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Recording: “This is a call from a federal prison. This is a prepaid call. You won’t be charged for the call from:

‘Jason Poole’. Press '5' to accept.” HICKSON accepts the call.

HICKSON: What’s good, playboy? How are you feeling today?

JASON POOLE: Ain’t too much. Still maintaining, staying focused on my legal situation, as well as my career.

HICKSON: Of course, of course. Jason, I know this call will cut us off in exactly fifteen minutes, so I’ll make this interview quick. Jason, how long have you been writing and what inspired you to do so?

JASON POOLE: Well, you know by me being incarcerated, I found myself reading inspirational stories of great men who led by example, such as Ruben “Hurricane” Carter. In fact, I would say his story gave me the inspiration and positive mindset to never give up, and to follow my dreams. His story showed me that even in the worst condition, a wise man will always find the means to do something positive. I always knew that I had a creative mind and a way with words, but it wasn’t until 2003 that I discovered my true talent as an author and screenplay writer.

HICKSON: Back then you wrote Larceny, one of the hottest urban books on the streets, while being held in a maximum-secured federal prison. Can you tell the people about that writing process? Jason, tell us about where you were in life at that particular time. What made you pick up a pen and begin writing the novel? Also, explain all that was going on around you within the prison facility as you were writing.

JASON POOLE: First of all, I wanna thank you for complimenting and recognizing my work as “one of the hottest urban books on the streets.” At the time I was writing Larceny, I was in my worst condition, as far as mentally. At that time, my legal matters weren’t being attended properly, as well as my financial status, due to the fact that I needed a lawyer badly. I had recently discovered that I was illegally sentenced. Also, I had found out that a childhood friend was the reason behind my arrest. I never knew that he’d given the FBI some false info on me, until seven years after I was in prison.

HICKSON: Hold up! You mean to tell me your peoples snitched and lied on you?

JASON POOLE: Yeah, it devastated me so much back then, that I picked up a pen and poured my pain on paper. (Pauses) I wanted readers to know what it feels like to be betrayed by someone you’d considered family, someone you’d risk your life for, ever since childhood.

HICKSON: Mmmph, those are the ones who would do you in the most, but continue, Jason.

JASON POOLE: I also wanted to show the readers the characteristics that a man needs in a wife in the book. I didn’t have too much interference while writing the novel, mostly because I stayed in my room at my desk all night.


JASON POOLE: Then I’d bring my work with me to my job. I was working in the Law Library at that time as a law clerk and orderly.

HICKSON: You were constantly grinding I see. So how did you wind up being placed in prison? Do you mind sharing your story?

JASON POOLE: Nah, I don’t mind sharing that at all. It’s kind of a long story, but I’ll sum it up as best I can. First of all, I don’t deny that I wasn’t in “the game”, but I do deny my charges, simply because I’m not guilty.

HICKSON: Okay, well, let’s talk about it then.

JASON POOLE: In 1995, I was under FBI investigation and didn’t even know it, until one day I came home from New York, being at one of Puffy’s parties—

HICKSON: Puff Daddy at Bad Boy Entertainment?

JASON POOLE: Yeah. I found out that while I was out partying, the FBI had kicked in my mother’s door, ran up in my son’s mother’s home, and other family members places looking for me. They said I was a suspect in some murders, and they were trying to charge me, along with my best friend, Rat Man, rest in peace, with another murder. The whole time I was on the run, Rat Man was in trial winning the case. I knew that they didn’t have any solid evidence on me, but I still stayed on the run, mostly because I knew they were gonna railroad me to prison. At this time, I didn’t know that my childhood friend was cooperating with the FBI. Although it did seem strange that the FBI would run up in a spot looking for me as soon as I left. (Pauses) Anyway, one day me and another friend went to a neighborhood cookout, and when we got there, the FBI had the place under surveillance.

HICKSON: Sounds like a scene from The Wire on HBO.

JASON POOLE: As we left, they tried to pull us over and the driver pulled off in a high-speed chase. Throughout the chase, some drugs were thrown from the sunroof of the car. We got out and ran. I was the one who got caught, so they put the drugs on me and said I was charged with possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine.

HICKSON: Damn, playboy—madness!

JASON POOLE: Needless to say, I took the charges, went to trial, and lost. I have no co-defendants in my case. There were two females who were in the car with me that testified that they never saw me throw anything from the car. Yet, they still convicted me, because of the FBI agent’s testimony saying that he saw me throw it out the window.

