From Inmate to the New York Times Best seller
Three-time New York Times bestselling author Wahida Clark has become one of the most sought after Urban Lit authors of this generation and is one of only 4 Urban Lit authors to appear on the New York Times bestseller list.
Wahida Clark has an amazing story. Tenacity, vision and sheer determination are what brought her to where she is today.
Clark began writing her first novel while serving a 9 ½ year prison sentence, including 9 months in solitary confinement, at the Lexington Prison Camp in Lexington, Ky.While behind bars, Clarkinked a publishing deal with a major publishing house, wrote and released 7 novels and laid the groundwork for her publishing company, Wahida Clark Presents Publishing. Released in June of 2007, today Clark is signed to Cash Money Content, the publishing arm from iconic record label Cash Money Records, home to multi-platinum hip-hop recording artists Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne and Drake. To date she has released 13 successful novels including THREE New York Times bestsellers. Her own publishing company, Wahida Clark Presents is one of the fastest growing independent publishing houses in the country. In just 4 short years, WCP has earned nearly 1 million dollars in sales, has 26 titles currently in stores across the country and has a roster of 14 established urban authors.
Wahida Clark has sold more than 700,000 novels to date including TWO New York Times bestsellers with Cash Money Content. Her latest novel, in stores April 23, 2013 is the CMC release, “Honor Thy Thug,” the follow up to her New York Times bestselling title “Justify My Thug” (2011, CMC) which debuted on the list at #19, only two weeks after release. “Payback Ain’t Enough” (also from CMC), made its debut on the New York Times Extended Bestseller List at #27 in 2012 and is the follow up to Payback With Ya Life” (2008). Payback With Ya Life was one of only four urban fiction releases to appear on the New York Times list.
In 2005, Wahida Clark was crowned the Queen of Thug Love Fiction by the reigning Queen of Hip-Hop Fiction, Nikki Turner. She has since become known as the Queen of Street Literature. Per Professor Vanessa Irvin Morris of Drexel University School of Library Science’s Readers Guide to Street Literature, “Wahida Clark is the creator of the Thug Love Fiction genre which is a sub-genre of street lit. She is also the first street lit author to pen a series, thus establishing the trend. Wahida’s style of writing has become the template for urban literature. When you read her novels, they are so real you are convinced that you either know the characters; you want to know the characters; or you are one of the characters!”
Clarks bestselling novels include: Thugs and the Women Who Love Them (Part 1 of the “Thug Series”), Every Thug Needs a Lady (Part 2), Thug Matrimony (Part 3), Thug Lovin’ (Part 4), Justify My Thug (Part 5), Payback is a Mutha (Part 1), Payback With Ya Life (Part 2), The Golden Hustla and Sleeping with the Enemy. She has also edited her first anthology, What’s Really Hood!: A Collection of Tales from the Streets.
A naturally business-savvy woman, Clark followed the invaluable advice of jailhouse mate and multi-millionaire Queen of Media, Martha Stewart, who she consulted with on her business plan for Wahida Clark Publishing. Clark and Stewart also both participated in the facility’s career day event. Wahida chose to speak on publishing and being an author. Stewart spoke on the basics of starting a business and business trends. Clark’s Wahida Clark Publishing opened its doors in 2008 and today is home to 14 successful and award-winning urban lit authors.
This year Wahida Clark will celebrate her first stage production with the debut of “Thugs and the Women Who Love Them.” The production will open May 1 and run through May 4th at The Tabernacle inAtlanta,GA.
As well as an accomplished author, Wahida Clark is a gifted motivational speaker. “I share my story as often as I can in hopes of opening the eyes of young people caught up in the life of fast money on the streets of our urban communities,” says Clark. “If my story changes the path of just one at-risk youth, I have done what I have set out to do.”
As Co-founder and National VP of Prodigal Sons and Daughters Redirection Services (PSD),Clarkis committed to reaching young male and female offenders. A multi-faceted program, PSD’s mission is to prepare former offenders for a smooth transition into home-life, work-life, the community and society. Clark brings the program to prisons, halfway houses and youth houses inNew Jersey,New YorkandPennsylvaniamonthly. The program graduates at least 100 former offenders per year.
PSD’s Services also include:
The 12 Week Mentorship and Life Skills Training program which graduates at least 100 men and women per year.
One Hundred Successful Ex-offenders Seminar and Workshop held 4 times per year reaching more than 100 members yearly.
The Urban Farm Project – Gardening workshop – including theParadiseGardensand Green House Construction project which trains 20 – 40 transitioning members per year.
PSD Family Support System refers 50 families for assistance.
PSD Printing and Publishing provides hands-on training for a minimum of 10 at risk youth per annually.
PSD Labor For Favors Work Readiness Program trained/employed 150 young men and women inn 2012.
PSD Computer Training and GED Classes enrolled 13 students in its first 6 months.
Wahida Clark is also Co-founder and Vice President of Phoenix Academy Inc. an organization that also provides support groups as well as mentoring for at-risk youth. Presentations are made at Youth Houses and High Schools in an attempt to reach troubled teens struggling with addictive and/or criminal behaviors. The ultimate goal ofPhoenixAcademyis to establish charter and vocational training schools for at risk young people.