What started as a hobby of writing and posting short stories on Facebook in his leisure time turned into a published book for one Central Georgia resident. Kenya Hubbard is the author of Ken Stephens, an urban romance novel set in Macon during the early 1990’s.
“There was a hammer in a shed, the owner of the hammer would use it to pull up boards, prop open doors, and other odd jobs. The hammer said to himself ‘I do a good job at those things but I just don’t feel right.’ One day the owner of the hammer picked up the hammer and hit a nail, driving the nail into a wall. ‘Oh, that felt good!’ the hammer exclaimed. It was on that day the hammer learned of its purpose in life.” This was the story told to Kenya Hubbard, who was a sergeant in the Marine Corps at the time, by one of his superiors, after his superior learned of Kenya’s passion for writing.
Ever since he was a little boy, Kenya Hubbard knew what it was he wanted to do in life. Hubbard is a native of Jeffersonville, a small town located in Twiggs County.
“I definitely felt different growing up, because I had an interest that not a lot of people had, but I embraced my differences,” he says. “In high school people thought I was weird or eccentric, but I embraced that.”
He continues to explain why he was comfortable going his own way in high school: “I never wanted to be like everybody else that was around, and sometimes it was hard because you want people to understand and a lot of them don’t, but I got over that.”
Despite the difficulty of being misunderstood, Hubbard is grateful for his small-town roots: “Being from a place like Twiggs County definitely allowed my imagination to grow; if I did live in the city maybe that would not have been the case.
Hubbard credits his mother with being a great storyteller and the first person to inspire him to write stories. “My mother was a story teller. She always told me stories about her experiences growing up,” he says, “and she had a story to go along with any event. Every day she would tell a different story, so I fell in love with storytelling.”
Hubbard, who writes under the pseudonym Hubb The Poet, says he got his start at writing in the 5th grade after he started writing rap songs. “I was heavily influenced by hip-hop culture, so I started writing raps and poems.”
Hubbard says his favorite rapper growing up was Andre 3000 of the Atlanta musical duo OutKast. One can see how Andre 3000 would be Hubbard’s favorite rapper because he is widely credited with his ability to paint clear pictures of stories in his rhymes.
Hubbard goes on to reflect: “Then in middle school I wrote a short story and it impressed a teacher of mine, and that just inspired me to keep writing.”
“When I was in high school,” he explains, “I picked up the name Hubb The Poet. I got the idea from Cedric the Entertainer–when I saw that he named himself The Entertainer , I thought, ‘well what if I call myself The Poet?’”
Hubbard says that in his book Ken Stephens, the title character is somewhat of an anti-hero. “There are a lot of things that may be considered as wrongdoing by the character, but I feel that those stories need to be told, because people mess up and ya know, they still have a side to their story too.”
“I wrote it [Ken Stephens] to show people that [there are two sides to every story] because everyone has a Ken Stephens in their life, whether it be their father, husband, brother–everyone knows one, so I wanted to write a story about someone that everybody knows,” he says.
Ken Stephens is written in episodic style, a style that is not common for many books, but it definitely sets the scene for the next book. Hubbard says that a second Ken Stephens book is already written, but he is debating whether to put out another book before the second installment is released to showcase his ability to write in other genres.
He is currently working on screenplays, but regardless of the format, what you can expect from Hubbard in the future is more content. He has many stories he wants to tell.
Ken Stephens is definitely a page turner. It is sure to inspire others who, like Hubbard, may have gotten their start at writing on social media that anything is possible, even if they are from a small town like Jeffersonville, Georgia.
To purchase Ken Stephens, readers can search for Ken Stephens or Hubb the Poet on Amazon.com, or get an autographed copy signed by Hubb The Poet himself, in person, at the Macon Black Pages Expo-Business Consumer Mixer and Pop Up Mall on June 12th at the Tubman Museum from 7 pm to 10 pm.