Sign up for our weekly newsletter
Ohannes

Author Interview: Clive Henry - Racism is Real

31 January 21 interview: Kate Hewett

Kate Hewett talks to author Clive Henry about his book, Racism Is Real...

 

Racism is Real is autobiographical - was there any single moment that propelled you to write it?
If you Google 'Clive Henry UPS', you will see pages highlighting news stories and radio interviews about my legal case with my old employer.

I was going to write the book in 2014, but if you read my book you will see that my life changed again, with another legal case.

Can you talk us through the structure of your book? Have you started in your childhood? Or in your adulthood?
I started as an adult and went back to my childhood. I’m a big Columbo fan. The first scene always shows you the crime, then you watch Columbo dissect how the criminal did it.

I wrote the book as we see many films to create suspense and wonder, to keep the reader hooked. I guess that’s why many of the reviews state they couldn't put the book down.

How did your family and friends react to you writing an autobiography?
Family and friends are proud of my work. I kept it as raw and as real as possible, revealing good and bad memories. Even revealing a few things people didn’t know about me.

What takeaway would you like your readers to be left with after reading your book?
Things are not always what they seem. Always keep a positive mind. Try to use critical thinking in every situation, and most importantly - never give up. Believe in yourself!

Do you have a favourite chapter or part of your book?
My favourite chapter is ‘Confidence’ The happy years. When I fell in love and was able to change from a caterpillar to a butterfly. So many positive memories in the midst of a very troubled life.

Which writers are you reading? Have any of them influenced this novel?
I’m reading The Third Eye by Sophia Stewart. She is the author of the Matrix and Terminator films. I sent her an email in 2012, after finding out she was the original author of the films, who was fighting a legal battle for her stolen work. We became friends. I think a great writer inspires you to do better work. She influenced me. She gave me the green light to advise my book was ready.

Has the lockdown impacted you, in terms of your writing or reading?
I have used the quiet time between working as a taxi driver to write the book. I haven’t stopped all year. One of my heroes, Muhammad Ali said, "Don’t count the days - make the days count." I just used my time wisely. I feel it’s important to be busy, to take your mind off the negatives.

How would you describe your writing process?
I write from a visual perspective. I get bored easily, and would rather watch a film than read a book. So I tried to write a book that I would read, and made it as visual as possible, as if it were a film. My school teacher, Mr. Nichols once told me, “When you write; you write so others can understand.” I never forgot that statement.

One of my heroes, Muhammad Ali said, "Don’t count the days - make the days count."

What is the most rewarding part of being a writer, and on the flip side what is the most challenging?
As a writer I can take you on a journey. Words are powerful. The psychology of words is they paint a picture and amplify emotions. Positive words can really change a life. Many lives have been changed for the better, from reading one book. The most challenging thing about being a writer is trusting your gut instincts. When you edit your drafts. What to throw away, and what to keep in the book.

You’ve gotten some great reviews on Amazon, can you talk a little about this?
I’m so happy to read the reviews on Amazon. It means I conveyed my message well, and it has been received as intended. You only know where you are from feedback. I hope the contents of the book touches people and helps them to understand life and lives more.

What are your future plans?
I plan to carry on working. I would love to play a more active role in the lives of people, as a mentor. People have contacted me in the past to advise I helped them. My fight for justice inspired them to help themselves. All the knowledge I have gained in this life should be used to help others. The book opens doors of opportunity to communicate with people from all backgrounds. Education is the key for any positive changes in this world.

Racism is Real is available on Amazon now

We have a favour to ask…

LeftLion is Nottingham’s meeting point for information about what’s going on in our city, from the established organisations to the grassroots. We want to keep what we do free to all to access, but increasingly we are relying on revenue from our readers to continue. Can you spare a few quid each month to support us?

Support LeftLion now

You might like this too...

YCA 2021 Enter Now

You might like this too...