Growing up, I was a ghetto genius. IQ 7 points above genius level, and for the most part, almost all of my friends were ghetto geniuses...of the hip hop generation...aspiring to be something/someone HUGE at some point in time.
As a writer I am a chameleon who disappears into the voices of my savvy, sassy, intellectuals from the projects and beyond (young and old), who are striving despite their love challenges and/or repressed circumstances.
For me, voice is everything, and that's why my brothas sound like REAL brothas; my baby mama sounds like a baby mama; her gold digging sister holds no punches, and readers can get a real sense of their mother's frustration.
As the writer, I don't reach into SUR-REALITY. I concentrate on the REAL and paint my characters as honestly as I possibly can, hoping that my readers can close their eyes and SEE and SMELL these people. And then I weave my people into world that is unfamiliar and filled with diversity (spiritual, economic, cultural) that they may not necessarily trust...showing WHO these characters transform into, and WHY and HOW.
Oh yeah, and I also sneak in lyrics from my favorite songs from the 80's & 90's. (This blog entry was inspired by a question from author Treasure Blue, posed to writers in a Facebook group.)