Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Guest Blog by Damario Morris

I used to be a troublemaker in my early years. I spent most of my teens and twenties in and out of juvenile facilities. I didn’t know what I wanted to do in life and that contributed to my troubles. I got arrested at the age of twenty-four and was sentenced to ten years with six years suspended. That turned out to be pivotal [moment in time] for me. I was sent to M.C.I.J.—a medium security prison in Maryland—where I ran into a childhood friend I had seen maybe three times in ten years. He worked in the kitchen at the prison. He was transferred to my section and my writing career started shortly thereafter. 

I’m a fast reader. I used to read three, sometimes four novels a day. I was reading so fast that after a month I’d read all the books on the tier. I asked my friend Ronald Wilson, "Do you have anything to read?" That's when he gave me a book he'd written. After a few pages, I was hooked. Of all the crime dramas I've ever read in my life—and I've read hundreds—his book was by far one of the best. I hate to say it, but after I finished, I became jealous. I thought "if this person can write a book, so can I.” 

After [reading Ronald's book], I started writing. I attempted to write a crime drama as well but I never sold a hard drug a day in my life, so I didn’t feel my story would be authentic. So I changed the direction and decided to try a comedy. It took eleven months, but I finished my first book called County Bounties. I passed it around to be read. I was sitting in the day room, watching someone as they read it on their bunk, without them knowing. The guy leaned in, furrowed his eyebrows, slammed the book on his bed and laughed until tears came out of his eyes. At that moment, I knew this was my calling. I came home and started typing my book. After formatting, [the manuscript] was so long that I was able to turn it into two books. After that, I began writing in my spare time. 

My writing process is pretty simple. I make myself write a minimum of one page per day for each book. Usually it’s more than a page; but on those lazy days, I do the minimum. My influences, believe it or not, aren't authors. Growing up, I was a big fan of the Farrelly brothers. I’m a big fan of There's Something About Mary, Me Myself & IreneKingpin, as well as their early movies. [I'm also a fan of] early Adam Sandler. I prefer to write dark comedies and my novels are reflections of those movies. I write slapstick comedies that have situations that would never be allowed in real life. I've been told my first novel reads like a black South Park or Family Guy. 

Now I’m working on my sixth and seventh books. I’m also trying my hand at screenwriting. I went through doubts with my other books as I'm sure other authors do. No matter how down or how little I believed in my novels, the responses [to them] have been overwhelmingly positive. I look back now and remember writing books and reading them to myself when I was in elementary school; or, as a teen, making my mother a birthday card that made her cry and laugh at the same time. I realize it was always in my future to write. I just had to learn it the hard way.


No witches, warlocks or vampires...
just a sexy tale about a guy trying to live the Hollywood dream...

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