Once again in late 2011, Donnell wrote his second novel entitled "Lyric’s Song” which debut on November 16th 2012 ending up at number eleven on UBAWA'S Top 25 Bestsellers of 2012. Before that, Donnell released a short story entitled “Youngblood.”
Donnell is the contributing author of the anthology entitled “The Almighty Dolla,” is a columnist for Dream Pathways Magazine. As a result of Donnell's passion and effort he was chosen "Writer of the Month" for the month of October. He still resides in Miami, Florida where he's currently writing his next novel.
"My only hope is that through my stories, I can inspire an entire generation." – Donnell Hicks
Donnell’s titles include:
The Almighty Dolla (Anthology)
Words from the Heart (Poetry Book)
Youngblood (E-book Short Story)
Youngblood 2 (E-book Short Story)
About “Lyric's Song”
Born to a prostitute, Lyric Gibson was given up at birth to be raised by his grandmother in Miami. Being a teenager, Lyric has always felt a sense of loneliness and abandonment regardless of the plenty of love he had from his grandmother. Lyric always felt that empty coldness in his heart. He seeks help from other people to help him cope with the hard life he had to endure and the anger he experiences. Lyric finds comfort and pure instant affection from a young beautiful girl named Layla who is from a middle-class suburban family with a two parent household.
During their time together, Layla shows Lyric the true beauty of living life. Lyric never has been so happy in his life. In the midst of Lyric’s recovery, his mother Julia returns in hopes of a family reunion. Lyric is devastated when he finds out a major secret from his grandmother and his mother that changes his life forever. Now, Lyric is faced with the harsh choice of returning back into the person he once was or stay the course and continue to evolve into a better person to deal with the sudden changes in his life.
Lyric’s Song is an emotional novel filled with love, family, and heartbreaking secrets that’ll make any person cry.
DP: When did you first decide you wanted to become an author?
Donnell: The first time I decided to become an author is when I wrote my book entitled "Heart of a Brother" back in college. It was something like an experiment to get the feel of sitting in front of the computer all day and all night typing away creating a full length novel. The joy of putting all my thoughts, ideas, feelings, and using my imagination by writing Heart of a Brother led me to decide I wanted to become an author, just by putting all my emotions into one full length novel.
DP: How did you decide on the idea for your first book?
Donnell: I was in college and on weekends I would volunteer my time helping children at a youth center here in Miami. Sometimes, I would be around children who were full of joy or at time filled with sadness. That is where I got the idea for writing my first book.
DP: How long did it take you to write your first book?
Donnell: Between work and school at that time, I have to say it took me about two months to write and complete my first book.
DP: Did you self-publish or are you signed to a publishing company?
Donnell: Two years ago, I was signed to this publishing company named Esquire Publications. It ended on bad terms. Therefore, I decided to self-publish my work. I didn't publish Heart of a Brother, but I did self-publish four other books independently.
DP: How did you decide on the cover for your most recent book?
Donnell: I wanted the image to reflect the synopsis on the book. I wanted the person on the cover to have emotions, passion, strength, and courage.
DP: Tell us about your writing style. Do you write on a schedule?
Donnell: No, I do not write on a set schedule. I have a unique writing style. Prior to starting each novel, I will sit down for a couple of minutes and do outlines to create a storyline for the characters whether it be one storyline or two.
DP: What makes your writing unique?
Donnell: I put all my feelings into my writing, I try to create characters similar to real life people whom I deal with every day, yet I add my own spices to the mix to make it real.
DP: As a writer, what motivates you?
Donnell: (Laughs) I would have to say I watch soap operas such as The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful; those two shows definitely motivate me as a writer.
DP: How do you balance your writing and various responsibilities that come along with being an independent author?
Donnell: I attempt not to allow other responsibilities as an independent author to bear down on me. What I mean by that statement is I mix it up. For example, I might write my novel for the first half of the week and the last few days of the first week leading into the Saturday I work on other various projects, except on Sundays.
DP: When you’re not writing what are you doing?
Donnell: When I’m not writing, I’m working on other projects, including a stage play I'm writing and ideas for a web series I'm developing. I also write articles for Dream Pathways Magazine.
DP: What’s a typical day like for you?
Donnell: Hanging out with my family or friends. Some days, I stay home and play video games - not all day though (laughs).
DP: Tell us about your last book signing.
Donnell: My last book signing was awesome. I was nervous because I had this fear people wouldn't show up. Though, I kept positive and people showed up. I signed a few copies of my novel, chatted with a few people and took pictures. It was an experience I will never forget.
DP: Do you have contests or giveaways?
Donnell: Sometimes I have contest and giveaways whenever time permits given all that I do.
DP: Many independent authors find it hard to get readers to buy their books. How did you handle the challenges that come along with being a first-time author in a competitive and ever-changing market?
Donnell: I stayed positive and prayed up. Basically, I left everything in God hands and he worked challenges out in my favor. Plus, I branched out writing new materials other than urban lit.
DP: What did you do on your 2nd book that you did not do in your first one?
Donnell: In my first book, people weren't excited about the poetry. For my second book Youngblood, I made sure readers got a chance to see my "gangster" side (laughs). Above all, I had to give readers what they wanted, which is urban street lit.
DP: If you could give one piece of advice to an up and coming author, what would it be?
Donnell: My advice to an up and coming author would be, NEVER force your words; allow the words to come to you. Write from your heart and soul and put all your emotions into each chapter. Stay the course even though sometimes you get the sense you want to toss the novel in the trash. Turn your vision and dream into reality. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, give up. Try to reach out to at least some of these veteran authors who have been in the game for a long time. It is always good to communicate with fellow authors via Facebook or Twitter. Market your material the best way you know how; edit and revise your manuscript before finalizing it. Write what you feel that will open the readers’ eyes so they can be like "wow" or "amazing."
DP: Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?
Donnell: Readers can purchase my book through Amazon.
DP: Please list any literary awards, honors, and book club affiliations.
Donnell: Recently, Lyric's Song was listed as number eleven on UBAWA'S Top 25 Bestseller of 2012. That was an honor also a surprise to me, because I never expected the book to be rated number eleven. I was also chosen as "Writer of the Month" for the month of October as a contributing columnist for Dream Pathways Magazine.