Is Urban Fiction Novels On a Decline?

What is happening to urban fiction? That seems to be a question that I am coming across a lot on Facebook. A question was posted the other day asking what people are tired of seeing in urban fiction and quite a few things came up that I’ve been saying since I first came on the scene.

  • Grammatical Errors
  • The same story-lines again and again by different authors
  • Authors using the same models for their covers
  • Kindle Unlimited
  • Hip-Hop and R&B song titles/lyrics as Book Titles

Just to name a few. And those were answers that were coming up more than once. Let’s address these issues.

Grammatical Errors

When I first came out with A Thug’s Redemption, I ordered 50 paperback copies. How embarrassed was I when I was reading it after having sold damn near all 50 copies as well as a few that was given away for reviews and promotional reasons not to mention the hundreds that were sold on Kindle, only to see that I had given the wrong PDF file to the printing company I was using which had MAD errors in it. Oh nigga I almost died. I wanted to crawl under a rock and DIE! I corrected that shit real quick and apologized to my readers for the mistake. I will admit that I was so excited to get my work in print that I confused one file with another. (AThugsRedemption1 was sent instead of AThugsRedemption1a) With my books after that, I scan through them with a fine tooth comb and have a back-up set of eyes (beta reader) to check for what I may have missed. So far so good. But man, I’ve read books where the author used hear instead of here (how sway???) didn’t know when to properly use there, their and they’re (how sway???) had two different names for one character and I don’t mean on some the character had multiple personalities and those were their names, just a complete rookie move on their part. Indie Authors are too busy trying to put out a large quantity of work instead of making sure they are putting out QUALITY work and it’s not a good look.

Same ass tired story lines! Example-

  • Hood chick snags big time drug dealer for boyfriend and lives the glamorous life until he is tragically killed.
  • Kingpin of whatever city is betrayed by his workers and doesn’t know who to trust
  • Project Chick is abused by her mom and meets prominent drug dealer who rescues her. She falls in love only to find out he has another family
  • Chick is molested by father, uncle, whoever and grows up to be a stripper with low self esteem sleeping with any man who pays her a compliment
  • Chick takes over drug business for slain or incarcerated drug dealing boyfriend

I’ma just stop right there. How many times are the same damn stories going to be told? Why are the same damn stories being told? Where is the originality? Where is the thought and effort in putting together a well thought out plot for an engaging story? Where, damn it? Where?

Authors using the same model for their covers

Whooo this one right here is grinding my gears and is the reason why here on out I’m using my own models or no models at all. When I first did the cover for A Thug’s Redemption back in April 2012, I specifically wanted a black guy in a hoody. When I came across the young man I’m using, I scanned the urban fiction section of Amazon Kindle to make sure nobody was using him AND THEY WEREN’T. Now all of a sudden I’m seeing his ass on so many different covers its a damn shame. And the only reason why I haven’t stopped using him is because number one, I used him first FOH with the rest of those covers and for two he fits my character Jamal to the letter.

Here are all of the covers that I have him on and he will be on the next cover as well.

atr1covNewATRCover2atr2atr3cover1

Something Thuggish This Way Comes
Something Thuggish This Way Comes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are all of the covers that I’ve been using him on since April 2012 when I first began prepping to release A Thug’s Redemption. Now his fine ass is everywhere. Ya’ll gotta fucking chill! Let me be GREAT!! Maybe I should find him and pay for custom photos that only I have the rights to use…

There is also a light-skinned chick with curly hair that is overly used in urban fiction. I’ve seen that chick on so many covers it makes me not want to read the book because my take on it is, do your research first! If you see another author using a person on more than one of their book covers, (whispers) use another person. It’s really that simple.

Kindle Unlimited

Man I’m not even going to get into that again. Go back a couple of blog posts and you’ll see my take on that. We’re getting raped. Period.

Hip-Hop and R&B song titles/Lyrics as book titles.

This is just lack of creativity and originality, period. If I can look at your book title and start rapping or singing a song, you’re dead wrong. I don’t know about some of these other authors, but I don’t want to be remembered as the writer who was too corny to come up with her own shit so she combed through the latest hot songs and used the titles or lyrics as the title of her book. Before I pick a title, I Google it to see if there are any other books with the title I have in mind or songs. If there are, I scrap it and go back to the drawing board. I had to change the title for Love’s Deadly Masquerade four times before I finally came up with Love’s Deadly Masquerade and honestly it fits better than the other titles I was thinking of. I’m at the start of a legal battle right now because I have to trademark A Thug’s Redemption since some chick decided to use that as her book title too. Oh hell no the fuck you will NOT! I changed that book title 3 or 4 times as well nine years ago when I first went with Publish America and was originally going to use A Thug’s Life but that was too Tupac-ish and I believe there was either a song or another book with that title. Any author who strives to be creative and original with their work would take offense with that fuckery as I did. I’ll update y’all soon on how this turns out because I do not like the idea of my books being confused or associated with hers especially after seeing some of home girl’s reviews. Not only did she STEAL my title but she had the nerve to use the same guy I used on her cover. Dick eating shit. This is what I mean when I say do your fucking homework because had she done so, a simple Google search would have shown her that my shit was EVERYWHERE. Who knows, maybe she did and just didn’t give a fuck. Well, she’s about to learn the hard way. I can’t get her for copyright infringement because titles aren’t protected under copyright law. But because my book was a series before her book came out and I also have merchandise and am working on the film for the book, A Thug’s Redemption will be trademarked and she can either take that shit down and change the title, or get ready to pay up.

