October 10, 2008

Being a Male Writer: Author Torrance T. Stephens, Ph.D.

The Author

Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, Torrance T. Stephens, Ph.D., attended Morehouse College where he studied, psychology, biology and chemistry. He received a master’s degree in Educational Psychology and Measurement from Atlanta University and a Ph.D. in Counseling from Clark Atlanta University. He has participated in post-doctoral experiences in Nigeria, Senegal and several other African countries working with Africare International. He is the father of two and currently lives in Palmetto, Georgia, just outside Atlanta. His research targets infectious disease and substance abuse risk among incarcerated populations. He is an author and has a novel, three books of short stories and a book of sonnets on the market. He has a book of plays and a book of essays coming out later on this year. He served as a Research Assistant Professor at Emory University in the Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta for more than 13 years. And until recently as Associate Professor and Health Education/Health Promotion Track Coordinator for the MPH program at Morehouse School of Medicine in the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine. Dr. Stephens has more than 40 peer review publications on the subject of inmate and correctional health care as it relates to substance abuse and infectious disease risk reduction in the US and Africa.

At his blog - RAW DAWG BUFFALO, Torrance gives you his unadulterated, hard-hitting views on a wide range of topics. If you like to think and to affect change, you owe yourself a visit.

The Books

Torrance Stephens delves into a range of subjects, from politics and relationships to sports and history, providing valuable insight to the African-American perspective of the world.

Click the cover above to order DIRT BEHIND MY EARS today!

In these powerful stories, Torrance Stephens takes readers into the psychological purview of the African American male psyche. Butter Brown presents eight stories of black men living both in concert and against the grain of the western world that consumes them. A nimble story teller, Stephens paints a lyrical picture that is beautifully suggestive and inventive. This collection contains 16 stories that display the author's evidently adept talents in multiple genres including comedy and erotica. Stephens' writings breathe with emotion that is often acute and cynical. "Stephens paints vivid, realistic portraits for readers to peruse and get lost in with this collection of short stories. The Memphis, Tennessee native's writing is infused with huge heart and deep Southern culture, as evidenced through the use of the vernacular "Man" (pronounced Maine). Stephens offers an unapologetic and supremely intelligent look into the skeletal system of urban dwelling. His prose easily falls into ranking with the book series penned by talented storyteller Iceberg Slim. Well on his way to the historical record as one of the great writers of our time, this self-published author pours his being onto each page. Look for more works from Stephens, scheduled to drop soon, as well much more that has yet to spill forth. Don't be afeared, Maine". --ziah osborne

Click the cover above to order your copy of BUTTER BROWN today!

The Question: Reflect on the stories you have written – the stories waiting to be written. What themes, topics do you find your writerly mind pushing you to write? How do these themes, topics portray themselves through you as a male writer?

Well I normally write about what I live and experience. I have been told I write intellectual fiction. I have been compared to Hemingway, Iceberg Slim and Richard Wright, but my idols are Pablo Neruda, Albert Camus and Voltaire among a few others. It is easy for me; since I write erotica, sci-fi, horror, and psychological and philosophical realism, with my understanding of the sciences, history and the world, they just roll off of my brain.

I don’t manage or contrive what I write nor do I attempt to be like anyone else. I feel that I should write for me first, which I do and not the public. I figure history will judge me and include me in that corpus of the greatest writers that ever lived. As for my blog, well it only takes 4 or 5 minutes for a blog post, and most of what I write about is history, economics, politics, science, sex and women - the things I know best.

I don’t think they have anything to do with me writing as a male other than being one, but I do think they evince me as a person from Memphis, and as a scholar more so than all else. Don’t take but six weeks to write a novel and I can write a short story in 2 or 3 hours. Essays are even easier. Currently at press I have another book of short stories (Freak Type scene) a book of plays (why I am a Gangster and other plays) and another book of Sonnets (Late Night Winds of Club paradise). I have four more scheduled for release next year: another book of essays (Raw Dawg Buffalo - notes of a social prophet), Anonymous Guess (poetry), Holding Hands in the Dark (poetry) and Her Kiss was never mine (novel). So writing is easy if one writes for self first, what they know and live and if they are well read - too many writers today ain't never read Voltaire or maybe haven’t even heard of him.

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