Author Spotlight: Wahida Clark


If you are fan of adult Street Lit., then you are familiar with Wahida Clark’s books.  Penned the “Queen of Thug  Love Fiction,” Clark’s style of writing has set the standard for Street Literature.  Some of her best selling novels include:  Payback is a Mutha, The Golden Hustla and Justify My Thug.  Now she has ventured into another arena:  young adult literature.  The new book series is called, “The Wahida Clark Presents Young Adult Series (YA)” targets readers from ages 14-18.  Teens will now have a series of their own that will feature realistic characters and problems that they can relate to.   The overall goal of this series is to carry the message that every deed has a consequence. 

Author, Wahida Clark
I’m excited about this series because like Tamika Newhouse, Ni Ni Simone and Earl Sewell, Clark is committed to presenting a responsible solid story that teens can learn from.   Below is a brief interview between myself and the very busy Wahida Clark.  


Miss Domino: First let me tell you from a school librarian’s perspective, my 12th grade girls are in love with your books that you have written from your adult catalog.  Why did you create Wahida Clark Presents Young Adult?
     Wahida Clark:  One of my inspirations for writing was that I saw how I could inspire our youth to read. This applies to my Young Adult Line as well.

Miss Domino:  Wahida tell me about some of your new Young Adult authors, how you discovered them and a brief synopsis of their stories?
     Wahida Clark:  - Rashawn Hughes, the author of Under Pressure, at the age of twenty-two, was convicted and sentenced to twenty years in prison for a shooting in a street altercation where a man lost his life.  While in prison Mr. Hughes has dedicated himself to being responsible, to showing that life once set on its course can change. He began honing his writing skills in 2000 after taking a brutally honest look at his life and situation. He wanted to create a way to keep the memory of his victim alive and do something that would make his family proud of him. So he decided to pen Under Pressure.
     - Charmaine White is an 18 year old student at Spellman.  She simply reached out to me with her manuscript and we liked it.  She simply enjoys writing.
     - Gloria-Dotson Lewis currently pursuing her degree in Social Work. She is a married mother of three and is dedicated to creating a non-profit organization geared specifically toward African-American teen girls. Her goal is to create an environment that will empower, encourage and educate young women with the skills they need to make responsible choices that will lead to a healthy, successful future. 
     We have other new Young Adult writers that will be debuting soon.

Miss Domino: Writing for the Teen audience is tough.  A writer must be very observant of content and messages conveyed in the story.  I've read all three books and they are page turners that teens will enjoy.  On average, how long did it take to develop and produce the books for publication?
     Wahida Clark:  It takes us 5-6 months per title.

Miss Domino: What has been the response from teens, parents and librarians about the books?
     Wahida Clark:  Great responses! Looking forward to touching more lives. 

Miss Domino: What are some of the challenges have you experienced from a publisher’s position while developing these books?
     Wahida Clark:  There haven’t been a lot of Young Adult book lines in the black community. My challenge is to increase the availability.

Miss Domino: Do you believe it was easier to produce a book for a teen audience than an adult audience?    
      Wahida Clark:  They are about the same.

Miss Domino: Your writers did a really good job in relating to the teens today.  Their references to speech/language, music, interests and most importantly problems that teens experience were well researched.  Why do you think it is important for today’s writers to relate to their audience?
     Wahida Clark:  You won’t sell books if you can’t relate to your audience.  Simple as that!

Miss Domino: With three books in your teen catalog, what can we expect from Wahida Clark Presents in 2012 for teens and adults?
     Wahida Clark:  A lot more!

Miss Domino:  What Street Lit titles are sitting on your bookshelf right now?
     Wahida Clark:  The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah, Standing at the Scratch Line by Guy Johnson, some Donald Goines, Tracy Brown, Nikki Turner, the list goes on . . . I am a book junkie with all genres on my shelves.

Miss Domino:  What is in the near future for you?  i.e. – speaking at conferences, book fairs, webinars etc.
     Wahida Clark:  All of the above and then some! I must admit, I have grown my company at a pace faster than I can keep up with.

School and Public Librarians:  Wahida Clark Presents - Young Adult Series books are now available through Children's Plus in library binding!  

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