Interview With Jeffrey Bolden, Author of “Book of Soul”

In the words of the author: “Want to know one thing about me? I sincerely hate writing a biography about myself. It makes me feel as though I’m gloating, but here it is. I was born October 23, 1987 in San Diego, CA, but I am so Southern. Spent most of my life in the Southern States, living everywhere from New Orleans to McComb, MS to Gulfport, MS, but I’ve also had the distinct pleasure in living in places like Japan and Hawaii. But again, I didn’t just live in those places.

If you were to look at my school transcript history and my moving history, you would probably think I was on a world tour my entire life and you wouldn’t be that wrong. My mom was in the Navy so being in the Navy I got to travel and experience a lot. Some good and some bad just like everybody, but along the way, I’ve developed many talents. Not just artistically, but socially as well, which is why I may seem like such an enigma.

Usually writers are known for their reclusive behavior, that’s why I get such strange looks when I tell people I am an author. Then they actually read my stuff and then people see why I’m an author. I’ve been called the voice before, an inspiration as well. That’s when I learned that I have power behind these words, and in the great word of Stan Lee, “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility.” I have a responsibility to every person who was told would never achieve or would never grasp their dreams because of either where they come from or their past. I owe it to them to show the world that even a Bad Boy like myself can do good. See I told you it was going to seem like I’m gloating.

Also I’m in a short story contest for America’s Next Author and it would be awesome if everyone can check out “Control System” at www.ebookmall.com/author/jeffrey-bolden.

Website/Blog: The Pen of the Golden Child

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/jeffreybolden

About the Author

 

What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?

I write in all genres, whatever’s interesting to me in that moment, that’s usually what you can find me writing. A lot of times, it’s the story in which the universe needs me to write.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I first realized that maybe I could be a writer after senior year of high school and my freshman year of college at Lincoln Memorial. I had written down this dream I had on MySpace and told it as a story and all of my friends were like, well all of the girls I know basically fell in love with that story. I even remember this one girl becoming upset because one of the main characters in that you can on-going series, Cozemo, was half black and half if I remember right, Irish or something. One of my MySpace friends was mad at me because she was like, “That’s what’s wrong with black men in America today. They all want a woman to be this type…” and the rant just went on and on and I was sitting back like, “I just wrote down my lady. It is okay.”

Needless to say, people asked for more and I gave it to them. Then I started winning literary awards at my school and really that just pushed me even further into that direction. I can rap too, like I can really rap, but I never won any awards for rapping. I had scholastic but Katrina took those away from me. So the only other awards I’ve ever received were for writing, me seeing those certificates in my hand was what truly made me take this direction. For a boy who seemed to be good at everything, having that one thing you love to do and being exceptional at it. That’s destiny to me.

Who or what was your inspiration for writing?

When I first started writing “Smokin’ Hydrophonic”, even with the first novel I’ve ever written, “Bad News and Good News”, I always had one mission and that was to kind of put other races in the forefront. Have ethnic protagonists. I would read things like Harry Potter and see exclusively white people, white wizards, white villains, and at first I was like why isn’t there no black Superman.

Of course, I know why now, but back then in my naivety, I just wanted to paint black people in a different light. Show the world that black people, Puerto Ricans, or Portuguese, for example, can be superheroes too. Black people are more than drug dealers, and the drug dealers that we do have, if given a fair chance from birth, could’ve been running Fortune 500 businesses. I wanted to showcase the power behind my people and the people that are always neglected. The minority, the subculture that’s what inspires me.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I used to be able to answer this question. But now I’m like, “When am I not writing?”

Where do you hang out online? Website URL, author groups, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc?

I don’t really hang out anywhere. There’s always some underlying business being taken care of if I’m online. FaceBook might well be called “Mommy’s Network and me with no kids,” but I got a business connection on there, so I check it and stay posting, but if I didn’t have any business there, I would not be there. I hate FaceBook really, and I hate how attached I become to it.

