Jeremiah McAllister lost his entire family before he turned eighteen, but was blessed with another one. As the oldest of more than a dozen young adults mentored by CC Dawson and her husband Thurman, Jeremiah takes his role as oldest brother within their chosen family seriously. To his siblings, he is confidante, emergency contact, babysitter and family ATM; whatever they need, he provides, no questions asked. However, some among them push his largesse to its limits.It’s okay to help people, but when you bypass help and hit enabling, there’s a problem. Click To Tweet
Jenisse Anderson uses Jeremiah as a surrogate man on her arm for social events when she’s between boyfriends and as her personal 911 (she calls him to help her deal with anything she deems an emergency). Despite Jeremiah’s consistently being there for her, she will neither reciprocate nor discuss his feelings for her, or even deal with the issues of her past.
Erik Dawson (CC and Thurman’s only biological child) is currently estranged from his parents, and uses Jeremiah as a go-between so he knows they’re okay and vice-versa. Jeremiah’s repeated pleas for Erik to go to his parents and reconcile fall on deaf ears. Between Jenisse and Erik and the constant requests from the others, Jeremiah is pulled in too many different directions all at once.
As he reaches his breaking point, Jeremiah finds himself at a crossroads in his life. How can he break out of an emotional prison he didn’t even realize he was in until recently? Can he face his own history in order to embrace a better future?
Interview with Maurice M. Gray, Jr.
When did you realize you had a book (or some books) inside you?
I’ve always loved to read, and deep down I knew I could write a book someday. It started feeling real to me when I started writing a short story the year I graduated college (1990) and it kept on going :-). Once I had it critiqued, I knew I could eventually turn my other ideas into books too.
Why is the theme of this project important?
Like A Brother is about family and friendship and setting limits where appropriate. It’s okay to help people, but when you bypass help and hit enabling, there’s a problem.
What did you learn about yourself while writing this book?
That if I try hard enough, I can write a scene to make myself laugh :-). I also found out that I don’t really like writing in first person.
How do you find time to write?
I have to make the time. I carry a notebook with me everywhere I go- I write down ideas and type them onto the computer later. I try to carve out at least ten minutes a day where I’m just writing- not doing any editing work, not messing around on Facebook, but writing. My goal of course is a lot more time spent writing than that, but It’s amazing how much writing can happen in ten minutes if that’s all you have for it.
If you could work on a writing project with anyone (dead or alive), who would it be? Why?
Ray Blackston, author of a book called Flabbergasted (and two sequels). His characters are zany, yet well developed- it was the most true to life Christian fiction I’d read in quite a long time. I wonder how his predominantly Caucasian characters would interface with mine, who are mostly African-American. Our writing styles differ, but we both write a lot about relationships and we rely heavily on humor. I just think it would be an interesting collaboration.
About Maurice M. Gray, Jr.
Maurice M. Gray, Jr. is an author, editor, speaker and comedian. He is the owner/operator of Write The Vision, Inc., through which he edits manuscripts, publishes his books, and conducts writing workshops. Maurice is a member of Toastmasters International and of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He lives in New Castle, Delaware with his family.
Connect with Maurice M. Gray, Jr.