Tell me about the inspiration for writing your book?
Poverty. I decided when I came out of prison after serving 11 years, 11 months and 27 days that the streets weren’t going to get me where I needed to be without too much risk. So, I decided to sit down and figure out a plan, coming home, that I was going to be able to get myself and my family out of poverty.
I’ve heard a few people that have read Respect Revenge speak on how true it is and how real it is, are the characters based on real people?
Definitely. I mean when you come from the environment we all come from, you’ve seen character after character after character. In order for me to be able to keep up with this many people in my head, I had to kind of have a base to say okay, "what would he do or he say in this moment?” It was an easy way for me to keep the story line because I know who "blase scoop" is as opposed to making up 50 fictitious names and having to go back to my notes and remember what he said and what he did. I just daydreamed and visualized this story. I would wake up in the middle of the night, turn the light on, and would write until my hand cramped because I had so much pouring out of me. So, the characters are based around real people, but it’s a totally fictional story. I get that a lot, like this is a true story, because it seems so real. But this is not a true story. It’s true in the sense of, everybody's ghetto is just like mine. So it’s seeming like this can really happen, you know what I mean?
Do the people that you based the characters on know that they are in your book?
They’re honored. People call me like, "is such n such, such n such?" because they mixed up. But, most of the people whose names, well nicknames anyway because I didn’t use people's government names, but most of these people with nicknames are honored. Most of them are dead and I felt like I could immortalize some of them in the eyes of their peers or their families by shedding light back on the person who is no longer here or the ones who are incarcerated with football numbers. Most of the people in the book either dead or locked up for a long time. I felt like what better way to keep them alive than to put them in a book? It's going to be timeless if you ask me.
What’s been your most valuable lesson through all of this?
Support of people in your environment who dare to be different is detrimental. That’s for any project anybody got going on. If somebody that come from where you come from, dares to try to be something, don’t look down or be mad. Support your locals. When one make it we all make it. Mike Epps for instance, when I see him on TV I’m proud, just because I know he came from where I come from. He made it out of where we come from and that's rare. I think Indianapolis and Indiana has a slight problem with not supporting their own people and that's a problem. Just support your locals man.
Respect Revenge Part 1 is available to order on HardPartPublishing.com