Intimate Conversation with author Jordan Belcher
Jordan Belcher grew up in an inner city neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri, with his mother and father, and two older brothers. Living below the poverty level, he was forced to be creative to entertain himself. But as a teen he let go of his artistry, dropped out of high school and grabbed on to crime. He went from petty thievery to armed robbery, and a month after he turned 19 he was arrested and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Behind bars, he started reading Urban Literature and immediately rediscovered his passion for writing.
He earned his GED and penned his first novel by the age 22, wrote his second by the age 24, and now at 26, Jordan Belcher has his debut novel, Tre Pound, was released April 2010.
Ella: Tell us a little about your main characters. Who was your favorite? Why?
My novel, Tre Pound, takes you through the day-to-day life of a gangster named Levour “Tre Pound” King who craves street fame over money. He has an intelligent 15-year-old cousin named Camille King who doesn’t always feel loved, and it causes her to rush into relationships with no regard for her own safety. She has a friend who’s a year older than her, Dominique Hayes, who has an unhealthy crush on Tre Pound, and Dominique has an older brother named Marlon Hayes who is a close friend of Tre Pound’s. Marlon is my favorite character because he represents a lot of people who’ve had and still have poisonous friends in their lives.
Ella: In my opinion, Urban literature should present a "cautionary tale." What issues do you bring to the reader's attention?
One issue I allude to in the book is how a lot of the youth living in the street mistake warning signs of their well-being (e.g. surviving multiple gun shots, winning a criminal case) as testaments to their toughness. I also bring up in dialogue between two characters and throughout the book why some people choose the criminal life style over the straight and narrow.
Ella: Who did you write this book for? Why?
I started writing Tre Pound with my fellow inmates in mind, wanting to shock and awe a few of my friends who’ve lived some of the most abhorrent lives imaginable. It worked, and now I am anxious to see how readers from all walks of life will take to the brutal reality in my novel.
Ella: Do you write full time? Describe your writing schedule for our readers.
It takes me an hour to push out on page. And I write two pages a day, which comes to two hours total, but I always spend more time writing if I haven’t met my two-page-a-day quota.
Ella: What do you like to do when you're not writing?
When I am not working on a manuscript, I’m playing with the weights in the gym or reading. I read everything from urban books and horrors to philosophy and history. I love reading just as much as I love writing.
Ella: What is the best piece of advice you would give to an aspiring author?
I would tell an aspiring author to write without fear of being judged. If you write with inhibitions, you’ll turn out with an ordinary story that’s deprived of emotion.
Ella: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
I’m currently working on a sequel and revising an earlier work, but more than anything I am preparing for my release from prison in early 2011. More information about my books can be found below.
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