Back to the matter at hand though…

There are still so many things wrong with urban fiction that is keeping it from being the well respected genre for African Americans. Urban Fiction is losing its flare because too many hacks (yeah I said it) are jumping into this field with poorly written novels. Blatant grammatical errors, authors being unoriginal with their titles, STEALING titles from other authors, hip-hop and R&B song titles and lyrics, and telling the same damn story again and again. It doesn’t take much to be original, to think outside the box, and to tell a story that has not been told before instead of remixing story lines and rehashing the same shit that was written time and time again. How many different ways can you tell the same story about a poor black girl who falls in love with the notorious dope boy only for him to be killed? We are so much more than strippers, dope boys, trap kings, and trap queens. There’s a beauty to our culture that is being left untouched because too many “writers” are putting out bulllshit because it sells.  The beauty of our culture is being overlooked by the ratchet shit.  Sadly, urban fiction is becoming stale like today’s hip-hop and R&B because not enough writers are being original, they are just hopping on the bandwagon for what’s selling at the time being. The mistake that too many writers are making is thinking that urban fiction is only about drugs, sex, money, designer clothes, bags and shoes and crime. Think outside the box for a change! There are readers out here who won’t touch an urban fiction book because they are worried it’s going to be the same shit, different toilet. We’ve gotta do better or soon White people are going to take this shit over too.

Put some RESPEK on my Books!

When I first came into the industry with my novel A Thug’s Redemption in 2012, I noticed a lot of authors were selling their ebooks on Kindle, Nook and other sites for $0.99. I said to myself, how the hell can anyone make money off of their books selling them for so cheap? But then other authors told me and I also read in various blogs that gave promotional tips for indie-authors, that pricing an ebook at $0.99 was a good way for new authors to reach readers. So I tried it a couple of times and sold quite a few books. But I didn’t like it then, and I don’t like it now.

A lot of readers are becoming too cheap and it’s sad. And honestly it’s not entirely all their fault when indie authors are placing numerous books in front of them costing next to nothing. After a while, they’ve come to expect books to be $0.99 or God forbid, FREE! Shenanigans. I can see if it is a book that is 125-200 pages long. But a full length novel! SHENANIGANS!  Once kindle takes their cut, we get a whopping $0.35. Put some respek on my books. $0.99 ain’t happening. And if that means I lose out of a portion of readers, so be it. My work is worth more than $0.99 and unless it’s a pre-sale for a book I’m getting ready to launch, if it’s more than 300 pages, it’s going to cost between $4.99 & $6.99 for ebook and $15 for paperback. And to me, that is a fair price. I’ve seen authors charge $15 for ebooks. $4.99 is still cheaper than a pack of cigarettes in most cities. Hell it’s cheaper than a meal from Mckey Dees.  Put some respek on my books!

On a serious note, I know there are probably plenty of quality books out that authors price at $0.99 for marketing purposes and in part because some don’t know their worth. But I look at $0.99 ebooks the way I look at any dollar store. Most of the shit in the dollar store is cheap, falls apart and is of poor quality. Sadly a lot of $0.99 ebooks I’ve come across were the same way- cheap, stories fell apart because there was no real structure and the quality of the story was just poor. No shade though. *Shrugs* it is what it is.

Beyonce Formation Concert in Philly was LIT!!

 

Destiny in Formation
Destiny in Formation

So for Destiny’s 13th birthday, I got us tickets to go see Beyonce in concert yesterday at the Lincoln Financial Field and she had a blast! This girl screamed and jumped up and down and sang along with practically all of the songs. The only downside to the concert was that it rained. Oh lawd it rained! And we got caught in it, We were cool when we first left. It was when we got off the sub that all hell broke loose with the skies opening up and pissing on us. Even with our umbrellas, we got soaked. The messed up part was we had to stand outside for a bit before we could even go in and even when we made it inside, we couldn’t go to our seats because of the rain. So Beyonce, the next time you decide to include Philly in your tour, please have your concert at the Wells Fargo Center. I’m sure it holds just as many people if not more.  Here are a few pix from that night. I took so many videos and pictures. DJ Khaled opened and he brought out Yo Gotti, Meek Mill, Rick Ross and Freeway. Lawd when Meek did All Eyes on Us Destiny screamed the lyrics like no other. LOL! And you know when Freeway did Roc the Mic Right I had to get it popping. That song was from my senior year in high school. Shockingly Des knew part of the words LOL.momndaughterslay After the concert, no lie, I took my heels off and walked barefoot to the sub LOL. And because the bus wasn’t coming when we got to Broad n Olney and it was already after 1 o’clock n the morning, since we were still so amped from the concert, we just walked the rest of the way home. And yes, I was barefoot.

