Charles Carpenter Interview

Author of the critically acclaimed autobiography Handcuffed. The book outlines Charles Carpenter upbringing and his subsequent membership to the faction of Crips (3-5-7) located in Pomona California. The book Handcuffed was penned while Mr.Carpenter was housed in California's maximum security prison-New Folsom. Handcuffed offers profound insight into the ramifications of witnessing domestic violence as a youth, and explore the gang subculture in an attempt to raise awareness for any struggling with destructive criminal behavior. Charles Carpenter's story is raw and full of emotion.

What inspired you to write?
When I was younger I was involved with gangs and a criminal lifestyle. When I received 37 years to life for 2nd degree murder I wanted to write a book to help prevent people from following in my footsteps.

Did the inspiration to write come to you suddenly, or had you been thinking about it some time?
I've contemplated writing my life story for years, I never executed my plan until I was at a very low point in my life subsequent to receiving a life sentence.

How did you tell your story? In other words, did you use an outline, or just write your story from start to finish?
I started by writing down my raw thoughts. During my first draft I didn't concern myself with spelling or grammar, I simply wanted to get my thoughts on paper.

Did you receive any encouragement from family and friends, or did you work on your book alone?
Yes, my mother was always my biggest source of encouragement.

What was the most difficult part of writing your book?
The most difficult aspect of writing my book was trying to recall certain facts of my life exactly as they occurred.

What was the most enjoyable aspect of writing your book?
The most enjoyable aspect of writing my book was the satisfaction of knowing that I would finally be in position to contribute something positive to the world, instead of constantly being a liability to society.

Did you experience any personal transformation after the book was published?
My book represented my first step towards change and rehabilitation. Most importantly I felt good about being able to contribute something positive to the world.

What’s something that gets in the way of your creativity?
Negative people who try to discourage me. I don't listen to negativity, I use it to fuel my inspiration to succeed.

What strategies do you use to deal with criticism?
Again, I use criticism as motivation to do better.

Where did you grow up and what is your favorite/worst childhood memory?
I grew up in Pomona, California. My worst childhood memory is witnessing my father physically batter my mother.

Do you have a favorite quote?
"Still I rise." Maya Angelou

What is your favorite show on TV?
Shark Tank

Favorite movie?
Nacho Libre featuring Jack Black

Favorite book?
The Bible

Who would you want to meet if you could? Dead or alive.
I would like to meet Job from the Bible. He's a great inspiration of endurance.

Is there a talent you wish you had?
I wish I could sing.

What’s something about you that would surprise us?
I don't like football, and I'm very quiet.

Describe yourself in 3 words!
A loyal person