Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Going FULL CIRCLE with New York Times Bestselling author JL King

by Cyrus Webb

Many people got to know New York Times bestselling author J. L. King from his appearances on the Oprah Winfrey show discussing his book ON THE DOWN LOW, but nearly a decade later we discover that what we learned from him was only part of the story.

On Monday, September 8, 2014 I had a chance to welcome King back to the radio show Conversations LIVE to discuss his new book FULL CIRCLE (published by Brown Girls Publishing). This was his first interview as he prepared for the official launch of the book.

King told me that he had been posting on Facebook and Twitter that the process of releasing FULL CIRCLE was like "giving birth" to his new baby, what he called "the final chapter of my life."

Discussing the sensation that ON THE DOWN LOW became and the process that it took for the book to even see the light of day, King discussed where he was at that point in his life. "I was still a naive individual," he says, referring to the sudden fame that engulfed him. "I didn't really know what was going on in my life... I wasn't prepared for that." He then added: "I would probably change 95% of what I did in those first two years."

That led him to where he is today with FULL CIRCLE. He began to "reflect on all the things I did not say, all the things I didn't tell Oprah."

Being thrust into the public spotlight the way he was, King says that to others he took on a larger-than-life persona. "I wanted people to understand that I am far from perfect," he told me. "I wanted them to know that even when you are an instant celebrity that you still have the same ole crap. All that glitters is not gold." He says that he gave up his life. "When you tell the world your secrets, you belong to the world."

The man that became known to the world as J. L. King had to also deal with the comments being made about him in the public and online, something that began to take its toll on him. Telling me that he was really "getting beat up" by some, he called Oprah for advice. "Do not google yourself," she told him. "Do not pay attention to anything  people say about you. Do not respond. Let them say what they want." That advice helped King moving forward. He told me when someone in his circle would want to share something that was being said he would stop them, saying "You know me. You know the truth."

That truth as contained in FULL CIRCLE is about the evolution of the man and a realization of who he truly is. "I gave so much of myself away," King says. That was probably one of my biggest mistakes."

The process led him in many ways to become someone he didn't recognize. "I didn't even like myself," he told me "I hated myself." There were times he even contemplated suicide.

Today he is a different person. In the book he says this: "I am truly focusing on what I've told others, having faith over fear. My faith is movement." That means that he chooses to live for the day, not in the past. "Life is short, and then you die. Every day you need to live your life in the now. I want people to realize that I live my life in the present. All I have is right now."

FULL CIRCLE is available through the publisher's website at www.browngirlspublishing.com and at Amazon here. Beginning on Wed. September 10th autographed copies will be available from the author at www.authorjlking.com. You can stay connected with King on Twitter at @authorjlking.

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