Vicioso was born into a world of poverty in the projects of Santa Cruz in Panama City, Panama. He longs for one thing and one thing only: a better life in a better place. With his life on the line and money on his mind this teenager leaves Panama and heads to the US in an effort to provide a better life for himself, his woman, and his family. Money is the only thing that can change his life for the better, yet the power of the dollar is also the very thing that can tear his life apart. Some people will do anything for a dollar, but Vicioso soon learns that Money Ain’t Everything. Watch him climb from the bottom to the top in the only way that he knows how. From New York to Philly all the way to DC, Vicioso takes no shorts about his paper; and what he endures along the way will leave you wondering what will happen next in this street tale. Based on a true story, Money Ain’t Everything takes readers deep inside the underworld.
The Situation Room with Michelle Cuttino meets up with Eyone Williams to talk about his latest novel, Money Ain’t Everything and what all we can expect from this literary powerhouse in the near future.
Michelle: Eyone, you have been dubbed “The King Of Street Fiction”. Do you think that title fits you? Why or why not?
Eyone: Yes, I believe in my heart that I’m the king of street fiction because of the way I write about the streets and what really goes on in the streets. There are a lot of good writers out here that write about the streets and urban life, but I do it in a way where it’s like telling my readers what’s really going on in the trap, in the hood, around the way. I write what I know. If I talk about drug prices, they are right. If I talk about the way operations are in the streets they are real, not corny. No one can take that from me. From the beginning of my career in this game I told my stories like they really went down where I’m from. I didn’t care how I measured up to other authors because I knew no one could tell my story the way I do. So yes, I claim that. I’m the king of street fiction. That’s my lane.
Michelle: So many have praised you for being a great storyteller and that’s what sets you apart from many other authors. Do you feel that every author is a storyteller, or only a chosen few because there is a difference between the two?
Eyone: I believe every author is a storyteller. After all, a novel is a story with a beginning, middle, and end. Some authors are better storytellers than others. I create all of my stories or plots from something that really went down around me or happened in my life. That’s why my stories flow as they do. That’s why they seem so real. I began my love for writing by writing poems and raps. I grew up listening to rap that was told in stories. That shaped my style of writing.
Michelle: Your latest release is titled Money Ain’t Everything. What is this novel about?
Eyone: Money Ain’t Everything is about a young man from the slums of Panama that longs for a better life. His options are limited and the only way for him to make his life better is to pack up and head for the US where things seem so much better. However, when he gets to the US and sees what everything is all about and how much money there is to be made in the drug lifestyle everything changes. Where he came from, family meant everything and he never allows anything to change him, but money does begin to change people around him. The story is based on true events so the reader can really get into the mind of the characters and feel their pain. I wanted to tell a street story and also give up a lesson. People tend to believe that street people are people that are monsters sometimes. However, something makes us all tick. There’s a driving force behind almost all things that go on in the streets. Money is an evil that rips things apart so many times in the life of people in the streets.
Michelle: Was the character, Vicioso, true to form throughout the novel or did you have to embellish on his personality and background so as not to reveal his true identity?
Eyone: I had to add a little and take away a little. I feel as though I had to do that to make the book good and not to talk too much about things that I didn’t need to talk about. Nevertheless, for the most part I stuck to the script
Michelle: Do you believe your own title that Money Ain’t Everything, or just the opposite, that it is?
Eyone: For me, I’m a man of principle. Money does not make me. I make money. Who I am as a man is all about what I have been through in life. I will never let money come between me and what I stand for.
Michelle: Tell us a little about your last release, Secrets Never Die.
Eyone: Secrets Never Die did very well for me and DC Bookdiva. It was the first of a few books that I wrote that was based on true events. I took a chance with the book because I felt the story needed to be told and people seem to have enjoyed the book. It was about a young girl growing up in DC that had to face a lot of hardships alone as she tried to find her way through a lot of dark secrets that changed her life forever.
Michelle: I’ve read that Secrets Never Die will be made into a movie. First, are you excited and second, how did that come about?
