You belong to the city
You belong to the night
In the river of darkness
He’s the man of the night
-“The City is Mine” by Jay-Z
I began to sing these words that make up the hook of Jay-Z’s “The City is Mine” from his album In My Lifetime: Vol. 1 when I first laid eyes on the cover art of Vincent P. Sanchez’s debut urban fiction novel, Angel’s Sin (Outskirts Press). I was blessed with the opportunity to meet with the up and coming author and interview him on December 2nd at the famous 40/40 Club in New York City. (Side note: The food and the drinks at the 40/40 Club are both banging) It was official. I was greeted when I arrived by a nice young lady who checked my name off of the guest list and directed to the room where the book signing for Angel’s Sin was taking place. The place was popping with every man and woman dressed, awaiting the man of the night, Vincent P. Sanchez. He arrived dressed like a don in a black suit with pinstripes and square-toed shoes. He looked fresh.
A native of Jamaica, Queens, Vincent P. Sanchez began crafting the first five chapters of Angel’s Sin a few years before completing it to be published in 2010. He revealed to me that his biggest struggle of the whole project was the marketing process for his novel. A fan of Steven King, Dean Koontz, and James Patterson, Sanchez’s personal experiences coming up during the catastrophic crack epidemic are what fuel him to create Angel’s Sin. Sanchez learned many hard lessons on love, loyalty, and life. It was not until he spent time in prison, that he discovered his passion for writing.
The urban fiction novel, Angel’s Sin is a story about Victor Johnson, who goes by the name, Angel, witnessing the murder of a neighborhood drug dealer. Sincere, Angel’s brother, also witnesses the murder at the hands of King, a local drug kingpin. They escape their own deaths once they are discovered by King and his right-hand man, Breeze. King and Breeze are two of the most dangerous men in South Jamaica, Queens. Instead of automatically killing both boys, King approaches them with a proposition: To either become a street soldier for King or be murdered. Once Angel and Sincere choose to live a life of crime, their lives are never the same. According to Sanchez, he sets himself apart from the literary competition by stepping from the norm, providing a different angle of portrayal.
Angel’s Sin is a story of how one decision can create a butterfly effect that will leave a long-lasting impression upon an individual’s soul. It is a story of survival, loyalty, betrayal, and death. It is an inspirational coming-of-age story that is definitely a page-turner. There are moments that may make you shed a tear, burst out laughing, or clutch your pearls in shock and amazement.
I appreciate the play on words that I was able to pull from Angel’s Sin. Angel commits sin after sin, after sin. These sins include the ones committed against others as well as the ones committed against him. Angel is far from a holy man. The term sin also refers to Sincere, Angel’s brother. The two young men have an indelible bond between each other. In the novel they both share this motto for love: “The love you show me is the love I show you. Fifty-fifty love ‘til the sun burns out.” There is nothing like brotherly love. Sin is also the Spanish term meaning without, which signifies the emptiness within Angel. Even though he gains money, power, and respect in the streets, he remains unfulfilled. Zane, Angel’s love interest, is almost like an angel in disguise who gives his life new meaning. She shows him unconditional love and brings out the best in her man. She opens her man’s eyes to a whole different world outside of street hustling. This angel gives birth to a Sin. I applaud Sanchez for his skills.
Vincent P. Sanchez plans on transforming the novel into a movie. Bringing the characters of Angel’s Sin onto the big screen will be a great move for the author. I cannot think of any other urban fiction novel that has been made into a movie. (You can correct me if I am wrong) Sanchez has two other books that are still in the making, Cheaters and The Last Witness. From writer to another, I wish him much success.
You can purchase your copy of Angel’s Sin at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Outskirtspress.com/Angelssin.