife: The Lost Chapters Part One

For the record, I always write my novels more than once. The beginning and end are usually the same, however the middle sections tend to be drastically different from one another. I like to experiment with my characters until I find a story that seems to flow smoothly from beginning to end, and also see if I am captivated as a reader when I take off my "author's hat". With The Game of Trife, I had actually planned on sharing the entire alternate edition with readers, but then I realized that it would only cause confusion. The journey that characters such as Jada, Divine, Tony and Darius take are drastically different in each version. However, there were pieces of The Game of Trife that were edited out of the final version as well (well over 100 pages). Within those 100 pages of lost chapters, there are some things that I would like to share with you as an added bonus for taking the time to travel along with Nan on his journey. There are some things I can't share, because it will give away secrets that will be revealed in Trifecta. However, I would like you to at least gain an increased understanding of what went into the development of some of the key characters in the book, and insight from me as well. Don't read any further if you haven't finished Nan: The Game of Trife...

Who was Jada Dupri?

When I was developing Jada’s character, the challenge I faced was making the reader care about her plight. After all, the name of the book is Nan: The Game of Trife, so I didn’t want her to become the focal point. I also had other new characters that were equally as important, and an ongoing storyline that needed to be pieced together. However, I felt that if I structured the story correctly, the reader would want to read about Jada as much as they would want to see what was going to happen next with Nan.

Jada’s character was based on a teenage boy and a girl that I actually knew when I was growing up. The female came from a family of underachievers that had no desire to see anyone in their bloodline progress further than the prior generation. She had an opportunity to escape to a better life, but she was slipped some type of drug at a party and her mind was never right from that point forward. Within the course of a year she was dead.

The male that inspired Jada had a football scholarship but was put on to drugs weeks before he was about to leave to go away to school. He too was close to achieving something never done in his family. He would have been the first individual to go to college.
Besides those two individuals that helped with her development, I also speak to our youth quite often. Even though it's quite depressing, the truth is that I've spoken to teenagers whose reality is even worse than the trials and tribulations experienced by Jada. I was hoping that a young parent reading the book would look at Ronnie as an example of how not to treat your child. Sometimes it's easier to find fault in others, than to see it in yourself.

Did Jada’s father rape her?

I’ll leave that to the reader’s interpretation. I believe that some things are better off that way. I will say this though. The darkness mentioned throughout the book is a direct reference to the violation she experienced earlier in her life. For example, when she was thrashing away at her white teeth with her toothbrush, the darkness she was trying to get rid of wasn’t plaque.

Derek Grimes (aka Divine) was raped as a child by his uncle and he had also raped other individuals while he was in jail. He was a career criminal that was institutionalized for most of his life. Within the editing process, part of Derek’s upbringing was omitted. In the next installment, I'll include pieces from his background that were deleted, and my rationale behind why I didn't include the section in the finished product.

Monday, December 29, 2008

They said it...not me

For the record, I'm an extremely humble individual. I've actually been accused of being too humble at times, but I disagree wholeheartedly. I've read interviews and have been in the company of more than enough individuals that do nothing but brag about their accomplishments and how good they are at what they do. That's not me. However, I am very confident and I do believe that God has blessed me with a special talent when it comes to writing, but I don't need to brag about it to boost my own ego.

Actually, all I need to do is promote my product and make sure I get one of my books into the hands of as many readers as possible, and then let them tell me what they think. In music, literature and just about every other form of entertainment, people try to make themselves larger than life..."I'm the King of Pop" "I'm the Queen of Soul" Isn't Bobby Brown the current reining King of R&B?

As far as the writing goes, the only title that I've ever taken on is, "The least known, last forgotten." The reason I chose that is because people often tell me, “I never heard of you,” when I’m trying to tell them about one of my books. Then they email a week later and in most cases tell me that I’ve inherited a loyal reader for life. So, I don’t need the titles or the crowns that come along with being royalty. I'm content with letting my work speak for itself. Reader feedback is the best feedback for me, because it lets me know if my target audience felt that I did my job and if they appreciate my work. Good or bad, that’s the most important feedback for me.

I just found out the following news which brought a smile to my face:

OOSA Online Book Club listed Nan: The Game of Trife as one of the best books of 2008. They also had this to say about yours truly...

"Moses Miller more than satisfied his readers with the release of his highly anticipated sequel, NAN: THE GAME OF TRIFE. He has again packed all the right elements into his latest endeavor. Miller is incomparable. Wine is not the only thing that gets better with time."

