Thursday, November 24, 2011
Blacktop Hustlaz By
JAMES SKIER aka “Skee” has a raw perception of women: they’re here to take care of him. And his 18-year-old girlfriend, Ariana Houston, does just that. Her parents accepted him and her father even offers him a job … but he has a better idea … he wants to sell dope.
Unbeknownst to Ariana, he finds a weed plug in the only person he knows will front him the product, an aged and respected gangster from his old neighborhood. Skee sells out fast and it seems that he’s found his niche. Even when he gets robbed at gunpoint, he switches to selling powder cocaine and hustles harder. He moves out his mother’s house and, with pride, treats his girl to a shopping spree—but under the guise that he has a real job. That very night, though, after a heated argument, he tells her he sells drugs and she storms out.
Does he care? No. He has bigger problems that threaten to tear down his newfound success.
ARIANA HOUSTON devoted herself to being the perfect girlfriend to Skee despite the rumors she heard that he’s a cheater. But when she finds out he sells drugs, she leaves him. Her best friend, Brandy, is happy for her new singleness and encourages her to go out with Ronnell “Scrill” Jackson, a well-paid brotha that goes to their college. Soon after she sleeps with him, she feels a painful guilt, as if she cheated on Skee. That guilt turns to horror when she finds out that Scrill sells drugs too … and that someone very close to her is his boss. And they’re planning to kill Skee!
Will she be able to warn her ex-boyfriend in time?
Should she …?
Interview with the Author:
Who are the main characters in Blacktop Hustlaz?
Blacktop Hustlaz is about James "Skee" Skier and Ariana Houston, a once inseparable young couple that fall apart over drug trafficking. Everyone knows they're supposed to be together, but Ariana can't see herself with someone that sells cocaine for a living. It turns out that fate has a plan to bring them back together ... but their reunion comes in a way that horrifies both of them.
What inspired you to write this book?
Authors before me inspired me to write Blacktop Hustlaz, namely Kwan, Shannon Holmes and Teri Woods, the urban lit forerunners. I wanted to write about my experiences in the streets as well, mixed in with stories I've heard about other gangsters around my city and stir it all up until I've got a story where every scene will be memorable. My second inspiration was to give my fellow inmates something to read until somebody ordered another street book, which tooks months. Then everyone started anticipating my novels. Now that I'm free, I'm making Blacktop Hustlaz available to the public.
What sets your book apart from other books in the same genre?
I didn't want to write "another drug story," so I shied away from going deep into the aspects of the dope game. I focused on character development, Skee and Ariana's relationship, and honed in on Charles Blake, an obnoxious and comedic friend of Skee's who shouldn't have any business whatsoever fooling with narcotics.
The e-book edition of your novel is different from the rest, also. How?
I added links inside the e-book that allow the reader to listen to the same music as the characters. Sometimes I would read a book, say a Stephen King novel, and he would mention songs that he obviously thought his readers were familiar with, but I had no idea what he was referring to and sometimes I don’t feel like looking up the song. So in Blacktop Hustlaz, all you have to do is click on the song as it is mentioned in the novel and you’ll hear it play. Felony Books will have that feature in all its e-books.
As an author, what is your writing process?
I need a whole lot of silence when I write, unless I've reached a love scene, which requires me to have some R&B going in my media player to create crazy-sexy-cool moments between characters. I try to get at least two pages a day in. Blacktop Hustlaz took me a year and half to write.
What made you start Felony Books, and what does “Reading By Any Means” actually mean?
I started my own publishing company because I have a lot of ground-breaking book ideas and I don’t want to have to wait to get them “approved.” And I used to hate reading street books that were riddled with errors, which, in the end, is dependent on the publisher or the editor he hired. Even more than that, I hated the "outsiders," the critics that represent other book genres, downplaying the genre that I came to love. I wanted to help urban lit grow, with quality books, fresh stories and new ideas. I studied editing, transitioning from paragraph to paragraph, plots, themes, point of view (one character for every chapter is how I do it), and I also studied the print manufacturing part of publishing, simple things like getting rid of orphans and widows in the typesetting phase. I'm not a fly-by-night author. I love writing and take it seriously, so I study it. The slogan “Reading By Any Means” came while I was incarcerated. Some institutions I was at banned street books, and we had to think of ingenious ways of getting those books inside, such as through legal mail or sending in one page at a time through family letters. We read by any means. And even back in the 1800's when reading was illegal, we read under candlelight when no one was looking and got the master's daughter to teach us words we didn't know. We read by any means. Now we’re publishing our own books, breaking into digital media and doing big numbers, and will continue to do so in whatever new venue becomes available. That's what Felony Books represents!
Can you give us a sneak peek into what’s next for Felony Books?
I'll be releasing STALKER.COM: A NOVEL in the summer of 2012, a novel that's about a woman obsessed with Facebook ... and a man that stalks her profile and eventually her life outside the computer. TRE POUND 2: TROUBLESOME is finished, but the release date for that is TBA.
Purchase e-book here: http://amzn.com/B005X21X4W
E-mail address: email@example.com
Stacy Skier was in the middle of washing her hair when she thought she heard a knock at the door. She lifted her head out the kitchen sink and cut the faucet off. Her hair was dripping wet so she grabbed the towel off the dishwasher handle and rubbed her short do wildly.
She paused to listen for a knock, but heard the phone ring instead.
Every time she settled down to get something done there was always a distraction, she thought. Her day off was never really a day off. If it wasn't the ringing telephone, it was Skee asking to use her car, borrow money, or him playing his music too loud. She was more than happy when her son got his own car. And when he told her he needed her to cosign for an apartment, she was more than willing.
As she went to pick up the phone in the living room she was sure about the knock on the door this time. But the knock was more like a bang. She let the phone ring to find out who was banging at her door. When she opened it she saw a young man standing in front of her that looked to be in his early twenties. He had a Black and Mild cigar in his mouth. He inhaled, then whistled out a stream of smoke in her face. She waved the smoke off, assuming it wasn't deliberate.
"Is there something I can help you with?" she asked with disdain.
"Yes, ma'am. I'm looking for Skee."
"Skee doesn't live here. And I would appreciate it if you wouldn’t bang on my door like you did."
"I apologize, ma'am. I was told he lived here. Do you know where we can find him?"
Stacy wondered why he said "we" when he was the only one standing here. "No, I don't. Have a nice day," she said, closing the door. But he wedged his foot in the way.
"You sure you don't know where he is, ma'am?"
"I told you no! Now move your damned foot!" Stacy peered behind the rude cigar smoker and saw three more young men walking up the small stairway. One of them had a shotgun! She remembered her .380 pistol under her mattress and turned to run for it, only for her wrist to be grabbed.