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Kirk Franklin Maps Out 'The Blueprint'

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According to seven-time Grammy Award-winner Kirk Franklin, his new book, "The Blueprint: A Plan for Living Above Life's Storms," is "a transparent approach to talking about issues -- from marriage to politics to sex and religion -- and it's from my perspective. Not from a Princeton, mainline, protestant, evangelical or liberal viewpoint, but from a 2010 Christian moderate, with swag." Enough said. ESSENCE.COM rang Franklin to discuss his new literary project, his definition of success and what he looks forward to in the near future. ESSENCE.COM: Your first book, "Church Boy," was released over a decade ago. What was your goal when you crafted "The Blueprint?" KIRK FRANKLIN: Well, my first book was totally different. It was a [biography] and I had a ghost writer following me around. All of those words were what he took from the tape recorder and put together. This is the first book that I've ever written and it took me a year -- of course, I had a great editor, too! With "The Blueprint," my goal is to try to inspire people to take these Godly principles and see their lives through God's lenses when it comes to purpose, when it comes to marriage, when it comes to sex, when it comes to parenting as well as issues of faith, religion and the struggles of the African-American man. I wanted to do all of that in a way that was humorous and with a little swag to it, but it's still clearly Christian, still very inspirational. The book is smart and witty, but I also wanted to share some of my own battle scars and the lessons that I've learned. ESSENCE.COM: At this point in your life and your career, how do you define success? FRANKLIN: My goal for [living] my definition of success has always been what it is now, but as I've gotten older, I've tried harder to achieve it. For me, success is about being a faithful husband, being a faithful dad and having a home. It's not so much about [success] in music, but it's more about what I really believe, as a Christian man, being reflected in my wife and our four kids. They are all very special to me. ESSENCE.COM: Between the hits, the awards, the performances and even your role on "Sunday Best," you're constantly in motion. How would you like to keep moving forward? FRANKLIN: I'm just committed to the journey. I'm committed to the ride and I trust in God to take me where He wants me to go and do the things that He wants me to do that are going to make Him look good. I'm fully committed to that.
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