Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Writer Wednesday Featuring Aja LaGrand Blount

Welcome to another installment of "Writer Wednesday" here on my blog. Let's get right into the interview and after reading it, I hope that you're moved to show this week's author some love.

Writer Wednesday Featuring
Author Aja LaGrand Blount
Aja LaGrand Blount

1. When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer?
First let me thank you for this opportunity. I really appreciate this. I realized I wanted to be writer after I asked myself the serious question of what i wanted to do with my life. I had been in prison going on seven years & I knew I had to change my life. My creative juices started flowing once I began replaying scenarios over in my head. I started jotting down different ideas & once I sat down to begin writing, I fell in love.

2. Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Writing energizes me. It gives me way to release stress, play out emotions or give a piece of me that can be touching.

3. Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
Anybody can sit down & write but I believe that to be a great writer you have to give pieces of yourself for it to be authentic.

4. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
The first thing I would tell my younger writer is to not to be afraid to learn, don't follow the trends & read different things to boost vocabulary.

5. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
I learned language had power when I used to correspond with people & the effect those letters had on them. I would either run them off or pull them closer to engage more.

6. How many hours a day do you write?
I don't get to write how I used to but I normally would go between two hours to six if could. Currently I get around two hours.

7. What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
I don't see any difficulty writing for opposite sex. I was raised by all females & been around a multitude of feminine personalities so I draw off of that.

8. How do you select the names of your characters?
Most names has been similar to those I know or may have known. Others are random based on personalities of characters.

9. Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Yes I do read my reviews. Haven't dealt with bad ones yet but I'll let it roll off my shoulder if they pop up. I know I can't satisfy everybody.

10. What was your hardest scene to write?
I would say getting attached to a character & having to do something contrary to what you would like to do.

11. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
On average it takes me 30-45 days to write a rough draft.

12. Do you believe in writer’s block?
No I don't believe in writers block. I have understanding of there being an unlimited supply of creative energy. As long as the brain is rested properly, the juices will flow.

13. What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
 The most difficult part of creative process would be establishing characters & outline.

14. Does your family support your career as a writer?

Yes, I have a very supportive family behind me. Without them, I wouldn't be a published author today.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Excerpt from Chapter 3: "Snowfall" - A Sample from "Death in the City" by Keith Kareem Williams

As some of you know...the "Death in the City" is FINALLY done and ALL of the pre-orders have been delivered to the hands of my readers. Now...it's time to start leaking samples. Enjoy!

“I’ve been watching my street cameras while you kept me waiting. I didn’t see your car pull up,” Manuel pointed out while stroking his dark, greasy goatee when Troy walked into his office, escorted by Ernesto.
“That’s because I didn’t drive my regular car today. It’s too conspicuous. Wouldn’t want to get pulled over by any cops while I’m working…and especially not by one of the dirty ones that you probably pay to rob your customers,” Troy answered.
Manuel heard Troy’s accusation but didn’t flinch or appear visibly bothered by it, probably because there was so much truth in it. However, Manuel would never use police officers in the way Troy suggested although he knew of other narcotics distributors who did. He certainly paid certain dirty cops to stay off of his back but he would never trust them to be that entwined in his illegal entanglements. He understood one thing; men who belonged on the right side of the law but had chosen to cross over to the wrong side could be bought but usually, they were also very greedy. Therefore, he kept his dealings with them to a minimum.
“Smart move but pointless my friend. You might as well drive the big boy and enjoy every minute of riding around in luxury. You’re afraid of being too flashy but you might as well be while you’re out here. How do you think the story ends for men like us? You think we make enough money…then get to retire? Maybe invest our money in legit businesses and fade away? No, my friend. Men like us either die quick from bullets, or slow behind bars so you might as will live fast before it’s all over,” said Manuel as he prophesied a bleak future for himself and for Troy as well.
“Reggie didn’t die behind bars or from bullets. He died ugly. Somebody cut him up and tortured him before they ended him,” Troy reminded Manuel who still didn’t flinch. “I’m good at the pace I’m moving now, doing things the way I do them now.”
“So I’ve always noticed…but, today you’re here to buy more than you usually buy. Making one big push and then you’re out huh?” Manuel asked.
“Don’t worry about what I’m doing bro,” Troy answered.
The first thing anyone noticed when they walked into Manuel’s office was the enormous black and white photograph on the wall behind his desk of a nude woman, intimately entwined with a shiny black snake as she lay on her back with her legs spread eagle. The photographer had taken the picture at an angle where he must have been on his knees on the edge of the bed in front of her, almost close enough to perform oral sex on the model. She was clean-shaven, exposing everything from her smooth, plump vagina lips to her swollen clitoris. The thick serpent was coiled around her waist and thighs.
“I wonder if you’re the snake who corrupts or the woman who gets seduced?” Troy asked Manuel as he studied the photograph.
Manuel smiled and didn’t appear offended at all.
“Sometimes, I’m both. I am what I need to be to get what I want. But, it’s all a matter of perspective. Because of all the biblical mythology and silly dogma you people were raised on and force-fed, you always assume that the snake represents corruption…and sin. But, what if it’s the woman who has seduced the snake?” Manuel asked. Then he turned around in his swivel chair to point at the flicking tongue of the snake in the photo. “Look at its tongue and how close it is to that pretty pussy. To me, and looks like that beautiful woman has tempted it to have a taste of that sweetness.”
“That’s an interesting way to look at it. Anyway, I just want to make this quick and get out of here.”
“What’s your rush today hermano. Have a seat, share a drink…relax. My cousin just brought me a few bottles of Brugal from back home,” Manuel said to Troy. A subtle head nod sent his henchman off to fetch the alcohol and shot glasses.
“No thanks,” Troy told Manuel as Ernesto approached them with the bottle of Dominican liquor. “Like I said, I just want to pay for this work and be on my way. It’s snowing heavy outside and I rather be home before the streets get much worse,” he said, holding up his duffel bag of money.