It was a great mother-daughter birthday experience for us. My birthday was June 4th and her birthday is tomorrow, the 7th. A lot of people threw shade on the low because of how much I paid for me and Des tickets. A lot of people don’t know (and wouldn’t care no how) what me and Destiny have been through over the last 2 1/2 years. I won’t get into it because it is our business and no one needs to be in it. But the fact of the matter is, whether I paid $300 for the tickets or I paid $3,000, it was my money that I worked for. I didn’t borrow from anyone to get the tickets, I didn’t sell ass or skip a bill or anything underhanded so we could go. With all of the tragedies that we’ve seen and faced these last 2 1/2 years, this mother-daughter outing was needed and the experience was well worth every dollar that was spent. beyonceslay

Happy Birthday to me- RIP Muhammad Ali

muhammadaliAs I celebrate my 32nd birthday, I am saddened at the news that Muhammad Ali has passed away. He indeed was the world’s greatest in more ways than one. Muhammad Ali wasn’t afraid to speak his mind. He was unapologetically Black and unapologetically Muslim. What separates him from so many artists, athletes and people in general is that he did not let money dictate his stance on politics and the ills that plagued the black community.

I ain’t draft dodging. I ain’t burning no flag. I ain’t running to Canada. I’m staying right here. You want to send me to jail? Fine, you go right ahead. I’ve been in jail for 400 years. I could be there for four or five more, but I ain’t going no 10,000 miles to help murder and kill other poor people. If I want to die, I’ll die right here, right now, fightin’ you, if I want to die. You my enemy, not no Chinese, no Vietcong, no Japanese. You my opposer when I want freedom. You my opposer when I want justice. You my opposer when I want equality. Want me to go somewhere and fight for you? You won’t even stand up for me right here in America, for my rights and my religious beliefs. You won’t even stand up for my right here at home!

What artist today would sacrifice their millions of dollars and their lavish lifestyles for their beliefs? Which artist have done that in last 40 years since Muhammad Ali? Name one.

Laila Ali posted a message stating that even after her father’s organs failed, his heart continued to beat for more than 30 minutes. Muhammad Ali was a true warrior, a true fighter and his spirit, his strength and his courage will truly be missed.

Kindle Unlimited is Raping the Sh*t out of Authors!!

I don’t give a damn how many authors love Kindle Unlimited, how many authors who swear by it, that shit is a rip-off. How the hell do you pay somebody a half of a cent per page? I can’t hold half of a cent in my damn hands, are you shitting me? Brace yourselves, as you can see this post is about to get so ugly.

I wrote a blog post about this before back in March about Kindle Unlimited when I really began researching it after putting my books back in Kindle Unlimited in January but not at all happy with the pay out for the number of pages being read. At the time I had four books out and for January I had over 25k pages read. (Not bad considering I put the books in KU in mid January.) Since Amazon only paid $0.0047/page read that amounted to a whopping $117.50 (thank the lord for the paperbacks I sold on my website and the ebooks that I sold on directly on Amazon outside of KU)

Since Prince died, the main thing I kept hearing about him was he was adamant about ownership- own your own business, own the rights to your music, your work etc, whatever it is, just make sure you OWN IT! Prince had his music wiped from damn near every music streaming site and I don’t too much blame him because it takes away from the artists’ pockets and we have to eat too! So I took a page from his book after analyzing some things. Amazon takes 30% of our royalties for ebooks sold through kindle as long as it is $2.99-$9.99. Anything under $2.99 or over $9.99 they take 65% and you, the author, only get 35% which makes absolutely no sense to me. Many authors like myself put blood sweat and tears into our work, writing the book, editing the book, formatting the book, designing the cover, marketing the book, promoting the book yet many are getting a lower cut since $0.99 ebooks seem to be the new wave to appease cheap readers. (I’ma get to that shit in a minute) That’s like going to a job and doing 95% of the work yet when it’s time to get paid, your boss gets 95% of the pay and tosses the scraps to you. Huh? Hell naw!

I’m hearing that a lot of authors are jumping ship from KU and I don’t blame them, in fact… I’m diving overboard right along with them because this is madness. It’s ludicrous to think it’s okay to pay an author $0.0047/page read. Two things wrong with that is again, I can’t hold $0.0047 in my hand and I don’t sell pages. I sell books. So if a reader downloads my book, I should be paid for it. When an mp3 is downloaded, the artist isn’t paid based off of how many minutes of the mp3 is listened to. When an album is downloaded off of amazon, the artist isn’t paid based off of how many songs are listened to. They are paid for the song downloaded and they are paid for the album downloaded. Pay me for my book when it’s downloaded.

If anything, Kindle Unlimited is more beneficial to readers and not authors. Yes it is an all you can eat buffet for readers who want a huge library without breaking their pockets but over-all it does nothing for many authors and I’m reading that more and more on different blogs in the comment sections. How dare Amazon require that we make our books exclusive to their site but then pay us pennies for our hard work? Oh I’m sorry, half of pennies!

