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Monday, January 20, 2014

The Writer's Megaphone shouts out author Jay S. Lewis


As I start off 2014 with my first author to put on a positive blast, I am reminded of why I do what I do.  I know that some authors will reach out to me for purposes of getting whatever media exposure that they can.  I know that some will distort who they are and paint an image that may be far from the truth.  After all, in this industry, it isn't who you truly are but how the world perceives you that matters.  However, I am a firm believer that the truth will always come out in the end.  It's this thought that comforts me if I find out later that I've made a mistake and promoted someone who perhaps didn't deserve it initially and then made it worse by painting a false image of themselves to perhaps make themselves likable if not downright acceptable in the public eye.

Still, The Writer's Megaphone was set up to put people on a positive blast.  Tearing them down is not my game plan.  It never was and it never will be.

I don't know much about author Jay S. Lewis.  He reached out to me initially to have us post reviews of each others work.  As an author, I would love more than anything to receive an honest, favorable review.  The keyword here being honest.  So, what I offered author Jay S. Lewis is a spot on the Writer's Megaphone because I truly believe in paying it forward.  Everyone deserves the opportunity to have positive attention drawn to themselves.  I also stated that I would be more than happy to review his work and post a write up in my column on The Examiner and on CNN iReport.  In order for me to post a review, I would have to read it first.

Mr. Lewis is a young author who is both bright and ambitious.  This I could tell from the brief interaction that I shared with him.  He has a book out currently entitled, "Jamaican American Thug Drama."  I decided to pose five questions to this author to find out more about him.

The Writer's Megaphone is proud to put on a positive blast, author Jay S. Lewis 

Author Jay S. Lewis
JLW:   I am familiar enough with Jamaican culture to know that homosexuality is so taboo that citizens that are known to be of the LGBT Community can risk losing their lives if they are ever discovered.  What made you tackle this genre and why?

JSL:  I began writing the story back in 2010, exactly three years after I was almost gay bashed. I sat and I thought about how cruel the world can be towards gays and I remembered how it broke my heart. I almost became a hermit and for a moment, I chose to lock myself away from the world. It broke my heart that you could get killed for loving who you choose to love in this country and then slowly I heard voices inside my head and then step by step the story began falling into place. Soon afterwards, the characters voices became clear and distinct. I remembered feeling the urge to share a story about what it’s like to be gay and living in Jamaica and then it wasn’t difficult, it was like someone or something was talking to me and the words came easily whenever I wrote in an amazing manner of divine ecstasy and I would just write, write, and write. 
 

JLW:   In your opinion, why is homosexuality viewed with so much disdain in the Jamaican culture?


JSL:  The Jamaican culture in its very essence is heavily influenced by its music that originated there. This would be reggae music. For decades, strong homophobia influences have been injected into reggae music and absorbed into the spongy minds of its inhabitants who basically played out on a subconscious level all that was recorded since they were toddlers. Reggae music is a genre that many people around the world have come to love and enjoy because it does preach love and oneness… just not towards homosexuals.  Recently, laws were passed which placed a ban on violent lyrics in music so this was a great step because now entertainers have to sing about other subjects rather than violence which they have participated in ever since.


JLW:   What are your plans after this particular project moving forward?


JSL:  My plan is to contribute my rich talent and lend whatever support I can to the Global LGBT community. I have so much love, light, happiness and motivation to share. I passionately believe we all have a right to freedom, life, love, expression and well-being. I see myself as one of the most outstanding Philanthropist of the LGBT community and I believe that with time, this goal can and will be accomplished.


JLW:  Would you mind telling the readership something personal about yourself?


JSL:  OF COURSE. I would love to tell everyone that I am a believer in light and love. I have so much love pouring out of me and I wish to share it with the world.  I have come a long way and I will keep on keeping on because I believe in love. I belief we are great; we are magnificent beings capable of immense love and I wish we as human beings can stand together and love each other more, regardless of class, race, ethnicity, religion, social or political status.  We are all connected by a stream of positive energy that is universal and that’s the power and light of love. 


