Reading

Brandon Hutchinson talks new book, ‘Benji’, Inspiration & More

Where are you originally from?
I’m originally from Panama City, Florida.
What pushes your drive to create?
Things that motivate me to create would be my wanting a better future for the youth of my community. While growing up, I saw that the things that were idolized were professional sports or being a rapper etc., which are great feats, but I wanted so much more for my community. I wanted to have more tv shows, movies and books that are not only relatable to the African-American experience but that also inspire ambitions to pursue dreams that can help strengthen our community.
When did you first realize that you had an artistic gift?
I first realized probably in the 5th grade, that was the first time I had a poem published. From there I always played around with video concepts that I would write little makeshift scripts for and force my younger brother to direct. It wasn’t until I had taken a creative writing class and was given some professional feedback and realized that I could really move people with my words.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration would be my family and friends. Also, seeing how my parents sacrificed so much for me and my brother to have a good life makes me want to be greater just so they know they did a great job. My brother is my best friend, we butt heads a lot but he’s always looked out for me, covered for me and some of my mess ups and holds me accountable as well. I look up to him a lot. I’ve got so many successful friends a lot of which I’m in a Group chat with. They all have great energy and inspire me to be the best individual I can be.
Where do you see yourself & your art in the next 3 years?
I’m hoping within the next 3 years that I will have created an audience for my work, published several books of various genres, and written for a t.v. show or movie. I really just want to establish myself in the industry.
What inspired your book?
I wanted to write a kids book just to try and push my writing capabilities. I asked my roommate what he thought I should write about and he told me to write something that I would want to read as a kid that I could connect with. From there the idea sprouted and I wrote the first draft within 2 days.
Tell us a little background, without spoiling lol, about your book?
The book deals with concepts of belonging and self-worth, things that I struggled with growing up as I feel most kids do. It’s about an orphan who’s different than most – he forms a relationship with a stray dog which helps him find self-acceptance on his journey to be adopted.
Where can your book be purchased?
The book is available on my website, icarusvisions.org, as well as on Amazon/Kindle
What were your top 3 favorite cartoons growing up?
Top 3 cartoons would probably Spongebob, Ed Edd & Eddy, and Courage the Cowardly Dog
Top favorite author of all time?
Top favorite author of all time would probably Toni Morrison.
If you could be any character from a book you’ve read, who would you be and why?
Newt Scamander from ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’, just because he’s got a lot of quirks about him that I can relate to as well.
Make sure you’re all following Brandon on Instagram and support his book which is only $3 available now!!

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