Author Profile: Meet Kahlil Koromantee

Message to a Youngblood, by Kahlil Koromantee

POS:  As an author, which of your several books has garnered you the most support?

KK: ‘Message to a Youngblood’ is still my most popular book so far. It received a very welcomed nod from former Chancellor of NYC Department of Education, Dennis M. Walcott, NBC’s David Ushery praised it as part of his Harlem Week coverage, NY Daily News and other media mentions helped put the book on the map, so i think that made that project more popular than my other books because of the hype around it which i appreciate, of course. It proved to me that I hit a major note in the community and was correct in choosing to write directly to my intended audience and not to the ‘experts’ in which became my preferred writing style.

POS: What is next for Kahlil? Do you have any events coming up that you would like our readers to know about?

 KK: My new target audience are youth who age out of the foster care system and what often happens to them if they don’t have a solid action plan, be it academic, vocational or life, in general. Many of them end up on the streets and do whatever they need to do to survive. Many of them also become college graduates and proud examples of American citizenry, so I want to address that, including my experiences running a youth residential facility and what I can offer those either interested in pursuing a career in residential youth counseling or already counseling teens and young adults in a group home, and seeking innovative tools on how to motivate hard to reach youth in foster care or under state supervision.

POS: What would you say to the aspiring authors out there?

KK:   Figure out what your own voice is, nurture it and find your market. Read lots of books. The more you read, the better you’ll write. The more you know, the more you’ll have to say. Don’t wait for someone to give you permission to call yourself a writer or author. Stay in contact with other writers, especially the ones who share your passion. Learn how to market both your book and yourself as an author. Create your own website. Learn how to balance being a writer (the creative part) and a selling author (the business part). Save your notes. They’ll come in handy later. And be open to advice and constructive criticism. My current book is probably my most controversial project yet. I had planned on approaching it strictly from an observer position, as with my other books, when a friend told me if I didn’t put myself in the book, it would come off as though I was encouraging the reader to be as in-authentic as the writer. Adding my personal life story for the first time, along with all the other life stories I had collected during interviews with various troubled youth, turned out to be the best advice I could have asked for but didn’t. So be open to growing as a writer in perfect conjunction to growing as a human being.

I’d like to thank Kahlil for taking the time to speak to us today. Until next time, peace!


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