Interview With RJ Young, Author of “Let It Bang: A Young Black Man’s Reluctant Odyssey into Guns”!

rj young 3RJ Young was not fond of guns, but that changed when he was determined to build a bond with his then white wife’s father, a gun enthusiast. Young became fixated with guns, and eventually became an NRA-certified pistol instructor. The unique and riveting journey to understanding and experiencing gun culture in America as a black man is tackled in Young’s debut, Let It Bang: A Young Black Man’s Reluctant Odyssey into Guns (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). “There are people who say ‘hey, I’ve never thought about it this way. I still believe what I believe, but I appreciate you giving me your perspective,’” the YouTuber said to So Booking Cool when asked about the response to his memoir.

let it bang“There are other folks who have seen the cover of the book and decided that they know what it’s about. And then there are folks who are pushed to consider it, and it makes them very uncomfortable, and it makes them examine the way in which they walk through the world…mostly what I’m asking folks to do is examine the way the walk through the world and what influence they have that they may not have even considered until recently.”

Listen to the full interview to learn more about Young, including his upcoming radio show, Fight Me with RJ Young, which was spawned from his hit YouTube channel, in which he gives his commentary on the Oklahoma Sooners to tens of thousands on a daily basis. Young also discusses the time Natural Light Beer awarded him with $40,000 for one of his videos; his thoughts on higher learning; whether he would write another book; his advice for YouTubers and more. Fore more information, visit his channel.



Interview With Deanne Urmy, Editor of Actress Gabourey Sidibe’s Memoir, This is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare !

unnamedToday we had the pleasure of chatting with Deanne Urmy, senior executive editor at Houghton Miflin Hartcourt, who edited award-winning actress Gabourey Sidibe’s debut memoir, This is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare.  Urmy discusses the editing process of the book, her expertise on memoir, and reveals that Sidibe’s book is among her favorites she’s ever worked on.

Here at So Booking Cool, we strongly agree that This is Just My Face is a must-read. Sidibe is eloquent and candid throughout,  discussing everything you can think of, as well as her time in foster care, her father secretly having a second wife, her depression, her eating disorder, being a former phone-sex operator, Hollywood, the burden of being a breadwinner in her family, and how her mother (a popular Subway singer who eventually appeared on America’s Got Talent) rejected the role of Mary in Precious five years before Gabourey landed the title role in the film that launched her career.


Interestingly enough, as open as Sidibe is in all 18 chapters, Urmy says there was plenty left on the cutting room floor.

One of the standout quotes from our interview with Deanne is when she says, “[Memoir] isn’t therapy, it’s storytelling.” This makes perfect sense, especially because This is Just My Face is a compelling memoir that has that story-like feel.