People/companies/corporations can only treat you the way you allow them to treat you. Authors need to demand more and demand to be paid for our work because without many of our awesome books, KDP would not flourish as it does. We have to stop being afraid to stand outside of the box and work harder. For the writers who put out great books, our work will speak for itself and the payoff will come. For the hacks who hide their not so good work behind pretty covers and cheap prices, well eventually the jig will be up and either you’ll get it together or fade to black. The choice is yours. I don’t see myself being on KU or KDP by the end of the year. I know my worth. Do any of you know yours?

Licked into Submission- African American Erotica

Licked into Submission…?? What the…? What is this!? Yes, I know. It’s a heck of a title right? And just looking at the title, you can only imagine what the book is about, right? Well for those of you who have read A Thug’s Life Revisited, you were lucky enough to get the sneak preview at the end of that awesome read. All I’ma say is, somebody finna get pregnant from this book and it ain’t gonna be me!

So how exactly does a person get licked into submission? Mannnn listen! It’s kinda like being dickmatized except it’s worse ESPECIALLY if the man is bringing good dick with him as well. Ladies, let’s all be adult now. I’m sure we’ve all had that guy that we promised ourselves we would never touch again not even on our most desperate night and all it took was for a song to come on the radio that made us reflect back to an encounter we’ve had with this man and before you know it, we’re texting, talking, licking, sucking and the rest is history. That man is always the toxic man, the one momma never warned us about because chances are she was battling the aDICKtion or she was licked into submission her damn self. That man is poison, no good for us, but got damn it he can do some fierce things with his tongue and we just can’t stay away.

Have I been licked into submission? Ha! Wouldn’t you like to know? I wouldn’t say I was licked into submission per-say but he who shall be renamed BLACK ASS could win a gold medal in the Hugh Hefner cunnilingus Olympics and they would have to create a platinum medal for him for the fuck-a-thon. *Shrugs* It is what it is.

Needless to say, I’m throwing my hat in the ring for writing a hot sex book. I mean a book so hot and so juicy, you may need to sit with a spray bottle and spritz yourself with cold water while you’re reading. I say, load up on some condoms and make sure you got your depo shot on time LOL because it’s about to get real!

African American Erotica books can be tricky as you do not want to come off as raunchy, without class, promiscuous and slutty… well… at least I don’t. While I advocate being sexually uninhibited and think that women should not be ashamed of their sexual appetite if it is a hefty one regardless of how men try to stigmatize those who do have one with labeling them as hoes (meanwhile their body count could fill a fucking grave yard but that ain’t none of my business though LOL) I still think a level of class should be placed in books that contain a lot of sex scenes. Is it possible to be classy and raunchy at the same time? Hell yes! Duality is a talent like a mug! I think books that are in the erotica genre should not be focused solely on descriptive, juicy sex scenes but should still contain a plot. After all, without a plot or a point to the story, it’s pretty much a literary porno. So I’m taking my time with this.

How about a taste? You think you can handle it. Chilllllle Listen, I had to take a break after the first five pages. Keep in mind I’m single with no one to take my (clears throat) frustrations out on while writing this book LOL. First, check out this BOMB ass cover that I did and comment letting me know what you think.liscover2I’m so excited to be doing this book! I can’t wait until I finish and it’s ready to be released to the world. I was hoping to have it done by the summer but, we shall see! In the meantime, feast your eyes on this…

Shadows of the candles’ flames danced on the wall as the scent of coconut oil and Jasmine scented flowers filtered throughout the room. But, those scents were being out-done by the over- powering aroma of sex infiltrating my bedroom.

J-Holiday crooned through the surround-sound in my bedroom and I could curse his fine ass right now because I was definitely being put to bed… bed… bed. I promised myself that I wouldn’t do this again, that I wouldn’t allow myself to be seduced into being Carmelo’s bed wench again because it doesn’t seem like the situationship that we’ve gotten tangled up in is a good idea. For some reason, R-Kelly is in my head right now because my mind was definitely telling me no. But my body… yeah, my body was telling… no screaming yes. Yes! Lawd, yes! Hell, my body was speaking languages I’d never known after feeling Carmelo’s warm, wet tongue twirling, swirling, and flickering back and forth across my clit to the beat of J-Holiday’s song “Bed”.

My hands were tied with silken, white scarves to the Maplewood headboard attached to my king sized bed. While I usually don’t allow myself to be in this kind of state of vulnerability, the way Carmelo’s pussy licking technique is set up, I don’t mind being vulnerable for one more night. And ahhh, there lies the problem. But that explanation is going to have to wait… one… minute…

Damn, Carmelo just pushed my legs back to my chest with his arms hooked around them so I couldn’t run and his tongue is giving my pussy the tongue thrashing that it craves. My back arched against the black silk sheets and my arms yanked at the silken scarves wanting desperately to grab ahold of something, preferably the back of his head so I could grind my pussy all over his mouth. Not being able to do so was driving me mad.

