The Kevin M. Weeks Story: Never Say Die; Be Optimistic
’Never Say Die; Be Optimistic’ ’Sounds of Blackness
’Don’t give up and don’t give in
Although it seems you never win.
You will always pass the test,
As long as you keep your head to the sky.
You can win as long as you keep your head to the sky. (You can win child!)
You can win as long as you keep your head to the sky.
Don’t you let no body stop you.
You can win, yes.
Never say die.’
[Sounds of Blackness. Optimistic. Album Release Date: 1991 Label: Philips]
Imagine for a moment that you can not attend book tours, book fairs, BookExpo America (BEA), or the American Library Association (ALA) conference. Then sit back and see your finished written manuscript. You have neither a typewriter nor a computer. Going to OfficeMax, Staples, or Office Depot to buy the supplies you need is out of the question. All you have is your finished manuscript, large manila envelopes, stamps, and years of research on the publishing industry in your locker. Now envision all of the rejection letters in your hand because you don’t have the tools to meet the submission guidelines of publishing houses. What you do possess is a great attitude and the will to succeed. You get up from your desk and begin your day by mentoring young men, telling them to follow their dreams and to ’never say die; be optimistic.’
The National Book Critics Circle founder, Ivan Sandrof wrote in 1975: "Our associates include most of the nation’s outstanding book critics - polished prose people of distinction. What other organization can include as members the book editor of the largest newspaper of the nation and a convicted felon serving 40 years in a federal slammer for bank robberies? We are not concerned with the crimes of either, but with their professionalism. Both qualified." Mr. Sandrof’s comments are also relevant today. Let me introduce you to Kevin M. Weeks, author of The Street Life Series, a collection of urban fiction novels. Mr. Weeks is the man without access to the tools we take for granted every day, because he is incarcerated in the Georgia Department of Corrections, a state institution. So how does a manuscript travel from behind the walls of a correctional facility in Georgia to the printing presses of LSI and Replica Books into the hands of fiction lovers around the world? Two words sum it up: Perseverance and Technology.
This is a true story. Rewind to March 2006; Fox News announces, ’Let me introduce you to Kevin Weeks, author of… .’ Can you imagine the look on Kevin M. Weeks’ face? He was sitting in a prison in Georgia not on the television set of Fox News in New York. On television was Kevin Weeks, the author of Brutal: The Untold Story of My Life Inside Whitey Bulger’s Irish Mob. Kevin M. Weeks thought jokingly, ’Now look at that. We both have a record and are authors. I need to change my name.’ Kevin M. Weeks knew it would take more than using the middle initial ’M’ to distinguish himself in the publishing industry. Therefore, he decided to redefine his personal brand as well as create a publishing brand. With no permanent address, there is no way to receive hundreds of books to sell. With no car, there is no trunk to use as a bookstore. Thus, the internet became his online bookstore.
Kevin M. Weeks wrote letter after letter until he found a sponsor who believes in his vision and is committed to the success of the entire series. His sponsorships grow daily. What is his vision?
HIS BOOK COVERS CONVEY A MESSAGE
The Street Life Series: Is it Suicide or Murder?
Click to order Paperback or Hardcover
by Kevin M. Weeks
Kevin M. Weeks commits that his book covers will never portray women in a negative manner. He decided that each of his book covers will be designed around the theme of the story. One of the main characters will always be pictured center with components of the story drawn near the character. As an example: On the debut book cover, there is Teco Jackson, the main character, with the car, blood, and a dead body, which gives the reader an idea about the key elements of the story. When Book Cover Artist Paul Mitchell, who is also incarcerated, was asked why the left side of Teco’s face is swollen, Mr. Mitchell replied, "Teco’s face is distorted because his world is distorted." In other words, Kevin M. Weeks wants to make the point that the street life is not all glamour. To sponsors and readers alike this is a bold and an admirable message to deliver, especially because young adults are avid readers of Urban Fiction.
