Intimate Conversation with new author Mike Sanders and Ella Curry of EDC Creations, founder of Black Pearls
Ella: Welcome Mike! Tell us a little about you and how your writing journey started with Wahida Presents.
I am from Charlotte, North Carolina. My writing journey began in 2001 while I was incarcerated in federal prison for drug conspiracy. I've always loved reading African-American literature and when this Street-Lit genre began booming I got addicted to reading about situations I could relate to. The thing that made me want to really start writing was the fact that most of the novels I read at that time were so far-fetched an almost unrealistic. I also knew that those authors who were penning those novels had never really lived the lives they were writing about. So, I decided that no one would be a better street-lit author than a person that was knee-deep in street life!
I started writing and those who read my work loved it and persuaded me to try and get published. I got serious with writing in 2003 and submitted my first novel "Hustlin' Backwards" to several publishers and subsequently got published with Black Pearl Books in 2004. H.B. was released in December of that year. My second novel "Snitch" was released 18 months later with the same publisher. My new novel which is titled "Thirsty" is slated to be released in March of this year with my new publisher WAHIDA CLARK PRESENTS!
Ella: I love the title of your book, Thristy, introduce to the stars!
My two main character in this new novel are Justice and Monk, a brother and sister team of hustlers. I like the fact that they are so close-knit and nothing can seperate them. When things get rough, they've got each other's backs no matter what. Both characters are unique in their own way but at the same time, they share the same mindset "Let's get this money".
WAHIDA CLARK PRESENTS
Ella: What makes your book stand out for the readers?
Initially, I think my cover makes my book stand out because it's one of those that leave a lot to the imagination while at the same time it grabs you and makes you want to look inside. It's sounds a little cliche, but you know people really do tend to judge a book by its cover! When you read the synopsis on the back it kind of leaves you hanging on and wanting to read more. So, yes before a reader sees anything else they will see the cover and want to pick this book up and see what it's about.
Ella: Mike, what is the overall message you want readers to take away from your book?
I want readers to realize that in most cases when someone is involved in illegal hustling, the end does not justify the means. I try to give the reader a fairly good sense of the reality of what REALLY happens when someone is living that life. I don't want to give too much of my book away but I will say this, karma is a bitch!
Ella: What is the single most surprising thing you have learned about publishing?
The most surprising thing I've learned is that you actually have to become the characters you are writing about. That's the only way the reader will get a true sense of that character's existnce. You can't just sit down and write without going through the emotions your characters are going through because your book will end up being bland.
Ella: Share with us your most significant achievement as a writer and published author.
Without a doubt, I would say my most significant achievement was getting published while incarcerated. Back when I first got published it wasn't as easy as it is today. It was hard for a person that was NOT incarcerated to get a deal, so you can just imagine how hard it was for inmates. I think that was a big accomplishment.
Ella: Mike, any advice for people just breaking into the business? Share 3 tips to help them stay motivated and on top of their game.
I would tell a new writer to "MAKE SURE YOUR BUSINESS IS STRAIGHT!!" This game is just like the music industry, there are snakes and sharks on every corner waiting to take advantage of a naive author. If I had the chance the turn the clock back I would definitely change my choice of publisher. I went through hell with my first publisher and to this day there are still unresolved issues. But I took that as a learning experience and grew from it. New authors, please stay on top of your business and do not jump at the first opportunity to get your book into print. Everything that shines definitely isn't platinum!!!
First and foremost, patience is key. You must have patience while writing, and when you finish that novel you must exercise patience in getting published. Determination is also important. Nothing happens just as we want them to. Sometimes we have to be persistent and determined to accomplish the task we set out for. One door may shut in your face, but five more may open up for you. Don't give up. Also, creativity is very important in writing because no matter what idea you come up with, there are 10 more just like it already out there. It's not always about what story you tell, it's HOW you tell it!!
Ella: Mike, what's going on with you in 2009?
Like I mentioned earlier, my new novel Thirsty will be in stores everywhere in March. If you are a fan of my work you will love this one. You can expect more heat from me in the near future. As you already know, I was recently released from prison after serving 11 years and I was not able to do book signings. Now that I'm home I'm looking forward to meeting all of my readers on tour very soon. Venues and dates will be posted as soon as they are verified. THIRSTY coming to a store near you!!!
Ella: How can the readers contact you and find the books?
I can be reached at: (WahidaClarkPublishing.com) (Myspace.com/queencitysbest) and firstname.lastname@example.org The books can be purchased online, at all major bookstores and from my publisher's website. If you don't see--ask for it!
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