Lloyd Johnson Blog Tour

The Dog Catcher by Lloyd Johnson And Tricks for a Trade

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Intimate Conversation with Lloyd Johnson

Lloyd Johnson was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Although he has dabbled in the creative arts since elementary school, he rediscovered his passion for writing in 2004, and has been working on his craft ever since.

Lloyd has traveled both domestically and abroad, having visited 14 countries. Besides the relaxation traveling has afforded him, he has found much of his creative inspiration. An avid reader, he enjoys African-American fiction and biographies. Lloyd Johnson is currently working on his third novel. He lives in New England.

BPM: How did you get to be where you are in your life today? Who or what motivated you?

I think just experiencing life has brought me through to where I am today. I like to think that my 20s were the time to mess up in the world; my 30s was intended to learn from my 20s; and my 40s allows me to hit the reset button and take all the lessons I’ve learned and continue to learn and move forward.

BPM: Who does your body of literary work speak to? Do you consider authors as role models?

I consider E.Lynn Harris a role model. He defined a genre. He had a very simple, unpretentious style of writing. I have secretly coveted his demographic: 60% women; 20% gay men; 20% other, all within the 18-49 age brackets. I’ll be happy if I can crack those demographics.

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?

I saw the movie “Precious” and subsequently read the book, “Push” by Sapphire. I was blown away and decided to write a book with a female protagonist who encounters adversity, but manages to come out on the other side. Why now? Why not now?

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book, The Dog Catcher?

I enjoyed two things: The art of creating and secondly, writing the story was very cathartic for me. I was able to get a lot of anger out.

BPM: Could you tell us something about your recent work, The Dog Catcher?

The Dog Catcher is the story about Cheryl Greene’s choices in men, and how those choices dismantle her life. She’s someone to root for because her intentions are good. She doesn’t dive into drama just for drama’s sake. There is a lot of growth in her arc. It takes her time, but she gets there eventually.

Plez Jackson is evil personified, though that isn’t what we see when we meet him. But he is beguiling enough to make this woman lose herself to him. He has a method to stripping Cheryl down. Plus, his brutality, anger and unpredictability keeps the reader on edge. I had fun writing this villain because he’s one that many women have known. He stays with you.

BPM: Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book? If so, discuss them.

Sexuality is addressed in this book. Cheryl has two gay friends. Her dealings with them inform her views on homosexuality when the issue hits close to home.

BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation, education, spiritual practice or journey?

One thing I’m proud of is Cheryl’s spiritual arc. When we meet her, she is completely turned off to religion and spirituality because her mother is very hardcore. But as Cheryl moves through the story, she develops her own relationship with God, and calls upon that faith throughout her journey. But she does so in what I think is a realistic way. She doesn’t go from zero to ten, but does the best she can.

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book, The Dog Catcher?

I learned that I held a lot of stuff inside and the emotions connected were still very raw. For example, much of what transpires between Cheryl and her eldest son, Lawrence, is based from events that happened to me. To draw from those memories and create fiction was painful at times.

BPM: Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?

I think the characters in the book are composites of people I’ve known in my life. People I went to school with and worked alongside with.

BPM: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

I had three objectives, really. First was to write in a consistent female voice. I think I accomplished that. Secondly, I wanted to write a good book that would allow people to get lost in the characters. I think I did well on that also. Thirdly, I wanted to bring awareness to domestic violence. People still behave as though this is something that happens every day, but with other people. Especially in light of Chris Brown and Ray Rice who have sort of become the poster boys for men who like to beat up women . But I think that if people really stopped and paid attention they could find people close to them. In fact, some people need only hold a mirror up.

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?

I have a computer filled with files of things I could work on. Some things I work on more diligently than others. I have a story called, “The Broken Dolls Club” which I’m debating whether to leave it as a novella or if I could legitimately stretch it into a full novel.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?

This is the best part. I enjoy interacting with the readers. They can go to my webpage, www.lloydljohnson.net; author Lloyd Johnson on Facebook; and my Twitter handle is @lloydjohnson19.

Purchase The Dog Catcher by Lloyd Johnson


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Excerpt: Tricks for a Trade by Lloyd Johnson

How far would you go to get what you want?

After receiving an indecent proposal, Armando must decide if he's willing to do anything in the name of love. Or, will his girlfriend's insecurities about his past drive him away for good?

Tired of living under his wife's shadow, Gary is offered the opportunity of a lifetime. Can he go the distance? Or, will his wife's ambition ruin them both?

Cabrien falls in love with his client, a man who knows how to pull everyone's strings. But Cabrien makes a discovery that threatens to destroy the lives of those involved!

