JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Q.B. Wells, author of Blackface: A Novel
(Art Official Media)
To protect his mother, teenager Demitris Zachery a.k.a Black must runaway from his home. Forced to mingle with the worst elements and conditions of urban life, he meets Face, Penny and Zero. Together they fend for the American Dream.
Inevitably, experience provokes Black to observe his friends, his lifestyle and his own aspirations. In his journey of self-discovery, Black must learn how to survive on the streets of Chicago, alter his life decisions or perish in the confusion of life.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Blackface: A Novel?
Q.B. Wells: I got the idea to write Blackface by reading and learning about minstrels. There were blackface minstrels that performed for white crowds and some that performed only for colored crowds. Blackface is a book that I wrote for a colored crowd or those that wanted to be.
I was inspired to write Blackface because I wanted to write a book that young people that weren’t as inclined to read to have confidence to complete reading a book.
JP: What sets Blackface: A Novel apart from other novels in its genre?
QB: Blackface is different from other books in the urban genre because it is a very introspective book. It deals a lot with the self-hatred, the characters’ feel and the manner in which they deal with it in the society. Whether they admit it or not, every black person pays a price to be black.
In Blackface, the young men are learning the price THEY pay to be black. However, they have not learned that there are options for success within the black experience other than the ball player or drug dealer.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to Blackface: A Novel getting out to the public?
QB: Continued marketing and promotion of Blackface: A Novel. In addition, writing other great books that people enjoy and speaking, interacting and engaging readers.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish Blackface: A Novel?
QB: As a publisher and author, my schedule makes it difficult to write everyday. Therefore I write two hours on weekdays, first thing in the morning before I finish the rest of the to-do list. It took about six weeks to write Blackface: A Novel. However, I wrote many of the characters as short stories a year before I sat down and blended the novel.
JP: What’s next for Q.B. Wells?
QB: As publisher, publish more books. I’m exited about the author’s books Art Official Media will publish next year. As author look forward to the sequel to Blackface, One Hundred Miles and Running and my first memoir, The Devil’s Work.