Allow me to introduce you to one of the hardest working hustlers in urban lit: J.M. Benjamin
J.M. Benjamin is a successful, powerful and impacting author, entrepreneur and motivational speaker from Plainfield, New Jersey. Since 2005 he has received numerous of accolades and recognition for his Essence Best novel Ride Or Die Chick and Award Winning novel Down In the Dirty. He has penned other titles such as, My Manz and Em, On The Run With Love, Ride Or Die Chick 2, Heaven and Earth and co-authored the non-fiction motivational book From Incarceration 2 Incorporation. He is also the contributing author to several anthologies such as, Christmas In The Hood, Menace II Society, The Massacre and Cocaine Love Stories, with some of the top authors in urban lit.
J.M. launched an independent monthly newspaper called Success Newspaper, highlighting and offering recognition to minorities who have overcome adversities and challenges and gone off to become successful in life.
Benjamin is an Award Winning and Essence Best Selling author hailing from out of Plainfield, New Jersey. In 2006, he quickly emerged in the fast growing genre of Urban Literature, making his presence felt with his freshman novel Down In The Dirty, published by Flowers In Bloom Publishing. Ironically, having spent more than half his life in the streets and a substantial amount of time incarcerated, J.M. Benjamin s only credential as a street tale story teller is simply his own first hand experience and knowledge of what the streets consist of.J.M. Benjamin's upbringing provided him with the necessary tools he now uses in his work to capture and display the reality and horrors of the streets world-wide. He became a motivational speaker after numerous of articles were featured on his life story as an ex-inmate turned author, sharing his experiences and knowledge of the streets at various high and junior schools, colleges, probation and religious programs for the youth, institutions for incarcerated men and women, and urban communities throughout his travels, in hopes to make a difference.
His accomplishments as an author have been recognized in The New York Times, The Courier News, The Herald News, and many more. JOLIE magazine ranked J.M. s freshman novel Down in The Dirty as #2 hottest summer read. He was nominated for BEST NEW Breakout Author Of The Year and Best Street Novel Of The Year 2006 by the African American Literary Awards, which, he won for Best Street fiction of the Year. He was nominated in two categories and won for Best Street Lit at the Chicago Black Authors & Books Award hosted by Infini Promoters. His book Down in The Dirty was featured on the Wendy Williams Experience Book club as the book of the month for July 2006 and was voted the #1 Urban Book out of the Top 10 Street Lit novels sponsored by The Writer s Inn. All of this in under a years time after being released from federal prison.
Author, J. M. Benjamin
In Feb. 2007, J.M. Benjamin released his sophomore novel My Manz And Em independently under Real Edutainment Publishing, which he is founder and co-owner of. He was nominated for Best Street Fiction again at The AALA for his second novel. In September of 2007, he partnered up with a friend and opened a music and book store, where his third novel, an Essence Best Seller (May 08) and Black Expression (April 08) favorite, Ride Or Die Chick book release party was held. Six months later J.M. and partner opened up a larger music and books store downtown in his hometown of Plainfield NJ (144 East Front Street).
In October 2007, J.M. Benjamin ventured out into a another arena of the literary world, trying his hand at street distribution for authors and independent publishers alike, becoming responsible for some of your favorite street lit novels gracing the tables and stores of your local street vendors and African American book stores. Ultimately, J.M.'s consistent and quality work ethics landed him an opportunity to become a part of a new distribution company, Alliance Book Group and recently he recently launched a new independent publishing company himself, signing six new and known authors to A New Quality Publishing.
From the time he wakes up til the time he steals 3-4 hours rest, J.M.'s day consists of hustling. "A gotta new product," he says. "And I can push it to the whole world now without going to prison."