Copyright © 2016 Keith Kareem Williams
All rights reserved.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Smoke and Snow

Smoke & Snow

This is where I go sometimes when I need to quiet my mind. When I’m the only one here, I can hear my own soul more clearly. I use it as a place in this earthly space where I can momentarily freeze time and escape the exhausting pace of my grind. On this bench, with cigar smoke circling my head, I’ve written many goodbye speeches in my mind…goodbyes to thoughts that were holding me back and stifling my true potential…goodbyes to old, outdated feelings that kept me stuck in place…and goodbyes to people that I knew I would miss but still had to part ways with. There’s just something about THIS spot that allows me to hear the universe more clearly. Maybe there’s a rip in space somewhere or maybe it’s just my overactive imagination but, here in THIS spot, the muses don’t whisper…they sing and dance and inspire me. In THIS spot, I don’t feel cold, even when it’s snowing. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Saturday, January 7, 2017

January 7, 2017 - Another Birthday but THIS one is Special

January 7, 2017

Today is my 41st birthday. (Yeah, I know I don’t LOOK 41 physically but, tell that to my soul.) This birthday feels special to me for a few reasons. When I look back, at all the friends that I grew up with and I realize how many of them are gone, I feel like I need to live my life to the fullest for them too. I want to do EVERYTHING that they would have wanted to do but never got the chance to. I think about the road I’ve been on and ALL of the bullshit, the muck and the fuckery I’ve had to crawl through to make it this far. I’m sure that there’s more to come but, I’ve made it this far. Life has tried and tested me in ways that have been cruel and wicked. I’m still here though because I’m a fucking savage when I need to be and I never stopped pushing in the direction I want to go…no matter what. I’m more stubborn than anything that has tried to stop me. Don’t get me wrong, there are things that made me despair at different times but that ignorant, insane belief in myself always made me get up, even when maybe some people would have given up.

I feel good. Why? Because I’m happy. Why am I happy? I am happy because nothing bothers me. Human beings don’t surprise me anymore. I accept what I can’t change, about life and also about people. Despite all of the wickedness, spitefulness and shade that has been thrown my way, there’s still more love…for me and around me. I don’t hold grudges and I don’t keep malice. I refuse to use up any space in my chest for that. I only have one (maybe two now) grey hairs in my beard because I NEVER worry…about anything. I just don’t stress. Things happen the way they’re supposed to. I accept that. I fight for the things in life that I want and I get what is meant for me. Nothing can stop that. I help people who need my help when I can. That makes me happy too. Sometimes a little love is all someone needs to get them through a dark time. There’s nothing wrong with giving them that…and they don’t owe me for the rest of their lives because of it. The more people you can make smile is the brighter the light around your own life will be. A lot of people should learn that.

I’m happy that I woke up this morning. (You still won’t see me smiling in pictures though Lol)

To everyone that I’ve ever met or been in contact with in life…I want to thank you ALL for being a part of this journey that I’m on. I appreciate every one of you…for the love…the bullshit at times and the lessons I learned from every one of you. You ALL helped shape me into what I am and here I stand. There’s nothing I would change and if I could come back and live again, I’d come back in this same skin, with this same face and with this same soul. Thanks for loving who I am. Thanks for not making it always easy for me because I learned how to cope with everything and anything that comes my way. Even the negativity drives me in the direction I need to go.  Because of you, I’m a father, an author and a man. Thank you. If you’re STILL here, in my life, stick around for a little bit longer and I promise to show you something amazing. I’m closer to my dreams so watch what I do next.