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BOOK CLUB: The Prerequisites of Perdition

By Keith Kareem Williams

For three years, Brenda Swan has kept a secret that would destroy her and everything she loves if the truth was ever revealed. Being married to a powerful and wealthy man should have been the perfect life but, because of what she willfully concealed, she became trapped in an endless nightmare, fearful of the consequences if her deception was discovered. Inadvertently, on an emotional morning, during a moment of weakness, one decision that she couldn’t take back had created a deadly triangle between herself, her husband and a mysterious stranger. As Brenda’s heart and mind begin to unravel because of the tangled web of lies she’s had to weave, the stakes become higher than she ever imagined as everyone involved gets disastrously dragged towards complete and utter ruin.


Way back in 2011, there was a book club called “Readers in Motion.” I met the members at my very 1st Harlem Book Fair and kept my word to participate on their site. Some of those book club members are still my very good friends to this day. Along the way, as our bond grew, I also formed friendships with a few of the authors who were active on their site as well. Those friendships with my fellow creatives led to four of us deciding to co-author an anthology where all of our stories were connected and “Crossroads: An Anthology” was born.

My story in the anthology was titled, “The Prerequisites of Perdition.” After the book was released, I couldn’t stop hearing the characters in my head so I decided to extend the story into a novella. To this day, it is still one of my favorite stories because so many of the characters were so over-the-top maniacal. I loved mixing the deep, powerful, emotional drama with diabolical, ultra-violent repercussions. It really was a wild ride that I penned on those pages.







“Foreign” is a Jamaican slang term for the United States, but is also commonly used for Canada and England as well. Basically, it’s a word used to describe anywhere Jamaicans immigrate to really. Many, many years ago, the idea for this novel came into my head, and I mean the entire plot, from start to finish. At the time, I don’t think I was quite ready to write it though. There was just too much going on in my life for me to commit to it. Although it IS a work of fiction, the storyline is very personal to me and I always knew that I would have to pull imagery and sentiment from my real life to make it work as I envisioned it. I had listened to stories from the elders in my family about what it was like when they first immigrated to the United States from Jamaica which inspired me to want to write an urban novel from that unique experience. Even though I had a wealth of knowledge, I still needed to live a little more myself before I put pen to paper because I knew that a huge part of the story that I wanted to tell would involve the first generation of this family who were born in America because that is exactly what I am, a first-generation American kid with a Jamaican background.

Although “Foreign” is very much a complex Urban novel, it was “Hurricane Love,” a romance novel that I had written, that really inspired me to really dive in and work on the book that had lived in my heart and soul for so long. The majority of “Hurricane Love,” which was a harrowing romance, takes place in Jamaica so I had to dig into my childhood memories to create the authenticity that the book needed to make it real. Once I was finished, “Foreign” started wailing to be heard and I listened. I even tried to stall by writing “Hurricane Love 2” but after a while, I gave in and got busy writing what had been so near and dear to me for so long.

Of course, as is the case with MOST of my novels, “Foreign” is taking me longer to write than I would like but, I needed the extra time. The last thing I wanted is for the book to feel rushed. Just because I have the entire plot in my head doesn’t mean that I’m willing to risk losing both subtle and substantial intricacies that I would miss if I didn’t take my time to get it 100% right. I want the reader to love this family and also feel deeply for them as they face their trials and tribulations. There is struggle on these pages but also real love. There are also some very human villains who do deplorable and wicked things, as is the case in the real lives that many of us have lived. No one escapes this life without getting scars that tell their story. Most don’t make it out without scarring others as well.

When I first picked up my pen, many years ago, it was always my goal to describe the eras that I lived through, the same way that so many of the GREATS that I admire have. So, I stay up late nights and ignore sleep so I can give you “Foreign.”


Keith Kareem Williams (Pronounced KEETH) is the author of over 20 books & 7 screenplays. He still resides in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York where he delicately balances his time between his responsibilities as a full-time father as well as the challenges of being a full-time author.

“In interviews, one of the most difficult questions I’ve been asked is, ‘What genre are your novels?’ because honestly, I never write with any particular style in mind. I enjoy blending styles and mashing different genres together in interesting ways. Basically, I pen whatever is in my heart and soul. However, if I had to describe my style I would use musical terms and say that I write Urban, Hip-Hop, fiction with the rhythm of Reggae that crashed into Heavy Metal and then began to bleed Neo-Soul. I write Alternative Urban Fiction.

One of the things I'm most proud of is how my children look at me with pride because I'm accomplishing my goals and doing the things I set out to do with my career. They recognize and respect my passion. I write constantly and I already have the titles & plots lined up for my next 92 novels. This is what I do and I'm just trying to let the rest of the world know this. My ambition is to become as legendary as some of the writers I admire. I believe that a GOOD writer pulls you into their story. A GREAT writer makes the world around you fall away as you read. The LEGENDARY writers tell stories that become a part of you and linger long after you've read the last line of the last chapter. It was once said that the pen is mightier than the sword. I say to my fellow AUTHORS: Let's advance our craft until it's mightier than guns, grenades, bullets & nuclear bombs. If not, then put your pen down and fall back. Those of us who are serious about this will run you over as if we were riding in tanks.” – Keith Kareem Williams