Jordan Belcher grew up in an inner city neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri, with his mother and father, and two older brothers. Living below the poverty level, he was forced to be creative to entertain himself. But as a teen he let go of his artistry, dropped out of high school and grabbed on to crime. He went from petty thievery to armed robbery, and a month after he turned 19 he was arrested and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Behind bars, he started reading Urban Literature and immediately rediscovered his passion for writing.
He earned his GED and penned his first novel by the age 22, wrote his second by the age 24, and now at 27, Jordan Belcher has his debut novel, Tre Pound, scheduled for release July 2010.
What genre do you consider yourself?
Give us a synopsis of your most recent book.
The murder of an esteemed drug dealer has Levour "Tre Pound" King fighting for his life, not just in court, where he's facing life without parole, but in the unforgiving streets, where his enemies prefer to give him the death penalty. Tre Pound comes from a family of well-known hustlers, he's a hood star. Woman are his playthings; even a secret affair with his homeboy's little sister doesn't satisfy him. He is 21 years old and believes the city belongs to the Kings. Tre Pound has swagger and the money of a businessman, he roams throughout the ghetto untouched --- and in his pastime, he robs drug dealers. Not once has he used a mask. He wants his victims to know it was him.
Tre Pound's exploits affect his 15-year-old cousin, Camille King. Camille hates that Tre Pound runs off all her boyfriends and fears she'll always be alone. Will she ever find love? Will Tre Pound end up behind bars or gunned down?
Or will the unthinkable happen? Cross into the perilous streets of Kansas City, Missouri, and find out ......
Titles of all of your books.
What made you decide to become an author?
I would always hear people tell personnel stories and I would try to change them up in my own mind, asking myself questions like, "What if she would've said no?" or "What would've happened if that guy had lived two more years?” Becoming an author let me create answers and possible outcomes.
What do you enjoy most about being an author?
The freedom in writing is invaluable to me. I can bring a new world into existence, and yet it can still have all the tragedy and triumphs of the world we live in today. I enjoy writing because it lets me put a twist on real life.
Do you read? Do you think it is essential for a writer to read?
I read every single day, fiction and non-fiction. Magazines, newspapers, and self-help. I personally think it's impossible to become a good of even "decent" author without being a reader. I've had a couple of friends who've told me they don't like reading but they've start a manuscript they want me to look over. Each time I read a non-reader's work, I cringed. If you're not a reader, it'll show.
Traditional publishing or self-publishing? Why?
I respect traditional publishers and admire self-publishers. I went with a traditional publisher, and it's turning out to be an incredible experience that I wouldn't have been able to feel on my own. Traditional publishers have industry relationships and track records, whereas have to rely on research and drive.
How are you giving back to the literary community?
I try to bring original ideas and a fresh style to the literary community. And I always share my good and bad experiences about the craft to writers just starting out.
What is one tip you would give new authors?
Read best sellers with a writer's eye. Try to discern how they transition from paragraph to paragraph. Look at the words they use and don't use and compare it to your own writing.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned since becoming an author?
Write every day. I hear that advice all the time, but when you don't follow it you look up and chide yourself, realizing you could of had a book nearly finished with the days you missed.
What is the one thing that irks you about the literary industry?
Some critics see urban fiction as a bad stepchild -- they want to take it out back and drown it in a shallow lake. It's raw and uncut, the new Pulp Fiction. It's not as recognized as the other genres-- romance, horror, sci-fi, etc.-- because it hasn't been around for centuries like the other genres. Street fiction is brand new. Let it grow, let it mature.
What is your ideal writing atmosphere?
A lonely room with a laptop, a desk chair on wheels, and some type music device in arms length.
Who, What, When and Where is your next event?
In early 2011 I will be able to do a book tour, but as of now look forward to the July 2010 release of Tre Pound.
Suggest a preferred literary service.
Artofficial Media is a one-stop shop for all your literary services.
What is your view on the new direction of publishing?
I'm excited about this new electronic age of books. E-books and the devices that hold them gives readers quick and convenient access to the authors they love. I believe print books will never be replaced, so electronic publishing just gives authors a broader audience.
Give an inspirational quote.
“Words are guns. If feel you strongly about something, aim your guns and fire.” James N. Frey
Where can readers find your work?
Tre Pound is currently available on e-book at www.amazon.com. The print book will be available in July at Barnes and Nobles, Borders, and Amazon.