My name is Caleb Alexander, and I am a novelist. Many of you know me as the author of Eastside, and Two Thin Dimes, while others know me as the infamous ghostwriter who penned some of the biggest novels in the Urban Lit industry. What I would like to do at this time, is take this opportunity to correctly introduce myself to the publishing industry, and to readers around the world. This is important to me, because as the age old adage goes, if you don't define yourself, others will happily do it for you.
I am a lover of African American literature, and all that that entails. I am a lover of Baldwin, Giovanni, Walker, Morrison, and so many others. I view writing as an honor, and a privilege. The position of a griot, is an honored one. To be able to pass along the stories of your people to the ages, is position of great trust and responsibility, and it is something that I do not take lightly.
One thousand years from now, historians will want to know more about us; who were we, what did we do, how did we live, and what were our stories? I want those same historians to be able to open up my work, and get a true picture of the richness and diversity of our culture. I want them to understand our triumphs, our tribulations, our perseverance, our heroism, determination, strength, and our courage. I want them to understand the challenges we faced, and I also want them to understand the spirit in which we faced them. In reading my works, I want them to understand what we know today; that we are a people from diverse backgrounds, united by an indomitable spirit. We faced the great challenges of our time, and we soldiered forward, when most others would have long ago given up. And we were made better by it.
The themes in most of my works are change. Unapologetically, I believe in a god of redemption. I believe that He puts us through the crucible of life, so that we become better, humbler, more thankful human beings. We grow closer to Him, when we stumble. We are re-forged through the molten fires of tragedy and pain, and become the human beings that we always intended to be.
Paperback: 336 pages
In my book Eastside, the over-arching themes are redemption and change. Eastside is a coming of age story, where the young hero faces some tough decisions. The violence in the inner-city has robbed him of his older brother, as his mother struggles just to keep a roof over their heads. Eastside deals with some tough issues within our community. It points a glaring light at absent African American fathers, at Black on Black violence, at the prison industrial complex facing our young men, at teen pregnancy, and at a juvenile justice system that is more concerned with punishment than reclamation and reform. If you've ever had a loved one go to prison, or if you've ever lost a loved one to gang violence, then you must read Eastside. If your children are at risk, or your grand children are at risk, then you must read Eastside, and pass it on to them. Eastside is a no holds barred, bare bones look at us, and at our communities. It asks, what are we doing to stop this, and to move forward as a people? It is the definitive book on inner city gang violence, and about the redemption of our young people, if we don't give up on one another.
Paperback: 256 pages
My book, Two Thin Dimes, is a poor boy, meets rich girl, urban love story. I wrote the book, as a light hearted love story, to take a break from dealing with the serious topics that were covered in Eastside. But even then, I couldn't help incorporating some messages into the story. The hero, Tameer, lives in the projects. And even though he lives in the projects, he doesn't sell or do drugs, and he keeps his younger brother from doing so as well. He's a poet, and athlete, who turned down an athletic scholarship, to take an academic one. Can you imagine the message that sends to our youth? Turning down an athletic scholarship for an academic one? Or the even bigger message; the fact that he qualified for both? I've had email after email, from readers telling me how refreshing it was to read an urban book where the hero was not a drug dealer, and where the heroine was not selling her body, or being victimized, or victimizing others. Two Thin Dimes is a book about sisterhood, and about change. Our heroine, Jamaica, starts off as a spoiled little rich girl, but blooms into a caring, responsible Black woman by the end of the novel. Two Thin Dimes is a great read, a fun read, and refreshing tale of true love in the hood. We can tell beautiful, fun, urban love stories with wonderful characters.
I have another novel, that I am shopping right now, and I pray that it gets out there. This novel is titled, The Belly of the Beast. It is a story about race relations. In this era of limited economic resources, where Blacks and Hispanics are competing for jobs in the inner cities, this is an extremely important story. I chose to tell the story in the microcosm of prison, because that setting amplifies the issues that face us. Prison brings out the worst in mankind, and placing a story in that environment allowed me to create some very rich characters. I was also able to talk about the prison industrial complex, and the challenges that our brothers and sister face, upon returning to our communities. This story is so much more than just entertainment. It truly seeks to spark a conversation with our souls. Who are we, what are we here for, what do each of us ultimately seek, and what kind of god do we believe in? Again, the story is about redemption. The lead character finds him self becoming a soulless monster, but his innate humanity, won't allow him to give up on broader humanity. This story speaks to the question of, what kind of world we want to live in. I pray that you pick this novel up, and rejoice with me in the power of the human spirit, and in the might of a forgiving, redemptive god.
Finally, I have another novel in the pipeline titled, When Lions Dance. This novel is the story of an African American woman's journey through life. It follows her journey from pre-civil rights Birmingham, to black power Oakland, to early eighties Atlanta, to Tuskeegee University, to a tiny village in West Africa. This story is a universal story. We walk with her through her fight with breast cancer, we cheer for her as she overcomes the monsters that share her bed, we celebrate with her as she overcomes her addictions and gets her life together. Her universal story of being an unnamed foot soldier during the Civil Rights movement, to losing family members in war, to single motherhood, are stories that resonate in the lives of many African American women. This story is my lullaby, my thank you, my salute to women of color the world over. This story is about their courage, their resilience, their power, determination, and fortitude. I wrote this story for my great grandmother, for my grandmother, for my mother, for my sisters, and for my daughter. It is a powerful story and tribute to the Black woman, from the biased, awe-struck, loving eyes of a Black man. And again, this story is about redemption, and the power of faith. And by the way, this is a literary story, told in the voice of the lead character. It a lyrically beautiful story, that I know you will absolutely love.
I thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share with you my love of literature. My promise to you is that I will write stories about us that matter. I take James Baldwin's admonishment to heart. "The responsibility of a writer, is to excavate the experiences of the people who produced him." My covenant to you is that I will tell our stories, and I will be faithful to our experiences, and to our diversity. One thousand years from now, when the historians search my works for some record of our lives, I promise you that they will not find works that indicate a monolithic people. In reading my works, they will learn that we were a people from varied backgrounds, who occupied various levels on the economic, educational, social, and political strata of our societies. They will also learn that this diverse people were united by at least one overarching theme. They were a strong and resilient people, who never gave up or lost faith in the healing power of God.
Thank you once again. May God bless you and keep you.
Click to order via Amazon
with Eric S. Gray
Publisher: Golden Ink Media (March 1, 2013)
Tameka had it all, a bright future and a new career. And then she met Caleb, Wall Street's broker of the year. Caleb was like a dream, a fairytale come true. Tameka's only problem, was that she was in love with Erick too. She juggled both relationships, and kept both men apart, Then Erick found out about Caleb, and everything fell apart. Poor Tameka, what is she to do? Now that Boyfriend #1, wants her to set up Boyfriend #2!
Paperback: 292 pages
Publisher: Golden Ink Publishing
First edition (March 15, 2010)
Caleb Alexander has woven his most explosive and provocative tale to date. Belly of the Beast takes the readers on a violent, gut wrenching, deeply emotional journey through the American prison system. A place where friends become enemies, and enemies band together for survival in a system that is designed for their destruction, and in a society that has written them off. Belly of the Beast is a straight forward look at racism, the prison industrial complex, and the nature of our humanity. Throw in racist prison guards, a former Grand Wizard of the KKK, Billionaire tax evaders, violent prison gangs, The Mafia, and one man's struggle to make it back home to his woman and child, and you have a story that only Alexander can tell. Welcome to the Federal Prison System; welcome to the Belly of the Beast.