JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Ben, author of Up The Way
(DC Bookdiva Publications)
(Three of the first ten people to comment on Benâ€™s author interview will win a FREE copy of Up The Way from JoeyPinkney.com)
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Up The Way?
Ben: The idea to write the story started as more of a challenge by a friend who I was incarcerated with. My inspiration was based on my previous experiences. A lot of it was loosely based on things that I witnessed while there.
JP: Many readers fantasize about prison culture without truly realizing the corrupt nature. What does Up The Way show about “belly of the beast” that has not been seen?
B: I believe that my book exposes the realities of what actually is taking place in most of the prisons today. It deals with corruption at the hands of the inmates, employees and our government. It also deals with homosexuality issues that affect our community.
Many individuals believe that prison life does not affect them because they are not in prison. However, most inmates will come home. There are issues that I deal with in the novel that directly affect us as a race from homosexuality to community unity.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to Up The Way getting out to the public?
B: I first believed in my self. I wanted to change my reality and start to focus on myself as a man, for me first and my family second. I wanted to change my life and focus on recreating myself and my legacy. Writing was my outlet in prison and has been a my passion since grade school.
I wrote Up The Way as a form or entertainment for my fellow inmate friends and myself to laugh to keep from crying about the conditions we were in. I used the novel for entertainment and to also bring awareness to social issues within our community.
I shopped the book to several publishers who were not interested because my manuscript was not typed along with an outline of several other books that I was in the process of writing. We worked via mail and brief phone conversations to bring the project to completion, distributing over 1,000 copies in our first day of publication.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish Up The Way?
Ben: There is no formula. I have a wild and vivid imagination, so it comes with ease. The actual book took me about three weeks to write.
JP: What’s next for Ben?
Ben: I plan to expand into several other genres. I am currently working on an erotica series, a children’s book and a motivational/self help read.
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