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Kisha Green’s interview of Joey Pinkney for

Reprinted with permission by Kisha Green
Originally posted on:

Kisha Green: Who is Joey Pinkney?

Joey Pinkney: Joey Pinkney is a man on a mission. The mission changes and gets refined with the times. I’m currently looking to expose authors to people in a way that is not being done in a consistent manner. I’m also looking to write and publish the books that are begging to get out of my head.

My love for reading and writing will not allow me to live a regular life of working and sleeping. I have to apply a significant part of my “down time” to reading, writing, reviewing, interviewing, editing, myspacing (is that a word?), thinking and plenty of other i-n-gs to keep me sane.

KG: Three words to best describe yourself

JP: Introspective, obsessed and determined.

KG: When did you first start reviewing books?

JP: My first attempt at reviewing books was around July/August 2006. At the time, I was writing for a now defunct African-American weekly newspaper called The Urban Journal in Nashville, TN.

The publisher wanted me to be a type of journalist that hit the streets and cover things like school board meetings, crime scenes and various boring things that was happening around Nashville.

I couldn’t do just that. I pitched an idea to the publisher where I would review books by black authors. I think he allowed me to do it just to humor me. I contacted a bunch of publishers and authors. I read and reviewed the books I received. I had to beg and plead to get the reviews in the paper. He let a couple run in the paper, but he simply wasn’t interested in anything that didn’t happen in Nashville.

I stopped trying to get the publisher to work with me. I kept getting great books to read.

KG: Have you ever had to post a bad review? If so, how did you break the news to the author?

JP: Writing reviews for Urban Book Source allows you to tell the whole truth, straight up with no chaser. You can browse through my reviews to see the one I had to “keep it real” with. I tried to contact the author for a subsequent, but he (or she) never got back to me.

Luckily, I really haven’t had books to read that are poor in quality. It amazes me how many talented writers there are out there that don’t seem to get the light of day because that are self-published or published by one of the smaller houses.

KG: Who are some of your favorite authors?

JP: Moses Miller. The Trifling Times series he is taking the genre of Urban Fiction to new heights and levels. Keisha Ervin. I really like her book entitled Torn. It’s Urban Romance at its finest. I was recently impressed by Jessica Holter’s Verbal Penetration. That book will broaden your horizons as to what can be done in the Erotica genre.

KG: Tell us about your book How to Get Rid of Bacne Super Fast ?

JP: This is really an ebook. It’s only in PDF format. It’s very simple in format: 10 chapters, 10 questions, 10 answers. I tried to pull together the information that’s hiding and spread out all over the place and bring together in a short, easy to read book.

KG: What made you write a book about Bacne?

JP: That’s a weird subject, right? The idea for this book came from my website, Before focusing on the book industry, I was publishing a bunch of articles on almost everything. Acne prevention was one of the subject I covered. I noticed that the information concerning bacne drew a lot of attention.

I took the ten most popular keyword phrases that people googled to get to my site and did the research. I used to charge for the book. Now it’s a free download because it’s a great resource, not a get-rich-quick tool.

KG: Do you plan to write any more books?

JP: Yes, I plan to write many books. Plan in the active sense of the word. Like I said earlier, I have to get these books out of my head or they will keep pestering me. I’m writing the outlines, so my research will go smoother.

KG: Did you self publish or go the tradtional route of submitting your mansucript to various publishers?

JP: That ebook was self-published. I do plan on submitting the manuscripts of my upcoming to the correct publishers.

KG: Which title do you enjoy more author or reviewer? Why?

JP: I like being an author more because I control the creativity. It’s solitary. Writing a book is really a situation of self-discipline. You do it; it gets done.

But being a reviewer is much more fast paced. It’s more fluid. It’s like going to another city or even another country. You get the see your experience through the experiences of others. I hate having to chase authors down to give them free publicity.

KG: What do you say to people who say that reviewers are people looking for free books?

JP: Some people might be. I am. I am not going to pay for a book that you want me to read and write a review on. Just because you sent me a book really is not equal compensation for me to read and write something significant about it. Your book costs $15 and shipping is $5. I put roughly 5 to 8 man hours reading and reviewing. That’s comes out to be $2.50 an hour. Two dollars and fifty cents an hour? My time is worth much more than that, and my relationship with the authors who send me books is much deeper than that.

Getting the book in my hands is as far free goes. I don’t just want your book for free to add to my book shelf. I buy books for that… Once I get you book, I want to read it and know it. I want to gain an experience from it that will make me richer than the $20 I didn’t spend on getting the book. I want to write about it, and I want others to know about it.

