Friday, November 7, 2008

"Take Ten" with author/playwright M. G. Hardie

All the world is a stage---well at least author/playwright M. G. Hardie sees it that way. In his book/play EVERY DAY LIFE he takes us into the lives of four friends as they address the issues of the world while becoming aware of more issues of their own. Hardie talks about that, the work that goes into promoting a work like his and why he will continue despite the hate that comes his way. Here is our conversation.

M. G., Thank you for taking out time to talk with Conversations. Before we get into our writing career and the book EVERY DAY LIFE, tell our readers a little about yourself.
First of all thank you Cyrus for the opportunity to be interviewed by Conversations. I appreciate the review as well, you were much too kind. You are doing an excellent job of getting the word out on a wide range of authors. I call Cali my home and I have written fiction stories, sci-fi, and a whole lot of poems all unpublished. I have been a lifeguard, played semi-pro basketball. I have even written and filmed movies in school. Oh, I have a couple degrees and once I even dropped a rap album in 1999 that went nickel.

You have recently released your debut book EVERY DAY LIFE. What has the publishing and marketing aspect has been like for you?
It has been one learning experience after the other. Writing the book was the easy part. As a writer I am glad I went through the process instead of being told what to do or what to expect.

Can you give us an idea of the things that inspire your stories?
I am inspired by just about everything. I love talking to people especially women because they do tend to stick together, but they don’t always agree. I love good movies, poems, music, and my children inspire my stories. When I looked at what was missing from the market and I saw that EveryDay Life would be the first to fill the gap I used that as inspiration.

Is there any amount of M. G. in any or all the characters?
At sometime or another in my life I have been all of the characters. As you noted in your review that EveryDay Life is listed as Non-Fiction, yet it is a play. I didn’t do that as some sort of gimmick, the people in EveryDay Life actually do exist and at that time they actually did most of the things that are portrayed in the book.
What about the actual story itself. Can you give us an idea of what you decided to tell this story and after making the decision why did you decide to write it as a play?

If you step back and look at life it is as if we are on the world’s biggest stage and all of us are players on that stage. These are real and serious issues and I really didn’t see anyone dealing with this subject matter. These are the types of subjects intelligent people should be discussing not glossing over. EveryDay Life does make you laugh but it also leaves you with a lot of things to talk about. It takes courage for men to share their feelings and thoughts. What everyone has experienced is valid, but when you start talking about how men feel no one wants to hear it.

A lot of what is out there has already been done, where is the challenge in that? So I took the road least travelled. Why does a Play have to be fictional? If we followed rules all the time we wouldn’t be talking about Barack now. So when someone says that you can’t do something because of the rules, the most important question should be “Why?” Why do I have to follow what is done by other people? I’m MG.
An EveryDay Life example of that would be that most historians say that Hip-Hop began in the 70’s or even in ’68, but EveryDay Life contends that it started long before that and who the characters list as rappers is even more surprising. EveryDay Life asks the questions how is it that a human being born in America can be called a minority, and furthermore how is it possible that we have accepted this label or any other label. Being different does not necessarily mean that you are wrong.

Many authors I talk with are surprised as to how much leg work they still have to do in order to make sure their book doesn't just fade into the background. How are you making sure that this is not the case with your book and that it can go far?
I was surprised by the amount of time that goes into that aspect of being an author. I approached this as any other challenge, Plan and Adapt. I drive to fairs, go to book stores, send emails, post on sites and network with others. EveryDay Life is even in music stores and that is exactly where it should be... in the Hip-Hop section.

Out of the four characters, which one would you say reminds you the most of who you represent today and why?
I would say that the L reminds me the most of me today, but they all are a piece of me. These characters actually live they don’t just exist in my book. Some readers may know someone like E, or perhaps they may have been like C at one time in their life. In EveryDay Life you’ll find truth, characters and themes you have never seen written about before and they are not just from the male perspective and in many ways they are universal.

In a review that I recently wrote about your book, I said it was a mixture of the movies THE WOOD and THE BEST MAN along with the humor of your favorite Tyler Perry movie. Would you agree or disagree?
Tyler Perry...Who? Not really Tyler Perry has done a lot in a relatively short amount of time. He has got people watching Plays and looking at themselves in a much deeper way and it says a lot to be compared to him. If you throw in some Seinfeld, Friday, Pulp Fiction, Do the Right Thing and stir in some Boys in the Hood let it marinate for six to seven hours, while listening to Tupac after you read A Raisin in the Sun then you’ll have EveryDay Life.

What do you hope readers of Every Day Life get from the book, whether they are male or female?
My hope was to bring more males into reading literature and also to have more females understand our point of view. I want males and females alike to enjoy EveryDay Life through opening up dialogue. My book probably brings up issues you didn’t even know you had. I intended EDL to be a conversation starter so I put a lot of humor in it so I could talk about larger Black-American issues. There are many messages to be dug up between the pages of EveryDay Life.

Can you give us an idea of what is on the horizon for you?
Although I have been hated on I will continue to get EveryDay Life to the masses. I am also looking to work with Hip-Hop artist and Entertainment companies that could help me bring EveryDay Life to a stage or a screen near you. So Diddy if you are reading this EveryDay Life is the new frontier for Hip-Hop.

Thank you again for your time, M. G. If our readers want to get in contact with you, how can they do so?
Visit me on my site I am also on Black Planet, and a number of other sites. To schedule and interview hit me up at Be sure to go out a get a copy of EveryDay Life laugh and discuss, send me a review, or comment on my page. Thank You again for having me.

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