Here is where I will show my support for other independent authors by featuring them as a guest on my blog. I hope you enjoy what they have to say and support them by buying their books.
Mr. Kevin Brown, Author of Hard Knocks Darkskin & Redbones
I was born in the Bronx, New York and raised in Edenwald projects, the second largest housing development in the Big Apple. As a kid, I had two passions: basketball and hip-hop. When I wasn’t balling on basketball courts, shooting hoops into garbage cans, or playing Nerf-ball in the halls of my project building, I immersed myself in the culture of hip-hop. As a true hip-hop-head of the 80’s, I tried my hand at breakdancing, pop locking, tagging graffiti on project buildings, beatboxing, DJing, making pause tapes, and writing rhymes. But it was the inner music the rhymes made that attracted my ears and lit the flame of passion that burned in his soul.
By the age of thirteen, I was addicted to crafting intricate rhyme schemes. I wrote religiously. In my bedroom, in the kitchen, in class, while my teachers were lecturing, on long bus and subway rides. In high school, I split my time between playing on the school’s basketball team and rhyming in ciphers in the school hallway and with my hip-hop group which consisted of a couple of close friends. As graduation approached and I matured, the burning desire to condense all of my thoughts into rhyme-form began to wane. I felt more passionate than ever about expressing myself through the written word, but I felt shackled by sixteen-bar rhyme verses. Since I had learned to write by listening to hip hop music and rapping, I only knew how to express myself through writing rhymes. That is until I attended college.
In college, I was forced to closely read novels and novellas’ for the first time and realized that novelists were able to make the same inner-music with words, similar to the way my favorites lyricists did. I went from emcee to novelist instantly.
Once I discovered my true calling, I created the Hard Knocks High series for reluctant readers and at-risk-teens. As a former reluctant reader, I write books that I would have enjoyed when I was a teen. Hard Knocks High, where the classroom and the streets collide, is a young adult series that features relatable characters and realistic stories laced with life lessons.
Project Windows, the first book in the Hard Knocks High series, is the story of sixteen-year-old, Tafari King, who struggles to live a double life. In the eyes of his overprotective mom, Tafari is a sheltered, homebody who is only allowed out of the apartment to attend weekly bible study, church and school. In the eyes of the streets, and his classmates, Tafari is one of the most feared young thugs in the Bronx and in the halls of Hard Knocks High. Eventually, juggling the life of a thug and the life of a church kid becomes too much to bare and his street persona lands him in trouble. He’s forced to attend an after-school program for at-risk teens. The teacher of the program is not only Tafari’s English teacher, but is also a former OG from the streets who has already lived the struggle. The teacher, Mr. Sekou, tries to school Tafari that the gang life is not the life he wants to lead. That living for his future is more important than dying for his rep. While Tafari weighs his options, an old enemy returns seeking revenge, while a new threat emerges and seeks to remove Tafari from the equation entirely. With time running out, Tafari needs to make a choice before it’s too late.
Darkskin and Redbones is my latest release from the Hard Knocks High series. This a novel which will appeal to teenage girls of color who find it difficult growing up in a world where color matters. After being teased and bullied because of her looks, Mahogany Brown despises the dark brown skin she’s in. With her self-esteem low and her self-hatred high, Mahogany meets a charming corner thug named Makai.
Mahogany’s attraction to Makai is more than just the idea of being the girlfriend of a thug that she often day-dreams about and immortalizes on her drawing pad. It’s the freedom he offers. Freedom from feeling ugly and unwanted. Freedom from being sheltered from the street life. But with freedom, comes a price.
You can purchase autographed copies of my books @ www.hardknockshigh.com
Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @hardknockshigh
Thank you for Reading,