Interview with A.D. Britten, Author of A Soul Unbroken

Good morning,

Today’s interview is with A.D. Britten, author of A Soul Unbroken – A Journey.

Please enjoy!

Best,

Vincent Lowry

 

Interview:

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?
    My author name is A.D. Britten, short for Ashley Dane Britten.  I live in Maryland.
2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
   The title of the book I just completed is A Soul Unbroken: A Journey.  It is modern, realistic GLBT fiction with inspirational themes.
3) What is the book about?
An extended synopsis is below:
Joey Christopher has never had an easy life. After being forced to leave home, he moves in with his best friend and later boyfriend, Allen.  Unbeknownst to him, Allen, who has had his own life difficulties, is a part-time sex worker.  Although initially reticent, Joey starts to do the same thing for financial reasons and out of a warped sense of loyalty to Allen.  Several years go by, and life has started to take a turn for the worse.  Being introduced to drugs by a client, Allen becomes a violent addict and ultimately starts selling drugs.  Even though he becomes unbearable at times, Joey remains loyal to him, but things change when Allen is arrested during a drug bust.  Then Joey finds himself homeless again.  Now with no friends to give him a place to stay this time, he turns to his last resort: entering a homeless shelter. It’s here where he meets Mrs. Winston, the kindly older woman who runs the shelter.  She takes a particular, almost maternal, interest in him and his well-being.  Although, Joey is not a very open person he does accept her friendship and realizes that just talking to her makes him feel better. She’s like the mother he never had. The seeds of hope she plants during their casual talks help give him what no one else ever has-a sense of importance.
As time goes by, Joey notices that Mrs. Winston seems to get tired easily during their walks.  He later learns that she has terminal cancer.  Before passing away, she tells him that she learned through one of their conversations, that one of Joey’s clients had been her late husband.  Joey is stunned to learn this and is upset that he had unknowingly hurt someone who has been so kind to him.  But Mrs. Winston insists that she has no ill-feelings toward him.  She understands that he hustled because he was poor, had no one else to rely on for money, and that he came from a very bad home.  In her will she leaves him some money (Mrs. Winston is wealthy), which shocks him and he initially does not do much of anything with it.  He has been saving his own money from hustling in order to buy a new apartment for him and Allen to live in after Allen is released from jail, which takes place after a year.  When Allen returns home, they initially have a happy reunion.  But soon it’s clear that Allen is still a violent addict.  After one of the worst fights they have ever had, Allen leaves and Joey is effectively on his own.  After learning that a close friend of his has just been diagnosed with HIV, he starts to seriously think about making some changes and leaving hustling behind him.  Joey has always liked to read, and so he puts in an application to a small, antique and religious book shop.  The owner is an older, conservative man but through the influence of his daughter who is openly gay, he hires Joey who stays there for several years as things gradually get much better with many new friends as well as a new boyfriend, later husband, and new life.
4) Where did you come up with the idea?
    It’s rather unusual how the story got started.  The story is set in central Indiana, which is where I am from. It was a good place to grow up, but it can be rather conservative.  Several years ago when there were some demographic changes taking place, some people claimed that male prostitution that had started to take place in the area.  Whatever was going on was probably only affecting a few neighborhoods in one section of the city, but some people spoke about the problem in the news.  Well around the same time, there was a local news story about a guy who engaged in that sort of thing.  I guess it was rather striking how people assumed that something was not taking place in the area, when it actually was.
    I should point out that this is not a biography of anyone. The story is completely fictitious.  But that was where the story got started.  Additionally, the story was a way for me to write about different issues.
5) How long did it take you to write it?
   I initially wrote it in about 6 months.  I updated the book last year and that took about another 4 months.
6) Did you learn anything from the project?
     Yes, there are some organizations that help homeless gay youth, but, several years ago when I initially wrote the story there did not seem to be many.
     I have also learned that many people have an issue with the main themes of the story, which is not a surprise.  Many people, especially more traditional Christians/religious people, are uncomfortable with GLBT issues so the story, although it is supposed to be inspirational, does not resonate with some people.
     Lastly, even though it has been over ten years since I initially wrote it, I have yet to see another fiction book like this.  I think that is a good and a bad thing.
7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?

     I have an author Facebook page.  A.D. Britten

A.D. Britten

A.D. Britten. 363 likes · 1 talking about this. A.D. Britten is a writer of creative fiction with multicultural …

8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists?
    I would suggest that you should stay true to your vision, but also take constructive criticism in order to become a better writer. If possible, have multiple people read your story and provide feedback.
    Regarding editors, I used a website that had freelance editors.  There are several out there to choose from like Upwork and Indeed.  I had a positive experience posting an ad and getting responses and finally chose someone who quickly replied and also seemed to have a good professional background so that they could provide solid feedback.
    Regarding cover artists, I didn’t use one.  I just chose a free picture from an images site along with stock book design from Amazon publishing.
9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?
     I like to read biographies, historical fiction, and just anything that is an interesting, well-told story.
10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?
    It’s hard to name a favorite book of all time, but there are certain stories that I liked reading such as A Tale of Two Cities, Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, and Beowulf.  I know that’s a very eclectic mix. I guess I like reading stories set in the past.
11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?
     No, pets. They are expensive and unless it is a seeing-eye dog, a therapy animal, or an animal used on a farm, I think animals belong outside in their natural habitat.  I know that is not the most popular point of view, but there it is.
12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?
     Yes, a few years ago for Christmas I got a kindle. I like it and have been using it off and on ever since.
*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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