Wednesday, April 25, 2012

On Conversations: Interview with NYT Best Seller Wahida Clark - Payback Ain't Enough


It is my pleasure to introduce you all to best selling author Wahida Clark.  Sit back with a cup of coffee and enjoy!
Lisa ~
 


She is crowned the Queen of Thug Love Fiction by Nikki Turner, the Queen of Hip Hop Fiction. She created the Thug Love Fiction genre which is a sub-genre of street lit as cited in “The Readers Guide to Street Literature” by Vanessa Irvin Morris. She also is the first street lit author to pen a series, thus establishing the trend. 

Wahida’s style of writing is the “TEMPLATE” for urban literature. When you read her novels, they are so real you are convinced of one of three things: you know the characters; you want to know the characters; or you are one of the characters. Her New York Times, Essence and USA TODAY bestselling novels include Thugs and The Women Who Love Them, Every Thug Needs A Lady, Thug Matrimony, Thug Lovin’, Payback Is A Mutha, Payback With Ya Life, Sleeping With The Enemy, The Golden Hustla and the first anthology edited and compiled by her What’s Really Hood! Part 5 of her Thug Series, the highly anticipated Justify My Thug under Cash Money Content made its debut at #19 on the New York Times Bestseller List. One of the few urban lit books to do so. Her Thug Series has sold over 300,000 copies and the Payback Series has sold over 150,000 copies. Her next release in April of 2012 is Payback Ain’t Enough.

Interview with Wahida:

1) Q: Nuance Art.*. – Are you the First Lady of Cash Money?
Nikki Minaj is the First Lady of Cash Money. However, I am proud to say that I am the First Lady of Cash Money Content (CMC), the publishing arm of Cash Money. But CMC also has my girl Ashley Antoinette, the female half of the dynamic and unstoppable duo, Ashley & JaQuavis, and the Basketball Wife herself, Ms. Evelyn Lozada.

2) Q: Nuance Art.*. – What makesPayback Ain’t Enough different from Payback is a Mutha or Payback with Ya Life?
Payback Ain’t Enough is the third installment of the Payback Series. Go in expecting the unexpected. I promise, and as always I deliver. It’s grimier, grittier, darker, and sucks you in against your will. It’s thrilling, captivati ng, and breathtaking.

3) Q: Nuance Art.*. – Is it true that the majority of your readers are incarcerated?
Good question. Since I began my writing career while incarcerated, my books were heavily promoted throughout the prison system, and of course I have a huge prison following. Now that I am home, I realize how many people I’ve touched or reached with my books. For example, when I am out doing book events, at least one male will come up to me, bow and say, “Your books got me through my bid.” I’ve learned that a lot of people don’t read until they go to jail, and I have received countless letters stating that one of my books was the first book that a person has ever read. And that always touches me. On the flip side of that, you don’t make the New York Times best sellers list by just selling books to prisoners. The majority of my readers are women who are free. They love me and support me book after book, year after year. Some women and men have incarcerated loved ones who they buy my books for and mail them into the prison. I have fans/readers who are prison guards, police officers, bus drivers, nurses, doctors, and as comedian Michael Colyar told me, “Girl, my dentist read your book, Payback Is A Mutha and loved it!” There would be no me without my readers, and for that I am forever humbled and grateful.

4) Q: Nuance Art.*. – Are these Street Lit or Hood Stories a fad?
(Smile) Fad? Is Jackie Collins ever asked if her books are a fad? I think not. Street Lit is an actual genre. Don’t let the word ‘street’ fool you . . . it’s not new. I’ve been published since 2003, but more importantly, keep in mind before me there was Chester Himes, Donald Goines, Iceberg Slim, Nathan ‘Boobie’ Heard, whose works were published as far back as the 50s, and sold through the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, and their titles are still selling. (Now in 2012, Donald Goines and Iceberg Slim have both had their catalogs republished). But what is even more exciting to me is that Chester Himes’ books were turned into movies such as Cotton Comes to Harlem, Come Back Charleston Blue, and A Rage in Harlem. Donald Goines’ novel Never Die Alone also became a feature film. Presently, several well-known street lit authors such as Nikki Turner, Vickie Stringer, Ashley & JaQuavis, K’wan, T. Styles, Deja King, J.M. Benjamin and more, who all have a minimum of five titles under their belt and head their own publishing companies. Ashley & JaQuavis are currently working on their book-to-film adaptation and so am I. Check out my link athttp://youtu.be/U03TFlgWpTI

