- What inspired you to write this book?
My inspiration to write Thoughts and Observations occurred naturally. The desire to write this book happened because I wanted to speak to issues that I thought were important and in need of addressing. I initially would briefly touch on certain subjects in Facebook posts, but I soon realized that Facebook members are more interested in light and brief exchanges of information. I wanted to really flesh out my thoughts in a way that I perceived as being possibly life altering. It was at this point that I realized that it would require me to write more extensively to achieve this objective. With that in mind, I decided to write a series of essays, each essay essentially serving as a chapter. This collection of essays became Thoughts and Observations: Improving Our Lives through Elevated Awareness.
- If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Two things. First, I would tell myself to believe in me. Too often our perceptions of ourselves are too low. We do not realize just how much we have to offer or how impactful our contributions can be. Secondly, I would say pray and just start. Too often we don’t begin a project because we don’t where to start or how to go about it. I have found that if your intentions are pure and you pray and ask for divine direction and assistance, the answers will manifest as you proceed on your journey.
- What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
The best money I have spent as a writer is the money I have spent purchasing the numerous books I have read over the years which have expanded my knowledge base and given me the chance to appreciate various writing styles and the importance of punctuation in making one’s writing more easily understood. The other important purchase has to be the acquisition of a basic handbook on grammar, style and writing.
- What kind of research do you do, and how long do you research before beginning a book?
The amount of research depends on the nature of the book. This present book (Thoughts and Observations) is a nonfiction book that is based on my views. The research in this case would be my three-decade long study of African (Black) history, coupled with my educational background in Psychology and lifetime love of music. Not much additional research was required. However, I did read up on the incidents that I already had knowledge of to take specific notes and be more accurate with my details. With this book, I started writing on certain topics, and if I needed more specifics to strengthen my arguments, I would then pull out books, magazines, CDs or do online research that would give me the details that I desired. Overall, I would say that research for this book took about a month.
- How many hours a day do you write?
When I was writing this book, I wrote about two hours a day. I don’t write often when I am not actively working on a book because I am also an emcee (think Nas, Common, KRS-ONE, etc.), so that consumes a certain amount of time.
- What was your hardest scene to write?
The hardest portion of the book to write was my essay “Purple Reign” which was dedicated to Prince. He had just died a few months prior and I was totally heartbroken by his departure. It was a very emotional experience for me.
- What is your favorite childhood book?
As a child, comic books were the only literature that excited me. It was not until I was a late teen and got exposed to African History that the love of literature was ignited in me.