What else can I say about this brilliant author? Besides the fact, that he’s absolutely gifted and a gem of a person. Someone I’m grateful to know. Someone who is real, deep, spiritual, and intellectual. Someone who God has blessed with so much talent and creativity, that he touches people’s lives. It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you, Al-Saadiq Banks.
1) Did you always know you were a writer?
No, I never knew I was a writer. Never even considered it. Never dreamed of being one or even wanted to be one. Never crossed my mind.
2) What type of books do you like to read?
I like to read self-help books, spiritually motivated books, and books on conspiracy theory.
3) Do you have some favorite authors or books?
No, I don’t have a favorite author. I really just freestyle when it comes to my reading selection. I love the Celestine Prophecy, The Secret, and all of Robert Greene’s books. I have a very militant mindset, so I enjoy all of the books on the Art of War.
4) When did you first decide to write a book?
I considered writing for the first time in 2002.
5) Do you use an outline?
I don’t use an outline until I’m trying to close the story out. I want to be sure that I didn’t forget any of the key points that I want to include. The hardest part for me is closing out. I can go on and on and on. LOL.
6) What is your writing process? Do you have a writing ritual or routine?
No ritual, I just write whenever I can and anywhere I can get it in.
7) What does your typical day look like?
I spend most of my day on the computer researching the business side of publishing and I slide some writing time in between that. I used to write all day 16-17 hours a day, but once I learned the business side of it, I write less. You can write all the books in the world, but if you don’t understand the business, the books will never reach the masses. You must understand the business.
8) Out of all the books you have written, which was your favorite to write?
Basically all my books are special to me because they all were written during different time periods in my life and each one means and represents something different to me. I do have a three top ones though, Caught ’em Slippin’, Block Party 3 and Strapped, in that order.
9) How do you come up with the ideas for your books? Is it based on your life?
They are not necessarily based on my life, but things I have seen in my life.
10) How long does it take for you to write a book?
I never put a time limit on a book. I just let it flow. My earlier books only took a month and a half, but lately, it’s nine months at least.
11) What do you want your readers to take from your books?
I want my readers to take a look into the lives of some of the most vicious individuals in the world and through my books, I want them to understand what motivates certain individuals. A lot of us are so quick to judge, but never having been in the shoes of the people that we judge. Most of the time, it’s all about cause and effect and we can never say what we will or won’t do in life if we have never been forced to make certain decisions. To see my readers cheer for the bad guy makes me realize they must have felt his pain in life.
12) What is your dream now?
I don’t really dream, I just make things happen. My next move is film.
13) Thinking back on your life, what would you have done differently?
For the most part, nothing at all. Everything I have been through in life made me who I am and also gave me the information to write over a dozen books so far.
14) When did you decide to start True 2 Life Productions and why?
After the first book was written. There was no other way. I couldn’t even imagine signing my book over to another publisher and wait for a royalty. I’m wired differently than most.
15) What brings you the most satisfaction in life?
It’s the little things that mean the most to me. Big things are nice, but I don’t need big things. I’m quite easy to please.
16) You just released your new book Outlaw Chick, how did the idea to write this story come about?
Riding in my truck one day, and listening to the words of Jay-Z and Beyonce’s song, and the whole book presented itself in my mind.
17) How did you perfect your craft as a writer?
I wouldn’t say it’s perfected, but I will say I work on it every day. I write something every day and I read every day. I also study the dictionary. Plus before books, as a child, I was an art major, so I’m quite visual. That helps me tremendously because it helps me to paint the perfect picture.
18) What do you believe constitutes good writing?
Good writing to me, is when the reader feels like they’re watching a movie. They finish reading the book and feel like they actually know the characters. It’s all about character development. If a reader reads 300 pages of your book and doesn’t remember your character’s names, the character development was weak and you haven’t done your job as a writer.
19) Are you currently working on any new projects?
I just finished up the fifth part to my Block Party series due to release in the Fall of this year.
20) Lastly, what advice would you give someone coming up in this game?
The advice that I would give a writer is read just as much as you write. You will thank me later! LOL.
Thank you so much for a fantastic interview, Al-Saadiq Banks.
Al- Saadiq Banks made his entrance into the literary world in 2002. Al-Saadiq Banks and his brother Naim Banks formed a publishing house under the imprint of True 2 Life Publications, using their first title No Exit as a launching pad to knock the doors of the genre off the hinges, selling approximately 90,000 books the first year.
Al-Saadiq Banks is widely respected by his readership base and colleagues in the business for penning True 2 Life, hard core, raw and uncut, crime novels, which all take place in the city of Newark, New Jersey throughout a variety of eras, dating back from the 80’s and 90’s to the current day. He’s appreciated for his story-telling ability and the in-depth development of his characters which leaves readers feeling as if these are real life characters that they’ve known all of their lives. Al-Saadiq Banks and True 2 Life Publications has just recently taken a leap into the world of comics, wherein they just adapted Block Party into a comic book. Their mission is to transform all of their titles into comic books and graphic novels. The future of Al-Saadiq Banks and True 2 Life Publications will be the conversion of the graphic novels into animated comic series and the independent film “Block Party”. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.