I felt his fingers exploring my tight wetness, going in and out as he licked and sucked me into an orgasmic heaven and my God did I cum so hard once he began sucking on my clit and pushing his fingers in deep enough to hit my G-Spot. I don’t know what was hotter, the fact that he could do with his fingers what most men can’t do with their dicks, or the devilish look on his face as he stared at me while he lapped up my cunt juices like a cat would lap up cream.

I breathed deeply as I looked down at him, sure that he was going to untie me so I could return the favor. As the saying goes: one good lick deserves another and he definitely deserved to have his dick devoured whole. But instead, he positioned himself on his knees in between my legs as he held his thick, throbbing, black, rock-hard, nine-inch dick. I stared like a wide-eyed child seeing a plethora of gifts under the Christmas tree. And in my mind I was thinking, “Oh shit, he brought dick with him, too!” Life is good…

Carmelo grabbed my legs and put them up over his shoulders never taking his eyes off of me, which always made the sex between us so damn hot. These damn silk scarves were in the way. I wanted to grab the dick myself and put it in. I wanted to grab his ass and feel those tight, muscular glutes flexing as he pumped that big, black ding-a-ling deep inside of my tight, wet tunnel. But he wanted me to take it how he gave it. And judging by that hungry, animalistic look in his eyes, he was about to beat this pussy up something fierce.

I gasped when I felt him enter me slow and deep. With my ankles atop his shoulders, he pushed my knees back to my chest and gave me a long, wet, sensuous kiss, with his tongue dancing around my mouth so I could taste the sweet flavor of my nectar on him. And then he went to work. I lost count of how many times I came. By the time it was over, my toes were throwing up gang signs and I was sure I was about to slip into an orgasmic coma, too.

Carmelo untied my wrists from the headboard and they fell limp on top of my chest as I struggled to gain control of my breathing. I had cum so hard and so many times, the black silk sheets beneath me were soak and wet. He pulled me into his arms and kissed my ear as I slowly began to come down off of my erotic high.

“You good, Tavia?” he asked me in his sexy voice that could send my kitten in an uproar just hearing it.

I nodded my head. “Oh yeah,” I said with a grin. He intertwined our fingers and kissed my ear again and before I knew it, I could tell he had fallen asleep by the sounds of his slow, deep breathing.

“Fuck!” I cursed myself. “This mofo was not supposed to spend the night. That wasn’t the plan. He was supposed to be moonwalking his ass to the 6 bus stop right now! Damn, I done fucked up again!” I shook my head in disgust as I came to the realization that I had once again allowed this man’s ability to fuck like a porn star trying to win a gold medal in the Hugh Hefner Olympics and eat pussy like a Cunnlingus king, lick his way into my heart, lick his way into my bed… and lick me into submission. Shame on it all!

Afeni Shakur- Mother of slain 90s Rapper, Tupac, Dead at 69

afenishakurDamn! Damn! Damn!!!! What the hell is going on in 2016??! Tony Burton (Apollo’s trainer from the Rocky movies) Vanity, (Prince protege) Prince and now Afeni Shakur! We’re still getting over the shock of Prince, and now this! Everybody checking out, meanwhile Betty White sitting back sipping on her tea like “death, fuck is that? I don’t know the meaning.” Bruh!

For those who don’t know who Afeni Shakur is, she is the sister of Assata Shakur, wife of Mutula Shakur tupacandafeniand mother of slain 90s rapper, actor and poet, Tupac Shakur. She was also a member of the Black Panther party. While pregnant with Tupac, Afeni was accused of being involved in a conspiracy to commit a terrorist attack and was incarcerated. Afeni defended herself and was acquitted of all charges against her. Not long after her release from prison, she gave birth to Tupac Shakur on June 16, 1971.

With Cointel-Pro working against the Panther party and setting many of the members up for crimes they did not commit as well as killing them (Huey P Newton and Fred Hamilton) Afeni Shakur struggled with gaining and keeping employment which forced her into poverty while Tupac was growing up and they moved from New York to Baltimore and then finally, California. Afeni had a short battle with drug addiction but bounced back tremendously and remained a strong influence in Tupac’s life hence the song “Dear Mama” that he released in 1993, dedicated to her. Even after Tupac’s murder in 1996, Afeni continued to advocate for her son, winning the rights to over 150 of his songs from Death Row which she later released on her own label “Amaru Records” (Amaru was Tupac’s middle name)

Sadly on May 2, 2016 an ambulance responded to a 9-1-1 call at her home in California and she was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead. It is believed that she had a heart attack.

Afeni Shakur was indeed a powerful force showing that she can battle an unjust system and win, overcome adversity and still stand for her people. She will definitely be missed.