Right now, I have about forty to fifty books I haven’t had the chance to read yet. And “yet” is the operative word. I will read each and every book, no matter how long it takes. That’s where the word obsessed came from earlier. I didn’t accept all of those books just to have them. Although I got in over my head, I’m going to read and review each book.

Free is not free.

KG: What makes a review by Joey Pinkney different?

JP: One thing that makes my review different is that I read books from the first page with the copyright information to the order form in the back.

I write about it from the sense of knowing it. I take the time and consideration of using the right words. Sometimes my humor spills out, sometimes my frustrations come through.

Reading and reviewing a book is like the dating stage. My relationship with the book is intense and short. I take it to work. I take it to bed. I take it out of town. (TMI alert!) I take it to the bathroom. Me and the book is “going with eachother”.

I scribble notes. I re-read. I cuss at the books gramatical error. I think of ways I would change it. Once I’m finished, I start writing. I usually can’t stop until I’m finished. That means that the night I start writing the review is the night I finish the review. I’m likely to pull an overnighter until it “feels right” when I read it. If I got to go to work the next day, too bad for me…

If the book came from Urban Book Source (, shout out to Senior Editor Abeena Paige), they will publish my reviews. If the book came from C & B Books Distribution (, shout out to Carol Rogers). Plus, the review gets published on three different websites:,’s Reviews Section (shout out to Angella) and’s Book Reviews section (shout out to Me!ah). Three different websites, the different crowds.

I also post the reviews on for good measure. My thing is, I want as many people to know about the book as possible. I don’t just read the book, write the review and tell the review be fruitful and multiply. I actively seek outlets for the review.

KG: You recently started ” 5 Minutes, 5 Questions” series, what prompted you to start a clever concept such as this?

JP: The “5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…” series really spawned from me being overwhelmed by the number of books sent to me by different authors across the nation. I’ve gotten to a point where I can’t accept anymore.

One day, I looked in my closet and saw all the books that my wife was fussing at me about. I have to take a picture for you to truly understand. I was like, “How am I going to read all of these books?”

I was on MySpace, and Essence Bestseller T. Benson Glover messaged me about sending a book that same day. While I was typing to turn him down, the proverbial light bulb lit up above my head. I asked if he would be down for a mini-interview. It was on from there.

As people asked to send books, I was like, “Sorry, but let’s do this…” I started publishing the interviews in the order that they came to me.

My first interview was published on 08-25-08. During the following September I got the great idea to post them every other day. Man! Talk about overworking myself. That was way too hectic. Along the way, Me!ah and Angella gave me the opportunity to contribute to there websites.

I had to slow down, so in October I tried to publish on every day that was divisible by three (3rd, 6th….30th). It’s still a hectic grind, but it’s so enjoyable. As of the day I’m answering this interview, I have 27 interviews published, and I’m almost booked through December 2008.

Although the questions many times are the same, the answers given by the authors are as different as snowflakes. The “5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…” series gives authors a chance to let the potential reader know who they are and what their books represent.

Reading about the personal story behind the books’ idea or the amount of time it took to complete the books gives it a life beyond the paper and the glue it takes to put it together. The diversity I have in this series is also powerful. Poetry, urban lit, non-fiction, science fiction…

Most of my interviews are of African-American authors. That’s very important to me. If “we” don’t shine light on “us”, who will? That’s why I like to include a picture of the author and the book cover. The author looks like us, our mother’s, our uncles, our neighbors.

KG: What is next for Joey Pinkney?

JP: I’m looking for more outlets for the “5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…” series. I would like to have a column on more websites. I really would like to get a column in a newspaper. If you’re reading this and got some info, go to my website and contact me.

I’m also going to read those books I mentioned one at a time until I finish. That’s very important that I finish what I started.

Hopefully, I’ll find some time to squeeze a book out and get that published, too. Speaking of that, I am going to be published in a book entitled The Soul of a Man: A Triumph of My Soul Anthology (shout out to Elissa Gabrielle/Peace in the Storm Publishing) right before father’s day in 2009. Google it.

Thank you so very much for taking the time to interview me Kisha. Although I gave lengthy answers, they were straight from the heart. Continue reading Kisha Green’s interview of Joey Pinkney for

5 Minutes, 5 Questions With… Jennifer Knox, author of Mama Never Said Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Jennifer Knox, author of Mama Never Said
(All Boys Publishing)

jenifer knox headshot
mama naver said book cover

(click on the pictures to see reviews of this book on

Dinah Daniels, CEO of Daniels Animal Treatment Center, wife of nineteen years to Kevin Daniels, Attorney at Law, and loving mother. They were an eminent African American family, living the American dream. Life couldn’t be better for Dinah. Until she discovers that everything she’s ever known is a lie.

