GARNER, N.C. (WTVD) -- Reginald Kornegay is not just writing children's books; he's writing himself a whole new life story.
Since writing his first book, "Someone Stole Amos' Famous Cookie Jar," just three years ago, Kornegay has penned 23 children's stories. He self-published them all from his home in Garner. It's a plot twist in a life that began in the streets of southeast Raleigh in the 1980s.
"Growing up was really, really rough," Kornegay said about growing up in poverty with his brother and their single mother.
"I would always find myself hanging with the wrong crowd. In my teenage years, I got with a rough crew, gangs and stuff like that," he said. "I was selling drugs, toting guns and doing robberies. Ended up in the penitentiary back and forth, back, and forth. It was like a never-ending cycle."
In total, he's spent nearly a decade of his life behind bars. But he said he found God while incarcerated. And discovered his life purpose: writing for children. It's a way of helping kids avoid the same mistakes he made.
"That's how I know it's a gift because when I write these children's stories, I don't know how it's gonna start. I don't know how it's gonna end. But my hand be moving," he said with a smile. "I can't wait to finish so I can read it."
Kornegay writes about values; bullying; respect for self and others.
"I hope (young readers) learn morals on how we should live, love, and respect each other while we're here," said Kornegay. "The kids are the generation that's gonna run the world. So we have to teach them something."
You can find most of Kornegay's books for sale on Amazon. He aspires to turn the works into a stage play, maybe even a movie one day.
Just like his books, he's not sure where his story will end.