Voice for the Silent Fathers
by Eddie K. Wright
In his memoir, Eddie shares his story of becoming a father at 18 years old who realized his son was showing ‘stereotypical’ signs of being gay while still in diapers. Spending most of his adult life engulfed in the street gangster/hip-hop culture where this subject was not only hushed but deeply frowned upon, he gives us the voice for what’s been kept silent for far too long, confronting almost every aspect of this taboo topic. It took years for him to silently accept his son’s homosexuality himself, regardless of all the signs. When his son was five years old, his favorite color was pink and there was nothing Dad could do about it. By the age of fourteen; he was an internet sensation, dancing on YouTube building his fan base to guarantee his success when performing as a drag queen a few years later. Eddie addresses the questions most are scared to ask; Was there anything I could do to stop my son’s homosexuality? When did I know my son was gay? What made him that way? Parents will find comfort in reading that Eddie admits that his son’s feminine behaviors embarrassed him and he seriously contemplated abandonment, a choice that too many fathers feel they have to choose.
He shares witnessing the desperation in the eyes of fathers, from all walks of life, who have pulled him aside, away from listening ears wanting to know the answers to these frequently asked questions, agonizing the possibilities that their son might be gay.
Chapter One Excerpt:
…” My son Drew was born September 20, 1990. I don't know if homosexuality is a biological or mental condition. I never thought Drew would grow up making the conscious decision to be gay, the way other kids were making plans to become firefighters, police officers, or doctors.
When I would ask him what he wanted to be when he grew up, he would tell me all the normal kid choices, he never straight out said, "Dad, I want to be a gay ballerina dancer!" However, as a father with a keen street intuition, I sensed something abnormal was having an effect on Drew.
At a very young age, he began displaying mannerisms similar to his mother. He started sucking his teeth and rolling his eyes. He would tilt his head and alter his voice to imitate a girlish tone and it would get on my nerves. This was happening when he was around four or five years old, and I avoided paying too much attention to those signs for fear of re-reinforcing those flamboyant behaviors.
Around others, especially the women in Drew’s life, I was depicted as "Mr. Macho”. I was the bad guy who was always "over-reacting" when I addressed and attempted to correct certain mannerisms that just couldn't be ignored.
My "Gaydar" was active watching all his behaviors for a "Gayness Alert!" which would make me rush in, like the heterosexual swat team, to stop whatever he was doing and make it more boyish.”…
1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Currently, I'm serving a 45 year sentence as a result of the gangster mentality I used to maintain. I use my time productively and "woke up" to my spirituality after my first year in jail. I've been incarcerated since 2004. I've been known as the Gangster Turned Guru, since I am the most positive and optimistic person walking the penitentiary yard of Canaan, one of the most violent prisons in America.
2. What do you do when your not writing?
When I'm not writing, I'm working out, cooking, reading or watching Ancient Aliens.
3. Do you have a day job as well?
Although I'm in prison, I have my own little business, making cheese cakes and pizza's that I sell to support myself and help out with child support. Unbeknownst to those that don't know, it cost a lot to live comfortably in prison, especially if you want to eat healthy.
4. When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I first started writing about 12 years ago, a year after I got locked up. It was like therapy and gave me a sense of freedom. It took me about 6 months to write "Voice for the Silent Fathers" my first published book that was release in 2016.
5. How did you choose the genre you write in?
I write spiritual self-help material. I write about what I lived and experience, what I've learned and what I share with others.
6. Where do you get your ideas?
I get my idea's based on my life experience. I'm in prison so the things that I hear, see, or are a part of can't be made up.
7. Do you ever experience writer's block?
It's hard for me to have writer's block in here. I do make time to detach from writing so I don't burn out. But I cherish all the time I have to write.
8. Do you write an outline, or just write?
I do both. I start by just writing and then when I'm a few chapters in I make an outline to help develop where I want to go with the book.
9. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
So many authors come to mind but right off top I would say Neal Donald Walsh and his "Conversations with God" book series.
10. Can you tell us about your challenges in getting you first book published?
The biggest challenge for me, being in prison was working around the lock downs. In the middle of typing chapters to my publisher, the prison would get locked down for a month at a time. I would have phone interviews set, that had to be rescheduled and then I have to prepare for the recorded interruptions, while making sure to get all the questions answered in 15 minutes. On top of that, I only have 300 minutes a month, so yeah there were a few obstacles we had to overcome.
11. If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
The one thing I would change is the proof reading for the typo's. The spell check doesn't always work as well as we expected it too.
12. How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
I have to leave that up to my publishing company. All I'm able to do is write post. I have 6 copies of "Voice for the Silent Fathers" on my unit of 120 convicts that circulate around, and on the last page, I wrote a message asking them to request the book to a family member or friend for now. That's all I'm really able to do, besides phone interviews and things like this tour which is great for me.
13. Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
Next is "The Evolution of a Gangster Turned Guru" which is based on my spiritual transformation from these last 13 years.
14. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
All my books are based on real life experiences. All non-fiction so far. As imaginative as some of the story seem....it's all real.
15. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
I guess one of my favorite chapters was when I took the family to Disney World. The kids were so happy and still talk about that trip. It was the one real family trip they experienced. I'm able to laugh at myself and my antic's.
16. How did you come up with the title?
The title just made sense because fathers don't talk about the issue of having a gay son. We're silent, from being embarrassed, angry, and afraid. I felt like I was alone dealing with this but I couldn't be since everyone has a father. I just never knew a father that accepting his gay son.
17. What project are you working on now?
I'm writing the final draft of "The Evolution of a Gangster Turned Guru", which will be out in the beginning of 2019.
18. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
The toughest criticism was from my mother, who at first didn't like the book because it revealed a side of me she didn't know about or refused to accept. No matter what, I'm her baby boy. So when she told me she hated it, I was crushed at first.
The best compliment, was from a friend whose son came out to him a few months after he read my book and he told me that if he hadn't read "Voice for the Silent Fathers" he wouldn't have handled it so well. He added that he'll be able to love and accept his son. That was the full intention of writing my story.
19. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Advice for writers is to keep writing! Don't get discouraged and know that the magic happens in the re-write.
20. Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
I just want to thank my readers for all the support, and if you've read "Voice for the Silent Fathers, I don't consider you a fan, I consider you a friend. Thanks you again!
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
First time author Eddie K. Wright is a fitness trainer, Yoga instructor, spiritual motivational speaker and an inmate at a federal prison. His personal transformation upon realizing the Universal laws and love of life, supports his conviction in his "Gangster to Guru" book series. The premier release "VOICE FOR THE SILENT FATHERS" details the struggle and inner conflict with being the parent of a homosexual child in the day, and a known connected gangster at night. Overcoming his "No son of mine" mentality, by realizing the true meaning of unconditional love wasn't easy, but his deep insight, heartfelt honesty, and 'laugh to keep from crying' attitude, makes for a humorous read for anyone touched by this issue which means it's for everyone!
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The Book will be FREE at Smashwords During the Tour
The Book will be FREE at Smashwords During the Tour
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER
Eddie will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway