BOOK CORNER: Los Angeles native shares story of survival in memoir

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By Marissa Wells

Contributing Writer

“Addicted,” by James Soil, is a moving memoir offering a raw and transparent look at the author’s journey through adolescence, young adulthood and ultimately success.

Soil, a Southern California native, grew up in Santa Monica and Venice during the 1970s and 80s.

“Addicted” was inspired by events that took place in the author’s life and the relationship he had with his mother, aunt and uncles.

“I learned so much from them and I didn’t want them to die in vain,” Soil said. “I wanted them to know that they left me something.”

“Addicted” is intended for a universal audience and offers readers a view of the effects drugs and street life can have on an individual.

“Everything that I learned from guns, gang banging, and more made me a better person,” Soil said. “If I didn’t go through that and my drug stuff, I wouldn’t be here.”

It was important for Soil to tell his story in efforts to help inspire others, especially young people.

“Our OG’s gave us guns and dope so now in this new era we need to give these kids knowledge,” Soil said. “I wrote my book not to try and make money but to tell a story of where I came from and what happened to me.”

Inside the book, Soil includes his experiences with his family and their battles with drug addiction and his upbringing. Soil also details his journey in a gang, his own battle with addiction and how he overcame it all, ultimately becoming a first-generation college graduate.

The author’s favorite part of his book is when he shares his college journey. After a six-month jail sentence for the possession of crack cocaine, two of Soil’s childhood friends encouraged him to enroll in college.

“My degree is in broadcast journalism and mass communications,” Soil said. “After college, I worked as a production assistant in Hollywood paying my dues.”

It is the author’s hope that after reading his book, readers are inspired to keep their faith and never give up.

“At the darkest hour and at the roughest times in your life, you just can’t give up,” Soil said. “Darkness comes before light; it’s going to be dark and then morning will always come.”

In addition to being an author, Soil is a chef, restaurant owner and clothing line investor. He is also a manager of independent artists. He is based in Kansas City, Kansas. To connect with the author visit him on Instagram: @smileyvsl.

“Addicted” is available for $19.99 via and Amazon.

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