Roy Albert Andrade, author of Virula: Renaissance Outlaw, stopped by for an interview.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
That's a hardball question! Well, my most recent book to date is a 5 x 8 paperback/hardback in the crime fiction category and is available worldwide on book retailer websites such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Retailers, public libraries, and educational facilities can order my book from Ingram Content Group, and Baker & Taylor. The title of the book is Virula: Renaissance Outlaw.
What do you do when you're not writing?
I'm reading! I read day-to-day to build my vocabulary, and skills to remain competitive in the marketplace. Psychologically, and cognitively, I'm in excellent shape. Being an author is like being an athlete. An Athlete is a person who is proficient in a distinct sport, and other forms of physical exercise. An author, and I speak for myself, is a person who is proficient in writing, and other forms of mental exercises.
When did you first start writing?
I was released from Salinas Valley State prison in October 2008 and decided to try something different. I became a full-time student of the University of Phoenix, and graduated in 2011 with an associate of arts. After, graduation I decided to write my first novel, Cultivating the DNA of Crime, and contacted George Pryce, former publicist of Death Row Records. When he finished reading Cultivating DNA of Crime, he called me around 10 pm, and said, “Congratulations! You have a publicist.” Since that day, we’ve been working together, and released Virula: Renaissance Outlaw, my second novel.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
I have to be brutally honest. I’ve always been the type of person to “do-it-yourself,” and persevere to achieve financial success. I’ve never had a particular role model or someone I could look up to for guidance growing up. However, there is one book that stands out of the crowd, its Donald Trump’s Think like a Billionaire. I read that book 3 times, and it completely changed my outlook on life.
What inspired you to write this particular book?
Personal experience, and personal communication.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
The opening chapter of Cultivating the DNA of Crime, because it involves extraterrestrial aliens, and a spacecraft. At some point, the reader has to stop, and think, “What does extraterrestrial aliens have to do with crime? I thought this book was going to be about sex, drugs, mayhem and murder.” Then comes the surprise, the protagonist, awakes from a dream, and witnesses a double-homicide in his cul-de-sac.
What is best writing advice you can give?
Go to school! If, I didn’t go to college, and study, none of this would be possible.
Is there anything else you'd like your readers to know about the book?
VIRULA: RENAISSANCE OUTLAW is an offbeat love story, an eye-opening look at gang life, a hard-hitting examination of a young man who has taken the wrong path, and above all, an entertaining and compelling story. This first book in the Virula series will leave readers looking forward to the sequel!
About the book:
to Prison Sheets
Virula knows how hard life can be—but he thinks he also knows how to make the most of it. As a high school dropout, he joins a gang, who exploit his cool-headed courage, and keep him captive by catering to his appetites for drugs and women. Virula takes place during one memorable Father’s Day in Los Angeles, when a dose of hallucinogens creates a surreal 24 hours…but Virula’s actual life is already so strange that it’s almost just another day. Realistic and enlightening, yet also surprisingly funny with a keen sense of the ridiculous, Virula is an offbeat love story, an eye-opening look at gang life, a hard-hitting examination of a young man who has taken the wrong path, and above all, an entertaining and compelling story.
This first book in the Virula series will leave you looking forward to the sequel!
About the author:
Pacoima is still gang infested today nearly 28 years after Andrade began his life on the streets. Murders, robberies, kidnappings, underground gambling and drug dealing are commonplace with over forty gangs still in full force in the area.
First named by gang members as “Bandit” he later carried a 22-caliber pistol and was given the moniker “Killer.” “Killer” became popular throughout California’s San Fernando Valley and gang activity led to his eventual arrest.
Having been incarcerated but never convicted of any crime, Andrade 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, Roy decided to write his first novel based upon those interviews.
Andrade has since written and published CULTIVATING THE DNA OF CRIME in May 2014. and VIRULA: RENAISSANCE OUTLAW in March 2015. In addition, this former gang member has established his own companies, K1ller, Inc., K1ller Publishing Co, and The K1ller Foundation to steer the youth of America away from lives of crime.
Virula is the protagonist in the next four books that Andrade has plans to write. He is working to complete a set of six novels involving crime in America.
Roy Albert Andrade attributes his newly found success to having chose education as the road down which he is traveling and his penchant for persuading America’s youth to turn their backs on crime. He has accomplished much since his days as a 12-year-old known solely as “Killer.”