ARC Book Club listed Nan: The Game of Trife as one of the Most Anticipated Sequels of 2008 and one of the best book covers as well.

Last but certainly not least, the Mocha Moments Readers had this to say....

There's Beethoven, Bach, Einstein, Dr. King and Barack Obama all icons of their time and true history makers and breakers and then............ there's Moses Miller. Ok who is this man and where and how does he find the time to entertain us readers in the manner that he does? The Game of Trife definitely picks up where The Trifling Times of Nathan Jones left us "hangin'". Moses doesn't disappoint not one bit with this sequel, it has all the action of a silver screen movie and flows like a melodic tune. Page turner is not the word I'd use to describe this book at all! I swear Moses makes us readers feel such a part of the book. He's definitely turning the literary world upside down and while he does that I sit anxiously with baited breath waiting for him to amaze me again!!!!

Purchasing the Trifling Times of Nathan Jones.......... $14.95
Purchasing Once Upon a Time in Harlem.....................$12.11
Purchasing Nan: The Game of Trife..............................$14.95
Tickets to the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Ball..........$1000.00
Reading a Moses Miller masterpiece....................PRICELESS!!!!!
What are you waiting for? Now go out and buy all three, my name is Carla and I approve this message!!!!!

Thank you, ARC, OOSA, Mocha Moments Readers and every other reader that has taken a chance with one of my books!!! And remember, they said it...not me!

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Growing up, I never really understood what the fat bearded white guy, the flying reindeers and the decorative tree had to do with the birth of Christ. For the record, I still don't. Honestly, I still haven't figured out the decorative eggs and the bunny rabbits for Easter either. But in any case, I want to wish you and yours a safe and enjoyable holiday season. Thank you to all those that read one of my books this season.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It Happened Twenty Three Years Ago...

On Christmas Eve 1985, a young teenager named Joseph Hayes would experience one of the most horrific events of his young life. As he sat in the back of his father's liquor store, a cold blooded killer took the lives of both of his parents. Death reared it's ugly head only minutes later as the man fled the scene of the crime, pursued by the police cruisers. Innocent pedestrians would be mowed down, and another youth named Nathan Jones would lose his parents as well.

Thirteen years later, their story still lives on, in a story I penned called The Trifling Times of Nathan Jones. Fact, fiction or fairy tale? I get that question all the time. My response is always to tell the reader that it says fiction right on the book, so there should really be no question at all.

However, the reason that the question still lingers, is because we all know a Nathan Jones. We all know of a tragic tale that has happened, or a life cut short too early, that never received much media attention for some reason. Invisible Men can't be seen and they don't have voices. Many of the young African American and Hispanic men in our communities are casualties of a war that doesn't get CNN coverage. There are multiple enemies (many of which look just like them) and no resolution or talks of a treaty in sight.

So, thirteen years later to the day, here we are. The story is still labeled fiction, but unfortunately, his truth is still the reality of many young African American and Hispanic men.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

NYPD Back To Sodomizing Men?

When I first heard this story, I honestly thought that it was BS. It sounded shockingly similar to the Abner Louima case years ago. I never fathomed that a cop would be bold enough to commit such a heinous act in broad daylight, but allegedly he did. There have been reports of fecal matter being found on the item inserted into Mr.Mineo anus, and one of the officers seems to be cooperating with the investigators. What I want to know is why sticking a baton up a suspect's butt even crossed the officer's mind as an option? What was he smoking? At what point did he think that was a good idea? That's a sick dude. Read the story and feel free to share your thoughts.

Three Officers Indicted in Subway Assualt
NY Times
Published: December 7, 2008
Grand jurors investigating claims by a 24-year-old man that he was beaten and sodomized with an object by police officers inside a Brooklyn subway station in October have voted to indict three of the officers involved, people briefed on the matter said on Saturday night.

Michael Mineo said he was injured in an Oct. 15 encounter.
One of the officers, Richard Kern, 25, faces an assault charge, the most serious of the charges in the indictment, which is expected to be unsealed on Tuesday. The charges stem from accusations by the man, Michael Mineo, that one of the officers jabbed a piece of police equipment — later identified in testimony as a baton — into his buttocks, causing internal injuries.

The other two officers are facing lesser charges. It was unclear which of the other four officers involved would be indicted or what the charges would be, said the people briefed on the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it. “Kern’s charge is more serious than the others,” said one of those people.
Officer Kern, who has denied doing anything wrong, could not be reached for comment on Saturday night. His lawyer, John D. Patten, said he had not received any notification of an indictment.