Everyone has an angle, and deception and manipulation are the laws of the land. In a time of instant gratification, TRICKS FOR A TRADE asks: Does the end always justify the means?

Chapter One: Tricks for a Trade

Friday, June 6, 2008

5:40 AM

“You on your period, now? Really?” Karen turned her back to Armando in bed. He didn’t know why she would even bother telling that lie. Was a time when I’d bring the thunder in the bedroom, and ol’ girl would be so tired, she couldn’t fuss or ask a lot of questions, he thought to himself. Now, Armando was getting nonsense excuses AND no sex. He wondered if he was losing his touch.

Karen wasn’t drop-dead gorgeous, but she was cute to look at. Medium brown, with long-lashed, warm eyes. She kept her hair done--always permed and together. None of that new-growth-busting-through stuff.

There was a gap between her two front teeth, but it didn’t make her teeth look wrecked. You had the feeling her smile wouldn’t have been as beautiful if she ever got her teeth fixed. God must’ve skipped out on her in the self-esteem department, though. It seemed like everyone but Karen knew she was a good woman. Sure, she’d tell you that she was, but it’s not like she really believed it. Every time Armando stroked her hair, he was stroking her ego. He was a good man who’d found his good woman. He was just waiting on her to believe it too.

“So, I guess I can’t get none before work, huh?” Armando asked, his thick arms crossed, his gray eyes seductive.

She sat up in the bed, intentionally allowing the bed sheet to fall. “Boy, you better stop playing with me,” she said, unfazed by his eyes’ magic. She’d seen them before.

Armando jumped from the bed and stared at Karen with both anger and lust in his eyes.

Determined to remain strong she asked, “Have you given any more thought to what we talked about?”

“Karen, don’t start that again, all right?”

“No, Armando. I’m going to keep on it. I’m getting tired of hearing my mama suck her teeth, telling me how I’m living in sin.”

“I don’t know why you gotta tell your mama everything in the first place,” he said.

“Because she’s my mama!”

“Oh, please. Y’all don’t even get along.”

“Don’t try and change the subject,” Karen said, shaking her always well-manicured hands and rolling her neck. “When are we getting married?”

“I gotta go to work.”

“Yeah, that’s right. Take your black ass to work. But we ain’t finished with this conversation. Believe that. But I know one thing; I better not find out that you’re sleeping with some other woman, Armando. Because if you are, you better take a good look down below, baby.”

“What, you’re gonna go Lorena Bobbitt on me?” he asked with a chuckle, trying to lighten the mood.

“Hell yeah. But in your case, they won’t find it in no bushes.”

“Why is it every time you hear something you don’t like, I gotta be messing around?”

Karen didn’t care how many times he claimed his whoring days were over. He hadn’t proposed to her yet, so he must be out laying every female who would let him. She gave him the iciest of stares, her arms folded, like she was expecting a full confession to some bogus stuff he’d been doing.

Instead, Armando went to the bathroom; his jet stream of piss turned the toilet water yellow as Karen stood in the doorway. Her words began sounding like Charlie Brown’s teacher’s “Wah wah wah wah, wah wah wah wah!”

Armando flushed the toilet, hearing her say, “Enough of the dumb stuff!” He slammed the door in her face, which was met with angry pounding. He locked the door and turned on the shower, jumping in quickly. She didn’t deserve his thunder anyway.

After his shower, Karen had quieted down. But he wasn’t going to risk starting her up again, so he avoided eye contact and put on his underwear, undershirt, black work pants, and white golf shirt in record speed. Karen sat on the side of her bed with her back toward him.

Karen had told him a thousand times--she felt used and abused. He got it. And he was sorry she felt that way, but it wasn’t going to change who he was. He did want to marry her…someday. But since leaving home at eighteen to get away from his mother and her boyfriend drama, he’d been in survival mode, always thinking, “Be loyal to yourself. Everything and everyone else comes after.” Freedom pulsed through his blood, and Armando wasn’t ready to give that up.

Why couldn’t she just relax and enjoy the orgasms he put on her? But maybe that was the problem. Maybe she wasn’t strong enough to handle it. It spun her around and left her all out of breath…and paranoid.

Armando walked up to Karen, kissing her on the side of her temple. “I’ll call you later,” he said.


He left for work, not feeling too badly about any of it. She was twenty-seven, just like him. They were both grown and she knew how he was. Armando had to do things on his own timetable. He had told her that a thousand times.

( Continued... )

*NOTE* The following excerpt has been modified from its original text and is suitable for general audiences.
© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Lloyd Johnson. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

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