HICKSON: Let’s go back in time a bit before that crazy moment. So you’re from Washington, DC—“Chocolate City”, as us folks call it, explain what life was like for you out there in the streets, without breaking street code, of course. Tell the people about your position, your set-up, and what you were dealing in.

JASON POOLE: Well, I don’t wanna dig too deep into my past and lifestyle to the point that I start glorifying it, let’s just say I was in “the game” to a point where I partied and mingled with stars, and whatever I wanted, I could get. I wasn’t a millionaire, but you would’ve thought I was from the lifestyle. Me and my friends were very respected in the city. Life was hard growing up, but that’s the lifestyle I chose back then.

HICKSON: For you to wind up in the Feds, it must’ve been a major case brought up against you.

JASON POOLE: Nah, it was a set-up. The FBI was angry that they couldn’t charge me with those other serious crimes. I’m the victim of a Homicide detective’s vendetta. This Homicide detective wanted me so bad, that he was deputized by the FBI to lead the case. Yet and still, none of the charges could stick, so they pinned the drugs on me. I guess he felt he’d send me to prison by any means necessary.

HICKSON: Jason, let’s go back to the topic of snitches for a moment. In your book, Larceny, which by the way, I’d purchased last spring and read it in two days. I really liked it a lot.

JASON POOLE: Thanks a lot. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

HICKSON: You deal with the act of snitching in the book. The character, “Jovan”, even discusses how a certain well-known, real-life drug kingpin from the ‘80’s is now working with the government, which in my opinion is disgusting. In Larceny, you wrote: “In Jovan’s eyes, “Po” was a bitch, he turned friends into enemies, he used real niggas for protection and he hid behind a mask. But when the mask was pulled off it was too late. Jovan found out that “Po” was down with the Feds, and this bitch-ass nigga emptied his brain to the Government, and turned State’s evidence on all those who held him in high regards To Jovan, “Po” had committed the ultimate sin.” That’s a very strong statement. Jason, how common is this in your opinion? Do you feel that most, when convicted, act as informants for a lesser charge? Or do you feel that most take the heat and continue living by the code of the streets?

JASON POOLE: Well being incarcerated in federal prison, me working in the Law Library, I read many cases, and noticed that the snitch rate is at an all time high. The Feds have a 92% conviction rate, mostly because someone gave up some info, so I would say it’s become common in Federal Court. In most cases, the only evidence they have is from a cooperating witness.

HICKSON: And you actually know the rat who snitched on you.

JASON POOLE: Like I said earlier, a childhood friend gave some false info on me, which put the FBI and Homicide detective on my trial. I never knew my best friend at the time, gave this info until seven years later, when the lawyer sent me the paperwork while I was in transit at Atlanta Penitentiary. His name is Derrick Reeds Miller. In fact, I mailed you a copy of that paperwork yesterday.

HICKSON: W-o-w. Snitches get stitches. Anyway, how long did it take you to write Larceny?

JASON POOLE: It only took me two months, mostly because I create my storyline before I even write it.

HICKSON: Your previous publisher—

JASON POOLE: Triple Crown Publications.

HICKSON: Yes. What made you initially publish with them?

JASON POOLE: Well, I felt that Triple Crown was the best place to publish my novel, due to the fact that they were leading in urban fiction sales, and my book was urban, yet with a mainstream appeal to it.

HICKSON: Interesting. (Pauses) By the way, Jason, I’ve been heavily promoting Larceny, encouraging people worldwide to get it.

JASON POOLE: (Laughs) Thank you. Now that’s what I call showing love. Here it is, HICKSON, you’re not even affiliated with Triple Crown Publications, yet you push my novel in every aspect of promotion, as well as promoting me as a partner and artist at your company. Thanks, Hickson.

HICKSON: Lightweight, playboy. You’re welcome. It is what it is, you know how I roll—it doesn’t take much for me to fully advertise and promote my people.

JASON POOLE: Thanks again.


JASON POOLE: You better say it!

HICKSON: With the new controversial book, CONVICT’S CANDY being released shortly, that you’ve co-authored with “Amin”, being published by GHETTOHEAT®.

JASON POOLE: And within one year, I predict that we’ll be one of the leading publishing companies out there!

HICKSON: (Laughs) Okay, okay, playboy! Loving your confidence right now!

JASON POOLE: I have an arsenal of hit novels on subjects and styles no other author has ever touched on.

HICKSON: Jason, let’s discuss how you contacted me in April of 2005 about you wanting me to be your new publisher.


