I had the pleasure of being asked to do a print interview with incarcerated author Brandon Coleman. I was intrigued by the way he contacted and that brothers who were locked up even knew who I was and what I did. He explained that he has followed my career for a while and wanted me to do the interview that introduced him and his book to the Literary world.
1. Where are you from?
The safest city in America: Detroit,MI [Laughs]
2. Tell us your latest news.
I’m just trying to stay alive and keep my head up in the struggle, man.
3. When and why did you begin writing?
I got bit by the writing bug back in 2011. I started writing out of boredom.
4. When did you first consider yourself a writer?
After I wrote the first chronicle of this novel.
5. What inspired you to write your first book?
I wanted to put out something different from the usual and I wasn’t satisfied with what was on the market, so I decided to give the game what it has been missing: Diversity and more spice. You don’t find many men, especially Black men, who write erotica. It’s a genre dominated by women, even though statistically the romance-erotica genre is the most popular among women. So being a Black male erotic author, I’m a rare and hot commodity.
6. Do you have a specific writing style?
It’s messy. I usually keep a pencil and paper with me at all times, so when something comes to mind I scribble it down no matter where I am, then I put everything together like a jigsaw puzzle then convert it to a rough draft. I have small pieces of papers scattered everywhere.
OK. The title is somewhat complex. The term “Dandy” in the title is a personality type that comes from my favorite book, Art of Seduction. I wanted the title to be exotic, too, so the “El” in the title is Spanish for the word “the” and the “La” in the title is French for the word “the.” Both “El” and “La” have the same meaning, but in different languages. The main characters personality seesaws from the “Dandy” (or “El Dandy”) to the “Freak” (or “La Freak”). This is also a Deluxe Edition to the first installment.
8. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
To not be afraid of being different because this novel is definitely that. That’s another reason why I wrote it, too.
9. How much of the book is realistic?
All of it. A lot of it was inspired by personal experience.
10. What books have influenced your life the most?
Art of Seduction and Rich Dad, Poor Dad.
11. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I would say Wahida Clark, because she proved that Urban authors can become New York Times Bestsellers, and do it from prison like I’m about to do. She didn’t let her situation stop her from achieving her goal. Shout out to Wahida Clark, too, by the way.
12. What book are you reading now.
Mastery by Robert Greene.
13. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Darcie Chan and John Locke. They both made e-book history and changed the game independently without a traditional publisher.
I am working on an action-espionage book called The Liberator that will be based off of past and present political events and civil unrest; a Kickstarter.com campaign for merchandise and apparel for my brand that will be available on CafePress.com; and forming a non-profit organization for convicted felons.
15. Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members?
Innovation. If I don’t make not one red cent, but change the game, I’m satisfied.
16. Do you see writing as a career?
17. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. I feel I got the message out.
18. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
After someone asked for my help on a story they wrote, I made a few changed to it after I read it. He looked over it and said, “Damn, you should write a book.” And the rest is history.
19. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
My biggest challenge is to stay outside the box creatively as well as create something for as many audiences as possible, saying what others are scared to say while I manage to entertain and educate at the same time, so that people look at my work as a .99 cent investment and not just another book. And for them to be able to say I made a difference in their life. This is bigger than just books; it’s an experience.
20. Who are your favorite authors and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Robert Greene and Robert Kiyosaki. They both changed how I think and made me want to become an entrepreneur.
21. Do you travel much promoting your book?
Unfortunately, no, due to me being incarcerated. But if I was out, the Harlem book fair would be a must hit, then I would hit the Exxxotica Expo and the Electric Daisy carnival for promotion. I believe in untraditional guerilla marketing.
22. Who designed the covers?
For this project, a Japanese artist named Namio Harukawa. He is a living legend in his field of artistry.
23. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Getting the research done and having to write in tight spaces and watch my back at the same time. It’s dangerous in here. [Laughs]
24. Did you learn anything from writing your book, and what was it?
I learned patience and diligence. Ninety percent of writing is rewriting; practice makes perfect.
25. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t be afraid to try something new and don’t be afraid of failure. Just as James Thurber quoted, “Don’t get it right, just get it written.” The hardest part is getting started and I will tell you this: Your first draft will be garbage. Everyone’s first draft is horrible, so be prepared to rewrite everything at least three times. If you write it less than three times, it’s not your best. And don’t be afraid to use improper grammar like I did (see Chronicle 35 inside book). Please, hate rules like I do.
26. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I got a big bonus in it for y’all: Profit big when you “record the next multi-platinum selling single,” since I can’t. Choose from the hip-hop, r&b or country genre. Do it for you, do it for me and all the other people doing time or in the struggle. Please, please, please with a cherry on top, please purchase this book so you can get officially “Dr. N’M’fied” and so we can change the game as we know it and create a movement. Let’s make history.
To purchase Brandan Coleman’s book click on this link ..http://www.amazon.com/Chronicles-El-Dandy-Freak-Deluxe-ebook/dp/B00G4UF0AU/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1392173636&sr=1-5