Each month IndependentBookPublisher will be featuring a new independent author and their most current work. This month’s feature is on the author Hermes Hanover and he will be debuting his first novel, Never Die: A Philadelphia Story on July 23rd, 2012.
IBP: Good Meeting you Hermes!!!
HH: Thank you, good meeting you as well.
IBP: So tell us how did you start writing and what inspired you to write a novel?
HH: Well, I have been writing for most of my life, mostly short stories but this is my first novel. I think the story itself was better told as a novel rather than a short story simply because of the complexity of the characters.
IBP: Who are some of your influences?
HH: Oh I have many but my favorite of all is Egdar Allen Poe, others are: Lord Alfred Tennyson, Langston Hughes, William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Bret Easton Ellis, Iceberg Slim, Claude McKay, Mario Puzo, William Blake, Edwin Torres, the list goes on and on, my tastes are rather eclectic!
IBP: Tell us about Never Die: A Philadelphia Story, the title certainly doesn’t give any clues about the plot!
HH: Ha, yes intentionally so! Never Die centers around Nina, a female drug dealer with a taste for murder who sets up her boyfriend, who she works for to have a direct link to her connection. She recruits her best friends to help her out, including the wife of her boyfriends partner, and they not only take over the operation but they expand it. But in her efforts to amass power, she sets off a chain of events that winds up threatning every thing she loves.
IBP: So it is safe to categorize this an urban crime drama?
IBP: In recent years the publishing world has seen the urban fiction genre take off in popularity, with so many other titles in the market what makes Never Die different? Why would a fan of this genre want to read Never Die?
HH: To be truthful, I made a promise to myself not to read any other works of this type of genre either before or during the writing of the novel. The reason for this is because I wanted a pure process while I created this work. I conceived the story over 10 years ago however the first incarnation was a skeleton outline for a script. After some soul searching I decided to develop it into a novel, in fact the sequel, Never Been Good is actually the original concept story for the character. So Never Die is the prequel if you will, to the character’s main story. The novel is set in the early 1990’s so readers who grew up during that time frame will easily recognize many of the hip hop and cultural references prevelent in that time made in the book. I think fans of this type of genre will enjoy Never Die for the parts of it that speak to their lives; the tragedy, loss, humor, the hope, even redemption that’s found living the street life.
IBP: The main character Nina is extremely violent and certain passages in the novel it is indicated she actually enjoys the more violent aspects of the drug trade. Are you concerned with the effect this may have on young readers?
HH: That’s a good question….while I don’t feel this is a novel for really young readers twelve or thirteen, I do think that it can be a powerful conversation piece about some of the ills that still continue to plague the black community til this day. This generation is the post crack era generation, the video game text me, facebook me, generation, they are the inheritors of the ruins left by the scourge of drugs on the black community during the 1980’s and ‘90’s. I think urban novels helped to provide a context for the environment and the circumstances that created these situations. My hope is that readers who purchase this novel can walk away with more than just a “Niecy’s revenge” type story where the character gets away with their misdeeds, but a realistic yet entertaining portrayal of a young woman trying to obtain power in a violent and male dominated world and facing the harsh consequences of her decisions.
IBP: So you’re saying Nina isn’t a hero?
HH: By no means! Make no mistake although Nina’s a leader and successful at her trade, she is a psychopath who ultimately cares about no one, not even herself. I want readers to recognize Nina for what she is: the product of drugs and poverty who chooses to inflict pain on others to ease her own. The few friends she has are all involved in her plans and she finds that her strive to become Philadelphia’s top female drug kingpin will take risking everything important to her, including the lives of her friends.
IBP: Sounds very exciting I can’t wait to read it! So what’s next for Hermes Hanover, I think you alluded to a sequel earlier in the converation?
HH: Yes, Never Been Good this is the original concept that I outlined 11 years ago. The story of course picks up where Never Die leaves off, but Never Been Good centers around her falling in love with a college football recruit who is exact opposite of her, while managing her drug enterprise. I think it will be an interesting turn particularly for this character and for this type of genre.
IBP: Well that sounds very interesting I can’t wait for that one as well! Thank you for your time and for our readers when does Never Die debut?
HH: July 23rd available on Amazon, Kindle, and very soon a bookstore near you!