Yani- Urban Fiction Authors- Urban Fiction Books & Freebies/Freeloaders

Hello everyone and thank you for visiting my blog. I’m still not over Prince checking out on us but with life comes death and we all gotta go some time. I just wish God had done the sensible thing like get George Zimmerman and Donald Trump the fuck outta here and let Prince continue to contribute great music style and history to our culture. But as the saying goes, if wishes were pigs…

You know, being the author of urban fiction books and African American erotica as well can be exciting but exhausting all at the same time, especially for self-published authors. While it is fun to have the final say over cover designs, release dates and the price of paperbacks and ebooks, it is EXHAUSTING! I’m positive I put in 20 hour days. But what is more exhausting is dealing with people who do not respect my craft! Why is it strangers show more support than a lot of family and friends? Why is it that I can play a game of Ruzzle with someone thousands of miles away and mention my books to them and they run out and buy them but family sitting right here along with so called friends expect to get a book FOR FREE! Da Fck?? So you can spend money on weave, cases of beer, alcohol, and the latest whatever but you can’t fork over $15 to support your daughter/sister/cousin/home-girl etc?

While I see nothing wrong with free urban fiction books as that is a tool used to gain more readers and reviews on sites such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads and others, an author, a self-published author at that, cannot afford to give out numerous free copies of his/her book to friends and family. We still gotta eat! Do folks realize how much it costs to print copies of these books? It’s not cheap! Do folks realize how much it costs to market and promote our work outside of social media? It’s not cheap! At the end of the day, if it don’t make dollars, then it don’t make sense. I’m not talking about the people who have bought books in the past and are hoping for a gifted copy. I’m talking about people who expect a free copy every single time a book drops on the strength that “we grew up together” or “that’s my blood”. Yeah, but will that pay my bills or for these next batch of books that have to be ordered? You know you can’t roll up in Hibachi’s or Outback Steakhouse and say “Hey, the manager is my bff from back in elementary school, let me get a t-bone and some mashed potatoes on the house.” It’s not going to happen. So, put some respeck on my craft and genuinely show support. Otherwise, wait until I am doing a giveaway and hope that you are selected. If not, pay like you would pay the next man/woman for their services.

Alright, rant over! LOL

So! Readers are LOVING A Thug’s Life Revisited! That is always good to hear. For those of you who are new to my blog, A Thug’s Life Revisited is my newest novel that I wrote in NINE DAYS! It is a spin-off to the Amazon Best Selling Urban Fiction Book series A Thug’s Redemption and it starts off with drama, suspense and thrills and doesn’t slow down not even in the end. Everybody is loving that book and just about everyone who has gotten that book so far has read it in one day! They couldn’t put it down. Every page that was turned had readers on the edge of their seats! It’s amazing how my readers have become so attached to Jamal, D-Ball and Andre. They love those characters as though they are related to them or are the best of friends with them. LOL! So I thank you for your support.

Now I know many of you are Kindle Unlimited subscribers and I don’t knock you for that. For readers it is a dope program. But for me, I ask that if you are going to purchase any of my books in ebook format to please purchase from my website at www.theauthoryani.com/ebooks.html. In the near future, I am going to be implementing a big change in the manner in which my books are distributed and I will post a blog entry explaining why I have chosen this route. While Prince’s death was devastating, I’ve learned something from the way he conducted business and I think it is time that I step away from what most of the other self-published authors are doing and focus on doing something more unique.

Intrigued? Well you should be! Stay tuned as there will be more to come!

Prince, Legendary Icon and Musical Genius- Dead at 57!!!

PrinceI had to wait until today to post this because my heart is torn in pieces. Yesterday, I received a text from a good friend of mine saying “Wow Prince Died”. I said: Bullshit! Bullshit! Fucking Bullshit! Lies! The devil is a lie! My heart was racing, my hands were shaking as I immediately took to my laptop, went to Google, and typed his name in the search engines. As I waited for what seemed like an eternity for Google to turn up the search result, I kept saying “Please, God. Please, please, please, please!” Sadly the first news story that popped up was from CNN stating that Prince Roger Nelson was dead at the age of 57.Prince2 I screamed. Why? Why him? Of all the people in this world, Donald Trump, George Zimmerman, Birdman that could’ve been taken and not missed one teeny bit- why did Prince have to die? My heart was BROKEN! Just last month, literally one month before his passing on March 21, 2016, I challenged my daughter Destiny to play the intro to Purple Rain on the piano as a way to earn her stripes and the right to play the piano again since her grades had taken a dive and her behavior/attitude was getting out of control. She can’t read music and I told her no tutorials, play it by ear. She watched the scene from Purple Rain the movie where Prince listened to the instrumental a few times and then played it on his piano and then she sat at the piano and not even an hour later, she was KILLING IT! I posted the video on Instagram and Prince had that jawn taken down LOL. If it wasn’t him personally, it was someone from his company but I was betting then and still betting now that he personally had her video taken down. At first I was a little upset until I saw the notification in my G-Mail inbox from Instagram letting me know it was reported for Copyright Infringement and the email associated with the complaint traced back to his company website. You know what I said? COOL! Prince may have possibly seen her video. Even though he reported it, he may have seen that she has talent for a girl who can’t read music and never had any training. My mother suggested that I send an email back letting him know it was not my intention to infringe upon his music, my daughter and I are just huge fans and playing his song was my challenge for her. I said in response- Prince won’t read my email. He ain’t trying to hear from us little folks… I wish like hell a month later that I had emailed him.