Eyone: I’m always excited about blessings that come my way. I work hard. My team works hard; we have to work hard. We are independent. A friend of mine in the music business has a production company. His company started out by just shooting music videos. Wanting to grow his business he wanted to go into film and reached out to me for some good content. I was supposed to write some from scratch, but his sister read Secrets Never Die and wanted to bring it to life. The rest is history, so to speak.
Michelle: As a staff writer for Don Diva Magazine, what do you look for as far as content goes?
Eyone: When I write for Don Diva, I look for street stories that no one else can get. I look for stories that are more than just crime. I’m always interested in the backdrop or background or whatever the main story is.
Michelle: Do your articles for the magazine reflect your love of street fiction, or are they much more diverse?
Eyone: Well, for a magazine like Don Diva, I keep it street, but I’m a writer and I can write for any publications. I have written articles that have nothing to do with the streets. It’s a time and place for everything and as a writer my work reflects that.
Michelle: Most of your novels are based on true stories. Is this your attempt at trying to stay true to the streets, or are you doing it for another reason? Please explain.
Eyone: I try to keep it as real as I can. That’s my style and I stick to it because it works for me. My peoples and my readers have grown to expect that from me. I never want to let them down or switch up on them. Somebody has to write about life in the hood. Some of the things that go down in the hood are misunderstood because the people that go through those things have no voice. I’m their voice.
Michelle: With more than five books under your belt, has the book game gotten easier, or is still a struggle?
Eyone: Anything worth having comes with a little struggle. I’m cool with that. I have been through so much in my life that I face every struggle head up and give it my all. The book game is not easy, you have to work hard, you have to keep putting your best foot forward and that is what I do best. I take pride in what I do.
Michelle: What do you think is the hardest part about trying to establish a niche and a following in this industry?
Eyone: I have never really given that much thought. I have always sat down to write what comes from my heart. I’m the kind of guy that doesn’t give much thought to what everybody else is doing. I think outside the box. Sometimes that helps out a lot and sometimes it hurts, but great men must stand on all that comes with the moves they make in life.
Michelle: If you had it do all over again, what if anything would you change and why?
Eyone: Nothing at all, to struggle is to know what you are made of.
Michelle: Success is usually based on personal determination, but also on the support and assistance from others in ones life. Is they any person or persons you would like to thank for helping you reach your current level?
Eyone: I would like to thank DC Bookdiva for always supporting me and backing me. That means a lot to me. As I always do, I thank T. Styles, C. Washington and Jason Poole for backing me at a time when I wasn’t really feeling the publishing thing.
Michelle: What advice can you give to other aspiring authors who are looking to have longevity in this industry as well?
Eyone: Work hard, study the game. Do your own research. Don’t let anybody tell you what you can or can’t do. Stay up on game and keep your paperwork right.
Eyone Williams was born and raised in Washington, D.C. He is a publisher, author, rapper, and actor representing urban life in a way that is uniquely his. Known for hard-core, gritty novels, Eyone made the Don Diva best-seller list with his first novel, Fast Lane (Fast Lane Publications). He followed up his debut novel with Hell Razor Honeys 1 and 2 (The Cartel Publications). He then delivered his readers a short story entitled The Cross (DC Bookdiva Publications). He’s also a staff writer for Don Diva Magazine. His most notable work is featured in Don Diva’s issue 30, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, where he outlined the rise and fall of D.C. street legends Michael “Fray” Salters and Wayne Perry. Eyone’s first acting role was in the movie Dark City (District Hustle). His latest mixtape, A Killer’z Ambition, is a sound track to the novel, A Killer’z Ambition (DC Bookdiva Publications) by Nathan Welch. With the release of his fourth novel, Lorton Legends (DC Bookdiva Publications), Eyone reached new heights in his career and won the AAMBC award for Male Author of The Year for 2012. Always working, Eyone followed up Lorton Legends with another bestseller in Secrets Never Die (DC Bookdiva Publications). Secrets Never Die is soon to be a movie.
For more information about Eyone Williams visit his Facebook page: facebook.com/eyone.williams, also follow him on Twitter @eyonethewriter, and on Instagram at uptowneyone