This week, as we approach Fathers Day, Written Voices Blog will feature several of the contributors to the recently released anthology, The Soul of a Man.
Joey, describe yourself for our visitors.
When I try to think of something to say about me to others, I always think of this phrase: "I’m just a simple man with a simple plan." That plan is to try the balance between the practical and the interesting. I am a husband of 5 years in what I recently found out is called as a "blended family". I have two children by marriage and another by the birds and the bees. I claim all of them equally. After helping with homework, discipline and quality time, they are mine all mine… I work a 9 to 5 that feels more like an 8 to 8 as a retail sales consultant for a major wireless carrier.
By night, I am a webmaster. My website, http://joeypinkney.com, is where I post my "5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…" author interview series, book reviews and different mini-series I come up with from time to time like "The 14 Days After Q&A" featuring four renowned relationship authors. I love reading and writing, but my focus as of late have been reading and promoting the works of great authors from various backgrounds and levels of fame. I’ve interviewed New York Times and Essence Best Sellers. I have interviewed authors whose family support have allowed them to publish books while the author is in prison.
I spend a lot of time using social networks to promote my website to make more people aware of the authors I come into contact with.
How do you find time to connect with God?
Church would seem to be the obvious answer, but that’s not the case. That’s where I take time to learn about God and his word. I find time before, during and after work to make an actual and personal connection. I thank God when good situations come my way. I thank God when challenges present themselves and I think I might not keep my best behavior on deck. I try to pray and thank God when I’m comfortable to balance out the times when it’s natural for me to pray when things are stressful. I do this to take the mechanics of praying secondary to the true spiritual connection that prayer strengthens between man and God.
Do you have a favorite bible verse and or quote you wish to share?
1 Kings 18:24 – "Then you call the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD. The god who answers by fire–he is GOD.
Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?
I started to answer that question, but it would be to complex for two reasons. I deal closely with authors. If I don’t name one, I’ll be banned from he whole book industry. Just kidding, but I don’t want to start anything. The other reason is because I like different authors for different aspects of their involvement in book publishing. To answer the "favorite author" question would require too much explanation.
As far as favorite books, I have to be honest. I read so many books, it’s hard to say, "This is the one book that I like above others."
What influenced you to contribute to The Soul of A Man?
Initially, my inspiration came from the open invitation I received from Ellissa Gabrielle. I was promoting my author interview series on MySpace , and she invited me to take part in this anthology. I was honored by the gesture, but I didn’t know what I could write about that would add to her project. But as I pondered the possibilities, I decided to inject a little of what I go though with family and church along with a lot of my imagination. It’s not autobiographical, but there are elements present. I really tried to let the main character have his voice and tell his story through my fingertips.
Tell us about your contribution to the anthology, The Soul of a Man.
My story is entitled "Like Father, Like Son". Terrence tells his story of being an unappreciated step-father. His step-son, Andre, is going through growing pains while teetering on the line between adolescence and jail time. Although Terrence’s wife Mary strives to be Andre’s protector, she is unknowingly enables the bad attitude and the sociopathic lifestyle he is slowly developing. Just as Terrence’s faith in his marriage and devotion to fatherhood seems to fade, he has an unorthodox epiphany while attending Church. That experience gives Terrence the motivation needed to Man Up and recommit to his duties as a husband.
What do you hope readers will retain from reading The Soul of a Man?
I would like for readers, and even casual observers of this moment in publishing history, to retain is that there is more to the African-American male than being illiterate and unread. Don’t let the media and word-of-mouth fool you. Our history from the verbal musings of griots to the myths and legends recounted in our songs to the African-American writers of all genres has been forever present. These stories may be labeled as "fiction", but the experiences of the passionate African-American men who sculpted the English language into works of art enriched this anthology many times over.
Our styles and stories are as varied as the colors of the rainbow. They all come together through the prism provided by Elissa Gabrielle and Peace In The Storm Publishing in the form of The Soul of a Man. The light we shine will not reflect on us as authors but on the abilities and capabilities of all African-American males past, present and future.
What’s next for you?
I will continue to do book reviews and author interviews for http://joeypinkney.com. I look to do more writing and contribute to more anthologies as the opportunities arise.
Where can visitors find you online?
To find out more or purchase The Soul of a Man, visit