"Malik Russell ​was born ​without a father and to a drug-addicted, abusive mother.​ At six, he pointe​d to a tree ​adorned with ornaments in his great grandmother's living room and asked, 'What's that?' for he had never known Christmas. ​And that​ was​ just the beginning for a kid who ​​want​ed​​ what everyone wants​--to love and be loved. Thanks to Russell Vann'​s​ indelicate but uplifting narrative style, Ghetto Bastard takes us on a unique​ journey of surviving the ghetto against all odds."
~Richard Delaney

"The Ghetto Bastard Series is a testament to the human spirit. Born and raised in the ghetto, Malik prevails against all odds. Facing endless adversities, he fights every battle searching for the love he so desires. This is an American story that will touch the hearts of all who have the privilege of reading it. I highly recommend this series.""   
 ~Michael Turnbow
3 Excerpts from Book  
I am currenty working on book three from the Ghetto Bastard Series. I will be posting the most recent excerpt here. There will also be a collection of excerpts from book three on the Excerpt page. 
December 20, 2017​

This was Central Pennsylvania where the closest highway was twenty miles away. The tallest building, as far as the eye could see, was a senior building that was ten stories tall. The Hotel Edison was the next tallest, at about six stories, set in the middle of town, right across the street from the bank. It looked like it was grand in its heyday, but now it was rundown and neglected. The bank was a large, old time looking bank from the movies. It had a large vault for everyone to see and a high grand ceiling with attractive hanging lights.
It’s not that I haven’t seen one like this before, but what really stuck out was that there was no bulletproof glass up to the ceiling. You could walk right into the mayor’s office and the courthouse was one block down from that. These buildings were all located on the main street, no bigger than a two lane highway, 2 traffic lights; the whole town maybe had six. Market Street had a lot of vacant store fronts, a couple of mom and pop shops, and a small Weis supermarket.
It sat right on the Susquehanna River. It was considered a city. It was in a weird location. The closest universities were Bucknell and Bloomsburg Universities about 30 miles away heading north. In between were a few bullshit towns. There was a modern mall, Lowes, a Chinese restaurant and other commercial stores across the river about five miles away and about two miles in the other direction it was straight up country as far as the eyes can see. There were mountains outnumbering the houses. The slaughterhouse was in that direction.
Now I know why the guy told me about this place, because there wasn’t another black person for miles. It was like you stepped into a time machine. I got the feeling this wasn’t the type of area a black person wanted to be around after dark and you definitely didn’t want your car breaking down around here. The white people referred to themselves as coal crackers (their words not mine) and their knowledge of black people consisted of what they saw on T.V.-- to the extreme.
I knew this when a truck driver for the Slaughterhouse asked me the most bizarre question. It was my first day making easy money. I got to Victors parents house, which was on the property of the slaughterhouse. The drive took me about a half hour. Victors mother told this truck driver to show me were the bank was in the nearest town, Shamokin, because I would also be making deposits for her besides taking care of her husband. I got into the small truck with the driver. He was a man about forty, scruffy beard and he was chewing tobacco and had rotten teeth (if that didn’t say it all right there).
As we started to drive to our destination, the car was silent except for the country music playing on the radio. Then the driver started to speak. The conversation went just like this: “Hey, you from up there in the big city New York right?
“You mind if I ask you something”
“Is it true that all black people live in Harlem? I’ve drove through New York driving truck, but I never stopped. I heard they all live in Harlem. Is it true?”
I looked around as if I had a secret.
“You want to know the truth? “THEY’RE ALL OVER THE PLACE!”
“NO! For real?”
“For real! Everywhere you turn those muthafuckers are popping up. They think they can live anywhere. The Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and even Long Island. I don’t know about Staten Island but there are probable some out there too.”
The driver had a dumbfounded look on his face and said, “I’ll be damned! Wait till I tell my wife about this shit!”