Effective January 2014, the Blog-Zine is cosed to new posts and is going dark. The blog and its archives will stay "up," though, so please feel free to peruse the archives and discover all of the great books, authors, articles, and other features that have joined me here over the years. Thanks to all who helped make my Blog-Zine adventure a raging success! Read on!
16 January, 2013
Welfare Grind by Kendall Banks
In Welfare Grind by Kendall Banks, cold-hearted Keema takes the world by storm as she navigates her way through every trick and scam that she can pull off. With four kids in tow, living off the welfare system has become her way of life - along with the extra cash, sex, and violence that her gangsta boyfriend, Dupree, brings to her life. But soon, chaos erupts, causing Keema’s secret past to become a problem in the present. When the chips fall, they fall hard, leaving Keema willing to do whatever it takes to keep money in her pocket. She’s willing to go that extra mile, even if it means selling her kids or setting up her man.
Get to Know Kendall Banks:
1. Please introduce us to your book and its main characters. What makes each one special? Do you have favorites? Welfare Grind starts off with an explosive scene that shows Keema, the main character, not taking ownership of something that has the authorities at her front door. When her kids are taken away from her, this starts a downward spiral for the tons of tricks and scams that Keema pulls off to get them back - all in the name of getting welfare benefits. The money is good, real good, and she can’t stand the thought of not collecting it. Keema’s character is very authentic and has readers wanting to choke her!
Treasure is Keema’s daughter, who subliminally acts just like her mother. At ten-years-old, she’s had to grow up all too soon, becoming an apprentice in their project-based home. Treasure is quick, witty, and extremely intuitive. Unfortunately for Keema, karma may come from her own child. They say the apple never falls far from the tree...
2. Which character or topic in the book can you identify with the most? Why? I can most identify with ten-year-old, Treasure. Forced to grow up without a father and ultimately be responsible for her younger brother’s well-being, Treasure often takes on the role of mother and is allowed to use her own judgment to solve problems at such a young age. I didn’t have a relationship with my father, so I knew that this was a subject that a lot of readers could relate to.
3. Is this the book you intended to write or did it take on a life of its own as you were writing? It definitely took on a life of its own because the character, Keema, became so dramatic and entertaining after the first chapter. She became far more dimensional that I ever imagined and has several variations. She became so exciting and so absorbing that I couldn’t stop writing. Even with her flaws, the readers seem to love her.
4. Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book? I want readers to walk away with the understanding that being on "the system" is a choice and getting off of it is a lifestyle change. It’s easy to get complacent when you’re getting income to live on with little effort on your part. The money may seem good on the surface, but is it really self gratifying and what message does it send to your children? For those who really need it, I’m hoping that they use it to help them get on their feet and then get off of it.
5. We are here to shine the spotlight on your new book, but what’s next? Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases. How may our readers follow you online? My next project is the third installment in the Welfare Grind Series. Readers everywhere are talking about the first two installments. This book is going to explore the aftermath of Keema’s decisions and what effects they had on Treasure. That being said, readers can connect with me online on Twitter (@authorkendallb) and Instagram (authorkendallb).
Kendall Banks originally hails from both Georgia and North Carolina, and presently resides in Washington, D.C. Her long time goal was to produce movies; however, after trying to write her first movie script and failing, she turned the text into a manuscript and submitted it to Life Changing Books. The rest, as they say, is history! When she isn't writing, Kendall enjoys participating in community service projects.
Thanks to Kendall Banks for joining us here on the Blog-Zine. If you haven't already, pick up or download your copy of Welfare Grind and read to tell about it!