We had the good fortune of connecting with Vance Black and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Vance, what matters most to you?
The principle that matters most to me is creativity. Artists can make a few bucks, or even make a career off of solely doing the business side of things correctly. I would rather keep my day job and stay creative as a side hustle than sell out and become a phony artist that simply regurgitates a winning formula. If an artist isn’t constantly enlightening, inspiriting, and shocking the world, than they aren’t fulfilling their obligations to society.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have been the lead singer of a reggae band for over a decade. The band has always been a part time hustle on the side of school, work, and other obligations. Despite music being a part time project, the band has always strived to resonate with the likes of the big national acts. Although the band never reached the notoriety as some of our very successful contemporaries, we were still considered a significant pioneer of the now booming California Reggae genre. Once my band members and I began to settle down with careers and families, I decided to start writing Science Fiction. It was something I could easily do from home whenever I had free time. I started writing my first book once the quarantine started. Everyone was stuck in their house, complaining about not having anything to do. As an artist, I was able to thrive in this scenario. The first book in the series is still very fresh off the press, but is selling at a rapid pace. I’m currently in the process of writing the second book. I’m excited to see the fanbase begin to spread organically. Finding my specific niche audience is a mysterious but fun process. I try to use my musical background to pursue my path as an author from a unique angle. First off, I market myself as a rock star. I spend a lot of effort working with a professional photographer to create headshots with the same dark, sexy, and mysterious vibe that compliments my writing. I also cut no corners while working with the artist on the cover art. It is similar to the way I would work on the cover of an album. Even my advertisements are like movie trailers or music-video teasers. Lastly, I have the benefit of having an establish fanbase that may or may not crossover to the the sci-fi realm.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would most definitely take a visiting friend to Ocean Beach. The place has culture, character, and great food. I lived there for five years in my twenties and it played a huge role on my music career. During the day, I would take them to South Beach for the best fish tacos in town with a view of the ocean. For desert we would walk next door to Light House Ice Cream for an ice cream sandwich made out of fresh waffles. If my guest was feeling adventurous, they can even add bacon to their ice cream sandwich. Non-dairy options are also offered there. Then we walk off the food by strolling the pier and soaking in the ocean view or doing some people watching on the boardwalk. Once it gets dark, we start the night off by stopping at the old school cocktail lounge, “Pacific Shores”,. The place looks like it’s straight out of the 70’s and the cocktails are strong and inexpensive. Next we hit up Winston’s for some live music. Most likely it will be reggae, jam-band, funk, or anything else you can groove to. Once we’ve had our fill, we hit up one of the roof top deck bars for a night cap and a conversation with a stranger. That would be The Holding Company or if you want to keep it old school, Sunshine Company. In typical San Diego fashion, you would usually end your night in a taco shop eating burritos. When I was living in Ocean Beach I did not have a go to post drinking taco shop, but there may be more options now. This itinerary only brushes the surface. There are so many things to do in this small beach town.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would most definitely take a visiting friend to Ocean Beach. The place has culture, character, and great food. I lived there for five years in my twenties and it played a huge role on my music career. During the day, I would take them to South Beach for the best fish tacos in town with a view of the ocean. For desert we would walk next door to Light House Ice Cream for an ice cream sandwich made out of fresh waffles. If my guest was feeling adventurous, they can even add bacon to their ice cream sandwich. Non-dairy options are also offered there. Then we walk off the food by strolling the pier and soaking in the ocean view or do some people watching on the boardwalk. Once it gets dark, we start the night off by stopping at the old school cocktail lounge, “Pacific Shores”, The place looks like it’s straight out of the 70’s and the cocktails are strong and inexpensive. Next we hit up Winston’s for some live music. Most likely it will be reggae, jam-band, funk, or anything else you can groove to. Once we’ve had our fill, we hit up one of the roof top deck bars for a night cap and a conversation with a stranger. That would be The Holding Company or if you want to keep it old school, Sunshine Company. In typical San Diego fashion, you would usually end your night in a taco shop eating burritos. When I was living in Ocean Beach I did not have a go to post drinking taco shop, but there may be more options now. This itinerary only brushes the surface. There are so many things to do in this small beach town.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
A shoutout to Ruben Ochosa for doing the great artwork for the novel.  Special thanks to Raymond Hoy for narrating the novel’s promo video.  Also, a big thanks ahead of time to James Storm, Larry Coppotelli, Lara Dudas, and the rest of the J.S. Company crew; who will be working on the Audible version of the the book.  Lasty, I want to thank my wife Ashley for one last proof reading of the novel before going to print.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wildsyde_walk/
Other: https://www.amazon.com/Vance-Black/e/B08MF3HZSG?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Image Credits
Jack Taylor

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