The G!

What are the titles of the urban fiction books you have had published?

I recently published my first title, Mustafa’s Game.

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

I would have to say it was an English assignment when I was in high school. We were to write a story about being a famous celebrity or athlete that we wanted to be, I became Tony Dorsett-who was playing for the Dallas Cowboys at the time. I was also the type that would write poems for my girlfriends. I didn’t know then that it was what I wanted to do, however, that was the event that I would have to say started me on my journey with the written word.

My next writing bug was songs, I wrote around 300 songs, but since I am the myth-buster, because contrary to popular belief, all of us can’t sing, so my song writing didn’t go far, I’ve also written 180 episodes of what I perceived to be a “black” soap opera where the cast actually act black.

I became serious about writing after a stint in the prison system, I have always been an avid reader and it got to the point where I always knew what the next word or sentence would be, then I began to change sentences in my mind as I read them, and finally one day I just told myself that I could write a book. It took me several years and many attempts before I was finally able to complete a novel. At this point it is nearly impossible for me to “not write.” I see life in scenes-now.

Do you have a special routine when you write?

I love to write at night, because of the quiet, but when I’m on it I tend to just go, and go, and go. I routinely write out a rough draft-long hand-in about 20-30 days. I always say that my biggest problem is that I can not write as fast as I think…if I could, I’d be able to write a book every week. Part of my creative process is that I’ll come up with a theme and toss it around in my head until it begins to bother me and at that point I absolutely have to write the story.

Like I said, I tend to write very quickly, because while I’m in the creative process I live with the story all day long, so often by the time I’m towards the end of actually writing it, mentally I have already started conjuring up the next story. Usually, when people ask how do I just keep going, I tell them that it’s a lot like reading, when you have a good book, you think about it even when you’re not reading it and that is what makes it so you can’t wait to get back to it. For me the writing is as if I am reading a good book and I just can’t wait to get to the end of it and see how every thing turns out.

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

Mustafa’s Game is street, it’s centered in Stamford, CT. He is one of those brother’s that has values and rules, he’s incredibly in love with his woman, Dani. I definitely make a conscious effort to promote strong relationships in my books. it doesn’t always have to be the whole Male vs Female thing, and you can also love a woman and still be as gangsta as you wanna be, “Loyalty, is the most important thing that two people can share together, more important than love and trust, because without loyalty, we can’t have neither one of the others.” This is what Mustafa had to break-down for Dani-on page 6.

He also has a personal vendetta against drug dealer’s (you’ll have to read the book to find out why.) His hustle has been going out of town and sticking the out of town dealers, however, when an out-of-towner comes to his town, then he becomes fair-game too!

So, Mustafa puts together a team-much to his own dislike- and the pull of the caper without a hitch, but naturally that is when everything that could go wrong-does go wrong.
In no time, the mob, the twins, the FEDS, and an enemy from the past are all trying to find Mustafa and do him dirty.

My next book will be called Ruthless, and it is probably the most vicious and violent story I have written. It is a fast ride from the gate.

Who’s your favorite character from your books? Why?

My favorite character is the main character, Mustafa, probably because that is the character that I lend so much of myself in creating him, how can I not love him. Mustafa is sharp, the type that see’s the bigger picture and drops so many jewels about the game that you just have to admire him. His reputation proceeds him and although he is not the flashy, flamboyant type, he just oozes with style and charisma.
He also has that unspoken aura of being extremely dangerous, and he is just that dangerous!

Tell Us Your Top Ten Favorite Books that You’ve Read

The entire donald goines collection.
The entire Iceberg Slim collection.
Let That Be the Reason by Vickie Stringer.
B-More Careful by Shannon Holmes.
Milk in My Coffee by Eric Jerome Dickey.
James Patterson-enough said?
Walter Mosely-the Easy Rawlin’s series.
Disappearing Acts by Terry McMillian
The Last Street Novel by Omar Tyree.
Ridin’ Dirty on I-95 by Nikki Turner.

What do you say to critics of street fiction?

I smile at them and tell them…”I bet you thought Rap-Music wasn’t gonna last either.” Hey, we are here and the majority of the people are loving “our” stories! I have wanted to write in this voice, my natural voice every since I read Donald (Goines) work. The nerve of him to put it out there raw, uncut and real! I love it!! When you can have people that you didn’t intend to read your books reading them, that’s when you know you are a movement. When the new breed of street-lit writer’s started “doin’ it,” the bigger publishing houses were running away from us…now, they chasin’ us down a-hundred-miles-an-hour! So, is there any need to defend or explain something that simply IS?

Why should librarians purchase street fiction for their collections?
Because there is no such thing as “real” black history, it’s all been mangled and deranged for other peoples purposes…street lit provides a piece of authentic black history, and if librarians have it on the shelves, then maybe…just maybe, they can all get an opportunity to understand what they fear due to a lack of understanding.

What advice do you have for new authors who hope to publish their urban fiction books?

The main thing is to keep writing and reading the books that tell the stories you want to write. Study, formats and layouts of books, understand that if you have been down some of the same mean streets as me, and “Mustafa” then you already have 2-strikes and a foul and it’s always the bottom of the 9th. Professionalism counts, so always put your all into it, because in the end…that’s exactly what you are going to get out of it. Do not ever, ever, never, give up on your dream, and truthfully, the opportunity to find a way to publish nowadays is out there, you just have to stay after it. Make it happen, do not sit back and let it happen because then it will happen all over you.

Any final words for fans of your books?

I wrote many of my books “behind the wall” on the back of request forms, paper towels and anything else I could find to write on, I can’t tell you how it felt to literally have a brother stuck on his bed all day reading my stories and I have to say that the amount of love that brother’s in there showed me, definitely encouraged me to see this project through to fruition. Now, I’m ready for the world and looking to create the same loyal and devoted readers that I was able to have on the “inside.”

To this day, the one thing I will never forget is the young brother that told me he never read a book in his life until he read mines. Yeah, that makes it all worth it.

Big up to my brother’s in the “Bing.” I did it, and believe me the beat don’t stop. I got a story to tell, okay…a whole bunch of ‘em!

Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to talk to you.

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