JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Demetrius Irick, author of I’m Finally a Man
(DeeJak’s Publishing Company)
Born in the small town of Orangeburg, SC, there was little for the youth to do and limited opportunity for growth. Demetrius turned to drugs, crime and alcoholism as a means for excitement. At the point of no return and the brink of insanity, incarceration became his wake up call. After serving four years in prison, Demetrius returned to society determined to live a positive and more productive life.
With a renewed spirit and a better outlook on life, Demetrius had a mission to jump starting his career. Through life lessons, Demetrius was able to rise above the stereotypes of recidivism statistics to be a successful leader and mentor to many whom he comes in contact. As he continues to coach and develop his staff, Demetrius has been blessed with the opportunity to further his career and personal development as well.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write I’m Finally a Man?
Demetrius Irick: My inspiration comes from the desire to help another brother. I also need to tell everyone about the miracles I’ve witnessed through Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As I reflected on my life, I saw so much pain, poor decisions and hurt that I wanted to prevent someone else from going down a similar path if possible.
It was after I hit rock bottom and had to sit still in prison that I really focused on my life. I thought about all the second, third and fourth times I could have been dead and gone, but God saved me. I knew then that God must have a plan for my life. Although I’m still searching for His plan for me, I know my steps are guided.
JP: What sets I’m Finally a Man apart from other books in the same genre?
DI: First, this book has several dynamics that set it apart. I have not read many memoirs told from the individual side and their significant other. The first part of the book gives a brief history and quickly goes into my transition from adolescence to being a thug. It then travels through my drug addictions and mental insanity.
It enables the reader to get on a quick roller coaster as they experience the high and lows of my life. It gives you a glimpse of the mindset that needed to be broken in order to succeed. Then, my wife picks up and talks about all the challenges she encountered trying to help raise a man. This unique perspective gives the reader options and an objective view. It digs deeper into breaking the psychological mindset in an individual and the difficulty in doing so.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to I’m Finally a Man getting out to the public?
DI: Faith. I knew while I was locked down that I was going to write a story about my life. I didn’t take it very seriously. I wrote the first two chapters and stopped. I knew that this word needed to reach someone.
It wasn’t until a first few years after I got out that I really jumped into it. After a few setbacks, I put the book down for several years. It was the last three years after I began to get refocused spiritually that the book took off.
I remember when I first gave my testimony in our church that I felt a burden was lifted off my shoulders. I tried to bottle it up and hide it, but the moment I spoke about it, I felt so much better. After that, I didn’t hesitate to tell others my story. It feels good to tell my story and to see the eyes of youth or prisoners today as they know I have literally been where they are.
Yet, through God’s grace and kindness, He has allowed me to be lifted in so many ways. Next, my wife and kids have been my constant support system, and they are what makes me the man I am today. My wife, she is the best thing ever to come in my life. I am constantly thanking God for bringing her into my life.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish I’m Finally a Man?
D.I: This book took a decade. As I stated, there were several setbacks. I got discouraged and sat the project down for several years. The first two drafts were destroyed when my computer crashed. I felt so defeated and gave up.
After a while, I kept having these reminders about the book. Several friends, family and coworkers would ask about it, and it really told me that I needed to get this book out.
I normally write better when listening to music and away from distractions. Throughout the writing of the book, I took mini vacations alone. During these times alone, the chapters seemed to flow out of me.
JP: What’s next for Demetrius Irick?
DI: I will continue to write and produce books. Recently, my wife and I created our own publishing company to help first time authors through the maze of self publishing. We had a horrible experience and would like to make the next author more aware of the process and get them the most out of their work.
In addition, I will continue to mentor at risk youth, teenagers and convicted felons on the tools needed to be successful in today’s society. I teach my managers and children hard work, dedication and a burning desire to do better will determine individual success. Most occasions will need a little self-reflection. Eliminating excuses will drive them past their dreams.
I look forward to the next chapter God has for me and how He uses me for His will. I welcome the challenge and know that everything will work together for the good of those that love God, those called according to His purpose! Roman 8:28
Until the next time, be blessed.