Book Spotlight It’s been nearly a year since Kirk Franklin’s last foray from the stage to the page. Church Boy debuted 12 years ago, tagged as Franklin’s autobiography on “his music and his life.” Now, Franklin says The Blueprint is the furthest thing from Church Boy, even though both reveal personal stories and anecdotes within the covers. This latest centers more in the inspiration reading category, taking a cue from Franklin’s choir director side, bringing joy with his urban gospel flair. CCM: This is your second book release, but a lot of time has lapsed between the two. What sets these releases apart? Kirk Franklin: Church Boy was more of an autobiography and I was only 27, you know? There was also more of a disconnect for me with everything that was going around. There was a ghost writer, this guy traveling around with me. I wore this microphone and we’d go around with him asking me questions. This one is a book that I physically wrote. It’s not this autobiography, but more of a life lesson book that is really trying to be honest and transparent about what a lot of people are facing as far as living beneath the storms. People are not tapping into the things that they’re created to be. CCM: How does that change things in the tone and nature of the book? Kirk: It’s not a sermon preached at them, but it’s more a life lived in front of them. It’s a very honest look at the lessons I’ve learned, both good and bad. It’s sitting at the feet of both a smart and wise man and a very stupid and dumb man. Whether it’s about sex or the challenges of the African-American male community or about marriage or parenting or faith or losing your faith, it’s not a gimmick book that reads like a textbook. It is based on strong biblical points, so it’s hopefully something that heals and feels very smooth yet deep for people. It’s very honest and urban and straight-up. CCM: Of all the topics, is there one you were most anxious to get to talk about? Kirk: To be honest, they were all very important to me. I’m a parent, so the parenting chapter was very important to me. Marriage is important to me, because it’s an institution that’s becoming a joke now. Black men is an important topic to me, because the challenges we’re facing are becoming an epidemic. Then of course, sex is a serious issue that I think for some reason in 2010, still makes the church cringe. For more information, check out www.kirkfranklin.com. CCM 53