Captivating the mind with spellbinding, provocative and ingenious storytelling, author/publisher Richard Jeanty is a master craftsman–and tireless crusader–in the burgeoning arena of “urban literature,” as well as in life. Founder and President of his own RJ Publications, Jeanty turns words into vivid images, painting well-formed characters that compel the reader to become involved in their sagas.
The prolific New York City-based contemporary wordsmith and visionary founded his publishing company to both publish his own works and to provide an invaluable conduit for talented writers of color to have their works published. He provides encouragement and support to his fellow writers, assisting them with stretching their creative souls and making their own indelible mark on the literary landscape. Says Jeanty, “I want to give each author or artist the exposure they deserve.”
Social activist as much as he is a literary crusader, Jeanty’s mission is to foster change in people and society as a whole. That is always his motivation in all his undertakings. Jeanty’s most meaningful project tackled police brutality and the devastating state of Black men in his release of The Most Dangerous Gang in America: The NYPD.
In a short span of five years, Jeanty has written 10 books and published over a dozen written by other authors. Prolific is an understatement as it relates to him. Always the innovator, Jeanty finds ways to bring freshness to every story.
While attending the University of Massachusetts, Richard discovered his passion for prose. He initially pursued a career as a social worker in the Boston metropolitan area, then later served as the academic coordinator for Boston University’s Upward Bound Program. However, due to his unique, narrative writing style, laced with bursts of cinematic flair, Richard’s professors urged him to focus his considerable talents on writing while attending graduate school.
Shortly after earning his B.A. and moving to New York City, Jeanty began to teach at Morris High School in the Bronx, also working for the Department of Social Services’ Administration for Children’s Services. Richard also worked as a Program Director at The Hudson Guild in New York City helping underprivileged kids.
Richard has always been–and still is–dedicated to helping underprivileged children and their families. “I was brought up in an abusive surrounding as a young child and was on my own at fourteen,” says Jeanty. “My life serves as a solid foundation for what RJ Publications signifies. Nothing but my sheer determination and will pushed me to succeed.”
Yusuf Woods is a Pennsylvania native and author of Blood of My Brother. With an ever present flair for entertaining, Yusuf began his writing while serving time in prison. At a point in life when he realized that his personal experiences, the consequences he paid, and his knowledge of the street life could be used creatively with the possibility of enlightening those who are headed in the same direction where he once was, he penned his first novel. Knowing firsthand how the death of people’s dreams, relationships, and spirits could happen so quickly, Yusuf used an innovative approach to present this story to show the dark side of living the fast life as well as the temptations that seem so fascinating, yet only consuming. Not only does he aim to provide literature that captivates and excites, he also unleashes his distinct creativity to portray scenarios that are happening in some urban cultures today. In addition to writing, Yusuf devotes his time to studying Islam, his family, being a father, and counseling others. He and his wife Zoë are currently at work on other upcoming projects, including the sequel to Blood of My Brother.
Zoë Woods, co-author of the newly released novel Blood of My Brother, has roots in Virginia and Pennsylvania. She has a passion for literature and the arts. She was ecstatic when presented with the opportunity to assist her husband, Yusuf Woods, with their debut novel and future works. Zoë is a witness to the power of attraction to the street life and the strength that it takes to transform and learn from experiences once involved in it. Her collaboration with Yusuf brought forth an element of expression beyond imagination, revealing perspectives from both the inside and out. Currently, Zoë is continuing her college education with specializations in Computer Information Systems and Business Management.
She also divides her time between motherhood, utilizing her artistic abilities in design, and promoting awareness and prevention of domestic violence.
Born December 8, 1967, Sonya grew up somewhat shy loving to draw and design clothes while enjoying writing poetry and short stories. She also showed interest in Psychology but her plans was to become a fashion designer/writer. At seventeen, she became pregnant with her first child. With a seven-year gap between she and her boyfriend, she put off marriage until she turned eighteen. Feelings of shame, embarrassment and disappointments caused her to quit high school. She soon followed her husband throughout his military career around the world. She started her first novel before the age of twenty but pushed her dreams aside to raise her children with the attention, love and care they deserved. Even though there were marital problems, she was determined to hang in there and make it work. Fighting for respect, her own identity and feelings of failure, she went back to school and completed a two-year course in Computer Operations.
