Interview with Eddie K. Wright
What kind of books do you write?
I write self/help books, because the ones I feel write them the best are the ones that have made the biggest mistakes in life!! I try not to be all preachy where you lose the reader. I take a spiritual self-empowerment approach to life, with accepting full responsibility for the conditions we find our lives in. God doesn’t give you what you want, God gives you what you believe! Coming from that gangster lifestyle and seeing so many young guys in here, it’s sad because they have no idea who they truly are, and I’m able to see it so clearly because I was the same way. The gangs are so attractive to them because they want to be a part of something bigger then themselves. Without realizing the true greatness of what they already are, they just don’t know any other way to live life except for what they’ve experienced being a gang member. I speak every week a group of fellow convicts who all have either 20 years or more or multiple life sentences. I have to give them hope to make the best out of the situation “THEY” created for themselves based on the life they choose to live. Now that’s not always easy to do and honestly I’m often met with a lot of hostility (especially when I do my gang bashing talks). But I know that it comes from confusion, anger and pain. I often joke that I’m doing the ultimate internship because if I can talk about peace hope and even that almighty word Love in here and do it in a way that these guys are receptive to what I’m conveying… I can do it in the free world also, and of course express it in my writing.
What is your most current book about?
It’s my memoir detailing the controversial experience of being the young father of a son who would grow up to be the gayest man on the planet! My “NO SON OF MINE!!” street gangster mentality evolves during my difficult life journey coming to realize that my responsibility as a loving father didn’t change just because my son is gay.
What inspired you to write?
There are a few things that inspired me to write. One was to take up the time I had and keep myself busy. I thought to myself…what are you going to do during this time, I had plenty of paper, and pens and a lot to talk about. I started writing Urban novels, which were easy to write but then I didn’t want that to be what I’m leaving to the reader. Although I’ll admit my memoirs read like Urban novels, but there’s meaning and a positive lesson to be learned. Plus, I stopped reading Urban novels because…. I believe you are what you read. Your feeding your mind. The books you read, music you listen too, movies you watch I believe influence the way you think and perceive the world. What we nick name “hood books”, are no longer a good representation of who I am or who I choose to be.
What makes your writing stand out in a crowd?
I try to address topic from a different perspective. Non-judgmental without condemnation but keeping it real. I write the way I talk and I try to get the lesson or meaning across in a clear and sometimes funny way.
What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
That first blank page staring back at me is the hardest part. I have the idea of what I want to write, but getting the first page done, allows me to breathe easier.
How do you approach cover design?
I explained to my publisher that I wanted the cover design to represent me and my story. I was very firm on the idea that I didn’t want an ‘actor’ on the cover of my book because I thought it would send a message that I was still a ‘silent father’. I am very satisfied with the outcome of the book cover.
Where do you like to write? What is your routine?
I write in my cell, using my bed as a desk. I work out for about 2 hours first thing in the morning, then after a shower and a fresh cup of straight black coffee, I put the pen to the pad. I normally take off from where I ended the day before. I write for about 3 hours and stop in the middle of the writing flow so it’s easy to get started the next day. I often joke that when I go home I’m going to have a cell made in my basement to write in. Honestly, when I’m writing I’m no longer in prison, I’m free.
Do you work with an outline or just write?
I think about what I’m going to write and then after a few chapters are done, all other ideas begin to pop into my mind, so then to organize them all I write an out-line and it normally turns out to have pages of ideas and topics I want to address.
How important is marketing and social media to you?
The importance of marketing and social media is HUGE!! Especially for me and the situation I’m in. Again I’m not in a position where I can do book tours, meet and greets etc. Being in the entertainment business I know how important it is to work your product. There are plenty of great writers but if no one knows about your book… No one reads it. My marketing and social media team has done everything in their power with creative ideas to get my work out there and keep me connected with readers as much as I can.
What advice would you have for other authors?
For other writer’s I would say…keep writing and don’t allow obstacles to deter you. I’m in a maximum federal prison, and by applying what I know with the Universal laws of attraction and trusting in my higher power, I just kept writing even without knowing how I would get it out there. But I knew the way would come so I just continues to write and write as if I already had a 5 book deal with a major publishing company. I created deadlines and everything.
What is your next step?
Currently I’m working on what’s turning out to be a book series “The evolution of a Gangster turned Guru” another Memoir of mine focusing on my personal life story and how I came to be known as the Guru in one of the most violent Federal Penitentiaries in America.