JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Ben Blaze, author of Forbidden
Khalil Grisby, the son of a legendary gangster, keeps his mouth closed and takes a murder charge for his best friend, aspiring entrepreneur Naishawn Oliver. After Khalil is incarcerated, his mother acts quickly on her hate, banishing his fiance, Classy De Luca, from the family in his absence.
Having no family to speak of, Classy reaches out to Naishawn for a place to lay her head. What begins as a friendly gesture blossoms into an infatuation that not even their current relationships or conscience can break. As they continue in this forbidden love, Khalil’s appeal looms while his family’s deadly affairs threaten to claim every life involved.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Forbidden?
Ben Blaze: The inspiration came from my love of tragedies and my love for hip hop. I discovered Shakepeare in junior high listened to rappers like Biggie, Nas and Big L tell stories in their raps. I was always intrigued by them and continue to be. Also, real life situations shaped my thoughts and inspired me to use my creative license to mold this tragic tale.
JP: The love triangle is a critical driving force in Forbidden. What place does love have in Urban Fiction from your perspective?
BB: In my opinion, love plays a major role. Every reader who picks up an urban lit novel hasn’t experienced some of the grimy things that the characters have, but they have been in love. Across the board, the reader can relate to or, at least, understand the characters and their relationships more than anything else.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to Forbidden getting out to the public?
BB: As a rookie, I know I have to pound the pavement and get my name out there. I’m a virtual unknown at this point in the game. Right now, it’s all about the hustle, and I’m prepared for it. I’m confident that I have a well-written novel that readers will enjoy, so promotion is the key. From passing out flyers to the internet, I’m on it.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish Forbidden?
BB: I step to the story with my thoughts and my ipod. I already have in mind what I want to do and how I want my story to flow. Everything else just comes to me as I get into it. I really can’t explain it. My daily goal is 2500-3000 words. It took me about a month to complete my first draft. This story had been in me for a awhile, so it didn’t take me long.
JP: What’s next for Ben Blaze?
BB: Myself, K.Roland Williams and Marlon McCaulsky had some success with Romance For The Streets. We’re coming back with another anthology that I think people are going to feel. It is entitled Try A Little Tenderness. The anthology will be more sensual this go round. I have other solo projects that I’m going to be hitting you with on, so please be on the lookout for me.
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