HICKSON: People out here are very curious as to why you, Jason Poole, being an Essence best-selling author, would leave the leading urban publishing house, one having great success and a slew of writers, to come over to GHETTOHEAT®, in which back at that time, I only had a poetry book out. What made you contact me to be your publisher? What made you leave Triple Crown Publications? Care to talk about it?

JASON POOLE: I contacted you after reading your brief bio on the back of your poetry book, GHETTOHEAT®. I noticed that you were a marketing and advertising genius, mostly because I saw how well you sold a poetry book, which is rare in the urban book market. I realized you were just as hungry to achieve as I am. You were an established respected publisher, who at the time didn’t have an author. And I was a well-established author who needed a good publisher. I’d say it was ordained that we connected. Once I’d signed, I knew I made a home for myself as a business partner and friend. I’ve never felt so confident and sure of my career before. As for the reason why I left Triple Crown Publications, let’s just say I made a serious career move and a better business venture, as well as a confident and comfortable environment. For instance, I don’t have to worry if I send my manuscript to you, if it will get lost or not. (Pause) Whenever I call GHETTOHEAT®, before I can even say “hello”, you’ll be saying, “Hi, Jason, received your manuscript. It’s put up in the safe, etc."

HICKSON: Thanks for the compliment. I’m just a chief hustlin’ like and Indian, and I’m glad that you’re satisfied here, Jason, but what really made you decide to sign to GHETTOHEAT®?

JASON POOLE: (Laughs) Well, let me say it like this, I got a helluva contract deal. I’m feeling like Jay-Z right now! (Laughs louder) I hear there’s even talk about a presidential position being thrown in the air!

HICKSON: (Laughs) Easy, easy! (Laughs) Slow down, cowboy! (Laughs) None-the-less, we’re going to do big things together here at GHETTOHEAT®. Jason, how did you link up with “Amin”, and how did the writing process begin with CONVICT’S CANDY? Tell the people how you two put the project together while in prison.

JASON POOLE: I already had known “Amin” for a while. We were always cool from doing time in a previous U.S.P. (United States Prison) One day, I was at work in the Law Library, “Amin” was there studying, going through some papers on a rap artist. I came over and we got to talking about the industry and our careers, and that’s when “Amin” told me about his idea on writing the novel. He started pulling out a whole lot of research and titles for the novel. After he explained it to me more, I wondered if he had a particular writing style. So I threw in a few suggestions, and the light bulb went off in his head. That’s when he asked if I wanted to be a part of the CONVICT'S CANDY project. By me being a best-selling author and established, as well as a friend, it was the perfect opportunity. Now, I give total credit where it’s due, but I was the creative force in writing the novel in my own style. However, “Amin” added input as well.

HICKSON: So how long did you know “Amin” before writing CONVICT’S CANDY? What prison facility were you two in when you met “Amin”?

JASON POOLE: I’ve known “Amin” for almost ten years now. We first met in Allenwood Max Penitentiary. We both worked in the kitchen together, although we never really did any work (laughs), that’s where we clicked and became cool. Our friendship was established from respect. In prison, men respect each other for who they are, not for the sake of reputation and fame. It didn’t matter ‘cause I was a known hustler from DC, or that he was a known drug dealer from Philly. Our relationship developed from respect alone (pauses), then we became good friends.

HICKSON: I want to talk more about your personal experience in prison. First off, what you were thinking and feeling when you first entered the facility?

JASON POOLE: Damn, that’s a good question (pauses). Well, first of all, my mindset was full of anger because I was just sentenced to twenty-two years in federal prison, for some drugs that weren’t mine. Also, I was frustrated that everything in my life at that time seemed as if it was going downhill. But, I didn’t let those things dictate my actions. (Pauses) I still carried myself as a man with dignity, and most importantly, a man with sanity (pauses), although my tolerance level for bullshit was at zero. I just made sure I wasn’t involved with bullshit. I’m not saying I didn’t get into trouble, but the things that I got into were justifiable in my eyes.

HICKSON: Has being incarcerated changed your disposition and outlook on life? Tell the people how being behind the wall has affected you, whether spiritually, emotionally, physically or mentally.

JASON POOLE: Of course being here definitely changed my outlook on life, as well as my disposition. After being physically trapped in prison and realizing that this is all a government scam, I realized and learned that being a gangster has nothing to do with carrying a gun or pushing bricks (cocaine). The real gangsters are the legislators that create these gate-keeping laws that are design to ruin you, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. So yes, I’ve been awakened by being affected with these laws. It comes to a point in your life where you realize your life is worth than being an inmate number.

