Author, Christian Black – Interview by Author, G. D. Grace

His Birthplace was Jacksonville, Florida; however, self-published author, Christian Black, spent most of his summer years in both Orlando and Miami, Florida.  He is currently based out of Atlanta, Georgia and the title of his sizzling novel is “Pleasures & Sin: The Story of Cedric “CJ” Jones”.  Though he is self-published he is proactively seeking out book deals, but in the meantime his current marketing strategies are the popular social networking avenue, as well as, good old word-of-mouth, book clubs, and he also utilizes the circle of friends that surround him – pretty much, he says, anyway he can get his novel in the hands of literary lovers.

The fuel for his literary passion entered his creative tank with a life-changing encounter with the late, bestselling author, E. Lynn Harris, who was at a local Atlanta book store promoting his book, “Mama Dearest”.  Chris said that he actually got the opportunity to sit down with him, and during that once-in-a-lifetime chat session, E. Lynn Harris graciously reviewed some of his work.  Chris goes on record by stating that this is truly when his literary journey began.  In addition to that inspiring meeting, he says that he was also influenced by everyday life experiences and occurrences – from the struggles he sees to the personal triumphs and victories that he himself has had.  Another tasty tidbit he shares is that some of the more interesting people he comes across usually wind up as characters in his book – this includes past relationships he’s had with certain individuals; this he says, is what makes Christian Black create.

His imaginative spirit sparked a fire to write “Pleasures & Sin: The Story of Cedric “CJ” Jones” based on the once in a lifetime personal mentorship he received from E. Lynn Harris.  He said that Mr. Harris pushed him to write great stories and to be relentless when he wrote – he was advised by the late, groundbreaking, author to do it daily.    His obedience cultivated a personal style he describes as his special niche, but he adds that, with so many talented authors on the scene it is a little tough to have arrogance about his own writing style, so he basically stated that he writes characters that a lot of people can actually relate to.  These characters range from single-mothers who have to handle their business by any means, hustlers and street life, as well as, everyday folk who had to fight life to be successful and relevant in it (This list he says, could go on and on).

These characters all have the same similarities as his targeted audience, but he quickly adds that his first novel catered to, mostly, a gay male audience due to the steamy, explicit content within some of the scenes.  With that in mind, he confidently states that everyone should be able to enjoy the up and coming novel that he is working on entitled, “A Taste of Honey” – it’s geared towards capturing a broader audience.   Capping onto the content of his current and upcoming novel, he says that the message he is trying to convey to his readers is that it doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve gone through, there is always a silver lining where you least expect it to be.  Your job could be slinging burgers, or sliding down a stripper pole, you pretty much have to do what it takes to be able to pay the bills and take care of yourself.  Regardless of the snide, low, and degrading remarks that some family members or friends might make, no one knows your situation except you, so make your current situation a motivation to have better for yourself.

His compassion for others is pretty clear, but what he also wants his readers to know is that he is very passionate about his literary contributions and that there are no ghost writers – everything, he says, is written by him – real, raw, and straightforward.  He spends a great deal of time developing characters and building plots.  In his eyes, Atlanta doesn’t have enough African American authors and he wants to change that by breaking the industry barrier to open the way for other aspiring writers in that geographical region.

The ambitious nature of Christian Black won’t let him be satisfied with just a normal occupation, his dreams and goals are defined, solidly, in his mind.  When asked about how he came up with the title for his current novel, he responded by saying that he loved when people asked him this question.  He elaborated and continued, breaking it all down:  He wanted the title to be catchy and mysterious at the same time to make readers wonder what Pleasures and Sin was all about – they are about the obvious things such as; sex, power, money, greed, control – topics that a lot of people enjoy, that can be considered as being both pleasurable and sinful.

