V. Anthony Rivers

V. Anthony Rivers

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
September 8, 2006

Q.    Who is V. Anthony Rivers?

A.    V. Anthony Rivers is basically a good guy, a creative soul, a sometimes fabulous cook especially on the grill...lol.. A fella that doesn't talk a lot but has found a beautiful profound way to speak, which of course has to do with writing stories, developing characters and pushing the envelope of his own imagination. He's also turning into a great photographer with his own unique way of capturing images and telling stories in a visual way. He looks forward to doing more of this and hopefully being blessed with more published books. He's a native of Los Angeles, California with strong southern roots in East Texas where his family comes from.

Q.    How did you come about the idea to write the novel MY LIFE IS ALL I HAVE?

A.    The initial inspiration or spark came from the moment I bumped into an armed guard standing watch over an armored car outside of a local Bank Of America on my way to the ATM machine. I noticed how if I were criminal minded, I could've gotten the jump on this guy. Later my imagination took off and I wrote a robbery scene just to play it all out. I put it aside for a moment and wasn't sure what I would do with it. A few days had past since that initial spark and that's when I found myself driving through an area of Los Angeles known as "The Jungle." I saw this beautiful young lady walking along the sidewalk looking all frowned up and angry. I started to wonder why she was destroying such a beautiful face by looking so mean. Once again my imagination took off. I named her Leesha. I thought about her life and all that might factor in to cause her to be so angry. Was it her environment? Her home life? Love that didn't work out? Was this angry exterior just her way of making sure nobody approached her? So many things went through my mind at the time but I knew I'd found a character that I wanted to develop. Later on I added the whole idea of the armored car robbery as a major event/decision in her life that would cause her to reflect upon the baisc moral of the story; why do we decide to do the things that we do? Every decision has consequences...

Q.    How did you come about Leesha’s character?

A.    I believe I answered this in the previous question but to speak further on it, she was inspired by the young lady that I saw and my overactive imagination. *smile* It was one of my easiest characters to develop simply because I've seen way too many examples of Leesha in and around Los Angeles . Once I developed the basic idea of her character/personality it was all about watching her react to what I imagined happened around her.

Q.    How did you come about Scottie and Trey’s character?

A.    Scottie brings in the street element to the story. He's a character that I loved putting together. He ended up being very powerful in this story. I borrowed from real life sources as well as my imagination to develop his personality. He was a mixture of myself, O-Dawg from the film Menace To Society, Big E. aka Eric(friend that I met at a local club a couple years ago), and a young man that I listened to one day who lives in the Nickerson Gardens projects of Watts, California. All of that inspiration allowed me to create this character who is everything from a young man filled with wisdom and a loving heart to a cold blooded killer all wrapped in one.

Trey aka Treyvon repesents innocence to me. I wanted a young man who would succumb to Leesha's manipulating ways, which wouldn't be that hard because Trey loved her. I can relate to that as I've been blinded by love a few times in my life too. Love can turn your world upside down and for a young man who hasn't lived long enough to develop a foundation of sound decision making; love is desperation turned full throttle.

Q.    How did you come about Lynette and her mother’s character?

A.    Lynette is Leesha's mother. She's a character that I brought to the story to basically influence the direction of Leesha's life. Not to give the story away but there's one chapter called "Bitter Pills" and in this part of the story you see all too well why Leesha begins to move in the direction that she does. Her mother because of their relationship with one another serves as one of those bitter pills that Leesha is forced to swallow. It's a pill that affects her decision making and makes it easier to become the kind of person she becomes. She learns how to remove herself from feeling any emotion toward someone or at least she believes she has that capability.

Q.    What was the reason Leesha’s parents were not together?

A.    Well, being that their separation happened right after Leesha was born, it wasn't really necessary for me to go into that part of the story. This is Leesha's story looking back to her early teen years and how events/influences around that time lead to her drastic decision of wanting to rob an armored car. I may touch upon the whole issue of her parents separation a little more in the sequel. I can only say for now that Leesha's mother wasn't patient with the father, there were job issues, personality issues, and the father finding employment opportunity in another state. Leesha's mother chose to stay in LA.

Q.    Will there be a sequel to this novel?

A.    In between working on new projects I have been slowly writing a sequel to this story. The characters are very strong and Leesha continues to speak to me and inspire more ideas for telling her story so a sequel is a strong possibility.

Q.    How many books have you written?

A.    Well, I've had three published novels and have contributed to four anthologies. I have about four unpublished novels and several that are halfway finished that I think could potentially be my best if I can manage to remain focused and finish them..*smile*

Q.    Are you currently working on another novel?

A.    I'm always working on a novel but there is one in particular which has really captured my imagination and attention. It'll be my first time writing a story where the main character is in his sixties. I found another great area in Watts that is the backdrop for this story so whenever I can I like to visit the area for inspiration and I'm always hearing this gentleman's voice.

Q.    What message would you like readers to receive from reading MY LIFE IS ALL I HAVE?

A.    I would like readers to recognize that the decisions we make as individuals always carry consequence. Every decision has the potential to affect more than just our own lives. And besides feeling the impact of that message, I hope readers simply enjoy what I believe is a great story and an emotional journey for the mind. This fabulous story should definitely be a movie, don't cha think? *smile*

Thank you Literaryworld.org for this interview. I appreciate it very much.. I would also like to ask readers to definitely drop by my website at vanthonyrivers.com and to also click on the link which takes them to my blog. On there they can see exactly what I mean when talking about my daily life inspiring me to write.