* What drove you to write this story?
I was born and raised in upstate New York but I spent a few years living in Georgia right after I graduated from high school. I was always exposed to diversity – both socially and personally – and I took that learned behavior to the south with me. There’s not much difference between de facto racism and Jim Crow when life is the barometer.
- Are people trapped by racism?
In a very real sense, I think that most people are. The ones that I think are really clamped in the snare are the people who insist that they are colorblind. That they don’t see skin or its hue. They are the most dangerous, much like a trapped animal, because they will never see you for who you are. They will never be able to talk honestly and openly about race because they deny uniqueness in its ultimate form. One of the very qualities that makes you your unique self is the YOU that you bring to the table. (Crazy sentence but it says what I want it to say.)
- There are a few other social issues you tackle in the telling of this story. Name a few and why you felt the need to speak on them?
I’ll name two: First there is a young man who comes face to face with his sexuality and struggles to find the courage to accept what he desires. His struggles were not only with himself but with society, his family and his friends. He has to choose between his sexual desires and his life… heavy emotional lifting for a teenager. Secondly, there is the racial battle amongst Black folks about the use of the ‘N’ word. The history of ‘nigger’ has had a more profound and resonant effect on Blacks than any other social injustice and I wanted to examine the issue from the viewpoints of two generations; the old and the young. The unanswered question: will it ever end?
- Your writing style is unique. It falls between urban speak and literary poetry at times. How do you classify yourself as a writer? Do you have a specific genre?
I love fiction. And I love reading. When telling a story, I catch rhythms and flows that speak to the matter at hand, often breaking rules and oftentimes loving that too. Writing is fun and revealing. Honest and real. It can also release spirits and bare souls. So I’m still trying to find a genre but until then, the written word will suffice.
* What do you like to read?
Anything that is well written. The best writers grab you by the collar with the first sentence and don’t let go until the last page. Those are the types of books I like.
6) What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Read a lot. Write a lot. And always believe in your talent. In the end, that is what brings you through.
7) Are you working on a new novel? What’s next for you?
I’m currently working on an erotic novel. Relationships and sex from a hungry man’s point of view. Can’t wait to see how that one ends!