Please tell us a little bit about your most recent work.
Ghetto Bastard is a story of survival. Malik was born into these circumstances--with no father to teach him how to be a man, and to a mother who didn't want him. Malik must navigate his way to adulthood with only the streets as his guide--through the seventies heroin infestation, the eighties crack rage, and the nineties Clinton mass incarceration era, and AIDS epidemic.
Once he becomes a man, his vision broadens, but will it be enough to abandon the very ghetto that created him?
Ghetto Bastard is the intimate journey of an innocent child in search of love and self-worth. He just wants what we all want. And Malik Russell wasn't born with any 'quit', so he's got that going for him, but neither was his opponent: the ghetto.
What draws you to writing novels?
I started to write Ghetto Bastard and Ghetto Bastard 2 as a form of therapy. In doing so, I realized that all the people around me, throughout my life, had been dealing with their own misfortunes. That’s when it hit me that I was writing my memoirs to convey that “current situation” neither determines nor defines “final destination.”
Are you currently working on any side projects such as short stories, essays, etc.?
No, but I’m currently working on the third book in my Ghetto Bastard Series, Ghetto Bastard, Life After Death.
Which topics interest you the most and why?
I’m most interested in current affairs because knowledge is power.
Do you have any unique rituals?
I can’t say that I do.
One novelist more people should know: Who is it?
Donald Goines who wrote Whoreson, Dopefiend and Inner City Hoodlum.
Do you find it difficult to get your work out there?
My books are on Amazon but finding legitimate outlets to promote them on is hard.
Tell us about your day job or your daily activities.
I’m recently retired which gives me plenty of time, now to devote to my next book, my brand and label.
When it comes to your work, where do you find your inspiration?
My life and great grandmother has been the inspiration for my work.
What would you like to tell your readers?
I guarantee that once you read the first 10 pages of Ghetto Bastard, A memoir, you won’t be able to put it down. Then you’ll have to buy Ghetto Bastard 2 and your heart will twist with agony awaiting book 3, Ghetto Bastard, Life After Death.
Here is what Russell Vann wants us to know about him:
"I was born in the South Bronx in the late sixties to a drug-addicted mother, who didn’t know who my father was, and into a world that didn’t want me. Growing up, I faced life or death situations every step of the way, it seemed. Not only have I struggled to overcome my own specters, but also those of my environment.
I started to write these books as a form of therapy. In doing so, I realized that all the people around me, throughout my life, had been dealing with their own misfortunes. That’s when it hit me that I was writing my memoirs to convey that “current situation” neither determines nor defines “final destination.”
I’ve had to overcome many obstacles affiliated with living in the ghetto. Did I escape unscathed? No, but I’m stronger. And matters of the heart—that I’ve experienced because of the ghetto—have shaped me into the man I’ve become.
I’m no longer in the ghetto, and while those experiences haven’t defined me, they haven’t left me, either. I am truly blessed to have my loving family’s support on this journey to become an author.
Regardless of where you come from or what you do, I hope my life story touches you. The threads of commonality that run through my memoir show that we all face similar struggles in life and must overcome much of the same troubles. Life and death battles don’t lurk around every corner, but fears and worries haunt us all; love and heartbreak can change our lives in a moment. Because of that, Ghetto Bastard tells everyone’s story."
Purchase his book here HERE