Twitter, you can find me @IndigoChild87. I love Twitter because it connects me to exactly who I want to be connected with. And my Tumblr is just me writing you can find that at http://www.penofthegoldenchild.tumblr.com.

What books are currently on your nightstand?

I’m reading nothing but indie authors right now or at least authors I haven’t heard of in the mainstream. Vaempires X  Revolution, Cassidy Jones and The Secret Formula by Elise Stokes, and Autobiography of a Werewolf Hunter by Brian Easton.

Do you remember the first novel you read?

I started reading when I was four, so no, but I can tell you whatever it was, it probably had something to do with another world, another time, another place.

What would you like readers to know about you the individual?

I’m probably the closest to clinically insane that you are ever going to meet. I’ve been screaming anarchy since I was twenty-two and apparently, I’ve been causing anarchy since before that. I am a man of habit and contradiction, a being who fully encompasses what it means to have the greatest demon on one shoulder with the most beautiful angel on the other. The extremes of good and evil reside in my consciousness and if you knew half of the thoughts that I think every minute of every day, you would probably never want to televise my nightmares, but if you were with me every day of my life up until I was one day old, you would understand why I am the way I am.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

I don’t have any. I have a very rapper’s view to older authors. Other authors. I always look at them like get your old ass out the way. It’s like competing with “Reasonable Doubt” except it’s been out for sixty years. I understand a classic is a classic but if you think that best books come from a certain golden age era then you should have ended the craft in that era, you should have just simply said you will need no more books because the books that are available are tailor made and perfected for you. That might be how English teachers and universities and publishers look at the craft, but I’m competitive and I’m coming for that ass, and the title, and I’m not stopping.

Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.

If I’m talking to you and I suddenly go quiet, I am either planning your murder and wondering if I could really get away with it without killing myself or I am saying the most vile and grotesque things about you and your mother inside of my head. The mere fact that I keep that in is not testament to my cowardice but rather testimony of my ever growing patience for the hypocrisy and idiocy of the majority of a lot of human beings. But if I’m quiet from the beginning and am listening to what you are saying, you have my utmost respect.

Where are you from originally?  Family?

I’m from everywhere. I was born in San Diego, CA and stayed there long enough to turn six months old. Then I moved to Japan. Then I moved to Tennessee. Then I moved to Hawaii. Then I moved to New Orleans. Then Rhode Island. Then Mississippi. I’m like a gypsy. A gypsy soul. I get asked this question all the time and teaches me that most can never think outside of the box or can never get past their own experiences before passing judgment on someone else because they’ll say things, but where were you born, I’d say, San Diego. They’d say, “That’s where your from,” like they’ve had some mysterious revelation about me. I always think in my head, “Okay, asshole, so those six months I was there truly defined who I am as a person and the twenty-four and a half years that I spent elsewhere were just filler. Good job, dumbass.”

Is there anything unique about your upbringing that you’d like to share with readers?

No, there’s nothing special, I’m sorry. I got beat a lot but that was probably followed closely after I did something bad. I got scolded a lot, but that was also a direct result of me something bad. Now I have no respect for authority, thick skin, and am pretty immune to pain. Thanks mom and dad.

Your Writing Process

 

Why do you write?

Writing is like smoking weed to me. It’s my addiction. I’ve gone days without eating: Days, but I can never go a full day of not writing without having withdrawals that are worse than hunger pains and the dementia that comes from not sleeping.

What excites you about writing?

I don’t know, maybe the excitement of another plot deviating away from the original plot, maybe that moment when you realize a character that you meant to be a protagonist is not as interesting as a subordinate character. You basically watch this world grow and develop. With your pen, you are closest to God, closest to creation. Authors are in fact little gods, just like painters, sculptors, musicians, artists. Deep down, we all know it. It’s one fact about us that excites us about our craft and it’s the unfolding the feel of something being born from your fingertips. The creation of a baby’s coos at your touch.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Well right now, while looking for a job, I’m transcribing one book to my computer, working on this script for another book I’ve written, and writing this manuscript that’s going to be translated into a graphic novel so I’m quite busy.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Keep writing, keep living, and keep loving. Don’t aim to be like anyone else. Find your own voice.

