Aisha Rochester Hall was born and raised in Roosevelt, New York. She came into this world in 1983, to a young teenage couple, Karen and Collin Rochester. Her father was better known to many as “Daddy Prince” or “Prince Collin”, a true Jamaican legend on the streets of New York. He was a young father eager to provide, and the streets of New York became his hustle grounds.
Aisha Picked up many of her father’s skills; learning early on the power of music and entrepreneurship. She would often travel with him to different venues performing rap and reggae routines. She graduated high school and attended New York Institute of Technology on a track and field scholarship. But by night, she was in New York City performing at different showcases, entertaining people with her musical skills. Her grandparents, known to most as Nana and Poppy were also heavily influential. They made sure she stayed active, well travelled and immersed in the rich history of African Americans.
By the time Aisha was in her early twenties, she’d owned several businesses. One of them being a company called Apogee Financial. She moved to Detroit and opened an office there, employing a few top notch street-hustlers. She knew that anybody who could operate a business in the street, could use those same skills in an office environment if given the chance. Her theory proved correct, as her company became very successful and soared to a value of close to ten million dollars in less than a year! She had the world at her feet.
Her life seemed perfect, until everything came crashing down. Some bad business deals in 2009 landed her in Federal prison with a sentence of more than ten years! She was only twenty five at the time. To make matters worse, her brother was tragically killed by the police just a few months later. Then, her father was murdered after being deported back to Jamaica. This devastated her, but fortunately, it didn’t break her. It only furthered her desire to become her greatest self. Holding onto the principles of her father, she decided to focus on the positive side of her incarceration. She became an author.
Aisha has penned more than six novels and ghost-writes for many from behind bars. While in prison, Aisha has put on many urban plays entertaining thousands of other women and giving them a piece of Broadway and freedom through her creativity. She is also an advocate for ending mass incarceration as well as the overly harsh sentencing for all non-violent offenders. Her urban books have caught the attention of many and she is a screen play writer, creative producer for a reality show, and on her way to becoming a best-selling author. She’s also been working on her music and plans to come home and continue to do what she loves: running businesses and hitting the stage, getting back to her hip hop and reggae roots.
Now, almost eight years into her sentence, Aisha will be home next year in 2017, ready to hit the ground running. Life had it’s ups and downs, but pressure make diamonds and she plans to shine brighter than ever before
Get to know Aisha
What inspired you to write your first book?
Going to prison! Believe it or not, that type of solitude sparked a level of creativity in me that I didn’t even know existed. I’ve always loved writing. When most kids would fret over school papers and writing projects, I’d get excited. Writing has always been my passion. However, I wasn’t inspired to write my first novel until 2009 when I got indicted by the FEDS and I was sentenced to almost 11 years for conspiracy & a non-violent offense.
Where did you find your motivation to write?
The desire for freedom was my motivation. It still is. The characters in my stories were able to explore life in ways that I no longer could due to my incarceration. I would throw on my headphones, sit on my bunk and write for hours. Then I’d share my chapters with the other ladies to get feedback. I loved seeing the excitement come alive in their eyes and I learned just how impactful my stories could be. I told them, “I will publish this one day.” Now, seven years later I have 5 published books, with many more in the works. I’ll be released from federal prison in 2017.
Are any of your stories true?
Yes! I co-wrote a book with Kimberly Smedley under the name A. Rochester. It’s called The Backside of The Story and it’s about Kimberly’s journey through the dark world of doing illegal silicone butt injections. It’s a scandalous tell all. She is a reality TV star on the show: From the Bottom Up, which airs on Centric. My other books: Keema & Lamar: A Ghetto Love Story (the trilogy) and Caught Up Loving A Boss, are all urban fiction.
What is most difficult about being an incarcerated author?
Not being able to physically interact with my readers has been pretty tough. But the most difficult thing by far about being an incarcerated author is seeing the injustices that African Americans face daily in our justice system. Black women are being locked up at an alarming rate, serving extremely long sentences for crimes that many of them shouldn’t have been charged with in the first place. For example, I have friends doing life sentences for their boyfriend’s drugs. I see many educated, business women serving decade long sentences under these draconian laws. These non-violent offenders, our sisters, suffer everyday due to an unfair criminal justice system. It’s definitely a challenge to live under that reality on a daily basis.