5) Q: Nuance Art.*. – What makes you the Queen of Street Lit?
Nikki Turner drove to Alderson, West Virginia to visit me, and I was talking about how the ladies on the inside love her to death and how she was the Princess of Hip-Hop fiction. And she said, “I’m the Queen of Hip-Hop fiction. I’ve elevated.” So I said, “I’m the Queen too. But wait. We can’t have two Queens reigning at the same time.” (LOL) Then she said, “You’re the Queen of Thug Love Fiction. I’m giving you that.” I thought about it and then I said, “Yeah. I’m the Queen of Thug Love Fiction.” Since then, and like Nikki, I’ve elevated my pen game and status as well. I take pride in my work. I am obsessed with making sure that once my readers pick up one of my books, it is very hard for them to put it down. I owe them that. Next, we are talking longevity, consistency, and eleven novels—and the fact that seven of those novels were written and published behind the prison wall. And while behind the wall I made the Essence, Blackboard, USA Today, Black Issues Book Review, and Don Diva best sellers list. And those are just the lists that I know about. While many writers were trying to get one publishing contract, I had TWO publishing contracts with two major publishing houses (while behind the wall). I reached another major milestone in 2011 when five of my titles appeared on the Best Selling Books of the year list for the African American Literature Book Club (aalbc.com), which is the largest and one of the first online book clubs. (I’ve always had multiple titles on the list, but never five at one time). I am blessed to say that my books, starting with my very first title, Thugs and the Women Who Love Them, and the other Thug Series books still sell today as if they have just come out. I am also the first Street Lit author to write a series. Many Street Lit authors now offer readers a Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. However, I was the first to do that with Thugs and the Women Who Love Them, Every Thug Needs a Lady, Thug Matrimony . . . you know the rest. Other accolades I’ve received acknowledging my work include The Readers Advisory Guide to Street Literature by Vanessa Irvin Morris, published by the American Library Association in 2011. This guide cites how my books have created, or spawned, a new ‘sub-genre’ of Street Lit (Thug Love) and is leading the ‘Thug Love’ sub-genre. So, yes . . . humbly and respectively I accept the title “Queen of Street Lit” because in the words of Jay-Z, “Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t.”

6) Q: Nuance Art.*. – Is Wahida Clark Presents Publishing an imprint of Cash Money?
I love them brothers . . . they are so innovative. Ronald ‘Slim’ Williams and Bryan ‘Baby’ Williams started the Cash Money record label and are always one step ahead of the game. They felt that they could sell as many books as they do CDs, so they started Cash Money Content to publish books, and more importantly, promote literacy. You see, many of us in the publishing industry feel it’s not what you read, it’s the fact that you’re reading. Wahida Clark Presents (WCP) is the publishing company I started while incarcerated. To date I have fourteen authors, including: Cash (Trust No Man), NeNe Capri (The Pussy Trap), Mike Sanders (Thirsty), Anthony Fields (The Ultimate Sacrifice), Victor L. Martin (Nude Awakening), Tash Hawthorne (Karma: With A Vengeance), Missy Jackson (Cheetah), Intelligent Allah (Lickin’ License), Sereniti Hall (Still Feenin’)and others. I also have Young Adult authors such as Rashawn Hughes (Under Pressure), Sparkle (Sade’s Secrets), Gloria Dotson-Lewis (Ninety-Nine Problems) and Charmaine White (The Boy Is Mine!). Additionally, I have an imprint, Yah Yah Publications, where I publish more conscious material such as, Uncle Yah Yah: 21st Century Man of Wisdom and Part 2, which drops April 19th. To date WCP has eighteen titles in independent and major bookstores and libraries around the country. I am always looking for new material, and my goal is to have all WCP authors hit the New York Times best sellers list.

7) Q: Nuance Art.*. – Are you going to give us a sneak peek of the highly anticipated sequel toJustify My Thug (Thugs Part 6)?

No doubt! Visit my website www.wclarkpublishing.com for specific details on getting your sneak peek of Thugs Part 6. You will need to provide your pre-order receipt from Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com or iTunes.com to get it. Also, be one of the first to visit my website www.wclarkpublishing.com to download the first chapter of Payback Ain’t Enough. I can’t wait for your feedback!

Synopsis :

Filled with the same glamour, sex and danger, we dive back into the hip-hop drama where old rivalries and new beefs arise in Detroit’s blood-drenched drug turf. Shan is now married to Briggen, the much desired former hustler turned legitimate businessman. With one child and another on the way, Shan’s life is about to get turned upside down. In a day she’ll go from being the envy of the streets to having her life on the line.

Briggen, a man leading a double life, wants to know who killed hisbrother, Forever. He wants revenge but it’s only a matter of time before Briggen’s own lies catch up with him. Nick is back in the big ‘D’ and ready to take over the game. The only thing standing in his way is a buried secret from his past that is about to come back to haunt him. It’s only a matter of time before ambitions and secrets collide and revenge goes a step too far. In this game of power and intrigue where the stakes are high and the rewards are dazzling, the losers are gonna discover – there’s always a price to pay.

Excerpt:
Shan
As I stood in the window watching Nyla storm off and peel out of our driveway, I couldn’t help but conjure up a smile. I was sure that I wasn’t the only one who wanted that nigga Forever dead and if he suffered any, that would be the icing on the cake. But the news that he was dead and died alone actually tickled me. Words could not explain the humiliation of him using me to bring in his dope, fuck me and when I got pregnant wanted me to get an abortion, making it clear that I was just a fuck and a sucka.
The thought crossed my mind to go to the funeral but I quickly brushed that off. For one, if I saw Nyla again, it would be on. And two, I would end up spitting in Forever’s dead face. That would cause too much drama for Briggen. I was gloating that Forever was gone. However, my moment came to a screeching halt when he stormed out the house without saying a word.

Web Links:
Book Trailer : Wahida Clark The Experience

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