What would you consider is your favorite part of a book to write? The beginning, the middle or the ending?

Can I say the entire thing? I love the unfolding of others’ story.

Is there any other genre you have considered writing in?

There’s this one project I’ve been thinking about: a non-fiction story about Young Buck’s rise to the only Southern rapper with G-Unit to his fallout with 50 Cent to his trials and tribulations and how he has to start over from scratch after his 18 month bid in Yazoo City.

Do you listen to music or have another form of inspiration when you are writing?

Every book I’ve ever written from “Smokin’ Hydrophonic” and “Legend” to “All We Know Is Falling” to “Echoes of Silence” to “Book of Soul” is named after either a song or an album that I was listening to at that time. With “Book of Soul”, the latest e-book I had published, I was really inspired by the honesty and the pain and the love that went into Ab-Soul’s song, ‘Book Of Soul’ about his love for Alori Joh and I knew that with my “Book Of Soul,” there was an opportunity to be truly honest with those who chose to read it.

I spoke on my own pains, my own trials, my own loss and my own love in tribute to that song and with the last page of prose, “W Chromosome”, I truly revealed myself to be exactly what I want the world to see me as. A writer. A writer who loves. A writer who analyzes the world around him. A writer who has been through unspeakable pain and loss but a writer who was never not a writer. I wanted to expose my soul in “Book Of Soul,” and honestly Ab-Soul’s song was the reason I wanted to reveal my smiles and my cries to the world.

Most people envision an author’s life as being really glamorous. What’s the most unglamorous thing that you’ve done in the past week?

What’s the most unglamorous thing every human being does in the world? I’ll give you a hint. It involves the bathroom (laughs) but even in the bathroom, I’m always reading so I guess even when I’m using the bathroom I’m learning. Aspiring artists should utilize every room in the house to either write or read or further perfect your craft.

How long does it take you to finish a book from start to submission?

Honestly, my first book, “Bad News and Good News,” and “Book of Soul” took me the longest both taking three years but every other book takes anywhere from four to six months, the unusually longer ones taking up to nine or ten months, but that’s only because I’m usually writing everywhere I go.

Do you prefer writing series books over non series or does it matter?

It depends on the album that inspires the book. With “Book of Soul” that’ll be a one of one. But with my Children of the Night series, because “All We Know Is Falling” was inspired by Paramore’s All We Know Is Falling, I made that a series of three, the sequels, “Riot” and “Brand New Eyes, so it completely depends on the inspiration. With “Echoes of Silence,” I am still wondering if I should make that in to a series or end it on the epic note in which it stopped. Who knows?

What would you like readers to know about you the writer?

I am extremely honest. You’ll find me in every book I write and I’m always representing what I’m going through at any given moment. Like in “Echoes of Silence,” the character that is based on me is Rocky, the demonic hitman with a heart of gold. He’s supposed to represent that even the most heinous person can have inner light within them. At the time of writing this book, I felt like everyone looked at me as though I were a monster and my writing reflects that. All of the characters in this book and every other book I write represent me and represent life as I see it. I’m bold, I’m honest, and I write it as I saw it.

 

What is the best and worst writing advice you have ever received?

The best writing advice I have ever had and would pass along to my young writers is find your own voice and write for yourself. My old English teacher, Ms. Lamont, told me in an e-mail, that greatness is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. How much are you willing to sweat for your dream?

Do you have a system for writing?

Write/Smoke/Promote/Smoke/Write/Smoke so on, so on.

Have you ever had one of those profound “AH-HA!” moments while you were writing?  Would you be willing to share it?

