Monday, December 22, 2014

2nd Annual Diversity Month Day 23: Author Interview w/ Thelonious Legend +Kindle Fire 6" and Book Giveaway!

So we've been gracious enough to host a whole new set of authors this year for our 2nd Annual Diversity Month. There aren't a ton of male bloggers. Or at least ones whom are authors, who are talking about more than their books.

This next author blogs about all things diversity, from young girl's self esteem, to representation in comics and movies. He even has his own book called "Sins of The Father" which features three affluent Black sisters who gain superpowers!

It's a pleasure to host him! Everybody, meet Thelonious Legend!

This isnt your first time at the rodeo on Twinja Book Reviews, but you didn't receive a proper introduction. Why don't you tell us more about yourself and your journey as an author? 
It's a bit of a cliche but I grew up in a neighborhood where the primary exit strategies were drugs and sports.  I was always bookish and the drug hustle never appealed to me but a lot of my friends got caught up.  On the athletic front, I was always good but never great so I took the road less traveled and got into computers. Been in the IT industry for over 20 years and is has served me well. 

But I always wanted to write, and having daughters that love Science Fiction and Fantasy, I had all the impetus I needed to craft a story about black girls with super-powers.

Im just going to say it. Aint too many brothas blogging about diversity in books. What started your journey as a blogger and social media presence? 

I thought blogging would be a fun and a cool way to interact with my future fans (I'm waiting!) But I saw a post about diversity on the Huffington Post and it really rubbed me the wrong way. The article was written by a white person and it was telling other white authors how to write diverse characters. Which is cool except for the fact that the only thing the post covered was skin tone. 

Diversity is so much more than that.  

It's language, culture, music, religions, shared experiences. But none of that was touched on. So I decided to write a post on Diversity and it was really well received which surprised me a bit. So I wrote another one on beauty and I got so much kudos for that I felt there must be a vacuum or lack of information so I just went with it.

What inspired the idea behind your first release "Sins of the Father?" How long did it take to complete it? What pushed your book over the edge? 

I actually worked on the book for a couple of years before I published it.  My home life is so hectic that I could only work on it when I was traveling. And I have always been inspired by the hero journey.  Specifically the genesis and self-actualization of the hero.  Was it the spider bite that made Peter Parker Spider-Man or was it the death of his uncle Ben?  

That question has always intrigued me. And in my mind the Parker Sisters are the biggest baddest heroes on the planet but the first trilogy is how they got there. 

The first books ask and answer the question of what would make three black upper middle class sisters want to be heroes.  I think that's what pushed the book over the edge and I'm excited about sharing that journey with my readers and I hope they are excited as well.

As an author, did you think it was more important to write the book you wanted to see, or write diversely? Do you think books are the only forms of media that lack diversity? 

Diversity can be subjective so what's normal to me and mine might be diverse and exotic to others.  The problem with that is there are not a lot of people in positions of influence that look like me and mine.  So what you have is a bunch of decision makers that look like each other slapping themselves on the back because the introduced a secondary character who is diverse. That doesn't do it for me.  

For instance I'm a big Martial Arts fan and it was very important for my heroes to have combat experience so that the action sequences could be believable. And I love all forms of Martial Arts especially Muay Thai, but I thought Tae Kwon Do would be move believable Martial Art for the Parker Sisters. But I didn't want to introduce Tae Kwon Do and not introduce a Korean character. 

So that was the genesis for Kang. And plus I thought it would be cool if the most handsome, most athletic, coolest guy in school was Asian.  But again it had to be realistic so I looked at the back story of Asian Americans in professional sports like Jeremy Lin, and former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Dat Nguyen and some of the cultural pressures they faced at home and on the court/field. Being true to every character is very important to me.

What are some of the last few books,comics or movies you read or saw that addressed diversity flawlessly?  

I thought the movie Loves Jones epitomized diversity.  They weren't just black faces, they were cultured. And it was that culture, be it Jazz, or Poetry that resonated so strongly with the black audience. Also the comic book Genius is just brilliant. And again they are more than black and a lot of the issues the comic touches on are very topical.

What do you think authors and bloggers could do better to make sure they write or read diversely? 

Well if you have want to write diverse characters you should definitely read about diverse characters and watch movies with diverse characters because just saying a character's skin is a darker hue doesn't cut it.  Also don't be afraid to take a chance and make a mistake but do your research first and give it your best shot. And realize there is a difference between criticism and hate.  Find out what the difference is and get you some critics.  They will make you better.

7. Finally, where can we all go to read your twitter rants, or updates on book releases and blog posts, or everything and anything Thelonious Legend? 

I'm all over the Internet!

Thelonious Legend via Twitter @TheLegendBooks
The Official Facebook Page

So now that you know, why don't you enter the giveaway!


  1. Thank you for the interview! And thank you helping diverse authors and books! You guys are awesome

  2. @Thelonious, thank you for being on board! We only do what is right! Diversity is 100% right!. Diversity itself is the real star!


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