A life full of scandal and deceit would surface and destroy her perfect family. She didn’t understand how you go from being on top of the world to being stretched out under it. She was used to a world blinded by financial and social status. She had to face the fact that she could not buy her way out of this one.

Driven by Big Mama’s sayings, and her best friend Gloria at her side, Dinah would prove that she is truly a fighter.

Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Mama Never Said?

Jennifer Knox: I actually had a dream with a certain part of the book in it. It all happened from there. I had no intentions of writing a book. When I woke up I had this overwhelming urge to write about it, so I did.

JP: What sets Mama Never Said apart from other novels in its genre?

JK: Truth. I write about what’s real. I mean, It’s fiction, but it’s real life issues that many face everyday. On the outside looking in it may seem that some “have it going on”, but you just never know what people are facing. My writing offers that inside glimpse.

JP: As an author and self-publisher, what are the keys to your success that lead to Mama Never Said getting out to the public?

JK: Doing my research, knowing everything first hand for myself. The learning process never stops. I know things now that I didn’t know when Mama Never Said was released. Never giving up, and knowing that I am the key to making whatever I want to happen, happen.

JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish Mama Never Said?

JK: Me personally, my thoughts just flow. I hardly ever have writers block. It took me about 2 1/2 years to write Mama Never Said only because I had no idea what I was doing! (laugh) It was a kind of a touch and go type process.

JP: What’s next for Mama Never Said?

JK: The sequel to Mama Never Said will be released in April 2009. I am looking to do a stage play based on a combination of the two in mid to late 2010.

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5 Minutes, 5 Questions With… John McWhorter, author of Our Magnificient Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
John McWhorter, author of Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English

john mcwhorter headshot
Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue book cover

(click on the above picture to see reviews of this book on

After English was transported by land-seeking Germanic invaders to Britain in the fifth century, A.D., three things happened to make it the vastly different language we speak today. One was that it took on many words from Old Norse, French, and Latin.

The other two things are less known. First, when Welsh and Cornish speakers took on English, they mixed in their own grammatical features, such that today we say “Do you walk?” instead of “Walk you?” Then, when Scandinavian Viking invaders settled among the English speakers, they rendered English like we render Spanish in a first-year class — and children grew up hearing so many people speak English that way that pretty soon, English was that way.

Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue describes how all of this happened with observations along the way about whether people make “mistakes” when they speak English, whether English channels the way we think, and whether even Old English was bastardized and beaten up by an earlier language.

Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English?

John McWhorter: Over the years I have been doing some academic study of how Modern English came to be. I gradually realized that the things I was discovering were not only insufficiently attended to by other academics, but were also things the general public might find interesting. Generally, I have always been slightly bored by the typical account of English’s history that is all about words, since for linguists, grammar is usually more interesting. This book is a way of getting across why linguists care about grammar — or at least why I do.

JP: In terms of ebonics, isn’t ebonics to “American” English as “American” English is to the English that is spoken in England?

JM: Not quite. American and British English differ in terms of accent and words, primarily. Grammatical differences are tiny. Black English is different from both not only in accent and words, but in grammar. “He don’t be tellin’ folks things like dat not more” is a thoroughly “proper” Ebonics sentence. In both American and British English, it would be “He doesn’t tell people things like that anymore.”

JP: How are Barack Obama and John McCain using English differently to effectively run their campaigns?

JM: Barack Obama has a way of spicing his speeches with Black English traits here and there — “dropping his g’s”, using an imprecise but familiar terminology and certain intonation patterns, and so on. It makes his speech style seem approachable, genuine. John McCain, from what I have seen, is not especially comfortable with the presentational spoken word, which has made running against Obama especially difficult as Black English is a kind of American vernacular lingua franca today across race lines, if only in terms of how people hear it.

JP: What’s your take on Urban Fiction and its use of the English language?

JM: It would seem that these books are making it ever more normal for people to see “Ebonics” written on the page, without seeing it as an interesting “technique” as it was when Alice Walker and Toni Morrison first became popular. This is, overall, a good thing. When people without access to good education feel that the only legitimate writing is in a different code than the one they are comfortable in, they are, effectively, barred from participation in written discourse. (I don’t usually write about “discourse” but you got me going!)

JP: What’s next for John McWhorter?

JM: I’m moving into adjunct teaching at Columbia and see no books in the immediate future, depending on what you call a book. I picture myself writing columns, doing academic research, and having the live experience of teaching for the time being. After a while, one has written enough books — and with the internet and such, one wonders how many people are actually reading them. So, we shall see …

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