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Gritty, Searing New Thriller Details Gang Violence and Street Justice in Pacoima, California

Written by Kenneth Neighbors, ‘Pacoima Volume 1: The Initiation’ is the tale of Crazy K, the leader of a group of teenagers who don’t quite follow the letter of the law. Readers will follow the gang as they struggle through drugs, prostitution, relationships and even love. ‘Pacoima Volume 1: The Initiation’ is a raw and richly detailed novel from an author to watch.


Lancaster, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/11/2014 -- Kenneth Neighbors grew up in Pacoima and more than any other person - he realizes how flawed, dangerous and complex life on the city’s streets can be.

Drawing on that knowledge, he did what authors are always told to do: he wrote what he knew.

In ‘Pacoima Volume I: The Initiation’, Neighbors has penned a stark and realistic tale of a gang of wayward teens living in a suburb of Los Angeles, California. One of the poorest cities in the area, Pacoima is chock-full of drugs, murderers, brutality and teenagers who are simply trying to survive.

Following the shenanigans of Crazy K and his crew, the novel travels with the group through the week of New Year’s Eve, 1985. It’s a wild ride, and Neighbors spares no one in his quest to depict life as it really was in Pacoima – a life where young adults lived by the laws of the street, not by the laws of the city.

“These aren’t your average teenagers,” says the author. “Although the story is fictional, I did cull from my own experiences and from other people that I knew. It’s a fact that Pacoima has actually gotten worse – and I think people who live in the city now will be able to relate to what I’ve written about. The gang violence, the killings, the senseless cruelty and the utter hopelessness all pervade the streets – it’s just how people live. It’s not a glorification, it’s real life.”

Continuing: “But there is a silver lining. In Crazy K, you have a character who does love his family – he has a child with his girlfriend Carmen. And he’s loyal to his ‘boys’ – it’s a true band of brothers in that they’d do anything for each other, even die. There’s a certain beauty in that kind of staunch loyalty. Perhaps the average person who hasn’t experienced that life won’t be able to understand, but I think Crazy K, Eddie and Joey’s persistent and consistent love for each other, and their willingness to lay their lives on the line for one another will still affect them. Street loyalty and street relationships are a whole different ball game.”

By turns adventurous, vibrant and complicated, ‘Pacoima Volume 1: The Initiation’ is a stirring debut from an author who is already hard at work on the next book in the series. What happens next?

“People will have to wait to find out!” says Neighbors. “But I can tell you it will be just as thrilling as the first novel – if not more so.”

‘Pacoima Volume 1: The Initiation’ will be available soon.

About Kenneth Neighbors
"I was born in July, 1969; I lived in the city of Pacoima for twenty-two years. I was raised by my mother, Jeanette Neighbors, my father James Neighbors, he die in May of 1969. My father had a bad heart, so he would need to take penicillin when he would become ill. My father became ill from the Hong Kong flu that year, and when he finally went to get treatment, it was too late. My mother joined her husband in heaven in July 2004. I’m the 5th out of six children that my mother and father gave life too. I have always enjoyed telling my friend’s stories and I have always had the gift to gab. I was always told from my friends that I should write a book earlier on in my young life. I have work in many different fields, in my life. The longest job I had was a Loss Prevention job that I work for fifteen years. One day I was home drinking whiskey, and I didn’t know who it was, but I heard a voice. I didn’t know if it was my mother or Jesus, but the voice told me to write a book and this story popped in my head. I woke up and went to my computer and I started writing in 2009, my first book was called, “They called him Peter,” which I really didn’t understand the process of publishing the book. That book is raw and I didn’t get the chance to edit that book. I have many manuscripts to publish. My friends that have read them told me that they are good and very entertaining. My writing has improved over the years, as I took a course to improve my writing by going back to college; I went to AVC to obtain a business degree that is still in progress. In my free time, I write my stories."