He is the author of the novel, The Donor: When Conception Meets Deception, Sweet Mojo: One Man’s Descent Through Danger & Delight and the stage play “Black Mirrors.” He is also an accomplished performance poet with three spoken word albums and has performed for over 100,000 people throughout the US, the UK and Canada. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in English and Sociology and resides in New Jersey.
DL: What’s the inspiration for writing your book?BD: I was interested in creating a Marvel Cinematic type universe with a touch of supernatural mystery, grounded in the everyday and featuring characters of color. I knew I wanted to create a series that readers could follow through several books.
DL: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?BD: I was inspired by Shakespeare as far as command of language and cleverness. But there was no particular author or book that influenced me much until Walter Mosley’s Devil in a Blue Dress.
DL: How long did it take to write your book?BD: My first novel, The Donor, took 2 1/2 years and my second, Sweet Mojo, took about half that time.
DL: Do you write with an outline, or just let it flow organically?BD: My first novel was organic which is why it took so long. For my second novel I used an outline and that allowed me to be more efficient and stay on task.
DL: Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, is there a theme song for this book?BD: I don’t usually listen to music when I write. I tend to prefer nature…or the natural sounds of the environment I am in—even a city. I don’t write well in coffee shops although I can edit what I’ve already written in those places. It’s funny you mention “Is there a theme song for the book?” because each chapter in Sweet Mojo is actually the title of a song.
DL: What are the keys to success in marketing your book(s)?BD: I’m still figuring that out! But the most important key to success is to write the damn book. So many people talk about book clubs and fairs and Internet marketing and TV, radio for their books and haven’t even written it yet. So that’s number one. After that I’d say book clubs, social media posts (if you have a decent sized network which I do) and Amazon ads. I think it also helps that I was able to capitalize on my brand as a spoken word poet. That helped with initial sales.
DL: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?BD: #1 Write! #2 Write some more! #3 Be your own biggest cheerleader. #4 Believe in yourself. #5 Develop a thick skin. Not everyone is going to like your work, rightly or wrongly. Some people are just flat out miserable and mean but others actually have constructive criticism. Ignore the meanies but take criticism. One of the worst things you can do is to not be open to feedback. That’s how I improved my first novel so much. After I made some revisions based on constructive criticism—including an overhaul of the cover—my novel hit the Amazon bestsellers list in Contemporary Urban Fiction.
DL: How about sharing an excerpt from The Donor?BD: Here you go.
“Shauntelle? What are you doing here? Where’s your sister?” he says.
Shauntelle freezes on the top step of the stoop and screws her eyebrows down at him. She hoists a hefty bag on her shoulder and elbows past him toward an idling minivan.
“Shauntelle. Shauntelle, I’m talking to you. Where’s your sister?”
“I don’t got shit to say to you and neither does my sister.”
Her chocolate arms dump the heavy plastic bag in the backseat. A pair of her sister’s jeans flop out. His eyes pop. As he turns to bolt up the steps, a teary-eyed woman appears in the doorway.
“Babe, babe what are you doing?” he says.
The woman ignores him and clanks an overstuffed suitcase out of the Brooklyn brownstone.
“Babe, stop. I asked you a question.”
He grabs her arm. She glares back. Her hazel brown eyes are pink and puffy. She blinks with a sniffle and a trickle.
“Get your paws off of me,” she says.
“Babe, listen. I know you’re upset. Let me ex—,”
“Negro, please,” Shauntelle says. “Get out of my sister’s way.”
The woman snatches her arm from his grip. She rolls the suitcase to the curb. He fires a stiff finger at Shauntelle.
“Mind your damn business, Shauntelle. This is between us.”
Shauntelle looks him up and down. Then she gets up in his face.
“I always knew you was hiding something. Ain’t no man that damn perfect.”
Her sister stomps back toward the steps. He blocks her.
“Baby, please. What you heard isn’t the whole truth.”
“You’re in my way,” she says.
“Baby, at least let me try to—”
“Move,” she says.
The nosy neighbor from across the street bends her ear to the action. She continues to sweep her porch. It’s immaculate.
“Sweetheart, don’t act this way. That’s not how we do,” he says.
His lady shoots her arms to the sky.
“How we do? What we are you talking about? I don’t know you anymore. I never did. You were nothing but a lie. You played me for a fool. I wasted four years of my life on your lying ass. Four years.”
“Mmmhmm that’s right sis, you tell him. He ain’t shit [she turns to him]. You know you ain’t shit right?”
DL: What’s next for you?
BD: I’m working on Mocha Mojo which is the sequel to Sweet Mojo and I’m also putting together something that takes advantage of my live storytelling skills.
DL: Where can readers find out more about you and your book(s)?
BD: You can find me here:
BD: You can find me here:
· Website: www.brotherdash.com
· Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Brother-Dash/e/B01CB5JD1I
· Facebook: facebook.com/brotherdash
· Twitter: @brotherdash
· Blog: www.brotherdash.com
It’s been a pleasure having you here with us today. I know my readers will enjoy getting to know you and your work.