If I actually had a budget for this book, the character profiles would be video vignettes of each character explaining who they are via monologue. But alas, no budget (and that is self-publishing), so my words will have to literally speak for them. My approach to the characters in this case wasn’t to sit and figure out who they are before I started writing, it was to let them tell me. I started with Nyela Barnes knowing that she was a jaded journalist who wanted to eventually become a screenwriter, and she guided me through her day. That is when her world began to develop and the other characters started to appear. There are a lot of interesting characters in the book, but I narrowed my analysis down to just a few of the most key people.
Keep reading in order to get to know them:
Nyela is a Brooklyn girl who had a nice upbringing in pre-gentrified Bed-Stuy. Both her parents are entrepreneurs. Her dad is a lawyer with a multi-services company and her mom owns a dance studio (who secretly thinks she’s Debbie Allen). Nyela was encouraged to be proud of Black culture and encouraged to be who she always wanted to be from a young age. That manifested itself in Nyela becoming an avid reader and writer with a passion for the arts. She is extremely talented, nerdy, and ambitious, but she works in a world that, in her mind, is too stupid for her sanity. It wasn’t always that way. There was a time when all she wanted to do was become a top tier entertainment journalist, but she’s starting to learn that sometimes things change, and when that happens you have to adapt. Nyela is stubborn, so she’s fighting it. She hates her job, and wants a change. However, self-pity gets in the way of Nyela doing anything productive with her already popular side passion, her TV and film blog, as well as that movie script that she keeps procrastinating on. There will be many moments when you will want to shake her. Hopefully you will see someone, if not even yourself, in Nyela.
Reiko (pronounced “ray-ko”) Rodriguez
Reiko Rodriguez is Nyela’s bestie. She and Nyela are different in a lot of ways, but similar in that they are smart, loyal (sometimes to a fault), and ambitious. However, Reiko may sometimes be a bit too ambitious (which can be seen in her penchant for bad behavior on reality TV). She is a popular radio personality, celebrity news blogger, and sometimes reality star who wishes Nyela would do more with her talent as a writer, even if it means stunting for the Gram, or SnapChat, or YouTube, or…whoever.
Olu Mensah (aka Olu Major)
Olu is a tall dark African-British heartthrob (his mom is Nigerian and his dad is Ghanaian) who has his eye on Nyela. He grew up affluent in London, but decided to head to the US, against his parents’ wishes, to make his dreams of superstardom come true. By the time Nyela meets him for an interview with a major magazine, he is an actor making the shift to becoming a successful rapper–think a combination of Idris Elba and Drake. Initially, he didn’t get much play in the storyline because I was trying to keep the focus more on Nyela, but my editor mentioned that he was more interesting than what I gave him credit for so I gave him more play, and that is how the love story part of Bloggers Can’t Be Trusted started to develop. I hope he comes off as a charming, intelligent and cool nice guy without seeming too corny. It was hard to write him because I struggle with writing men for obvious reasons.
Felani (pronounced “Felony,” real name Felicia Simpson)
Felani is an up and coming rapper from Brownsville, Brooklyn who isn’t afraid to speak her mind and throw hands if she has to. She started making noise on the mixtape and street DVD scene with her hardcore rhymes, but now she’s on the trajectory toward mega stardom, that’s if she can clean up some of her hardcore ways and tacky sense of style. With brands like MAC knocking on her door some tweaks will have to be made, but she doesn’t want to lose her authenticity. She is surprisingly best friends with Olu (they know each other from audio engineering school), and gets close to Nyela and Reiko, who try to help her polish her presentation just enough so that she doesn’t scare people, but remains true to who she is with room to grow.
Cool Story: I actually created Felani for a spoof that I did making fun of the stereotypical female rapper personality types (shouts to Malik 16 and Readhead for helping me with that). That was many moons ago and I’m too lazy to search for the video, though it’s still out there. The novel version of Felani is a lot more developed and complex.
Sincere is Nyela’s most likely ex-boyfriend and a celebrity relationship blogger. Their relationship is at first complicated, but becomes crystal clear once you realize who Sincere actually is. Nyela met him back when he was working on Wall Street and not really blogging. He was always intrigued by Nyela’s career as a writer and expressed a secret desire to do more writing. He explained that he dabbled in blogging on the side, where he shared stories from his life as a New York bachelor. Nyela, being the thoughtful and helpful young woman that she is, helped him develop blogging strategies and even gave him ideas. Eventually his blog about bachelorhood took off. He started gaining so much notoriety and making enough money from blogging and as a “relationship expert” that he quit Wall Street and started blogging full time. He also became the ultimate douche lord when his newfound fame went to his head. He is most known for viral posts like, “How To Breakup With a Dickmatized Chick” and “Never Get Caught Up In Psycho Box.”
I’m finishing up the proofing process so hopefully I will publish this novel by the end of the month.
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