I have a special treat for you today. I'm sitting here with a friend and author, Thaabit Hedgepeth. Thaabit has written a book that is probably not the type you normally read and is about a subject you most likely are not familiar with--life behind prison bars. Thaabit went to prison at age 16 for two counts of murder and is here today to show that a person CAN turn his life around, if he chooses to.
Welcome, Thaabit. I'm so happy to have you here. Tell us a little about your life now.
How long have you been writing?
My infatuation with writing actually began in the first grade, over 30 years ago, writing love letters to various girls in school. While I received many 'no's' to the question, "Will you be my girlfriend?" I received great feedback on the writing itself. I could always see how moved they were by the words. Writing took on a different level of importance at the age of eight when I placed second in a North Carolina Public School poetry contest.
What type of writing do you normally do?
Non-fiction and poetry.
Give us a brief synopsis of your book.
My book, Keep the Change, is the blueprint for anyone struggling with life's challenges and obstacles, helping them become the person they've always desperately fought to be.
Tell us what prompted you to write it?
Facing life in prison at the age of 16 for two counts of first degree murder, I was left with only two options. I could either accept responsibility for my actions and change my mindset and behaviors, or I could continue down a path of destruction which would ultimately result in death. I wrote, Keep the Change, for those like myself, who struggle with the idea of changing their thoughts and behaviors, which in turn, helps them change their lives. My goal is to touch and impact as many people as possible.
How long did it take you to write this book?
Nearly nine months.
Do you have a favorite line from the book?
One of my favorite lines is, "On your path to change, commitment is the gift birthed from the womb of discipline and consistency. Its parent is determination."
Is Keep the Change published and, if so, when and by whom?
It was self-published through Amazon's KDP in January, 2019.
How can my readers get a copy?
Readers can get a copy on my website, www.thaabitspeaks.com/keep-
the-change. It can also be purchased on Amazon.com.
What do you do besides write?
Outside of writing, I'm also a keynote speaker and mentor, empowering today's youth and shaping tomorrow's leaders.
What is your advice to would-be writers?
I'm sure it's cliche, but no matter what, just write. I also believe it's very important to surround yourself with other writers via a group or just personal connections. This could not have been possible without the support, encouragement, and feedback from the awesome writers I've been blessed to have met and built relationships with. Shout-out to Linda, Barbara, Pam, Christine, and Jim for all of your help along the way!
What do you wish you knew when you started your writing career?
I wish I would've understood the importance of marketing and promotion long before the book is released. If it is to impact others, it must first reach them.
What’s next for Thaabit Hedgepeth?
Now that the weight of publishing my first book has been lifted and I'm officially an 'author', the next step is to continue writing and publishing books. My vision is to inspire and impact people across the world to live lives of greatness and reward!
Friends, I encourage you all to buy this book and read it. You'll get not only an inside look at life behind bars but also at the road that led Thaabit to prison in the first place. Find out what it took for him to turn his life around.
Quote of the Day: Two men look out the same prison bars; one sees mud and the other stars. Beck