Today we will be talking to Author Jasheem Wilson lives in the Bay Area with my family. He has been a writer all his life, writing his first novel when he was seventeen years old. She Was A Friend of Mine is his first published novel.
Kimmie: Hello, Jasheem. Tell us about your new book
She Was A Friend of Mine?
Jasheem: She Was A Friend of Mine is not the first book I wrote, however, it is the first urban book I’ve written. It’s kind of strange the way the book came about seeing as I was not a big fan or urban literature nor do I know anything about the street life. Before I wrote the book my knowledge of drugs extended only as far as the names of the drugs. I was a sheltered child when I was growing up, just like Shi. So when I decided to write this book and make it an urban book I had no idea where this book was going to go. I started with the prologue and started the first chapter like fifty times before I decided to just write and have fun with it. And I did, I wrote the book with no outline and when I thought of something and started the book in one direction I made the decision to switch it up. I surprised myself in writing and I had no idea exactly what was going to happen or how it was going to end until the end of the book. I didn’t want the book to be predictable and that’s why when I started to get comfortable and take the story in one direction, I always threw something new in there that I didn’t expect or know if I could make fit. I had fun writing the book, the most fun I’ve ever had writing.
Kimmie: I love to write, but find I am drawn to urban fiction and erotica. What gives you the innovation to write a particular genre?
Jasheem: My current mind set is to challenge myself as a writer. I do not want to be trapped in one genre no matter how much I like it. I’ve set a goal for myself to write one of every genre because it poses a challenge for me and keeps me on my toes.
Kimmie: I know others, including myself, who base their characters on people they know. Has your characters or writing been inspired by friends/ family?
Jasheem: Yes, all of them in all of my books. I’ve met some pretty interesting people in my life. And, um, yeah…LOL.
Kimmie: Did you experience writers block? If so, what did you do to get rid of it?
Jasheem: No, this book flowed. Not once did I question what I was going to do because I just did it. I’ve only experience writers block when it’s come to poetry. As far as writing a book, I wouldn’t say it was writers block rather than I was momentarily stuck on wording.
Kimmie: What are you working on now?
Jasheem: A few things. First, I am working with my multimedia technician Jerry Jenkins on the book cover for She Was A Friend of Mine. Second, I am typing up the second book She Was A Friend of Mine: Shiesty No More. Lastly, I am working on my first suspense novels. He Loves Me and He Loves Me Not.
Kimmie: What is your favorite scene in your book?
Jasheem: I guess my favorite scene would be Shi’s wedding.
Kimmie: Had you previously written anything?
Jasheem: Yes, I’ve written several novels, short stories and poetry. I have a collection called Notes By: A Broken Heart that I want published.
Kimmie: Were there any scenes that were cut in the editing process you wish had made it into the book?
Jasheem: Actually, it has not been fully edited yet. It is in the second addition which I have added more into in anticipation for a second book. This is my first published book so it is my first time going through this process. I do understand what an editor does and the process somewhat but I don’t think anything will be cut or taken out.
Kimmie: Can you give us one fun fact we might not know about She Was A Friend of Mine? Something about the story itself or the writing process?
Jasheem: The story is based out of the Bay Area, East Palo Alto and its surrounding areas. The book itself started as a title, and then I just let the words flow and the story run away with me. The reason I asked for feedback and all is because I had so much fun and that I want to be able to get it right and have the final product done and enjoyable for everyone to read.
Kimmie: How did you get into writing? Did you always want to become a writer?
Jasheem: I’ve always written. I wrote my first book when I was ten I believe. Since, I’ve just always wrote in order to calm me down and help me cope and deal with life and it’s stressors. It was only when I was seven teen and I’d written my first full length novel, a fantasy book that I realized I could write. The main reason I began writing was because I hated reading, and when I did read I didn’t like a lot of the endings or the way the story went and so…it begun. I decided that I’d write, write so that I could tell the story how I wanted to end it.
Kimmie: If you were stranded on a desert island, what are three material things you couldn’t be without?
Jasheem: 1st- My cellphone,2nd- A pencil and 3rd- Paper
Kimmie: What are you reading now?
Jasheem: Right now I am reading Still Wifey Material by KiKi Swinson
Kimmie: Which author has inspired you most and why?
Jasheem: Well, there are several that I like and that are cool I guess but as far as inspire me…I couldn’t say. I don’t really take from many or try and copy many. However, I do give them their props. My inspiration comes from my life and trying to better it. However, my favorite author is Edgar Allen Poe and when it comes to poetry and in a lot of my other writing I try to mimic him in certain ways because I believe he was a genius. He was most famous for say that there is nothing more sad than the death of a beautiful woman told by a lovers heart. I believe that and I love the way he put it and his poetry and short stories are the way they make you think and have so many layers.
Kimmie: What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Jasheem: Write, write, write. No matter what, it’s good. Challenger yourself and don’t put yourself down, don’t second guess yourself. Just write. Do what you love and if you get discouraged…write some more. I mean it’s not like someone not like your work is going to stop you from picking up a pen. If you’re a real author that is.
Kimmie: To finish off, do you have a quote or poem that has stuck with you over the years and what is the story behind it?
Jasheem: Yes, I do.
A bird that stalks down his narrow cage, can seldom see through his bars of rage.
There are many quotes I like but that one has stuck with me the longest and has touched me so much that I’m planning on getting it tattooed on me. I love Maya Angelou and that one sentence is the most powerful part of her poem.
Kimmie: Thank you for sharing some insight into your book She Was A Friend Of Mines. Good luck on all you endeavors.
Jasheem: Thank you for having me.