Jamell Crouthers is a very talented poet, author, and podcaster. He’s the author of 11 books and counting. Jamell has a passion for writing about topics that nobody likes to speak on. Topics that are taboo, and topics that will provoke thoughts. He delves into societal issues in such a way, that I’ve never seen before. I met him through social media, and I’m a fan of his work. He’s one of the people who’ve inspired me to start my own Blog. Recently, Jamell gave me the opportunity to interview him.
1. What made you want to become a writer, and at what age did you start?
I never thought I’d ever become a writer, it just happened. I started writing poetry at age 13, and I always wrote on and off, it wasn’t consistent for the longest time. Then when my 30s came along I started writing more short poems and eventually it led to me sharing them on social media.
2. I read that you didn’t think you could utilize your talent to tell stories, and write books. Why did you think that?
For me it was about writing short poems that focused on my life, experiences, and things that are going on around us. I didn’t see myself writing books but after a vacation to Los Angeles, that’s when I thought to myself, I should consider doing it. Then I started brainstorming what I wanted to write about and how to develop characters and storylines that relate to people in today’s world.
3. Why poetry? What do you love about it?
Poetry is a form of expression where there are no rules to it. With all of the societal issues going on in this world and me being able to tell a story in poetry prose format, I knew I can do it, it was just a matter of how.
Writing poetry for me is always therapeutic, it’s my way to get out my thoughts. A lot goes on in my mind and I can’t always talk to people so I write books. When I started to write books, it was creating characters, developing storylines and then putting myself in their shoes to tell their story.
4. You talk about societal issues a lot, What’s one experience that you’ve had with society that has impacted your life, and where does your passion come from?
One big one was when I was in college and a young woman was raped at a college party involving a fraternity and she never reported it. That impacted me at age 19 so when I wrote The World We Live In, Christina is that young lady I went to college with, the only difference is Christina reports it and deals with the repercussions and social stigmas that come with it.
My passion comes from watching the world and how bad it really is right now. While most of us are able to live our daily lives, there are people who are in need of help. Knowing that my stories, blogs, podcasts, audiobooks and videos can impact someone, that’s why I give it my all everyday.
5. What are your thoughts on this administration, and the state of this country right now?
This country is a mess, has been a mess and will continue to be no matter what. Every administration since I’ve been born has dealt with some sort of war (war on drugs, crack epidemic, incarceration of Latino and black men, police brutality, increase of homelessness in major cities, wars in other countries to take control of their natural resources), it isn’t necessarily this administration specifically that has this country in a mess, it’s just more divide among us (racial, religious, gender) which I speak on in America: A Country Divided.
6. Thoughts on police brutality, and if you were given the task to fix it. How would you fix it, or can it be fixed in your opinion? Hypothetically speaking.
It starts at the top and then it trickles down, take the time to think about who’s giving the orders (and it’s not the government, think deeper). Next it’s holding good cops morally responsible for doing the right thing in reporting racism, corruption and illegal activities. It’s also exposing the corruption that goes on in the justice system and how cases are handled with shootings (most cases are handled by the same District Attorneys and prosecutors who work with these police officers). That’s just a small piece of my thoughts on how to start fixing things.
7. What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a author?
Learn the business, write what you love, not what’s trendy and understand there’s a lot of work that has to be done. Self-publishing is the way to go as you have more control over your royalties, your vision and decision-making. Always budget yourself and don’t feel that you have to spend thousands of dollars to publish your book and get it to bestseller status.
8. Any new projects coming up, that you’re working on that we should look out for?
December-Code Blue Parts 4 & 5 release (Code Blue 1 is 99 cent in all bookstores right now)
Hope you enjoyed this interview, and make sure you go check out some of Mr. Jamell Crouthers books!!