Ten years of marriage and four children later, Sonya decided it was time to end the marriage. She became pregnant once again. For the first time she was alone with her children. She found herself staying overnight in a homeless shelter with her children in order to receive housing because she never receive her child support on time. Determined not to get caught up in the system, she began working three jobs to take care of her family. She soon lost custody of her children to her husband because of the long working hours. Believing everything happens for a reason, she was now more than ever determined to succeed and making it on her own. Over the next few years she dedicated herself in giving her children love, support and everything they needed, in spite of the fact that she was a part time mom to four of her children.
At thirty-seven, Sonya began praying and asked GOD to lead her in the right direction. She finally agreed to give her relationship with her ex husband another try, leaving the life she had built for herself behind. She has always held strong religious beliefs in GOD and stayed true to the teachings of the bible.
While going through old pictures and documents, Sonya discovered portions of the first novel she had attempted to write, which turned into her first published piece of work, Too Many Secrets and Too Many Lies. She currently lives a fairly private life in Georgia with her family.
During her younger years, she wrote a lot of short stories and a children’s theatre production. Most of her creativity came from reading. Her mother first introduced her to reading at a young age. Although her mother stressed the importance of reading, she found herself immersed in the stories.
It wasn’t until 2002 that she became serious about writing. A meeting by chance with James D. Jackson of Regal Publishing brought to life her first book Extreme Circumstances. The book soon went to print via way of Print On Demand. Finally, at another chance meeting, (this time) with best-selling author, Richard Jeanty, an agreement was met and the book was republished by RJ Publications and made available to mainstream audiences. A much needed facelift was given to the book and she captured audiences everywhere.
Aside from writing, she also loves animals. She hopes to one day open a store that caters to cats, which is her second passion.
One of the hottest new authors on the literary scene, Jeff Robertson was born and raised on Chicago’s south side. Growing up in a city that is traditionally known for it’s reputation in the mob and gang syndicates, Jeff has effortlessly captured slices of a lifestyle that is all too familiar to young men growing up on the inner city streets. A creative touch that started with short stories shared only among friends, has now developed into an epic tale of street survival, power, money and respect. Jeff Robertson is well on his way to the bestsellers list and beyond.
Shawn Black is a living testament to the rewards of faith, perseverance, and self-determination. A former drug dealer and convicted felon, Shawn Black found a way to channel the energy and experiences gained from his life on the streets into fictional literary masterpieces that provide readers an opportunity to see life through the eyes of a hustler.
Shawn Black was born in the Bronx, New York and raised in Scranton, South Carolina. His life as a child was normal by most standards, rooted in a strong religious faith and a loving family. However, after joining the Navy he was exposed to the fast life and became as much of an addict to the lifestyle as the addicts he sold his product to. He managed to avoid death and prison for 10 years while building his “empire.” However, in January 2001 his life in the fast lane came to a screeching halt. A deal to an undercover federal agent landed him in federal prison.
His mantra from the beginning was to “do my time, not let my time do me.” With that, while incarcerated he found his passion in writing and focused all of his energy on penning vivid, dynamic and spellbinding fictional tales of life in the drug game. He is currently a published author with RJ Publications with another book set for release next year.
Shawn Black is a single, proud father of Devon and Asia. He currently resides in Atlanta, GA. He credits his success to his belief in God and never giving up on himself.
For comments or questions go to: http://www.myspace.com/authorshawnblack
W.S Burkett is an avid reader and writer. He grew up reading some of his favorite authors, while honing his own skills as a writer. He hails from Brooklyn, New York, but currently resides in Pennsylvania. Chasin’ Satisfaction may have been W.S. Burkett’s debut novel, but his plans is to keep his readers wanting more with each book he writes. Miami Noir, the sequel to his debut, will be available in the Fall of 2008. Burkett dreams of becoming a National Best-selling author one day, and he’s well on his way.