I got a nice 4-star review on Amazon.com and Goodreads. Judith compares the book to Willard Motley’s Knock On Any Door. Pretty cool!
Jo Sullivan helps a homeless boy, Chris, look for his missing girlfriend, carrying us deep into the Chicago’s underbelly where street kids struggle to survive. Their quest carries them deep into the macabre, where the homeless are fed into the sick ambitions of the rich. The stories of neglect and abuse that people her world are as real as the mystery of Lexie’s disappearance, and in the end, Borys creates not only a page turning mystery, but an authentic and moving picture of a bitter, harsh and cruel world, reminiscent, for me, of Willard Motley’s 1947 Chicago epic, Knock On Any Door, a story that moved me greatly back in the Fifties.
–Judith Kirsch, author of The Inheritors
I’d almost forgotten about this interview I did for Morgen Bailey. Morgen is a prolific writer with a website that offers fresh material daily. You should check it out.
Most of Morgen’s questions are related to the writing process itself so if you want to see my take on that, here’s a small excerpt from the interview:
Creating main characters usually just happens–I often have a character in mind before I really know what their story is. If a name doesn’t just come to me, I might go to a baby book, but that’s only if I’m really stuck or need a name for a less important character. For developing and keeping track of those characters, I find some kind of form helps–one where you fill in things like hair color, strengths and weaknesses, what kind of car they drive, etc. For more in-depth characterization I like free writing in a notebook about them. My most successful attempts have been when I did the free writing from the character’s point of view talking about themselves and their thoughts and backgrounds.
from Author Interview No. 597
Angie Mangino gave Painted Black another 5-star review!
What do you see when you think of teens living on the streets of a city? Do you get angry, compassionate, or think it’s a shame, but not your problem? Be ready to see these teens in a different way.
In this novel, Borys introduces readers to Jo Sullivan, a reporter who started out just looking for a story, but who finds so much more. Most especially, she finds Chris Young, a young graffiti artist living on the streets, surviving however he can. Together they look for the truth, not only about a funeral home, but also about themselves.
“Midnight interviews at funeral parlors – not exactly the way they mapped thing out in Journalism 405: Strategic Communication Research. But then nothing about Jo’s situation now related to what life had been back then.”
Jo comes to care about Chris, as do readers, with Borys painting a picture of life on the streets of Chicago that will absorb and involve readers as the reality shocks and captures them.
via ANGIE MANGINO journalist / book reviewer – Painted Black.
All four videos from my reading are now uploaded to YouTube. Here are the links below. I hope you enjoy.
These are my opening comments, talking about writing the book and my work with homeless youth.
This is the first reading I did from Chapter 2 where Jo meets Lexie for the first time.
This reading is from Chapter 8. Jo discovers a homeless man in a glass coffin.
This final reading is from Chapter 19 where Jo meets Chris, the street kid who helps her discover what happened to Lexie.
Well if you did, they are posting three videos of my reading. The first two are below. I’ll post the third as soon as they get it up there.
In Part 1 I talk about myself, why I write and the inspiration behind Painted Black.
In Part 2 I tell you where I got the idea for the plot and read a scene that illustrates my point.