Local,People,Kristen Byrne

Hanna is a self-published author of eight novels. He grew up in Southeast Washington and lives there today.

What spawned your interest in writing?

I've always had something to say and I'm an avid reader. I like good writers and I wanted to emulate that and tell stories. I think I have some life experiences that haven't been shared, and I've wanted to access the public mind with those.

What topics do you focus on in your novels?

Mostly the trials and traumas of people like myself, in low-income communities in D.C. I've lost people in my family and friends due to issues like drugs, and I wanted to write about those experiences. I also write about future events like terrorism.

Why do you think it's important to document gang life?

I've seen so many kids get killed, and there's a history to the guns and the drugs in our community that needs to be told. I want to impact these people. Someone needs to talk to the children because if we're afraid of the kids, then our community will be lost. I think the news reports after the fact, and people in the community really need to see this forthcoming.

Have you noticed a difference in Southeast in the past couple of years?

I think it's gotten better, but I think that's because a lot of people committing the crimes have died. I think D.C. has a lot of programs that help people, but there needs to be a focus in teaching children how to read and write. Reading and writing is critical -- the most important information is written.

What do you hope to achieve from your recent online videos?

I wanted to reach the kids in a different way. If they can't read then I'll impact their mind visually.

- Kristen Byrne

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