Published on April 5th, 2021 | by MuzikScribe


Sister Souljah: Still In It To Win It

First things first, you recently unleashed your brand new novel, Life After Death, the follow-up (in a sense) to 1999’s super successful The Coldest Winter Ever — Why such a lengthy delay from continuing to tell this ongoing story of Winter Santiaga?

LIFE AFTER DEATH is the sequel novel to THE COLDEST WINTER EVER (actually and not “in a sense”). The storytelling picks up from the moment of the release of WINTER SANTIAGA from a New York State prison after she had served a full fifteen-year prison sentence. I decided not to write a sequel until the fifteen-year sentence had been served. I wanted the hood and everybody living anywhere in the world to feel the tension and loss that occurs when a family member or friend is incarcerated. I wanted everybody anywhere in the world to know and to feel that prison is serious and there is no such thing as “the drug game.”

Without giving too much away, Life After Death picks up 15 years after The Coldest Winter Ever, can you kind of set the stage as far as the plot summary goes?

A genuine author does not set the stage. She simply writes the book for readers who read. LIFE AFTER DEATH is not meant to be discussed until after two or more people have read every single word on every single page. If LIFE AFTER DEATH is discussed by those who don’t actually read books but who still have the audacity to comment on the book that they never read lol …that’s called FAKE REVIEWS! As Bob Marley sang, “DON’T LET THEM FOOL YOU.”

What did it feel like, both personally and / or professionally, for you to revisit these characters and their respective story arcs this many years later?

I AM IN A CONTINUOUS CYCLE OF READING, WRITING, RESEARCHING, TRAVELING THE GLOBE. I never have to revisit my characters. I take them with me wherever in the world I may go.

Your last literary work prior to this was released back in 2015 — That said, what all exactly had / have you been up to in the past six or so years?

I have been reading, writing, researching, and traveling since the end of November, 2015, which was the release time for A MOMENT OF SILENCE: MIDNIGHT III, making the novel essentially a 2016 release. I did a book tour for A MOMENT OF SILENCE in 2016, traveling throughout the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA to bookstores, libraries, and community book events. Summer of 2016, I traveled outside of the USA researching the backstory for RICKY SANTIAGA as I was in the middle of preparing at that time to write and publish THE RICKY SANTIAGA STORY. I was also reading, writing, and researching throughout 2017, which included the writing of the screenplay for THE COLDEST WINTER EVER movie, which I completed. Simultaneously, I was negotiating on the business side for the major motion picture to get made.

Now you’re a native of the Bronx, NYC, correct? So growing up in the “Boogie Down,” who were / are some of your strongest influences?

I was born in the Bronx, absolutely correct. My parents and my brother were my greatest influences, absolutely. The details of my “come up” experience—my evolution, education, profession, and entanglement with the entertainment industry—I am currently writing in THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF SISTER SOULJAH. InshaAllah that true storytelling should be completed and ready to publish sometime in 2022. And when it is released, I will be grateful for any and every reader.

After your (musical) stint with Public Enemy after having replaced the then allegedly “fired” Professor Griff,

and also following the release of your one and only solo endeavor, 360 Degrees of Power,

you eventually went on to work with Sean “Diddy” Combs of Bad Boy Entertainment and his Daddy’s House Social Programs Inc. not-for-profit corporation — How did this opportunity even come about?

I’ve known Sean “P. Diddy” Combs since we were teenagers. Back when he was nineteen and known as simply Puffy. Puffy changed to Puff. Puff changed to Diddy, Diddy changed to Brotherly Love. Brotherly Love changed to Love. He is a creative and financial force to be reckoned with. I met him when he was nineteen and knocked on my door at an apartment I was living in, in Harlem, New York, known as Lennox Terrace. My youngest sister, about sixteen at the time, answered the door and let him in. The rest will be written in either my autobiography or in another book that I plan to release titled I WAS THERE. My husband gave me that book title one day when he said, “Niggas be frontin’ like Sister Souljah wasn’t there for all of the biggest moments in hip-hop with the biggest stars. It’s like they tryna erase you from the hip-hop history. You should write a book titled I WAS THERE, and let ’em know. You have the illest true life hip-hop stories.” I listen to my husband mostly all of the time. So I will write it, InshaAllah.

What’s an average day like for you? Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans…

I love the readers and care deeply about hearing or reading their thoughts after they have completed any of my books. Readers email me like I’m their next-door neighbor lol. I answer back in person because I enjoy the exchange. My email address for readers to contact me is: [email protected].

What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? Why?

My favorite thing about being an author is that everything that I must do professionally in order to produce and be excellent are the same exact things that I would be doing personally anyway. On my day off, or during a so-called vacation, I am still reading, writing, researching, traveling. Writing films, viewing films, following current events, listening to music, watching trends, and monitoring the ebb and flow of business in each of those areas.

What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Strive. I believe if a person has a FAITH and that FAITH has a criteria and requirements / rules, that we should each strive to live humbly within that FAITH. I believe if a person strives with a sincerity to be good, do good, and live well, makes his or her prayers, avoids narcotics and alcohol and mind-altering substances, this is the foundation to having the protections and Mercy that every soul needs to succeed in a “whole 360 degree” way. Not just, “Get the bag!” But to have FAITH, PEACE and LOVE, LAND and FAMILY, and FINANCE. “Peace of course is the absence of chaos.”

And, lastly, what’s next for Sister Souljah?

I am currently writing my ass off lol. I will complete a new novel this year in the WINTER SERIES, which of course is THE COLDEST WINTER EVER series.

Is there anything I left out, or just plain forgot to mention? Any “closing” thought(s) for our readers?


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