Blog Tour Week 6: Meet J.L. Whitehead

23 Jan

Coffeehouse Conversations brings you another up and coming author as we tour people in the literary community that you need to know! Up to the plate next is a man who is doing it all: writing books, writing articles, publishing, reviewing books, blogging – you name it, he is doing it! Meet J.L. Whitehead!

CC: Book Title, Author Name, ISBN:  Bruthas, J.L. Whitehead, 9780983801009

CC: Book Synopsis:  What would you do if you were indirectly responsible for the deaths of several women in your neighborhood?  What if a psychopath used your neighborhood as his stalking ground?

This is the story of three brothers: Jai, the successful attorney in one of Philadelphia’s top law firms, Ryan, the IT Professional that is struggling with his sexual identity and Nate, the dealer that has risen to one of the highest ranks in drug distribution ring based in a North Philadelphia neighborhood known as The Block.

A series of murders takes place in The Block, and nothing is being done about it because the women that are being killed are addicted to the product that Nate sells.  “Bruthas” deals with family, loyalty, trust, honesty as well as police corruption and murder.  Much like the winding streets of Philadelphia, “Bruthas” takes you on a roller coaster ride exploring the depths of addiction to the heights of family love and will keep you guessing until its climatic finale.

CC: Why did you write this book/What was the inspiration behind this book

JL: I wrote the book because I wanted to tell a story that delivers a message of unconditional love, acceptance and family loyalty.  I knew that no one would buy a book just for the message so I decided to deliver the message in the form of a crime drama.

CC: What makes this book different from other books?  

JL: This book incorporates three different types of genre in one as a direct result of the diversity of the characters.  You have the oldest brother who is seemingly the rock of the family.  He is all about his woman, son and family but tries to take on and solve the problems of the family…and every man has his limitations.  Jai doesn’t seem to know his.  Ryan, the middle brother has struggled with his gay identity for years.  He is not a DL type of character.  Instead, I tell his story from the vantage point of a man that is simply looking for love on his own terms. Nate is the youngest brother and the point of contention for the entire family.  He has risen to one of the highest ranking roles within a drug distribution chain stationed in North Philadelphia.  Currently, there isn’t anything on the market quite like this story.

CC: What’s the hardest part about being an author? 

JL: Learning the ropes as you go along and taking your share of knocks.  There are opportunistic people in this industry that will take away from your dream just to make a quick dollar.  When you are negotiating these waters all by yourself, you often wish you had a mentor that would guide you through this process.  In the end, there is only you and God.  Many authors don’t like giving advice to other authors.  You can spend a significant amount of time waiting for your “breakthrough”…but you just have to have faith and know that it’s coming.

CC: What do you love most about being an author?

JL: I love to write and I love to read.  In many aspects, I never received the amount of respect that I receive now that I’ve decided to pursue my dream.  When you work for someone else, you are limited in the satisfaction that you receive from a good days work versus what you feel when you are hustling to make things happen for yourself.  I’ve met some phenomenal people along the way…and those are the people that keep me going.

CC: Who is your favorite author/what is your favorite book and why

JL: Richard Wright and Sandra Brown are two of my favorites.  If I had to pick one, I would have to say that Kathryn Stockett who wrote “The Help”.  I loved her book because of the way she shaped and honed her characters.  The book translated well to the theatre screen and I have to admire her for hitting paydirt with her first novel.

CC: What advice would you give aspiring authors? 

JL: Believe in yourself and edit…edit…edit.  Don’t be afraid to take constructive criticism.  As a matter of fact, seek it out.  It will make you a better writer.  Write and read often.  Don’t limit yourself to just your work.  Know what’s going on around you…and for godsake, encourage each other.  Encouraging another author isn’t going to take any money out of your pocket and you aren’t shortchanging your own dream by doing so.

CC: What question or comment are you asked most frequently about your book

JL: Why did you write it.

CC: Do you blog? What’s your blog site address? What do you blog about?   

JL: I do blog.  My blog site address is www.jlwhitehead.blogspot.com .  I decided to blog about my journey into becoming a main staple within the literary industry.  But I found that as I started doing this, the content of the blog changed.  I morphed into becoming the man that I believe God intended me to be.  Being a writer is only part of it.

CC: What events/book plans do you have coming up?   

JL: I’m kicking off my book tour in the late winter/early spring of 2012 starting with a book signing at Crozier Library in Chester, PA.  I’m also completing a novel entitled, “Second Chances” which will tie up the loose ends of the characters listed in “Bruthas”.

CC: How can readers contact you?   

JL: Readers can reach out to me via my website at www.fourbrotherspublications.com.   They can also email my partner at Four Brothers Publications for any additional information or event invitations.  ScottM.Whitefleet@fourbrotherspublications.com.

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