With all of that corrupt plotting in his story writing, Christian was asked if he is a spiritual person – of which he responded to with a positive affirmation.  He said that, even though he doesn’t go to church “the way he should”, his relationship with God is special and that without him he wouldn’t be as blessed as he has been.  The writing process for him is a spiritual experience, and he writes from an emotional place when he creates which, he feels, is what makes his stories so realistic and believable.  As he is creating, he listens to music and sometimes has a glass of wine to enhance his calm.  He says that ideas flood his imagination throughout the day, but that sometimes he is influenced by his dreams at night – he reiterated something he said earlier, that he writes from a bevy of emotions.  Scenes are often times created based off of whatever mood he is in at the time.

In that most authors write in a similar way, Christian was asked who some of his favorite authors are.  His response was tinged with sadness; he said that he doesn’t really have one now that E. Lynn Harris passed away suddenly, however, he stated that he does read any and everything from the Wall Street Journal, to self-improvement books, to Sci-Fi – he said that if it captures his attention, he’ll read it.  Since we already know about the fondness he had for E. Lynn Harris, he added a couple of other names to the short list of authors he likes: Zhane (he loves her step outside the box mentality) and Omar Tyree.  He also said that he is looking forward to reading “Ripped & Ready” by Author, G. D. Grace (Which he has already ready now – LOL).

To conclude the interview, Christian was asked if there were any book signings coming up on the horizon.  He said, most definitely – he is interested in doing some upon the completion of the sequel to “Pleasures & Sin” – it would be a celebration of the first book and an introduction to the new one.  He also wanted readers to know that his current novel can be purchased at his website: www.christianblack.webs.com.

On a final note, his aspirations in the literary world is to write as many books as he possibly can because, writing is actually therapeutic for his spirit, and in doing this he wants to establish his name as a brand, one that his followers and future readers will look forward to seeing on bookshelves nationwide, in bathrooms everywhere, as well as, on nightstands in bedrooms and living rooms abroad.

Well, after that what else more is there to say except, shoot for the stars, Christian Black…

Author G. D. Grace reserves all rights and reproduction without written permission is not permitted.  If found, legal action will be taken against the person(s) or company(s) that have cut or pasted (Plagiarized) any portion of this written document.  Author, G. D. Grace; Published © 2010 September

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About G. D. Grace of California

After the release of his fifth self-published novel, “Ripped & Ready (season 3)” GD ramped up for a new endeavor in radio, and on September 2, 2010 his first #BlogTalkRadio show premiered. His first two guest were two literary colleagues from two different sides of the tracks — one a former prison inmate-hustler, single father, turned author — the other, an accredited teacher and single father first time author. The intense on-air climate of cultural differences on the show, at one point, became thick enough to slice with a butter knife, however, it was a very successful event. Despite the clash over marketing approaches both authors remained professional and the outcome was a highly entertaining and interesting show. The seasons that followed incorporated talent from all walks of creativity, so in addition to the authors, GD’s guest lineup included poets and recovering addicts, motivational speakers and entrepreneurs, filmmakers and professionals in sports training and health, and also established artists from highly successful television shows, as well as, NAACP & Grammy Winners. Many shows gave us an inside glimpse inside the lives of legends from Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Smokey Robinson, Ray Goodman & Brown, Bruce A. Hawes (extraordinary writer for the Sounds of Philadelphia), Gerald Alston of The Manhattans, The Delphonics, Howard Hewett, and Chris Jasper of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recognized Isley Brothers. Legends of literary Stanley Bennett Clay and James Earl Hardy also brought their distinct creative prowess to the show, as did professionals from the Broadway stage. GD’s show eventually caught the attention of World Media and through this friendship many of the legends mentioned above were tapped to be guests on the show. His friend, and often times, mentor, Wayne Barros became an influential part of the legacy that he was creating one show at time. His friendship, love, and direction helped enforce an inner-confidence in GD which allowed him to stretch his producing skills so the show would have an entertaining variety for the live listener and archive listeners. Between the two audience variations the show has been listened to by over 40,000 people. It has been successful beyond GD’s wildest dreams, and as Season 6 approaches, the adrenalin within him increases. He begins assembling the guest list next month in April 2015, and…
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