JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Yani, author of “A Thug’s Redemption”
After Jamal decides to take matters into his own hands by avenging his best friend’s murder, he is forced into the street life. He is forever in debt to his cousin Samir, one of Philadelphia’s biggest drug lords. After finding love, separating himself from the game and turning his life around, fate comes into play when a desperate act by his younger brother Shawn brings back the haunting night from Jamal’s past.
Secrets are revealed, and Jamal is forced back into the street life to save his brother as well as himself. In this story about friendship, love and the dangers of North Philly streets, Jamal will soon learn that mistakes are hard to clean up and they will cost him dearly in the end.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write “A Thug’s Redemption”?
Yani: A friend of mine was killed when we were 14 years old. Although I was used to people being killed around me in my old neighborhood in North Philly, that was the first time it really hit close to home.
The prologue in “A Thug’s Redemption” initially was just a short story to cope with what happened. My friends liked it so much and they encouraged me to write some more.
JP: What sets “A Thug’s Redemption” apart from other books in the same genre?
YA: “A Thug’s Redemption” doesn’t glorify drugs, sex and the violence that has plagued inner city Philadelphia. This is a young man who was caught up in the streets behind a poor decision that he made and he was trying hard to make amends with his past. “A Thug’s Redemption” is a prime example of how the law of Karma works and sometimes, no matter how well you try to redeem yourself, you don’t get a happy ending.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to “A Thug’s Redemption” getting out to the public?
YA: I believe the keys to my success would be for me to make myself more socially available. I’m so used to being closed off and staying to myself. In order for people to know about “Yani”, I need to mix with the people more by promoting, advertising, blogging, making use of social networks like Twitter and Facebook, scheduling book signings, utilizing my website and getting high on the Google search engines.
I have to work hard in order for the public to know that I exist.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish “A Thug’s Redemption”?
YA: I get flashes. That may sound weird to people. I could be sitting somewhere like on a train or at work and all of a sudden, I’ll see something happen in my “creative mind”. I start writing from there.
I try to keep a pen and paper with me at all times because I never know when these flashes may occur. “A Thug’s Redemption” started as a short story for me to cope. I would read over what I wrote. An idea would come to me, and I would write some more. I knew how the story would end. I just needed to get there.
I was 15 years old when I wrote“A Thug’s Redemption”. I started it May of my freshman year in high school, and I finished it January 31, 2000.
JP: What’s next for Yani?
YA: More writing. I’m constantly writing every day. I have seven more novels in my head now that I am trying to get into print. I’m writing 2 books at the same time: “A Thug’s Redemption 2: Jamal’s Return” and “Obsessive Intimacies”. I’m also developing my publishing company Anitbeet Productions. I hope within the next few years that I can begin publishing other authors.
I want to thank everyone who has supported me throughout all of these years and listened to me constantly obsess over the day I’d finally become published. Thank you to everyone who believed in me and “A Thug’s Redemption”.