Unwrapped: Heaven & Earth by J.M. Benjamin

 Intimate Conversation with author J.M. Benjamin

J.M. Benjamin is an award winning and Essence Best Selling author from Plainfield, New Jersey. In 2006, he quickly made his presence felt in the fast growing genre of Urban Literature with his freshman novel Down In The Dirty published by Flowers In Bloom Publishing. In Feb. 2007 he released his sophomore novel My Manz And Em independently. His third novel, Ride Or Die Chick was released Dec 2007, earning him a spot on the Essence Best Seller’s list and Black Expressions. In addition, in Oct. 2008 his book Ride Or Die Chick was released through iTunes on audio book. He is currently working on several projects including Ride Or Die Chick 2, Heaven & Earth, and a non-fiction motivational book titled From Incareration To Incorporation.

J.M. Benjamin is the founder and CEO of A New Quality Publishing. Since being introduced to readers in the anthology, Menace II Society with the short story titled Keeping It Gangsta he has secured a position in the Urban Literature genre and become a major asset when it comes to making a difference in the minds of his readers. He is also a contributing author to the anthology presented by Nikki Turner, Christmas In The Hood, and a non-fiction book titled Changin’ Your Game Plan.  J.M. Benjamin still resides in New Jersey and is a motivational speaker. Visit J.M. Benjamin on www.myspace.com/jmbenjamin_author.

BPM:  JM, tell me about your publishing company?
A New Quality Publishing was launched to attract an array of aspiring and talented writers and authors of quality. Not only quality material- but quality workers. We seek writers and authors who are passionate about and will be dedicated to their work and A New Quallity Publishing's plight. Our goal is to publish titles by writers and authors who will stand by and get behind their products that A New Quality will publish for them. We intend to contribute to the saying, "No one can push your product better then you," in the literary world of all genres. A New Quality Publishing intends to build a T.E.A.M.(Together-Everyone-Acquires-Money), of not only authors, but hustlers who know the true meaning of the word. And Most Importantly...Represent in a professional manner... Quality!

BPM: What specific situation or revelation prompted you to write professionally?
I started writing while I was incarcerated in federal prison. Writing started out as therapy for me. A means to learn about myself and contribute to bettering myself. Ultimately something which was intended to be therapeutic wind up becoming my profession and life.

BPM:  Introduce us to your new book, Heaven & Earth.
Meet Heaven- (The Brains) & Earth (The Muscle). Heaven inherited her beauty from her mother but her inheritance from her father, which was her street smarts, was more valuable to her.

Earth was raised by her mother, who was a gay single parent and a force to reckon with in the streets. Impacted by their upbringing the two find themselves in prison where they meet and form a bond that spills over into the streets of New Jersey.

BPM: Who were your favorites? Are your characters from the portrayal of real people?
I equally enjoyed creating them both. They are both a combination of women I’ve encountered and continue to. All of my characters are based on real people-I write reality fiction.

BPM: Take us inside the book. What are two major events taking place?

Something happens to one of the main characters and the all throught the book you're trying to figure out who did it, but you don't find out until you get towards the end. Meanwhile there is a relationship building between the other main character and a co-character that forces her to make some quick decisions towards the end of the story.

BPM: Who do you want to reach with your book and the message within?This is a reader for both genders of all walks of life from teens to adults. If you come from this, then you'll be able to empathise with the charcters more and possibly re-evaluate your own life style and if you don't come from this the you will learn valueable lessons without having to go through what the characters had in their lives.

BPM:  How will reading your book shape the readers lives?

This story like al of my other stories are wake up calls. I call what I write edutainment, educational and entertaining at the same time.. I'm sure whether my male or female readers actually experienced what takes place in the story they will still walk away with the substance of the story. You have, struggle, money, love, choices, decisions, betrayal, loyalty, lust, murder and death all incorporated into this book. The same things that makes the wrold go around.

BPM:  What was the most powerful chapter in the book?
Probably the epilogue of the book. There are so many chapters that have meaning but when you get to the end I feel readers will be left with dep thought.

BPM: What do you think makes your book different from others on the same subject?
I don't think too many male urban lit authors create female characters with roles that male characters normally possess. you would expect this type of story line to be lead bymale characters.

BPM:  What makes you powerful as a person and a writer? Who are your mentors?
I pour all of me into my writing. I hold no punches so that my readers may feel what it’s like almost to the point of living it themselves. Not to take away from anyone else, but I write from the heart and soul. I am inspired by writers like Claude Brown, Sydney Pointier and Donald Goines for many different reasons.

BPM:  A Legacy is something that is handed down from one period of time to another period of time. Finish this sentence- My writing offers the following legacy to future readers...
My writing offers the following legacy to future readers... a testimony to the fact overcoming life's adversities is possible, doable and that there are no limitations to creativity.

BPM: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
I just released my second author FiFi Cureton's book Have You Ever...?  under my publishing company A New Quality Publishing.

I also just opened a lit lounge and accesory boutique for women called A New Quality Literary Lounge & Boutique located downtown in my home town of Plainfield New Jersey 112 Watchung Ave.

BPM: How can our readers reach you online? Share with us your online contact info.
A New Quality Publishing,  PO Box 589,  Plainfield NJ  07061
Website:  http://www.anewqualitypublishing.com/  or facebook.com/jmbenjamin.author  or  Amazon.com

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