1. What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to spend as much of my free time as possible with my family. I like to plan romantic getaways with my wife and pretend that we're single. I like to take my kids to the store, to amusement parks, or to the mall to ride on those little corny rides. When the spirit hits me, I like to run along the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. And on Sundays during football season, I love to watch the Philadelphia Eagles. I am a lifelong fan.
2. What kind of music do you like to listen to? Why?
I find myself listening to a lot of neo-soul because I like the messages in the music. I also listen to a lot of old school hip-hop like Run DMC, Eric B. and Rakim. Back in the day I used to rap a little bit (actually, Will Smith and I started out on the same label) and I still love to hear a good emcee do his thing. I love Public Enemy, too, because I'm a revolutionary at heart.
3. What's your all time favorite movie? Why?
I liked The Color Purple, probably because I could see even then (I was a kid when it came out) that the production values on that movie were among the best I'd ever seen for a black film. That may change, though. I just bought Akeela and The Bee because it's rare to see a major film that presents black children in a positive light (especially from an academic standpoint). I plan to make all three of my kids watch it with me.
4. What's your all time favorite novel and/or writer? Why?
I'd have to say my favorite novel is Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. She was unafraid to take risks in her writing, and though she was castigated for presenting black folks as they really were -- warts and all -- her writing in that novel was amongst the strongest I've ever read.
5. What do you like best about being a writer?
I love the readers. I love hearing their interpretation of my words. I love sitting with them and talking about the characters. I love their support.