I’ve been missing for a couple of months; editing a first for me, an Urban Novel. Jovon Scott, an inmate in an Illinois prison, asked me if I would edit his work. While I’ve always written nonfiction books, I was intrigued by Jovon’s imagination. It is quiet remarkable. A few months have passed and the manuscript is near completion, and we have a verbal commitment from a publisher. I’m including a few pages which you might find interesting.
Blood of my Shadow
by Jovon Scott
edited by Larry L. Franklin
About the Author
“Writing is the avenue that changed my life, and I don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.” Jovon Scott
Jovon Scott is 30 years of age and began his incarceration in an Illinois prison at age 19. He has a projected parole date of 2033. Jovon was raised on the slum streets of Chicago in an area better known as the Robert Taylor Projects where unemployment reached 95%, an African-American population of 96%, 40% single-parent families, and a public assistant family income of $5,000 per year. It comes as no surprise that Jovon turned to street gangs that offered a means of survival, a family-like environment, money, drugs, sex, and respect.
Jovon gives credit to the gang culture for forcing him to want more out of life, and a willingness to pursue it with gusto. Discipline was front and center in the street gangs of the 1980s and 90s. Being self-educated, Jovon continues to prepare himself for a more favorable future upon his release.
It was in a 6 x 9 foot double-occupancy cell where Jovon discovered how writing frees the soul and opens an imaginary reality, a breeding place for creativity. “Blood of my Shadow” fits into the genre of urban fiction, focusing on the underbelly of the urban culture. It is here where Jovon combines lessons learned on the streets of Chicago, an unharnessed imagination, and his ability to spin an exciting story.
War is a cause and blood is the ink used to write the markings on the wall. Blood spills on both sides – those who are innocent and our enemies as well. There will be casualties determined by providence, leaving us unable to choose who stays and who goes. We live by a set of rules and principles that not only govern our longevity in the underworld, but shapes who we are as a player in the game of chances. Everyone sitting at the table is family, willing to die for one another. Death is synonymous with the culture we live in. Blood is only repaid in blood.
We are Penumbras, mere fractions of a shadow. But when united, we become one full and complete shadow, absorbing the magical and spiritual strength emulated by a total eclipse. And when Penumbras die, they become the Blood of my Shadow.
Mona Moore, Sole Proprietor of The Sheridan Syndicate
The Sheridan Syndicate engaged in illegal activities for profit. While sometimes referred to as the mafia, mob, gang, or the underworld, The Syndicate had no equal. Under Mona Moore’s leadership, the organization had accumulated some $100 billion in capital; provided the umbrella under which criminal activities operate; and all for the sole purpose of granting the means to an end – control and power. The Meddstone Drilling Company and the Royal Diamond Casino & Resort were legitimate business organizations that provided cash flow and an avenue for money laundering. They too fell within the scope of the Syndicate.
The extravagant lifestyle and accumulation of wealth were mere byproducts. Underground drug traffic, money laundering, robbery, murder, blackmail, political misdeeds, investments, and inflows from outside investors led to the ultimate goal – control and power, an addiction that Mona Moore wholeheartedly admits.
While Mona maintained tight control of the Syndicate’s operations, her twin sons, Ty and Sky, assisted her. The enforcers, Kema and Anisa, protected the family and added to the core of professionals who ran the organization. Business associates, criminals, soldiers, policeman, politicians, investors, and other centers of influence made the system work.
In addition to the federal government, the Caudras and Mendoza Cartels were the Syndicate’s largest competitors. It was their job to destroy, lock up, or kill members of The Sheridan Syndicate. The Cartels were controlled by the Carlos Caudras family, the Mendoza brothers, and a large supporting cast. Drug traffic had broadened domestic terrorist activities, reaching into the international communities. Blood spilled could fill a river running from the east to the west coast, spilling over into the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean.
This is a fictional story about control and power, accompanied by sex and violence, a lustful lifestyle, the willingness to die for your cause, and the hope of a lasting legacy.