Frederick Smith on Writing Juicy Drama with a Co-Author

On this week’s First Five Chapters, Luke Kerr is joined by author Frederick Smith to chat about his latest novel, co-authored with Chaz Lamar Cruz, Busy Ain’t the Half of It.

The two talk about the differences between writing with a co-author vs penning a solo novel. How do the writing styles differ and how do Frederick and Chaz’s writing styles complement each other?

Luke feels he can grow as a writer in crafting his villains’ motivation, but what does Frederick feel is his greatest strength and opportunity for growth?

The two then dive into the first five chapters of Busy Ain’t the Half of It, which follows the lives of Justin Monroe and his nephew Elijah Golden, both of whom are gay.

The lives of men in the gay community can be complicated by past encounters with other men. Frederick talked about he and Chaz were able to use that dynamic to create the foundation for their juicy story.

Will Justin end up with his long-time friend Trevor or the headmaster at his children’s school, Jabari?

How will Elijah’s boyfriend Zaire react when he finds out Elijah spent a night with Zaire’s ex, Jordan?

What will happen when everyone ends up on a vacation trip to Miami? What kind of drama will go down?

Did the original first chapter end up in their manuscript end up as the first chapter in the printed book?

Smith has written or co-written five novels centering on the lives of Black and Latinx queer characters. Check out more details on In Case You Forgot, Play It Forward, Right Side of the Wrong Bed and Down for Whatever at Check him out on Twitter and Instagram at @FSmith827.

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