JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Contel Bradford, author of Thug Nation
(Count Krew Publications)
Around the time gangs flooded the streets like mosquitoes after a good rain, teams of misguided, military-minded thugs pledged allegiance to one another, willing to die for what they felt to be sacred. Those who no longer infected the hood were residents of the prison system.
Just a couple of hours into his first full day, Gerald noticed several affiliates in the facility. Unlike many of them, he didn’t bring the bandanna with him. Still the vivid images of pitchforks and devil-tailed hearts covered his arms, letting everyone know the status.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Thug Nation?
Contel Bradford: I initially started Thug Nation in 1996. It’s not exactly a true story, but it was inspired by my life. Everybody around me and I were bangin’ at the time, so I decided to write about that whole experience. It took me 10 more years to complete it and release it as Thug Nation.
JP: What sets Thug Nation apart from other urban fiction novels set in Chicago?
CB: Only a small portion is set in Chicago, which is where the main character is from. The bulk of this novel takes place in Detroit, Michigan. It’s just real…the plot, the story itself. Not too many people write about gangs, specially not this in depth. I’m proud to say that Thug Nation is very original. You’ve never read anything like it.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to your own publishing company and multiple novels?
CB: I’m just a self-published author. That’s all. I wouldn’t exactly call myself a success either. I’m still in the hood dealing with the same hood drama. Deep down, I always wanted to be a writer, so I just saved up a li’l change and got my books out here. I still gotta long way to go.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and Thug Nation?
CB: I can write very fast. The problem is that I’m always working on more than one project at a time. I would say it took me about six months to complete Thug Nation.
JP: What’s next for Contel Bradford?
CB: I just completed an anthology with some of the game’s hottest authors from Detroit, aptly titled Bitch I’m From The D. This book is gonna be hot and features talents like Ms. Michel Moore, Dennis Reed and T.C. Littles to name a few.
I also have three books of my own that I can drop any time – well as soon as I raise the funds. Aside from that, I’m a professional freelancer. I’m looking into more lucrative fields to further myself as an all around writer.