THE STREET LIFE SERIES NOVELS
Name an author who delivers old school wisdom in a novel about drugs, sex, and money. Amazon.com Top 50 Reviewer ’mistermaxxx’ states, ’If you dig Donald Goines novels and you were a fan of New Jack Swing then you are gonna roll with this Book with ease.’ Harlem born Teddy Riley was noted for successfully fusing hip-hop and R&B music in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, which became known as New Jack Swing. Kevin M. Weeks’ goal is to be the Teddy Riley of Urban Fiction, fusing General Fiction with Urban Fiction. Since September 2006 debut release, Kevin M. Weeks has been approached by a media company out of New Orleans to turn the novel into a television series in order to portray on the screen these positive old school words of wisdom to viewers worldwide. Websites, such as pageonelit.com and bookhitch.com, invited Kevin M. Weeks to list The Street Life Series on their websites. In May 2007, a Book Reviewer in Calgary Canada requested to review The Street Life Series for a homeless article. Teco Jackson, the main character of the story is homeless and begs to answer the question if you live the street life and you end up dead, are you committing suicide or are you a possible victim of murder?
So, will Kevin M. Weeks become the Teddy Riley of Urban Fiction? Only time will tell. However, his sponsors and readers are excited to support an author whose book covers and storyline provoke thought.
New Career, New Goals, New Accomplishments
Kevin M. Weeks’ personal story is just as intriguing and suspenseful as his debut novel. He was born the second of four children in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He spent most of his youth in and out of foster homes and juvenile detention centers. Deep inside he always knew he would be accomplished, especially when he was chosen to be in a documentary for the Boys Village of Maryland, a youth facility of the Maryland State Department of Juvenile Services. Later in life, Mr. Weeks worked at many jobs in an effort to support himself: Electrical Technician (Job Corps), Retail Sales Specialist, Forklift Operator, Male Exotic Dancer/Lip-synching Artist, Supervisor for a major fast food franchise, and Proprietor of a commercial cleaning company.
Because he received his GED as a young adult, he is a proponent of Adult Education and tutors anyone who will accept help. He has found that Urban Fiction is one of the best avenues to grab the attention of those who absolutely despise reading and that Urban Fiction has turned many into avid readers. Mr. Weeks continues to promote literacy and believes in continued education. He received a diploma in Evangelism from the Berean Bible Institute in 2005.
During his twenties, Mr. Weeks was reunited with his father. This is where many of the wise quotes and old school sayings for his novels are derived. Unfortunately, he and his father went their separate ways. Years later, Mr. Weeks spent countless hours researching the publishing industry in order to become a self-published author, even though he is currently serving time at the Georgia Department of Corrections in Atlanta, Georgia. Sitting down to write, he found it difficult to stay focused. He shifted his priority to mentoring young men, who were coming into the system, about not taking the same path that he took when he was their age. Mr. Weeks was shocked by their interest in the wisdom he was sharing with them and was encouraged by them to complete his novels. With a renewed passion, he started to write again. Mr. Weeks has since dedicated his life to be an inspiration to others, particularly to those who are incarcerated, that it is never too late to achieve career goals and turn things around in order to make a positive impact on society.
Kevin M. Weeks is the author of The Street Life Series’, which was registered as a trademark by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in January 2008. The Street Life Series’ is a collection of crime fiction novels and is also listed under the Urban Fiction genre. For his first work, The Street Life Series: Is It Suicide or Murder?, Kevin M. Weeks received the following recognition: 2007 New York Book Festival Award, Mosaicbooks.com 2007 Bestseller, YOUnity Guild of America Best New Urban Author of the Year 2006, 2007 Hollywood Book Festival Honorable Mention and 2007 Do It Yourself Book Festival Honorable Mention. Also, Mr. Weeks has memberships and subscriptions with Georgia Lawyers for the Arts (Artist Level), PEN American Center (Associate), PMA: the Independent Book Publishers Association (Member), Writers Guild of America: East, and YOUnity Guild of America.