But one officer, Kevin Maloney, a transit officer, came forward last month and told the grand jury that he saw Mr. Kern jab a baton into Mr. Mineo’s buttocks, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the testimony. The official said the testimony did not make clear whether Officer Kern intended to harm Mr. Mineo or whether he caused physical injury. Another person with knowledge of Officer Maloney’s testimony characterized it differently, saying he told grand jurors that Officer Kern had “pushed” or “placed” the baton against Mr. Mineo’s buttocks

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

5 Minutes, 5 Questions…My Interview With Joey Pinkney

Journalist & Book Reviewer Joey Pinkney

Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Nan: The Trifling Times of Nathan Jones and Nan: The Game of Trife?

Moses Miller: Death actually spawned the life of that story. A teenager named Timothy Stansbury was murdered in cold blood by police the night I started writing The Trifling Times of Nathan Jones. Even though the story has nothing to do with him or his life, it did inspire my creative juices. Actually, I guess they both do have one similarity when I think of the influence that the police played in both of their lives. There’s definitely the element of victimization there. The Game of Trife was just a natural continuation of the first story. Readers of part one knew that there had to be a sequel. They demanded it.

JP: What sets the Nan series apart from other novels in its genre?

MM: I don’t really compare my books to any other in any genre. From the gate I purposely established my own lane. I said, “I write Intelligent Urban Fiction,” which is the tag line for my company Mind Candy. I will say that what separates me from many authors is that I don’t allow my books to be constrained by events that I personally experienced or just hood stories that were passed on to me.
Every book signing I do somebody comes up to me and says, “I got some stories from my hood. I just need to write it.” It never fails. But the thing about it is that everyone knows a hood story. As a matter of fact, a lot of us know some of the same stories, or stories that are similar with the only differentiator being the name of the characters. That’s why there’s some that feel that originality is lacking in the genre.
I challenge myself and my readers, and I draw heavily on my imagination and the exposure I’ve received from traveling the United States and abroad when I write. I refuse to put myself in a box. My characters are multi-dimensional and my story lines are also multi-layered.

JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to the Nan series getting out to the public?

MM: Persistence. It starts with a good product. You have to know how to structure a story, develop characters, strong plots and memorable scenes. I always knew I had a good story, so all it would take would be for someone to read it. Word of mouth does the rest. I push my books by any means into the hands of readers. I have full confidence that once they read one of my books they’ll be supporters of everything I publish thereafter. I give them more than their money’s worth.
I also have put out some of the most original book trailers up to this point for an author of any genre. As a small press and a new author I was fortunate enough to have my trailers spread virally and be viewed by over twenty thousand people on the web alone. I understand that this is a business and I manage it as such. I’m an author, but my business requires me to wear many hats, and I make certain all of them fit.

JP: As an author, what is your writing process? What did you learn in doing The Trifling Times of Nathan Jones and lead you to do something different for The Game of Trife?

MM: I write what I want to read, and I write everyday. With me, it’s all about quality and consistency. I can write no matter what’s going on around me. As a matter of fact, the other day I was writing on the highway while I was stuck in traffic on the way to a book signing. However, I don’t rush the creative process. I’ll write a book and let it sit for a year just so I can read it from the perspective of a new reader.
A story needs to excite me and leave me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. If it doesn’t, my readers will never see it. They’ll never get the chance to critique it, because I’m my worst critic. I write intuitively. Most of the time I know how the story begins and ends, however the path I’ll take to guide you there develops as I write. I may even write two or three different “middle” sections to my stories and then decide later what is the most consistent with the story and the characters I created. I did that with The Game of Trife.
Now as far as learning new things from Trifling Times to The Game of Trife, that’s an interview in itself. I learned many things, from marketing to continuing to develop my craft in order to get better.

JP: What’s next for Moses Miller?

MM: As always, I’ll continue to promote literacy in our communities, working with teenagers and young adults. It’s always important to me to give back and pull others forward. As far as writing, I’m developing screenplays. I have a few books that I’ll be publishing as well, but I’m really excited about the inquiries I’ve been getting to have Nathan Jones’ story portrayed on the big screen.
I would also like to put out novels by other authors, but I haven’t read anything that has really excited me lately. I’ve come across a lot of manuscripts that are similar to stories I’ve read before. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure they would sell if they’re published. However, I’m looking for something special. With me, it’s all about building a brand with novels that consistently raise the bar. When I find the right author, I’ll know it.

To view the original piece, click here