prince5Here is what the news is reporting. Prince was found unresponsive in his elevator  to his multi million dollar estate yesterday morning. Paramedics tried to revive him and was unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at 10:07am CST. Allegedly, Prince had been battling the flu for the past couple of weeks and they are speculating that that is the cause of death though there has not been an official autopsy report. Last week, on April 15, Prince’s private jet made an emergency landing because of health concerns with the 7 time Grammy award winning artist. He was rushed to the hospital but released 3 hours later against doctors orders because, according to his people, the hospital was unable to place him in a private room. (This is Prince got damn it, if you have to pair three people up, you get this man a private room!) It is said that the Purple Rain star did not look well when he was released, however he was able to do a show in Atlanta the following day on April 16, 2016. Now this is where rumors and speculation begin and it’s really pissing me off.

April 16, 2016, a blind item was placed on a tabloid/gossip site VARIOUSstating that an unnamed African American male celebrity who had been in the news recently has AIDS and was first diagnosed in the 1990s. This blind item, who did not name Prince, stated that the unnamed celebrity was taking his medication like he was supposed to up until a couple of years ago. He stopped because some religious people claimed that God had healed him and he was okay. Allegedly, the sickness came back according to this person who is allegedly close to the unnamed celebrity and the situation, and doctors are saying that this person will get sicker and sicker and could possibly die before the summer. Now five days later, Prince is dead from “complications with the flu” and people are running with this blind item saying that it was him. I call bullshit on that.  That’s rumor number one.

Rumor number two is that he was murdered. This, I can believe.

1) Two years ago, after battling with Warner Bros records for almost 20 years,  Prince struck a deal that would give him controlling rights over his music catalogue which is worth over $100 million. Since then, his music (where I used to download it onto my phone so I could rock out during my commute to school or work) could not be found on any music downloader. Trust me, I looked before he died and was a little sad. While I have his CDs, I just wanted to be able to listen to him on my phone whenever I felt like jamming to “I Would Die 4 You” or “Little Red Corvette” or “Baby, I‘m a Star” That’s the music I listened to whenever I cleaned or did house work. Not only were you unable to download  his music online but you couldn’t get a lot of his videos on Youtube either. He had his music on LOCK! And I don’t too much blame him with the lack of creativity and sampling going on in the music industry these days. Piracy is at an all time high!

2) Prince also spoke out against the government, chemtrails, and a lot of the corrupt activity going on in the music industry. He encouraged other artists to not sell the rights to their music in partnership or anyway else, to be the sole owners of their music rights. To follow his example would cut a lot of folks out of money. I can only imagine how much “those people” were losing with Prince owning the rights to old music as well as new music. He may not have been topping the charts like he did back in the 80s and the 90s but he was still a force to be reckoned with. Seeing him in concert was on my bucket list.

3) Prince was a conscious man who made no apologies for his outspoken nature against the corruption in the government, various music companies and the music industry, referring to the music industry as slavery and the artists who did not fully own their music, slaves. If you pay attention to the symbol he used with his name and even had a guitar made in the shape of that symbol, it resembles the “ankh” as well as the all seeing eye. Once a man becomes awake, it’s only a matter of time before he is put to sleep… permanently.

Now You See It
Now You See It

4) One of Prince’s last posts on Instagram was a photo of himself  on April 14, 2016 and the caption read “Just when you thought you were safe…” Yesterday when people began to speculate that the flu story was bullshit and he was murdered, that caption was removed along with other captions from other posts on his account. Things that make you go hmmm…?

Now You Don't...
Now You Don’t…

5) Now all of a sudden the media is trying to ease in this story that his plane landed early because he was OD’ing from drugs and that his death may be the result of a drug overdose. This man wouldn’t touch meat or alcohol. I highly doubt he was touching drugs. Not to mention, a doctor who had recently seen Prince stated in an interview yesterday that his sudden death from “the flu” seemed very suspect and odd” and that aside from the flu, he was in perfect health.

Nonetheless, a musical genius who set the standard higher than any of these so called artist today could ever hope to meet, who was fearless with his talent and art form is gone and I can’t help but feel a little lost and hopeless now. Prince music was perfect for no matter what mood you were in. Pissed off, throw on When Doves Cry. Wanna dance and shake a boogie? Throw on “Baby, I’m a Star” or “I Would  Die 4 You”.  Feeling sexy? “Wanna Be Your Lover” or “Diamonds and Pearls”. The list is limitless as this Genius has music for almost four decades that has stood the tests of time. And while many will speculate how he died or if he was killed, I more so would like to celebrate how he lived.

RIP Prince Roger Nelson (1958-2016)

Prince6

Love’s Deadly Masquerade Recent Review- Da Fuck?

Alright, y’all finna see a side to Yani that you’ve never seen before. Today was a good day. I went to this event – Philly Girls Jump at Awbury Park and planned on posting a blog entry about it tomorrow after my hips, thighs, ass, back, shoulders and arms stopped hurting from all of the vigorous double dutching that I’d done with some really awesome women that I met today (along with my sisters, daughter and niece) I should be in bed right now resting my sore bones. Instead I’m about to roast this bitch who just left the dumbest and most ridiculous review on Love’s Deadly Masquerade. Her name is Joanne R. Greene.