I have actually. You’ll find it in “Book of Soul” and it happens in real time. It’s a short story called ‘Heaven’ where I actually die from shock and visit Heaven. I’ve known at least one person to die every year since 2003, either violently or unexpectedly, and I used to hold on to that person’s death, mourn them long after their passing, curse the Heavens above me wondering why is everyone always abandoning me, leaving me on this earth. When I was writing this, I realized that with every death I harbored, I was in turn killing myself, so when I reached Heaven, I found out from my older brother that I was actually supposed to go to hell because I incidentally killed myself by holding on to the grief. In fact, after writing this, I realized that I had to let all the death all of the killing all of the agony go…. That was when I realized I no longer wrote for myself.

What was the most uplifting moment you’ve experienced during your writing career?

I changed someone’s life once. I can’t say where. I can’t say who. But I changed her life just by writing. My friend used to be in a gang, a gang she had been banging with since she was just barely a teenager. After me and her started hanging out, smoking weed, she saw me walking around with a copy of “Smokin’ Hydrophonic,” writing “Legend” in my little phone, and everywhere we went, and we went to some dangerous places, she saw with her own eyes me be different from everybody else, not gangbanging, not killing, but writing, and she never told me that she wrote, but she also never knew that you could actually put together a book that she could relate to.

Before she moved away, her mother actually stopped me and told me she was really glad I met her daughter because she started writing again and began taking it seriously. That was around the same time my friend got out of the gang she was in, and the first time I realized that I could positively affect with my writing. I’ve committed a lot of atrocities in my life, done a lot of bad and even more things I’m not proud of, and the way I see it, to atone for my sins, I need to lead more people in the right path rather than lead them astray and the best way for me to do that is with my writing.

Your Books

Your book is about to be sent into the reader world, what is one word that describes how you feel?

Nervous.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

So far, eight going on nine. Asking which one is my favorite however is like asking me to participate in a game of unwanted nepotism (laughs).

When a new book comes out, are you nervous about how readers will react to it?

I’m nervous for the first maybe five minutes. I understand fans. They are fickle creatures like all of man. What I’ve learned about writing is that you have to write for yourself because trying to write according to the trends of the public will only lead you to falling behind. Following is always worse than leading.

Of all the books you have written, which would you consider your easiest to write? The hardest to write? The most fun to write?

The easiest thing I’ve written was this little novella called “Legend” and it was easy because the characters don’t develop that much. Time doesn’t move in a way that it usually does in my other works. It moved quicker like the drugs they were selling. I haven’t released it but thinking back, nostalgia is kind of taking over and I’m really thinking about putting it out there. Who knows? The hardest? That would be “Book Of Soul,” but it’s hard for anybody to truly bare their soul the way I did. The most fun, well that’s easy. “Bad News, Good News,” but writing a superhero story where character development is kind of obvious compared to later novels is always going to be more fun. Ain’t nothing like your first time.

 

Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?

I never had a deadline, that sounds like it could be fun.

 

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

Just write.

 

If your book is available in print, how does it feel to hold a book that has your name on the cover? 

When I first held “Smokin’ Hydrophonic in my hands, it was like holding a newborn baby in your hands. There’s nothing quite like it.

 

Your Characters

 

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

It all depends. My characters start in the imagination, but if I end up knowing one of them personally then I change it up to make the character in my imagination meld into the characters of my reality. It makes them that much more real.

Is it hard coming up with names for your characters?

Nope. Their names often fit them. I always feel like a father giving my son or daughter a name to fit their destiny.

Have any of your characters ever haunted your dreams or woken you up during the night demanding attention?

Only Brody, the main character in All We Know Is Falling. With his one ethereal wing he has swooped down from a violet and violent purple sky surrounded by this blue aura with his stark blue eyes contrasting with his dark skin and long dreadlocks, he served as an angel, telling me to never give up. That every struggle I go through in life, I will overcome because I am him and he is me.

 

Which of your stories would make a great movie?  Who’d play the lead roles?

The entirety of the Children of the Night series would make a great movie. So would Echoes of Silence. But none of the characters in either book would be famous. I would play Brody, from All We Know Is Falling, and Rocky, from Echoes Of Silence, and the rest would be played by good friends because…well, that’s where my characters stemmed from.

