Tag Archives: Urban Novel

Blood of my Shadow

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.

Prologue

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Title to be determined

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First attempt at writing an Urban Novel.

Prologue

Miami, Florida
June 1, 2012
9:15 pm

Red and blue lights flashed repeatedly, interrupting the darkness of a summer night. Anisa pulled over as the Police Cruiser followed closely behind. The back roads were isolated and secluded from the busy streets of Miami; mostly open to the Everglades and small planes that landed on private airstrips.

The officer slowly emerged from his cruiser and approached the vehicle. Anisa and Kema were both under the provision of the Russian counsel, making them diplomatic citizens. The vehicle was registered to the Embassy and considered diplomatic property, causing Anisa to question the stop.

“Is there a problem officer?” Anisa asked as she lowered the window.

“No, not at all young lady,” the officer answered. “Just don’t get much company back here. This is just a concerned safety stop.” Anisa smiled. Kema remained composed, yet vigilant.

“We’re alright officer, just taking this road to the air strip ahead,” Anisa explained.

“Well, I see you women are alright, so I’ll let you get on your way.” Without hesitation, the officer stepped back, unholstered his service weapon and fired into the vehicle. The first trajectory grazed Anisa’s cheek as she managed to duck the second one. Kema jumped from the car and returned fire. Anisa followed in unison. A series of shots sent the officer running for cover. Kema closed in, firing at the fleeing officer as he managed to fire back. While he made his way to the driver side of the car, he saw Anisa. But it was too late. She fired a shot that ripped through the officer’s clavicle.

“Ah Shit,” he yelled in excruciating pain. Anisa walked up close as Kema made her way around the car.

“Who do you think he works for?” Kema asked.

“The Cuadras Cartel, definitely,” Anisa said, firing a bullet into his skull.

“Are you alright?” Kema asked.

“Yeah, it’s just a graze wound,” Anisa answered. “Let’s get out of here. I’m sure someone heard the shots.

 

 

A writer’s high without the hangover

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I never thought  I would have written four prison-related books.  That was not my intention some 15 years ago while traveling a beaten-down, two-lane highway to the Dwight Correctional Center.   I was about to have my first interview with a female inmate, convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without parole.  What I thought would be a one-time interview, turned into a two-year journey and my first book — “The Rita Nitz Story:  Life Without Parole.”

While working on Rita’s book I met another inmate who was incarcerated for killing her five-year old stepdaughter.  The inmate, Becca, suffered from a bipolar disorder, unable to recall the murder.  After obtaining copies of her mental health record, I began another two-year journey that turned into a second book — “Cherry Blossoms & Barren Plains:  A woman’s journey from mental illness to a prison cell.”

A memoir based on my experiences as a victim of childhood sexual abuse — Mnemosyne:  A love affair with memory,” was my third book.  “Supermax Prison:  Controlling the most dangerous criminals,” and “Dark Days in Chicago:  The Rehabilitation of an Urban Street Terrorist,” brought my total to five.  My role in “Dark Days” was that of an editor, writing coach, and supporter.  Point being, I never know where my writing opportunities might lead.  A curious mind allows me to explore experiences I never imagined.

Now I’m stepping into the world of Urban Novels.  This is a genre quite foreign to me, but popular among readers interested in raw, violent stories associated with urban culture, crime syndicates, etc…  The stories can be page-turners, emulating some of the darker movies and television shows we sometimes see.

I met an inmate, a friend of Adolfo Davis who helped me with the research for the Supermax Prison book.  The new inmate shared a manuscript of an urban novel he is working on.  I have to say, his imagination is without boundaries.  His writing is good, but his story telling is outstanding; a real page turner.  I have agreed to offer my assistance in his project.  It should be interesting to watch the collaboration of an urban novel writer with myself, an author of creative nonfiction.  Creative experiences are what keeps me going; a reason to get up in the morning; a writers high without the hangover.