02 November 2011

Meeting Eyone Williams: Author of Lorton Legends

Eyone Williams is a talented author whose titles Fast Lane (2007), Hell Razor Honeys I (2008), Hell Razor Honeys II (2010), The Cross (2011)and Lorton Legends (2011), have gained him a considerable following of readers within the Street Literature genre. Williams is a Washington, D.C. native with street cred that he uses to tell authentic, engrossing stories in his novels. StreetLiterature.com had the honor and opportunity to talk with Mr. Williams about his writings and his life story. His interview is below; enjoy!

Eyone Williams (center). Used with permission.
StreetLiterature.com: What inspired you to write in this genre?  Personal observations and experience?
The first thing that inspired me to write street fiction was the fact that I enjoyed reading it myself.  Donald Goines is my favorite author and I read his work when I was young.  After reading his books about street life in the 70s I was inspired to write about street life in my day and time.  I began writing street fiction in the 90s; I made up my mind to write about things that I went through growing up in DC.  

The crack era hit DC hard, as well other cities, and it left a long lasting impression on the community.  I found myself caught up in that era.  I began writing, using real life situations, and my first novel, Fast Lane (now available on Amazon Kindle) was born.  All my homies loved the book, but I wasn’t sure if readers outside of where I’m from would like the book.  Nevertheless, I did what I had to do to get the book out and people loved it.  Also, I love street fiction, I loved it from day one and wanted to be a part of the movement; I wanted to put my own touch on the game.  That was my driving force.

StreetLiterature.com: How long have you been writing street literature?  What is your writing process like?  How long does it take you to write a novel—on average?
I started writing back in 98, I didn’t know where I was going with my first novel at that time.  However, I had been through a lot and I wanted to use all that I had been through to help me write the book.  I got caught up in the street life at a young age and went to prison, charged as an adult at 16.  My brother was murdered a year later.  My mother had died of a drug overdose when I was 6.  My father went to prison when I was 4.  Leaving out all that’s in between, I took my background and used it to write my first novel, Fast Lane.  So over all, I started writing 13 years ago.

As far as my writing process, I step off from whatever’s going on around me and get into a zone.  When I first started I used to do some reading of my favorite authors to get motivated.  Then I would just block out everything and write.  Now days, I just get right to it.  I have an idea on my mind and I put it all down on paper.  I can see it all in my mind.  I go until I can’t go no more.

It takes me about two months to write a book, first draft.  After that, I do re-writes.  That can take about the same amount of time.

StreetLiterature.com: What kind of street lit do you focus on and why?
I focus on hard-core street lit - things that happen in the streets for real.  I try to mix that with things that make the book good.  I add twists and turns to the plot so that it makes my readers keep reading.  I write street fiction because I write it best, and because I grew a love for reading by reading street fiction.

Street:Literature.com: Who would you say are your primary readers?  What kind of feedback do you receive from them that you take into consideration for writing your stories?
My primary readers are African-American females.  Males buy my books as well, but more women come through to get my books, as far as I know.  I keep that in mind when I’m putting my stories together.  I write hard-core street fiction, but I make sure I put something in there for the ladies.  They show me so much support that I gotta show them love.  When I first started writing I used to go hard for what guys like to read but the ladies stepped to me about that as I grew as a writer so I began to expand my plots to make them include all things that make good books hot books.

Eyone Williams with readers. Used with permission.
StreetLiterature.com: What/Who are you reading nowadays?  
Nowadays I read business books, writing books, and urban fiction books.  The authors I read include Guy Johnson, Treasure Blue, Dutch, Nathan Welch, Wahida Clark, T. Styles, Jason Poole, Deja King, Anthony Fields, to name a few.  The authors that hold my attention are the ones that pull me into their story off the top.  That’s what I enjoy about reading my favorite authors’ books.

StreetLiterature.com: Which mode of publication is most popular with your readers—paperbacks or ebooks?  Why do you think that is?
My friends, readers, and supporters all love paperbacks.  Even the ones that have e-readers still come and holla at me for signed copies of my books and other books I sell.  They show a lot of love.  I believe they love paperbacks the most because that’s where their first love of reading came from.

StreetLiterature.com: Has social media helped with marketing and promotion of your books?  If so, how?
Social media has helped me out in a huge way.  It has allowed me to reach out and get to know my readers.  Without a doubt social media helps book sales.  It also gives me, as an author, a way to spread my thoughts on my books with my readers.  I talk back and forth online with my readers.  We talk about why one character or another did this or that.  I make it all fun and interesting to read Eyone Williams books.  I do contests, discussions, and all of that.  Social media is a great thing.

StreetLiterature.com: What is your latest title?  What is it about and how does it uniquely contribute to the genre of Street Lit?

click image to order
My latest book is Lorton Legends, it’s published by DC BOOKDIVA PUBLICATIONS. Lorton Legends is a story of struggle, growth, and accomplishment.  A group of four young men get sent to prison in their teenage years.  Everything that they become in life is what they are shaped into while in prison.  They go through a number of different struggles dealing with their freedom, their family, their personal issues as men and much more.  The main character struggles throughout the whole book to become a better man, a father, and to overcome the life of the streets.  The book is full of history and life lessons that are dropped on the reader through the eyes of the characters.

Lorton Legends adds a new flare to street lit by showing that there are many different ways to tell a street story.  It also shows that you can tell a street story and still allow readers to walk away feeling as though they have learned something.

                      Here is the book trailer for Lorton Legends:

StreetLiterature.com: What is your ultimate goal for your work with Street Lit? (e.g. networking with more authors, appealing to a wider audience of readers, etc.)
Ultimately, my goal is to create a better life for myself and all those around me.  I want to represent as best as I can for Street Lit and help it grow and live on forever, in whatever way.  I strive to make the work coming out of my camp to be the best ever.  With every book I write, I strive to give it my all.  When it’s all said and done, I want to be remembered as an author that was different from the norm, I want to be remembered as one who gave it my all and wrote stories that reflect what’s real in the street lit genre.  Forever!

StreetLiterature.com: If someone asked you, "How do you define Street Lit?", what would be your definition?
Street Lit is writing that paints a picture of street life in many ways, from all kinds of angles.  It’s about what goes on in the hood.  It’s why the things in the hood happen.  It takes you into the lives of people that really live and thrive in the hood.  That is street fiction, from my point of view.  However, it is much more to it and the views of other street lit writers completes the overall view.


You can connect with Eyone Williams via the following social media outlets:
Facebook: Eyone Williams
Twitter: @eyonethewriter

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