Do you make a conscious decision to write a certain type of character with a certain occupation, or do the characters decide for themselves what they want to be?

The characters decide everything from what kind of music they listen to, the clothes on their back, their dreams, their aspirations, and exactly what job is right for them. For example, in All We Know Is Falling, Chevy, Brody’s best friend is a barber. It’s his niche and doesn’t stray too far away from him being an artist and having a steady hand. Indigo, from Echoes of Silence, works at a record store, even though it is only mentioned briefly and she is never actually seen there, it’s the perfect job for her because she loves music and since Violet is her love interest and also a dancer so it’s perfect.

What in your opinion makes good chemistry between your leading characters?

You have to know the characters to understand their relationships. I’ll explain using Brody. Brody. Brody is the epitome of contradiction if there ever was one. He talks about changing the world with his music, but has the supernatural and astounding power in him to change the world singlehandedly, so why doesn’t he? One reason for that would be the man who is like Brody’s older brother, Chevy. After Brody’s entire family was killed due to the affliction that plagues Brody, Chevy and his mother not only took Brody in, but Brody’s best friend, Kayla, and her younger sister Kylie, or known in All We Know Is Falling as Deshae. Even though Chevy knew that Brody had to kill his twin sister, Bailey who so happens to be the father of Chevy’s unborn child, Chevy knew that Brody had no choice. So within that hatred came a great pity for the young Brody. A pity that made Chevy take Brody under his wing and mold him into a gangster. The first thing that was taught to Brody by Chevy was the phrase, “Ain’t none of my business,” which follows throughout Brody’s character arc. That in my opinion is what makes a good relationship. With any relationship, the characters must gain something from the characters they interact with the most. Chevy grows out of this way of thinking because Brody begins to see that he can’t hide from his destiny.

Is there a character from one of your books that resonates deeply with you?

Every character I create has a special place in my heart because every character I create is special. I can tell you everything about every character that I’ve ever written about because I know every single character I’ve ever written about. May not remember the setting, may not even remember all of their missions but the characters themselves, they’re special to me in ways that cannot ever be described.

Random Questions

 

Name one website you visit every single day.

www.twitter.com/LITO615 I need that Funerals and Court Dates in my life along with that new Stepbrothers 2. Starlito and Don Trip go hard separate as proven with Help Is On The Way but together well, you seen what happens when Goku and Vegeta fight together. History is being made.

 Latest Release:

“Book Of Soul” By Jeffrey Bolden

“Feel free to dive into the mind of the struggling artist… but beware and know that you enter such darkness at your own risk, and know it is always darkest before the dawn.”

“Ever wonder what it was like inside of the mind of the disenfranchised? Those that truly know of no peace within the borders of the United States? Those that battle every day against the demons that plague inside of them? Well here is your chance to get to know what truly lies inside of the imagination of the depraved and the honest. Jeffrey Bolden, with his earnest poetry and imaginative short stories, has graphically gifted us with a glimpse of a truly dark mind inside of his new book, Book Of Soul.

With poetry ranging from topics such as suicide and belonging or lack thereof, to short stories about what it would be like to work as Satan’s own hit man or maybe what it would be like to visit Heaven on an unexpected trip. This book takes you on a trip through hell and back only to find Heaven as this young man fins retribution in all of the ills he has experienced and the joy he has come to know as this dark mind finds it’s place in the world. Book Of Soul, ladies and gentleman. Guarantee there is nothing on the market quite like this. Quite this honest.”

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2 Comments

Filed under Announcements, Books, Interviews, Poetry, Short Story, Writers and Writing

2 responses to “Interview With Jeffrey Bolden, Author of “Book of Soul”

  1. Pingback: Author Interviews & More on Flying With Red Haircrow | Songs of the Universal Vagabond

  2. Pingback: Author Interviews & More on Flying With Red Haircrow | Indie Publisher-Flying With Red Haircrow

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