Thursday, May 7, 2015

Meet Roy Albert Andrade, Author

Roy Albert Andrade was born in Pacoima, California and at 12 years old was persuaded by gang members to join them for his own safety. Their modus operandi was to promise him protection from bullies and rival gangs. Having had no family structure of his own, Roy joined a group that was one of many in a city torn by dozens of Latino gangs or "families" as they called themselves. First named by gang members as "Bandit," he later carried a 22-caliber pistol and was given the moniker "Killer."

Having been incarcerated but never convicted of any crime, Roy decided to use his time in prison to interview others about crimes they had committed. This developed into his passion for life and a passion for writing. Well-read and a graduate of the University of Phoenix in Arizona, he decided to write his first novel based upon those interviews.

Roy has since written and published Cultivating the DNA of Crime in May 2014 and Virula: Renaissance Outlaw in March 2015. He has also established his own companies, K1ller, Inc., K1ller Publishing Co, and The K1ller Foundation to steer the youth of America away from lives of crime. Learn more about Roy Albert Andrade and his books at and on Facebook.

1. Have you always been interested in writing, or was it something you took up later on in your life?

No. When I was younger I wanted to be a drug lord and distribute drugs worldwide. I began selling marijuana in junior high and earned nearly $2,000 per week with little effort. I began hiring people and expanded my operation outside Los Angeles County. In high school, I began selling cocaine and methamphetamine to earn additional income. Eventually, I was sentenced to prison, and filed an appeal in the California Supreme Court. A year and a half passed by before I realized the value of an education. I became a student of University of Phoenix, and graduated with an Associate of Arts degree in 2011. Around that time, I began writing Cultivating the DNA of Crime. I hooked up with George Pryce, Death Row Records' former publicist, and the rest is history!

2. What got you started with interviewing prisoners about their crimes?

While serving time at Salinas Valley State prison in Central California, I enrolled in academic courses, self-help groups, and work programs. I met a number of interesting people, and exchanged information regarding gang affiliation. So, when I write, I integrate their ideas and experiences with my own to form what I call "a work of art."

3. How does your life experience as well as your interviews influence you as a writer?

My life has always encompassed four things: money, sex, drugs, and violence. I write what I see, hear, touch, taste, and know. I have a background unlike any other. There's only two people I can name that have a similar background and have published more than one book: Rene Enriquez and Donald Garcia (R.I.P). So, what I write is authentic, and most importantly, unique.

4. What do you like about the novel as a form, rather than short stories, say, or nonfiction?

I like to get to the point! I've read numerous books, some the size of dictionaries, others the size of employee handbooks, and what I learned is this: get to the [expletive] point already! I prefer writing short stories, because I can get to the point, easier, faster, and efficiently, and make the reader turn the next page.

5. What would you most like readers to know about Cultivating the DNA of Crime?

If I can do it, then anyone can do it. Not all of us have the same goals, but that doesn't mean we can't learn from one another and achieve what our hearts desire. I'm a living testimony that if people work hard enough to achieve a particular goal, and make reasonable deadlines, then they can achieve just about anything. My goal was to write and publish Cultivating the DNA of Crime. I recently published Virula: Renaissance Outlaw, and am currently working on a third project alongside George Pryce.

Thanks, Roy!

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