I got the pleasure of interviewing Daddy Rich about his book, Mack's Revenge, and here it is!
Cheryl Francis: Why did you write your book, and where did the inspiration come from?
Daddy Rich: I wrote the book…the book was supposed to have been a movie. It was supposed to have been a direct to DVD movie. Before I got incarcerated, I was an underground gangster rapper, and I got a nationwide distribution contract, and inside that contract was an option for me to do direct to DVD movies. I had the idea that I was going to do a movie based on my life, and I ended up getting locked up, you know, for the drug charges and all that and I couldn't make the movie because I was locked up and I'm a creative person, you know what I mean, I had to create, so I ended up writing the book instead of making the movie and that's how I came up with it.
Cheryl Francis: What do you hope people will take away after finishing your book?
Daddy Rich: I want them to be entertained. I want them to be highly entertained and think that it’s one of the best books that they ever read, but at the same time I want them to take away from the book that hey, the drug game—it’s just not worth it. I don't care how much money you make, it’s just not worth it because like I said in the book at the end--if you get caught, and most everybody gets caught eventually or you get killed eventually, but if you get caught, you will sell everything that you got and you will give up all the money that you have to try o get your freedom back. So in the end it's really not worth it.
Cheryl Francis: What makes your book different than other books?
Daddy Rich: I think what makes my book different than other books is that it's real…and the language…the way it's written. You know I'm from Indiana. There is not too many urban fiction authors from Indiana that I know of, so what makes my book authentic is the way I talk, the language I use, and the way it's worded--that's what makes my book different. It's a breath of fresh air to everybody that's been reading these urban fiction for the last 10 years or so.
Cheryl Francis: Are you reading any books right now?
Daddy Rich: As a matter of fact I am. I’m reading : What We Won't Do For Love by Mz. Robinson , I’m reading that for fun. What I am reading serious is The Millionaire Zone: 7 Winning Steps to a Seven-Figure Fortune by Jennifer Openshaw. It’s my second time reading this.
Cheryl Francis: Who is your favorite author?
Daddy Rich: I have two favorite authors: K'wan and James Patterson
Cheryl Francis: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Daddy Rich: Rewriting it, oh that makes me mad because the institution where I’m at…they are backwards. They don't want us to do nothing, you know what I’m saying, they don’t want us to do nothing for ourselves to better ourselves, but after I wrote the book and had it all done I wanted to type it up, you know what I mean, and I had to get it all together some sort of way to send it out to the streets. I had to rewrite it--the whole book, you know, it was written 400 some pages by hand. I had to rewrite the entire book by hand. That was the hardest part of writing my book. I've written three books like that so far, getting together rough draft and then you rewrite the whole thing again by hand.
Cheryl Francis: After you write do you have access to computer that you can type it on?
Daddy Rich: No, that’s what I’m saying, I don't have access to a computer. I have to send it to out to somebody else to type it out. That doesn't make any sense. They have a computer lab here in this facility, you know what I mean. They don't want us to do anything for ourselves. This is supposed to be the Department of Corrections, but if you think about it--this is job security. What if we all got really got corrected and didn't come back, you know, people would get laid off and they don't want that.
Cheryl Francis: Did you learn anything from writing your book?
Daddy Rich: The only thing I learned is how to write, you know what I mean. It taught me how to write a book, and my writing got better in my second book and my third book got even better, you know, and I'm on my 4th and 5th books right now and I’m getting better with those books.
Cheryl Francis: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Daddy Rich: Go hard, keep game, see what's going on and get your hustle game together because that's what it's gonna be all about is your hustle whether you’re self- published or whether you sign to a company--it's still going to be how you push yourself and how you promote and market yourself. That's the advice I give, and don't take no for an answer. There is going to be people that are not going to like your book. There is going to be publishing companies that don't like your book, but be true to yourself and what you write. There is somebody who always told me--even when I was making music—“just be true to yourself. There are a million people just like you somewhere (you know what I mean), and those are the people that are going to buy your book or listen to your music or whatever.”
Cheryl Francis: After you wrote your book and sent it out, did you have anybody edit your book?
Daddy Rich: After I wrote the book, I got it edited; but people didn't ever really try to make a whole bunch of changes to the book. There were some minor changes. I was stubborn. I wasn't going for it. I wouldn't change nothing--anything. I wanted the book out there the way it was. I held to my guns. You see I'm self-published. Gangster Lit is my company, but I don't want it changed because the way it is it what makes it different, and I want it to stay that way, and I don't really want to speak bad on anything, but you know, urban fiction--when I first started reading urban fiction it --was like what I write right now. It was hardcore. It was gritty. It was gangster. It was HARD, and this stuff now--it's watered down, and I blame a lot of it on the editing. That's one of the things that I went through with my book. People wanted to edit my slang—NO--this is street lit, it's supposed to be slang in there. I'm not going to have my narrator talking proper, you know what I mean. Even though I’m not saying the narrator is my book is low education or a dumb SOB, that is just a way that we talk when we’re on the corner hustling, and there is a way that we talk in the board meeting or somewhere like that, and I wasn’t going to have Big Mack sounding like he is in a board meeting somewhere, so that is where I was bumping heads at with editors and stuff.
Cheryl Francis: I met an author at our library and he was saying how he writes the books and then he has someone edit it, and they added all kinds of stuff to it and I was surprised. I didn’t realize that they did that. I just thought they wrote the book and had someone correct it.
Daddy Rich: If you don’t like them to stay on, they will put their own spin on everything. Fortunately, I found a couple good editors to work with who respected my craft, my art form, and my own style which is gangster lit in every script. When I come out with it. I’m gonna work with an editor who is going to let me do me and be me . I’m not worried about how it gets put out because I am trying to do my hardest to build gangster lit up to be a company, and I’m going to put my own books out .
Cheryl Francis: Do you have anything to say to your readers?
Daddy Rich: Just read my book, kick back and enjoy it, flip through the pages, have fun and laugh with me, you know what I mean, and be ready for my next ones. I don't know which one to put out next. I might put “Speak No Evil” out next, but I was reading a book that I've been keeping the title under wraps because I am so scared somebody’s gonna steal it, but I was reading it today and yesterday and man, I'm thinking about trying to finish that and get it out. I’m only 73 pages into it writing it and I’m like man, this book is off the hook, THIS is off the chain. I mean, just be ready for my books. Hey, I’ve got some heat. That’s all I can say—I got some heat. I mean, it’s just not a one hit wonder, this isn’t a one hit it quit it. I’ve got books.
The most surprising part of the interview to me is when Daddy Rich told me that he has to hand write his whole book (which I know many authors do), but that he had to REWRITE THE ENTIRE 400 PAGES to send it out to be typed up. I truly commend him for his drive and willingness to get this book out to the public. I am so glad he did, and I really look forward to reading more of his books.
(I did not get compensated for my review. This is my honest opinion.)
I want to give a big thank you to Daddy Rich for taking me on in his magazine, giving me the opportunity to read his book, and for the great interview. He is truly a great man to deal with. He treats everyone with respect, and really is doing everything he can to get this magazine off the ground. I wish him the best of success as this magazine takes off!
This interview is featured in the February 2011 issue of Urban Image Magazine