February 12, 2009

Street / Urban Fic: Essence bestselling author K'wan

The Author

In 2002, K’wan hit the scene with his debut novel Gangsta, under Triple Crown Publications. What started as a therapeutic release went on to become a part of urban-lit history and an Essence bestseller, as well as drawing rave reviews overseas.

After penning his second novel, Road Dawgz, K’wan drew the attention of St. Martin’s press. The literary powerhouse quickly signed K’wan to a multi-book deal, the first of which being Street Dreams. K’wan’s titles also include Hoodlum (2005), Eve (2006), Hood Rat (2006),Flexin & Sexin: Sexy Street Tales Vol. 1 (2007), Blow: A G-unit novella (2007), Still Hood (2007) and Gutter (2008).

Through his work, K’wan has helped to empower thousands of young people not only to discover the wonderment of the written word, but to seek positive routes in reaching their goals.

Since his insertion into the publishing world, K’wan has been featured in Vibe Magazine, Pages, King, Felon, Big News, The New York Press and Time Magazine, to name a few. He was also interviewed by MTV news for a feature on Hip-Hop fiction, and a guest on Power 105’s morning show. In addition to being an accomplished author, K’wan is also the C.E.O of Black Dawn, Inc., a small press set up to help first-time authors accomplish their dreams of becoming published.

K’wan currently resides in New Jersey where he is working on his next novel. Please visit his website.

The Book

It’s been months since Lou-loc was brutally murdered on his way to freedom. The death is old, but the pain is still fresh. Gutter finds himself on a path to self destruction, vowing to eradicate the entire Blood faction in New York City in the name of his fallen comrade. Sharell urges him to abandon the suicide mission, but his oath won’t allow it. Not even for the child they were expecting. But as Gutter slips further into madness, a shocking revelation brings Satin out.

In the middle of all this is a man named Major Blood. He has been flown in from Cali with two very simple instructions. Shut down Harlem Crip, and execute El Diablo’s murderer.

GUTTER will reunite readers with some of their favorite characters from GANGSTA as well as several new ones. Walk with me once again, as I take you back into the mouth of madness.

Click the cover above to order GUTTER today!

On Street//Urban Fic

What does urban/street fiction mean to you? Is there a distinction between urban and street?
Urban fiction is the label placed on the genre by the media, not by the writers or the readers. The phrase used to bother me because I think there are too many layers to some of our stories and talents to box us into one category. I think I'm okay with it now though. After all, Urban really just means 'City' and that's where most of the stories take place in the inner cities.

Of all the genres present, what drew you to write urban/street fiction?
Nothing really drew me to it, I just sat down and told my story. The things I was writing about were happening right outside my window.

What has been - if any - some of the positive and negative comments you have received from readers?
I get a lot of different feedback. Some people understand what I'm talking about and some don't. For the most part I always try to include a moral lesson in my stories so that you take something away from it besides the entertainment part.

In the branch of Black literature, what do you think urban/street fiction brings to the table?
I think it brings something different and unique in its own way to the table. Some people shy away from reading because they don't have anything that they can relate to, urban fiction has changed that for a lot of people. I love the spike in the readership because of this genre. On the flip side, I want urban fiction to bring a spring board for people to open themselves up to all kinds of novels.


Poetic Genesis said...

Great interview! K'wan's a great author.

Shonell Bacon said...

Hey there, Genesis - thanks for stopping by, girl, *hugs*

I'm glad K'wan could stop by and give up some of his time, :-)

Tiffany Tunstall said...

K'wan is a highly intelligent author and poet. He inspired me to write again. I have never been able to put any of his books down once i start them. He is now my favorite author, hands down!