Zangba Thomson is an award-winning author from Bong Mines, Liberia. Not too long ago, he released “Three Black Boys“, an urban fiction novel about three teenagers who spring into dangerous action to obtain financial aid for an uninsured immigrant plagued with the deadly black fever disease.
Zangba Thomson – “Three Black Boyz” music video
“The boys go on a dangerous mission to obtain the quarter of a million dollars needed for the woman’s surgery. But subsequently, little do they know that they will encounter huge obstacles, and experience more than they have ever experienced before.”
We sat down with Zangba Thomson, and this is what he had to say about his award-winning book.
What inspired you to write Three Black Boys?
Zangba Thomson: Three Black Boys originally started as a hip-hop song. And people who heard the record were always asking, “What’s the story behind the boys’ robbery attempt?” At that time I couldn’t give them an answer because there wasn’t any to give.
One day, I decided to record a song about three black boys robbing a grocery store. The story behind why they committed the robbery wasn’t even a thought at that time. But to make a long story short, I answered their intriguing question when I adapted the three-minute-song into the short story, Three Black Boys: The Authorized Version, which evolved into Three Black Boys: Tomorrow After Supper novel.
It was fun adapting a hip-hop tune into a full-length novel. Also, my starting point was the ending scene in most writers’ stories.
When you start writing a new novel, do you outline the story or do your characters dictate what will happen?
ZT: I would say a little bit of both. Initially, I try to envision the entire story first—from beginning to end. And while I’m writing, if any new idea surfaces and that idea reinforces my original thought. Then, I would insert that new idea into the story. But, I try my best to follow the game plan, which is—sticking to my original idea.
Do you ever have arguments with your characters and who usually wins?
ZT: I can’t say I remember a time when that has happened because I’m usually the one telling them what to do. LOL.
What is something about you that your readers would be surprised to know?
ZT: I am a vegetarian.
If you could write with any other author—who would it be and why?
ZT: If Donald Goines was still alive, he and I would have been the dynamic writing duo. He was a brilliant author. The way he painted pictures with words was simply amazing.
When you were little, what did you dream of becoming when you grew up and why?
ZT: Growing up, I wanted to be a writer. So, I wrote everywhere I went. And when I ran out of paper, I wrote my lyrical ideas down on anything I could find or get my hands on. Writing rhymes became a hobby before I even knew what I wanted to become.
When did you decide to write and what prompted you to start?
ZT: At an early age, I would say around 10 or 11, I used to draw a lot and write poetry. And going into my teenage years—when hip-hop was on the rise, I took a very special liking to the music of Boogie Down Productions, a hip-hop group that was originally composed of KRS-One, D-Nice, and DJ Scott La Rock.
KRS-One’s lyrical ability impressed me so much that I started writing my own rap lyrics, which eventually evolved into songs. And shortly after that, a rapper named Kool G Rap rhymed about a Street Lit author named Donald Goines, who in my humble opinion is one of the greatest storytellers in literary fiction. After reading my first Donald Goines’ book, Black Gangster, a whole new literary world opened up to me. And I knew from that point on—I was going to be a professional writer, and ever since then, I’ve been honing my craft.
What music inspires your writing?
ZT: I would definitely say hip-hop, Jazz, R&B/Soul, and ’80s Pop music.
What ingredients are in your homemade juice?
ZT: Apples, kale, pears, and bananas, mixed with teaspoons of Spirulina and Moringa Leaf Powder. That vibrant mixture usually gets my brain up and running.
What is your favorite color?
What is your favorite movie?
ZT: Coming To America. I’m a huge fan of Eddie Murphy. He’s a really dope actor and I can relate to his character—Prince Akeem, who was an African prince that went to Queens, New York, to find a wife that he could respect for her intelligence and will.
What’s your dream car?
ZT: Around 2850 B.C., there was an intergalactic aircraft used by the GODS called—The Divine Storm Bird, which had a wingspan of about seventy-five feet.
I would love to own a Range Rover compatible version of that aircraft. Imagine its extraterrestrial technology—solar powered by the sun in the daytime, and lunar powered by the moon at night? Also, if I wanted to—at the press of a button—the vehicle can transform into an aircraft. And I can travel at the speed of light throughout the galaxies.