JLW:  What do you hope to accomplish in 2014?


JSL:  I believe that before the year has ended I will make the New York Times Bestsellers list and the world will know I exist and that I have something to contribute that this world is lacking. I am just one of many who have come forth to help humanity regain its balance and open their hearts up to love. I have the power of the pen and I am offering it; using it to transmute my immense love to the world. My faith is so strong I can already see this goal accomplished, I see myself making the New York Times Bestsellers list like so many magnificent authors before me. I am a believer in dreams and goals. As James Allen said, “Dreamers are the saviors of the world.”

To purchase the above mentioned work, click on the link below


~ J.L. Whitehead

Sunday, January 19, 2014

New Year...New Beginnings...New Challenges

As many of you know, writing is and will probably always be an intricate part of my life.  I have books to read, books to write and interviews to grant.

My integrity is so important to me because it is the backbone of who I am as well as what I strive to be in this industry.

I have two books in my queue this year.  The first is somewhat autobiographical, aimed at encouraging and motivating my brothers within the LGBT Community.  The book is entitled, "45 Years of Darkness" and chronicles what I went through (and to some degree continue to experience) as a sexual abuse survivor.

I had to dig deep for this.  It was painful in some ways and liberating in others.  Some will come away enlightened while others will think that I got what I deserved.  It wasn't written for sympathy.  It was written for a group of people who may be hurting and not even know they are.  I make no apologies for this.  As a survivor, I shouldn't have to.

The second book is entitled, "Second Chances."  It wraps up the "Bruthas" family saga.  In this last book we find out what really happened to Nate (the youngest brother), what's going on with Jai (the oldest brother) and if Ryan's relationship with Ethan will survive the trials and tribulations of issues from Ryan's past that have come home to roost.  Once again, it is tied around another murder mystery taking place in Philadelphia.  Who shot and killed Ryan's upstairs womanizing neighbor to death?

I'm getting ready to change the website carrier for Four Brothers Publications.  With that being said, it may be down for a little while.  But rest assured that it will be back up with a new look that will compliment the direction that I choose to take my company in.

EXCERPT FROM "SECOND CHANCES"