Every night before I go to bed, I check on book placement, ratings and then do a little promoting to generate book sales throughout the night while I sleep. So imagine my surprise when I go to Love’s Deadly Masquerade and I see where I’ve gone from a PERFECT 5 start rating down to a 4 1/2. Now, I am not some delusional author who expects everyone to love my work and give me kudos and 5 stars. I know there are going to be some people who don’t vibe with my style of writing which is fine. Everything ain’t for every body. But if you are going to 1 star me BITCH you better show me where I ldmreviewearned that shit. I was expecting a three star rating or something like that. Maybe the plot twists were too much for them to handle or

What The Fuck, bitch, really?
What The Fuck, bitch, really?

whatever. This bitch didn’t even finish reading the book! Was it for too many grammatical errors, you ask? (nope) Was it because the story-line was too far-fetched or outlandish? (nope) Was it because the book didn’t make sense or seemed amateurish and incomplete??? (NOPE!!) This bitch 1 starred me because I had too much profanity! What The FuckDA FUCK? Listen, I had to read her review like three times, like is this bitch serious? I can only think of one movie with a domestic violence type plot where there was no profanity and that was “Sleeping With The Enemy” starring Julia Roberts and that movie was so unbelievable in regards to what really goes down in an abusive relationship I wouldn’t know where to poke holes in the story-line. For God’s sake, Roberts jumped off a fucking boat in the middle of Hurricane Katrina and swam to shore, conveniently had a stash of cash, threw a wig on, hopped a bus all the way to east Jablip somewhere, was able to rent a home with NO What The FuckID NO SOCIAL SECURITY CARD NO PROOF OF INCOME but the bitch couldn’t make sure when she flushed the ring down the toilet the shit actually went down? Da Fuck? I’m going to assume Joanne thought that movie was amazing and Julia Roberts was cunning and courageous. Meanwhile What’s Love Got to Do with It- Tina Turners biopic about how Ike Turner was beating the snot out of her in between calling her bitches and raping her in music studios probably made Joanne’s eyes fall out and sent her screaming to the Priest asking God to forgive her for indulging in such an animalistic film. And God forbid she ever read Rose Madder by Stephen King, who started the book off with Rose’s husband, Norman, dishing out Mike Tyson blows that caused her to have a miscarriage in their living room all for reading a romance novel. And as poor Rose’s baby is vacating her womb while she sits in a pool of fetal blood, this bastard is making and munching on a ham sandwich. See no evil, eh?

Anybody with half of a brain knows that domestic violence isn’t pretty. If it were, it wouldn’t be domestic violence. It’s definitely not limited to a man just slapping his woman in the face now and again or pulling her hair. It’s grimy, its ugly and to a person who does not lack a conscience, it can easily bring you to tears when you hear and/or see some of the things a lot of women go through every single day. I made sure I captured that in this book. I spared no punches with the descriptive way I told this story from start to finish and if it’s too much for a person who lives in a PG-13 world, too FUCKING bad (yup I said FUCKING not FREAKING) because the world isn’t PG-13. For many of us, the shit is NC-17 even when we try our best to avoid it. So while little Ms. Daisies and sunshine  may think that what went on in this book with the profanity and the abuse and the way Eric talked to Vanessa was trash because I used FUCK and BITCH and SHIT and GOT-DAMN and NIGGA, like Freddy Kruegar said in almost every Nightmare on Elm Street movie: Welcome to my world, bitch. This shit is real. And hiding behind your cotton candy bubblicious existence won’t make it any less real.

I do want to thank her. Because she gave me an idea to put a warning at the top of Love’s Deadly Masquerade’s book description letting readers know that if they have sensitive eyes and are too delicate to handle profanity and the descriptive manner in which I described the way Eric was beating the shit out of Vanessa and tormenting her, exit now and go find something else more happy-happy, joy-joy.  I won’t change my style of writing because a few sensitive creatures can’t handle what goes on in the world outside of Beverly Hills 90210. Not catering to my personal art-form would be a disservice to my art, my talent, my craft and myself. I don’t see Stephen King making any apologies for the creepy shit he writes. (I love Stephen King by the way LOL) Alright, that’s my rant for the night. I will see you darlings next time! Peace.

For those of you who don’t have sensitive eyes and can handle reading a very real story with real like characters in real life situations, check out Love’s Deadly Masquerade on Amazon Kindle for $5.99. If you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you can download it and read it for free. Then give me your opinion on the STORY itself. I’m all for legit reviews. If you think the story-line and plot was trash, I’m eager to hear why. Because those who gave me three stars on A Thug’s Redemption were legitimate and their opinions helped me work on my craft which is why The Wrath of Andre and Obsessive Intimacies are damn near perfect 5 star reads. Keep in mind that I’m an artist, and I’m serious about my shit!

African American Literature, Urban Fiction, Street Lit, Thug Fiction, Erotica, Quality Novels, Reviews, Trendy Topics