Updated: Apr 29
Here at URBAN AINT DEAD, one of our authors will be spotlighted on our blog every week. This will allow our readers to get to know some of your favorite authors more personally and even get an inside scoop about the making of some of your favorite URBAN AINT DEAD titles.
This week, we asked Juhnell one question:
"If you could name three books that influenced your writing style the most, what would they be and why?"
And this is what he had to say:
"If I were to pick three books that influenced my writing style right now, they’d be, The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah, It by Steven King and Murda Was The Case by Elijah R. Freeman.
More than likely if you asked me what book inspired, influenced or motivated me, The Coldest Winter Ever would be the answer. This was the first book I read that came from the hood. By time I picked up the pen to write my first book, I knew that it was going to represent where I was from and how I lived. It wasn’t til’ 5 years after I started writing that I learned about and started reading Urban fiction. I enjoyed most of what I read but quickly picked up on a pattern where they were turning the life I lived into a fabricated, Hollywood story. I told myself then that I would tell my stories as they really were, and make it just as good. The feeling that I got from The Coldest Winter Ever was that even if the story wasn’t real, you could make it real. That’s what I want people to feel when they read my books.
When I got locked up in juvie at 15, I wasn’t reading or writing anywhere near the 10th grade level that I was in. I would say the 5th grade level at best. I knew that wasn’t going to cut it, so I went in the library and picked out the biggest book I could find; It by Steven King. I was there for two months and every time I was locked in the cell I read. When the staff walked pass my cell, they knew that I had a list of words that I needed to know how to pronounce and in most cases I knew what the word meant. By time I finished that book I had more confidence, and I credit that book for starting my reading journey, which led to me becoming an author.
The last book that I read was, Murda Was The Case by Elijah R. Freeman. As I write Despite The Odds 2 and prepare for the release, I have Elijah in my ear telling me how to better my craft. One piece of advice he gave me was to continue to read other books to get a better understanding on how other authors perfect their storylines and things I can apply to my own writing. He also stresses the importance of how to show rather than tell a story. I had an idea of what he was explaining but I was able to see the full picture once I read his work.
By continuing to be a student of the industry, I’m sure that the third installment of this series will change because I’ll continue to perfect my craft and make a better experience for my readers one book at a time.
Make sure you check Juhnell's Latest release, Despite The Odds: Let The Streets Choose. Available for purchase NOW in the URBAN AINT DEAD shop. You can also read this title free with Kindle Unlimited, here.