National best-selling author Joy Deja King is quietly creating her own monopoly in the young urban reading market with her books focused on revealing the complexities of New York street and entertainment life. King has been directly involved in New York’s fast-paced entertainment scene since leaving Pace University early on in her career, which undoubtedly gives her novels a non-fiction feel. King checked in with rolling out to discuss her rise to national prominence and her new music career.
How and when did you decide to become a full-time writer?
I was going through a situation in my personal life at that time and I really wanted to get my thoughts out. It started off as non-fiction, but it was too much information. So, I changed it to a fiction book with a little bit of truth to it and then something just clicked and the words started flowing. I didn’t know anything about publishing or getting an agent so I just went ahead and put my last dollar into it. I’m glad I did because after finishing in 2004 I took it to vendors in New York, like Brooklyn, and a month later editor Malik Patterson emailed me and that’s how I got my first book deal.
How did you initially get interested in rapping?
I’ve always wanted to do the rapping thing. It wasn’t something that ever left me, it was just the book thing took off and to the point where I had to do it. I write urban books and to me it’s a representation of the streets and hip-hop music. It was a natural transition for me because instead of putting it on paper I get to do it over beats. Instead of telling it over 250 pages I’m doing it in three minutes, but the story doesn’t change.
What’s the difference between writing and rapping?
I love both of them, but to me personally writing a book is definitely much harder. I think the hard work does that come with music is in terms of finding the right track and laying everything out with the mastering and mixing. But as far as the creative process, writing is a much deeper, longer process.
What’s next on your agenda?
My first single is “I’m the Bomb” featuring Cash Out. I think it’s a club banger and the video just premiered on allhiphop.com. The EP is going to drop Aug. 15 and be premiered on allhiphop.com. I’m really excited because I think the record is a reflection of who I am in the same way as my books.