JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Saleem Little, author of Crying For Tears: The Sasha Pierce Story
Every woman faces her own individual heartache at some point or another in her life. Whether it is dealing with the jaded feelings of lost love, the misuse of an abusive man, the disappointment and embarrassment of divorce, or the financial woes of being a single mother; all women must survive some personal tragedy in their lives.
In this gripping tale of lost souls, misguided teens, rapists, bastardized children, disease, human trafficking and abuse; three women’s lives are tested, nearly torn apart, and then tied together by one motivating force…their wills to survive.
After Sasha’s father dies from a heroin overdose and her mother gives her up for adoption, she is quickly lost to the allures of the street life: drugs, sex, and money. Infatuated with men older than her years, she lies to them about her age so they will sleep with her, uses fake IDs to get into clubs, and eventually inherits the burdens of being a single, teen mother with an ailment she must live with forever.
Denise s life is scarred by dysfunctional men, drug use, divorce and a mother’s agony of dealing with a rebellious child. Since her first divorce, Denise’s been caring for her two sons alone. From sacrificing for their sakes to spending sleepless nights waiting for them to return safely from the streets, Denise faces a mother s ultimate pain when her son becomes a suspect in a murder.
Amina is a poor girl from South Africa. Like so many children in her village, her parents have passed away from AIDS. She is forced to care for her brothers and sisters alone at the age of fourteen. Enticed by a friend to come work for her friends in Norway, Amina soon finds herself in a brothel being forced to prostitute by brutal traffickers.
See how six degrees of separation ties the lives of these three women together in this spell bounding novel by Saleem Little.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write Crying For Tears: The Sasha Pierce Story?
Saleem Little: I stumbled across a few startling facts and some data that gave me some insight into a problem that I wasn’t too familiar with. When I began reading about the lives of women and children who were being kidnapped and forced to prostitute around the world, I was immediately inspired.
I was not only to write, but to try to do my little bit to help. I’ve hustled before, but this “Savage Hustle” was beyond justification to me. The fact that I have a daughter made the subject that much more touchy for me.
In the streets, women usually make the decision to strip or prostitute on their own, but there’s still those cases of girls being mistreated and abused as children. I wanted to draw a parallel between the worlds of a girl who is lost to the allure of the streets and one who is forced into prostitution.
JP: What sets Crying For Tears: The Sasha Pierce Story apart from other books in the same genre?
SL: I’ll probably always answer this question the same. I think the readers determine that. They may find nothing’s exceptional at all. However, I will say that it is a book that crosses genres. It’s a real book, about real life; about the soulless men who take advantage of venal or vunerable women; about single mother’s who sacrifice to keep their families together.
It’s a real story about people who’s lives are affected by disease, drugs, and wrong guidance. There’s no “Fairy-Tale” effect in this book; no millionaire king-pins, no hyperbole about love…just a real book about the social ills we try to avoid.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to Crying For Tears: The Sasha Pierce Story getting out to the public?
SL: Doing your research. Most importantly, actually loving the craft. Some people are pure opportunist (can’t knock ya hustle) who really care nothing about the art of literature. They write because they think it’s a get-rich quick scheme, they want fame, or think it’s easy.
The key for me is that I love writing… I love words… Always have and always will. I take tehe artist’s job seriously, which is to expose and explore the social issues we face as people… All while entertaining.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish Crying For Tears: The Sasha Pierce Story?
SL: It’s important to read if you want to write. I try to make sure I read something everyday. I keep notes in my Blackberry, and I keep my eyes open and alert because life’s full of inspiration. Crying For Tears took a few months to complete.
JP: What’s next for Saleem Little?
SL: The Release of my next novel The Hand That Feeds You. I just released a mixtape (I do music too) “Sonny – SL550: The Test Drive”. I’m currently working on a solo LP.
A portion of the proceeds from Crying For Tears: The Sasha Pierce Story will be donated to the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women.