By Geoffrey Elterich
Author and New Britain native Deivone M. Tanksley, Sr. is releasing his second novel, titled “Pain, Guilt, and Success.” He will be hosting a book release party on July 22nd at 201 Governor’s St. at 5 p.m.
Born in Mount Pleasant in 1986, Deivone’s life story is one of turmoil and anger, but mostly of redemption. As a child, he got into some trouble with the law. “I had a lot of anger built up,” he explained. He was sent to the Hartford juvenile detention at age 11. From there, he was in and out of detention centers and group homes until he was 19. It was then that he decided he couldn’t go back to prison.
“I always had a vision of change, and I finally acted on it,” he said. When Deivone got out of prison, he went to Lincoln Technical Institute in New Britain. He graduated in 2012 with an electrical degree. Having accomplished that goal, he set his sights on something more.
Deivone had been writing song lyrics for most of his life, but after graduating from technical school, he began writing books.
His first book, A Mother’s Pain was released in 2013. The title refers to the heartache and pain that children often cause their parents. The novel follows twin brothers who are trying to become professional basketball players. Their journey is sidetracked when they get involved with drugs and end up in prison. From there, they choose two different paths, and the novel explores how their decisions affect their lives.
The novel is loosely based on true events from Deivone’s life. “I definitely speak through experience,” he said. As an adult, he now understands the pain he caused his mother as a child. He wants his own four children, and children all throughout New Britain and the world, to know there are alternatives to the negative lifestyles they often see in their neighborhoods or glorified on screen.
His second book, Pain, Guilt, and Success examines those alternatives. The novel is a continuation of A Mother’s Pain. The characters mature and try to avoid the people and behaviors that have gotten them into trouble in the past. Deivone explained that the message behind the story is one of mind power.
“What the mind can conceive, a person can achieve. People can change, they just need to reprogram for success,” said Deivone.
Deivone is living proof of the truth behind this message. In addition to writing, Deivone is still heavily involved with music. He started an independent music company, DMTS Records, where he produces positive, conscious hip-hop music. Currently, he helps write, produce and promote the music of hip-hop artist Playabydesign.
Deivone is also a motivational speaker. He has delivered his inspirational message of positive change to children at several schools throughout the state. “I just want people to know that with everything going on in the world, I’m here for all people,” he said. Because of his own journey, he is able to make a powerful connection with the youth. His message that it’s never too late or too hard to turn your life around. His message resonates strongly because he has seen it firsthand.
“When I started this, I just wanted to change the status quo,” said Deivone. “There are so many options besides going to jail or becoming a rapper or an athlete.”
Through his music, public speaking and writing, Deivone seeks to be heard. But it’s more than that, “I’m trying to bring the community together to stop the violence,” he said. “Just because the system is set up like it is doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference. And if you stand up and make a change, others will, too.”
Deivone’s books are available online, and you can also purchase them directly from Deivone at the book release party this Friday.