The term “hood books” is most commonly associated with urban style writing. What do you say to critics who don’t think these books should be mainstream?
To me, a book is a book. A story is a story. Our work is always scrutinized more than others. It’s just the world we live in. Calling these books hood books doesn’t bother me at all. As a matter of fact, it’s a compliment because it shows that our culture is just as worthy as being written about as any other. I come from a line of people who were told it was illegal to read and write for over 400 years. The simple act of spelling your name could have gotten you lynched. Now we have the ability to tell our stories any way we’d like. And from what I can see, the world is pretty interested in what we’ve got to say. Everything that has been touched with even a droplet of “hood-juice” is being eaten up by the American public. And I am proud to entertain, humanize and educate through my books.
What impact do you want your books to have on your readers?
Excitement. I want my readers so entrenched into the story that they never want it to end. I enjoy giving people an escape from everyday life. I love giving them something to get emotional about or a new prospective to ponder. I also like the idea that I can tell these stories in such a way that anybody from any background, can enjoy them.
What do you have in the works?
I’ve got some really good things in the pipeline. I’m working on Pink Panther Clique, a story about women in prison and all the drama that goes on in prison world. There’s also The High Price To Pay Series, a true stories about the over-incarceration of women. My story is in the process of being published. They are very informative and the mission of these books is to highlight the horrors of this system. Then there’s 3 new untitled urban books in the works. I’m also writing screen plays and plays, so there is alot you can expect from Aisha Hall.
Find the author and the book:
All of Aisha’s book can be found on Amazon.
About the Book
Keema is still the infamous young boss. She took her game to new heights when she expanded her empire internationally and introduced the world to New Dope, a wicked blend of heroine and cocaine. Fearless and driven, she felt invincible. Unstoppable. Until that sad day when her husband Lamar was shot right before her eyes.
Saddened by the tragedy that claimed her husband, Keema attempts to leave the game. But the streets have dug it’s claws so deep into Keema’s back, that it becomes almost impossible for her to move on. Lamar was her everything but in the midst of turmoil, a shocking revelation about another woman and the son he never knew, changes everything. Chaos quickly sets in and life takes a drastic turn.
Her operation spirals out of control and the once well run empire is now in chaos. Keema and the people she loves most, all find themselves in impossible situations of disloyalty, lies and deceit. In this jaw dropping saga, one gets reminded that all things that go up, eventually come down.
Purchase at Amazon.com
6 thoughts on “Meet The Author: Interview with Aisha Hall”
I believe Aisha mentioned that she is working on a book about mass incarceration and African American women in prison. If I were her, that is where I would focus my attention. The world needs to hear how our criminal justice system unfairly treats minorities and the impact mandatory sentencing has on society. When she talked about women being incarcerated simply because their boyfriends were involved in drugs, that is just plain wrong. But she speaks the truth. Tell those stories, and then promote that book when you get out.
Thanks for voicing your opinion in favor of Aisha and thanks for stopping by Authors & Readers Book Corner.
I have had the privilege and honer to meet Aisha is 2009, while I my self was incarcerated for a crime I did not commit…. Aisha was very helpful to me and became and will always be my Soulmate. She has helped many in many ways and many eyes have been opened due to her intelligence on many matters that we often brush off as not really important. I love her dearly, for she is the real deal of how to be a good heart person. Reading her books is reading about the truths in life in many ways. GOD bless.
Thanks for your comment. I enjoy share information on authors that are impacting their communities and Aisha seems to be making an impact with her works.
I had the pleasure of meeting her. Im a seasoned woman that spent time at Alderson with Aishea and was enlightened by her knowledge her business savy and her kind heart. Willing to share all she has been bestowed. I pray the re meeting in the near future. Ive learned so much, she straighten my path and I’m thankful for the opportunity.
Think about what you think about was profound for my growth.
Thanks for you comment. It has been a pleasure hosting Aisha here at Authors & Readers Book Corner and it is great to know her work is truly helping others. Blessings to you and I hope you stop by again.