Character Insight 'Kids With Guns' Blog #4

This is the last blog of the character insight into the ‘Kids With Guns’ series. This has been fun to do and it’s different from what I’ve normally done for blogs. It’s fulfilling to share what goes into the characters I write about, why and it gives you all a feel of what is chugging away in my head. Alright, here we go!


Anthony (Prosecutor)-Having a hard-nosed, tough prosecutor was the goal for this series. While Anthony is not in all books throughout the series, it was important I establish him as a major part of this book series. He needs to be noticed from the get go and I did my best to put him out there in Part 2 of the series and continuing onto the trial in Part 3 of the series. He was fun to write as I never have written a character in a trial setting so it was different for me.


He’s surely a character you won’t forget in the series even though I didn’t want the whole focus to be on him. It’s a rarity that when school shootings unfortunately happen that we have a trial so I wanted to shine light on that and have a gritty court case with this series. 


Brian (Defense Attorney)-Brian was a character that I had intentions of writing about with an “uphill climb” mindset. He knows his clients committed one of the most heinous crimes in U.S. history and he has to maneuver and find ways to get an acquittal for two teenage kids. Two kids who were given all of the necessary tools to commit this act. It’s the blame game but he’s also been in courtroom battles with his foe Anthony. 


It’s not their first rodeo in the courtroom so I wanted to bring that feel to it. I expressed that in the series so you the reader can be prepared for what’s to come. I wrote Brian in the sense of, he’s going to point the finger at plenty of situations and people that led to these young kids committing such a horrific, violent act. 


It’s what any defense attorney would do to help in describing what their client experienced and went through. It was writing a “cause and effect” aspect to this and hopefully, I was able to provide that when Matthew and Max went on trial for their crimes. This was a challenge for me and I feel I achieved greatness with this (you guys determine that at the end of the day). 


Alyssa (Judge)-Having a woman as the head judge was already established when I started planning out all of the books. While Alyssa is only in two books of this series, she’s important in establishing and maintaining order in the courtroom. She’s a powerful figure and I wanted everyone to know that women in high positions in certain fields are imperative to show.


It’s also important to know that Alyssa is dealing with two of the most powerful men in Brian and Anthony in their perspective fields. Just think of what Alyssa is having to manage, a powerful defense attorney, powerful prosecutor, the national news media, everyone in the courtroom, the jurors, witnesses and a myriad of other things. I wanted to show this in the two books she was in and hopefully I accomplished that (once again, you guys determine that).


As I said with Anthony and Brian, I’ve never written anything regarding a trial and seeing things on scripted television isn’t all reality. So to backtrack Judge Ito from the OJ Simpson trial in 1994 was important for me to watch clips of that from documentaries they’ve done over the past 30 years. Remember, I study a lot and I want to bring my stories to light and that’s always the goal and Alyssa was important in this series. 


Layla (Lead Juror)-Layla was one of the most important components to Kids With Guns 3 & 5. The trial is Part 3 and Part 5 is the ending for a lot of characters and their thoughts and feelings on gun control in America. Once again, a woman who is in charge of others was important for me and I made sure I made a woman the head juror of one of the biggest cases in history. 


Not only is Layla making sure no one is being influenced by outside forces, she’s controlling personalities, staying away from the media, not seeing her family for a long period of time and trying not to be biased in her thoughts and feelings of gun violence. You have to think, everyone has kids in their families whether it’s their own or within their families. 


It was also important to incorporate Layla’s feelings before the trial, during the trial and after the trial. The mental toll it takes 5 days a week to be in a courtroom for the majority of the day and then going to a hotel to be confined to your room with security all over the hotel. Imagine how much your life changes when something like this happens, how would you handle it? Those are the things I want you all to think about…


That’s all of the blogs, I hope you enjoyed my insight into 26 characters in a five book series. It’s a different spin on how I write and how important it is to write these kinds of book series. All other information on the Kids With Guns series is on the site so be sure to look into the other blogs I’ve written along with my podcasts! 


Be good everyone and go accomplish your goals!


Jamell Crouthers


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