Black Writers Get a Voice in New Literary Magazine âSpook'<br />

Spook Issue One Cover.

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considering expanding to independent bookstores across the country?

JP: I would love to. I’ve got a friend looking into options of distributing back home in L.A. but right now, most people who are not in New York are buying it online. It’s actually being bought by people all over the country: in California, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Texas. It’s been really surprising how people have responded. I think people realized and understood that something has been missing and are excited about this. I’m excited for the next one.

For the second issue, I’ve been getting emails from writers that I enjoy reading who are reaching out to submit, so I’m excited. I have a few tricks up my sleeve and hopefully a few names I’d like to get on board for the second issue.

EBONY: You created this journal with the goal of publishing your own work, but then did not include your own work in this journal. What are your goals now for your own writing?

JP: I’m moving into creative writing. It’s a natural evolution for me, from writing at a newspaper and for The Atlantic and Vibe. The transition is weird because the non-fiction side is more observing and writing from that, but with fiction, you’re creating your own narrative. I’m not formally trained in writing, but I have a Masters in African-American literature that gave me Gloria Naylor, [Toni] Morrison and [James] Baldwin and gave me the knowledge and courage to say and do what I need to do.

I’m hoping to get published in other journals and to finish this novel I’m working on. The ideal, of course, is to get a book contract and just write, but we’ll see. I’m excited. I have a few ideas and I have a collection of stories about Black men in Los Angeles that I’m working on. I definitely want to write the great American novel.

EBONY: Who are your favorite writers?

JP: Baldwin and Morrison for very different reasons: Baldwin because his essays are just unreal, and Morrison, I love her fiction, her gauge and how she just approaches subjects and is always thinking so big.

EBONY: What do you hope your legacy will be?

JP: As Baldwin said, “I want to be an honest man and a good writer.”  I hope to be remembered as someone who always spoke the truth about what he believed. And with Spook, I hope to show that our writing is just as good as anybody else’s.

To submit pieces to be considered for the third and fourth issues of Spook Magazine, email info@spook-mag.com.

Brooke Obie writes the award-winning blog DistrictDiva.com. Follow her on Twitter @DistrictDiva.