I had written an article about a local author I know in the area I live in for the newspaper/magazine at Rutgers University. I was so excited to put the word out for Esham, he is such an inspirational person, especially for those of us who come from very difficult backgrounds. I finally was able to grab a dozen newspapers (a couple for Esham and his family and a couple for myself) but was not impressed with the way the editor had edited my paper or how she did not credit me for the interview. What ultimately pissed me off though, was the fact that they did not bother posting a picture of the book with the interview I conducted after contacting them plenty of times to do so.Yes, my article was posted in the newspaper but it was just an interview- it was not able to provide an entire story being that the photo of the book was not included. So I’ve decided to post a cover of the book, to paint a picture for my future blog readers, and the interview that had taken place early April. I hope you enjoy the interview, but most of all, I hope you give this author a chance and check out his first book. If you do, read it with an open mind, every person has a story and this is how he chose to tell it! “Prolific Poetry” is available through paperback and e-book. Get your copy today and support local authors, artists, and people who have dreams. ♥
40-year-old Newark native Esham Abdul Giles is a self-published author and entrepreneur. He founded publishing company, Focus Write Inspire, and released his first book during the summer of 2012. With a book of quotes, titled “Quote Me,” released April 19th, and a semi-autobiographical novel entitled “Eyes Closed, Mind Open,” due out this fall, Giles continues to pursue his dream of becoming a successful entrepreneur. Giles has given me the opportunity to interview him about his first book, “Prolific Poetry,” a collection of poems that articulate Giles’ story and his positive outlook on life:
Beatrice: How many copies of “Prolific Poetry” have you sold so far?
Esham Abdul Giles: 620 paperback copies. I just formatted it to be purchased as an e-book through iTunes and other secondary sources.
Beatrice: Who or what inspired you to write “Prolific Poetry”?
Giles: Rumi, I read a lot of poetry from him. Abraham Lincoln has always been a favorite of mine. Langston Hughes is another. But, what truly inspired me to put the book out was the death of my friends.
Beatrice: It’s great that you were able to turn that loss into something positive. How did it affect you and your writing?
Giles: At one point in my life I thought we were all cursed because someone I knew was dying one year after the other. I lost five friends. One was sick; one died in a car accident; two were shot. It was a lot to deal with but their deaths helped mold me into the person I am today. With each experience of dealing with their deaths, it changed how I dealt with the world, specifically the area I lived in. I made sure I did not put myself into certain situations that I knew would probably lead me into trouble. I stopped hanging out and focused more on my writing and exploring this side of myself that I kept hidden. I wrote for therapeutic reasons, just to get it off my chest.
Beatrice: How did you go about putting “Prolific Poetry” together?
Giles: I did my research on how to put a book together. I also spoke with someone about the cover design. I took all of my poetry, sat down and asked myself: “what do I want to put out?” I went to an editor who assisted me in picking out certain ones. I didn’t want the book to be completely dark or just focus on one thing, I wanted to show my readers that I could write about a lot of different topis, such as politics, family, friends, gain, and loss. I also did not want to base my work as urban; I wanted my poetry to touch everyone!
Beatrice: Were you embarrassed to display this private side of yourself?
Giles: Yes, because I was opening myself up. I’m a serious person, and that’s the way most people see me. They often forget that I’m not just a stern person and that I have feelings as well. The day I got the book published and had to press the button to release it, I was scared. I asked myself “Do I really want to open myself up?” because if I do this, there is no turning back. But I did it and it’s going well! Managers and co-workers purchased the book at both of my jobs and they love it. The book is going to move to New York soon. I have my fingers crossed!
Beatrice: Did you fear how people would view you after reading about your past experiences?
Giles: Yes I did! I was afraid people would judge me. I wrote about some dark experiences and wasn’t sure how the book would be received. But, I did my best to try and turn each of those bad experiences into something positive. So although I wrote about some dark events that took place in my life, I’ve had people approaching me, telling me that it was a positive book. I’ve inspired people to write their own stories or do the things they’ve always wanted to do, they’re not afraid to take the risk anymore because I stepped out on faith and took the risk.
Beatrice: What advice do you have out there for students who want to publish their own books or jump into the publishing industry?
Giles: Take your time and do your research! Read as much as you can about the publishing industry and about people who have self-published their books like I have. Try not to get stuck in just one area. Remember to copyright all of your work! If you’re creating your own publishing company like I have with Focus Write Inspire, make sure to create a company name or logo to brand yourself because in the end you may not just be publishing your own books, you may end up publishing someone else’s.