Our blog is all about finding the next best thing, “What’s Fresh? What’s New?”, and that’s what we did. We are an outlet for young people in everyday communities, either in Philly, Atlanta, Savannah, or where ever we can travel, to express themselves. We interviewed Philadelphia’s own urban creative writer, Thomas Overton. He introduces himself and his work to book readers, movie lovers, and urban publishers, who are interested in giving him a chance.
He’s been writing novels, screenplays and publishing his own books and others for over 5 years. Seeing himself as ambitious, responsible and persistent, Overton has exceeded expectations of young black men living in Philadelphia. Thomas Overton was born, raised, and still resides in Darby, Pennsylvania, a diverse neighborhood outside of Philadelphia. He works as a barber, but his true craft is writing novels, Indie plays, and feature films. Overton sees himself as an entrepreneur, and a man of many trades.
Question: What genre do you write?
Answer: I write urban fiction and African American literature in 3rd and 1st person.
Question: What is Live2Die Publishing?
Answer: Live2Die Publishing is a publishing company that I own and am CEO of. We help people publish their writing material and their thoughts.
Question: How has this company influenced your work ethic?
Answer: There are over 300,000 books published a year. It makes me feel like I can help put a book out or do a blog, because I’m good at what I do. It’s about having good fiction, mentoring people, and teaching classes to help publish good material.
Question: What work have you written (titles)?
Answer: In 2003-2005, I wrote the screenplay Murder With a Deadly Weapon, while I was in prison. I later converted this screenplay into a novel in December 2008. I wrote a book called Keys to the Franchise, while I was also in prison in 2005. I will publish this book in 2015, ten years later. Right now, I’m writing a book called Becoming the Director from Nothing to Everything. It is an autobiography on the writer/ director of the new movie “Brotherly Love”, Jamal Hill.
Question:What is the latest work that you’ve written?
Answer: I’m still writing the book, Becoming the Director from Nothing to Everything. It isn’t published yet. I need one more chapter, which I will finish whenever Jamal Hill is finished with the production of his many projects.
Question: Is there a message in your writings that you want your readers to grasp?
Answer: I want the readers to grasp that the world is not an easy place to live in. My mom told me to “have patience and persistence, and you can accomplish anything.”
Question: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Answer: At Drexel University, my professor saw me coming to class dirty everyday, after I worked all day like a slave. He saw how great of a writer I was, despite my other classmates who had it easy.
Question: Who influenced you to write?
Answer: I was influenced by life experiences. Through ups and downs, when I was angry, sad, frustrated, broken or broke, I chose to writer.
Question: If you had to choose a writer, which writer would you consider a mentor? Why?
Answer: Relentless Aaron, he’s an Atlanta guy who gave me my first interview. He put me on to urban literature. Also, Gerard Brown, who is the writer of the movie “Juice”. He’s a good mentor, an older guy that has projects that are successful. He always has good advice for me.
Question: Do you want to make writing a career?
Answer: Eventually, but I will never stop being a barber. I will always have the urge to take time to go to the barbershop. It is a place that gives me a time to fellowship with black men. It helps me deal with stuff. Writing alone won’t make me a full person.
Question: What is the hardest thing about writing?
Answer: It all depends on the mood I’m in. My editor told me to be diverse with words, not to be redundant or tell the same story.
Question: What have you learned about writing?
Answer: I learned by talking to my mentors. Also, I learned how to build my characters, how a story should be written, and how to write with multiple subplots. Every story should have a love interest, and a struggle between the antagonist and the protagonist.
Question: How has writing affected your personal life?
Answer: As I have gotten older, it has made me a better person. I needed something to take the place of sports. Having book signings kept me busy.
Question: Does your family and or friends support your craft?
Answer: Yes, they do. My friends introduce me as “the author”. My 9 year old daughter, who is an actress, may be in one of my plays. My 14 year old daughter told me that she was proud of me, as a writer.
Question: Are there any writers/TV or movie producers that you want to work with? Who?
Answer: Yes, I would like to work with Lee Daniels and Jamal Hill. I have a movie that I want Jamal Hill to direct, but I know that the production will be expensive.
Question: What do you want to say to your readers and future readers?
Answer: Go Get a Thomas Overton book. Be apart of my Facebook, my Instagram, and my Twitter. Become a reader. Look out for me and support my movement. I want that Hollywood respect from black writers!
Thomas Overton’s Facebook: Thomas Overton, Instagram: @AuthorThomasOverton, and Twitter: @AuthorTOverton