“Second Chances and Do Overs”
Chapter One

The thumping was faint initially, like the bass in a car’s stereo system that cruised by with the windows rolled down.  Ryan turned onto his side while scratching his clean-shaven head absently.  He glanced at the digital clock on his side of the bed.  It was just a little after four in the morning.  He yawned, which gave way to a series of unexpected coughs, and then he fluffed his pillow in the hopes of trying to find a comfortable position that would allow him to go back to sleep.
“You okay?” The male voice said drowsily from beside him.
Ryan turned onto his back, glanced in Ethans direction but could barely see him.  Ethan was on his stomach, his face buried into his pillow, but the spikes of his reddish hair stood out, begging for a comb and some styling gel later that morning.
“Yeah babe.” Ryan ran his hand over his own muscular chest. “Just this damn cold.  Go back to sleep.”
“Alright.” Ethan reached for him absently and rested his hand on Ryan’s shoulder. “If you need something…” He stifled a yawn.”
Ryan glanced down at Ethans hand, a stark contrast against his brown skin.  He smiled to himself.  They didn’t come any whiter than Ethan and they didn’t come any better.
The thumping sounded again, louder this time.  A man’s voice yelling something inaudible made Ryan sit up abruptly.  Ethan turned on the lamp that sat on his side of the bed and rolled over onto his back.  A woman’s voice shouted something back at the man but they couldn’t tell if what they were hearing was fear or anger.
“The bullshit’s starting again.” Ethan said with a glance at Ryan who had already bolted out of the bed and was rapidly pulling on a pair of jeans. “Rye, you can’t just go over there and stop the asshole from beating up on this …”
“Baby, I can do anything I want.  You just call the cops.” Ryan said as he buttoned the top of his jeans and reached for a tee shirt in the closet. “This bullshit’s gotta stop and it’s ending tonight.”
“Fuck!” Ethan swore under his breath as he reached for the phone that sat beside the king sized bed that they both slept in.  The king sized comforter slipped down to his hips as he reached for the phone, dialing 9-1-1 frantically.  The woman’s shouting became louder, but the mans voice rolled over hers like black thunder.
Ryan whipped open the front door of his apartment and raced barefoot down the steps taking them two at a time until he reached the first floor landing.  He rushed down the concrete walkway, making a sharp left before he hit the sidewalk, cutting across the lawn that been so meticulously kept by the owner of the twin duplex that he lived in.  His eyes fell on the small form of a woman standing in the middle of the adjacent walkway looking up at the window of the second floor apartment.  Ryan recognized her as his neighbor that lived on the first floor of the twin.  She lived underneath the couple that was fighting.  Now what was her name?  Charmaine?  Shelby?  It didn’t come to mind.
“Did you call the cops?” She asked as he neared her.
She was shorter than he remembered.  Short hair cut close to the scalp…almost boyish.  It kind of reminded him of Jada Pinkett-Smith in the earlier stages of her career.  She was small, maybe all of five foot three if that.  But there was something about her that made him think that she wasn’t someone to mess with.  It was in the eyes.  Her eyes were huge, doe-like but full of expression topped with long lashes that gave her a soft femininity that her wiry body betrayed.  She was wearing a pair of flannel lounge pants, pink slippers and frilly tank-top underneath a nearly floor length peach colored bathrobe.
“My buddy did.” He said and then looked upwards.  The man was yelling at the top of his lungs and the only thing that they heard was the words. “fuck” and “bitch”.
“Fuck this shit!” the woman marched towards the side entrance and began to ring the bell.  Before giving the couple a chance to answer, she began banging on the door.  Ryan rushed to her side in case the man came downstairs and wanted to swing on someone.  Since he obviously didn’t have a problem with hitting his girlfriend, he probably wouldn’t have a problem popping his neighbor; that’s if she didn’t pop him first.
Still, if he was going to hit someone, then he wanted him to try his luck with him.  He would quickly find out that Ryan wasn’t some little woman that would take his punches without giving one back.  And no matter how hard he thought the little woman that was banging on the door could hit, he was certain that he could do more damage than her.
“Open the fuckin’ door!” The woman yelled as the thumping from upstairs increased.
Ryan glanced at his neighbor and then at the upstairs window.  As if by magic, the thumping and the cursing stopped.
“Yeah, I thought so.” The neighbor muttered under her breath, and then she took a step back from the front door as she listened to the upstairs door open. “Punk bitch only likes hittin’ on women.  I got sumthin’ for him.”
The tread of heavy feet echoed in the hallway and then the front door whipped open.  For a second, no one said anything.  The man stood big, shirtless and angry.  He stood all of six foot four with a clean-shaven head and a thick bush of beard that fell to just about an inch beneath his chin.  His small eyes blazed hatred, but Ryan’s neighbor seemed to be completely unfazed.  Time seem to stand still for all of them as they each regarded each other.  The man was huge, muscular and he had a tattoo of several bullets over his abdomen.  His huge hands flexed as if he wanted to grab someone by the throat.  The woman looked at him thinking that he probably already did that to her neighbor at some point in the morning.
“What the fuck you want!!  Bangin’ on my door at this hour in the muthafuckin’ mornin!” He growled.
“So, I finally get to see for myself what a woman basher looks like up close and personal!” The woman snapped while looking him up and down. “I’m not impressed.  I expected more.”
Ryan cut her a look and then turned his attention immediately back to the man that stood in the doorway.  He didn’t know what the man was going to do, but whenever he made his move, he knew for a fact that he wouldn’t give no kind of warning.
“Bitch, I’ll fuck you up!” He took a step out of the doorway and Ryan stepped forward at the same time that the woman stepped back, reaching under her robe . “Oh, you the punk bitch that live next door!” The man looked at Ryan.
“And I’m the bitch that lives down stairs, now you want to come for me?” The woman whipped out a straight edged razor. “’Cause I’ve danced with niggas bigger and badder than you!”

"Second Chances" is due out in late Spring 2014

~ J.L. Whitehead