I'm from Jersey, I’ve lived in PA and living in SC now. I just turned 31 and besides writing, I love music, sports and fashion.
2. When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I first considered myself a writer in 2006 when I wrote Lefty’s Story, even though it wasn’t published until 2008.
3. What inspired you to write your first book?
A lot of things inspired me to write my first book, but mainly it was a trip to Florida and the bus ride back. I actually explain this in the closing credits of Lefty’s Story. Also, I wanted to change my life and I wanted to make something I would be remembered for. I just felt like I could tell a story that people would relate to.
4. What books have influenced your life most?
The first book that influenced me was The Coldest Winter Ever. After that it was Pimp by IceBerg Slim and all the Donald Goines books that I have read.
5. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
The only person I could consider a mentor is Jade Jones, she hasn’t influenced my writing style, but taught me a lot about marketing. As far as putting actual words on paper, no one has ever taken me under their wing or anything like that which I why I feel like my style is unique.
6. What book are you reading now?
Right now I happen to be reading The Throne by Cole Hart.
7. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
When I’m not writing, I watch a lot of TV (Scandal, The Office, Modern Family, Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm) and I stay listening to music. Other than that, I party with friends and fam.
8. Where do you get your ideas for your books?
My book ideas come from the most random places. They are usually based off of real life experiences that I twist and turn into a completely different story.
9. What new author has grasped your interest?
10. If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
A condom tester. Lol, j/k. I’d love to be a writer for a Hip-Hop magazine or website
11. What was your favorite chapter to write and why?
My favorite chapters to write were the last chapters of Ripped Dollars and Janaysha’s Story because they both have shocking ends that are based off of seemingly minor details. I was hype writing them because I could picture readers putting it all together and sitting back and saying “Damn, I had no idea that 1 line would affect the outcome of this book!”
12. Why do you feel you had to tell this story?
I felt like I had to tell those stories because they were too good not to be told. Not being cocky but like they say in Bronx Tale…”the worst thing in life is a waste of talent” or something like that.
13. Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
My next book will either be about Jada, a character from one my short stories “Picture That” and will focus on her life as a backpage.com girl OR a first person story in the tradition of “Rock em’ to Sleep”. When I say in the tradition of “Rock em’ to Sleep” I mean using one of my trademark styles where I write about myself as my life is now. For example I reference my own books in my own books. Kinda confusing to explain, but you have to read it to understand it.
14. How do you market your book(s)?
I’m probably not the best when it comes to marketing. I’m more into the creative side and less into the business part of the game, but I just try to be as active as possible on FB and interact with readers and other authors. I give away free books all the time through KDP and in the streets I hit the barbershops, salons, and flea markets. I really feel like in any form of art, the greatest are never marketed properly because they are so unique that people don’t know quite how to digest them. For example, in music, Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt didn’t do crazy numbers when it was first released. Painter Michael Basquiat didn’t receive the majority of his fame until after he was deceased if I’m not mistaken. Again, not being cocky and comparing myself to two established legends but I feel like I’m in that lane as far as being ahead of my time in some ways. In other words, I’m so busy being creative, I don’t take the proper steps to market myself properly…but Im getting better.
15. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Be Original and Good! If you don’t completely love your work, how can you expect someone else to even like it? Stay away from the cliché stuff. We are in a good spot as far as Urban Lit goes, being that we can actually make money and easily get our stories out there. Hip-Hop was in this position at one point, but if too many people start selling out, the game will be ruined. By selling out, I mean doing things strictly for money and not for love and respect of this art form.