MF KINGPEN

Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get started writing?

Who am I? Nobody special, so I’ve been told. Just another brutha trying to come up in the urban literary game hopefully with a novella that’s from a fresh and new perspective. I’ve always had a creative mind and would from time to time write fictional story lines, but never completing them. I was born in Brooklyn and love “good” Hip-hop music. I’m not quite 40 years young, I choose my pen name after being introduced to the Hip-hop artist MF DOOM, but flipped it to be more reflective of what I wanted to accomplish as a writer. As for why I got into writing, I’ve always wrote, just never thought about being a writer. I was introduced to “The Coldest Winter Ever” as a template to story structure and after reading a few chapters, decided that I would try and focus on writing my first story.

Do you have a special routine when you write?

As far as a writing routine, I tend to write better when I’m at work. If I’ve decided on a general direction that I would like to take the story, the main character, and a genre (sci-fi, supernatural, crime, or etc.), I’ll tend to write non-connecting sentences or phrases that I’d like to use and hopefully find the connections. With “The Devil and Dwayne Carter,” I would listen to a lot of hip-hop music and R&B for inspiration, settings, and mentality because D.Carter (the main character) was an emcee.

Tell us more about your last book, and what are you working on now?

“The Devil and Dwayne Carter” is my very first book. It’s a hip-hop cautionary novella about an up-and-coming hip-hop artist out of New Orleans that once had a record deal, but because of shady industry practices, was able to get out of that contract. One night while his girlfriend Destiny is out of town, he decides to go to the club and thus sets off a chain of events that eventually leads him to a meeting with the Devil who offers him a deal for his soul. If you’re familiar with “The Devil and Daniel Webster” or “The Devil and Tom Walker,” I looked at those stories and wanted to create a story based on a “chance” meeting with the Devil and what and why people would entertain the idea of selling their souls knowing they will face eternal damnation.

I have a few titles that I’m playing with and making notes, but as a new artist, I’m looking for some validation from “The Devil and Dwayne Carter” before getting to far ahead of myself…

Who are a few street fiction authors or titles that you have enjoyed reading?

Believe it or not and it’s somewhat embarrassing, I haven’t read ANY other authors other than the few chapters of Sister Souljah’s book and my label mate Progress Loyd who wrote “Don’t Look Back.” At the same time, I think if I had, it might have impacted my style perspective. I look forward to reading more urban literature authors when time and finances allows, but juggling work, family, rest, and writing eats up 24hrs. quickly!

Who’s your favorite character from your books?

I think the concept of the “Schwarzenegger twins” are two of my favorite characters from a visual perspective that I added in this story. They are the bodyguards of Frank “Nino” Green, the biggest drug dealer in New Orleans and aspiring real estate developer, but one (Conan) is black and the other (Terminator) is white. When I first wrote them into the story in chapter 1, their inclusion literally changed the original direction of the story because I wanted to use them again in the story somewhere.

What do you say to critics of street fiction?

Street fiction/urban literature like Hip-hop music versus country music is not for everyone. You can’t please everyone! Everyone and even those within your own race and culture will see things from a different perspective. Some may see my “Urban Lit” as vernacular garbage, not street enough, or unrealistic-sex selling-marijuana smoking-fantasy bullshit, but at the end of the day, if someone reads it and says it’s not bad or says they want to read more of this type of literary offering, then as a whole, I’ve helped the urban-theme genre more one step closer to being respected as a valid style of writing.

And why should librarians purchase street fiction for their collections?

When I think about libraries, I think of books! All books! Urban Literature/street fiction are stories usually written by black authors and tell stories that appeal to black readers. These readers are usually younger and listen to hip-hop music and dress in hip-hop fashion. That doesn’t mean that other races don’t write these themed stories or read them. If these type of stories, still somewhat in its infancy stage, get kids to read and write more or read these stories as cautionary tales and then move on to read other works of literature, then they shouldn’t kill the messenger!

MF KINGPEN’s new book,”The Devil and Dwayne Carter” will be out September 2009. For more information, visit www.UrbanLiterature.com

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