HICKSON: Real talk. (Pauses) I feel you. Jason, CONVICT’S CANDY deals with sexuality and people with alternative lifestyles. From your own words, honestly express to the world, what really goes on in the jailhouse.

JASON POOLE: In my most honest words (long pause), the deep reality of prison life in federal prison, is completely in the novel, CONVICT’S CANDY. We made sure that no stone was left unturned. So readers, if you have the courage to stomach the truth about federal prison, then I strongly suggest you pick up a copy of CONVICT’S CANDY, ASAP!

HICKSON: Physically, have you ever been tested? Challenged? Have you ever had to put someone in check for trying to test your manhood?

JASON POOLE: (Laughs) Strange that you ask that question, HICKSON. Well, I’ve never been sexually tested, but I have been disrespected to the point that I had to establish my respect amongst peers who didn’t know me, or knew about me.

HICKSON: Explain in details, if you can.

JASON POOLE: Throughout my ten years of being incarcerated, I’ve been the aggressor in three stabbing incidents and one assault. I had to beat a dude in the head with a tray. He had to get staples in his head.

HICKSON: Damn, Jason! Talk about taking it to the head, huh?

JASON POOLE: I’m known to hold my own, and it’s well established that I’m all man. Like I said earlier, whenever I got into something, it was justifiable in my eyes. Mostly because I was protecting myself and my manhood, as well as my reputation.

HICKSON: Yet, in spite of your environment, you’re making the best with your time in prison, creating more hits for GHETTOHEAT®. Jason, tell the people about your lifestyle in prison. What’s your daily routine like?

JASON POOLE: Basically, I’m a pretty busy man. I get up at 7 AM in the morning, do a small workout, then go over some things in my legal matter. Always studying. I then workout again after lunch from 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM, shower, then read and respond to mail. Afterwards, I then focus on my writing, going over things as well as constantly jotting down business ideas. I read a lot of business books on how to achieve and be successful. Right now, I’m really digging deep into the movie business, that’s something I’m very passionate about, getting deep into making movies, in addition to novels. I plan to make a movie to every novel I write.

HICKSON: And so you shall. The federal prison you’re in today, Jason, is it much different than being in the other state facilities you’ve been housed at in the past?

JASON POOLE: Federal prison is somewhat different from State. In the Feds, we don’t get the necessary things that State joints have. People think just because we’re in federal prison that we’re pampered prisoners. Nah, the Feds don’t care nothing about us. They care only about keeping these factories running (Unicor), prison industries. I call the Feds “organized slavery” (pauses), but all-in-all, prison is prison, no matter where it’s at. There will always be the same things going on in every prison, some more than others.

HICKSON: Have you ever had a 9-to-5 job? Also, tell the people more about your level of education.

JASON POOLE: Nah, never had a real 9-to-5, yet, as a teenager I had a summer job. I never had a full-time job for a certain period of time. As for my education, I dropped out of high school in the tenth grade. Although I was always intelligent, I never went back, I was too caught up in the streets. When I came to prison, you could say I furthered my education. I use to sit in the back of various college courses or real estate classes. I even took up “Money Smart” and an outside course in Paralegal studies. I was determined to learn as much as I could in prison, while working on my legal situation as well.

HICKSON: Very smart. Besides being an active member of THE GHETTOHEAT® MOVEMENT and it’s college scholarship fund, donating part of the proceeds from sales of your works to help the inner-city youth with money towards their college education, tell the millions of people who receive this newsletter worldwide, how else you plan to give back.

JASON POOLE: I plan to create a production company, so that we can create more jobs within the Black community. I’m also going to start-up a few foundations geared towards youth pursing careers in Creative Arts. If all goes well with my current legal situation and the judge grants me my freedom, I want to do public speaking at various urban high schools, to empower the younger generation.

HICKSON: I think it would be good for the younger generation to hear your story, especially males, those who get caught up in the glamour of street life. Hey, I know we’re about to get cut off from the phone soon, but quickly, what type of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors, whether urban and/or contemporary? Also, are there any other authors who have inspired you to write? If so, who?

JASON POOLE: Mostly, I like to read self-help business books and magazines, such as Black Entrepreneurs or Black Enterprise. As far as fiction, my favorite authors are Donald Goines, Sistah Souljah, Nikki Turner, anybody who can write a story with a good plot and twist. The urban authors who inspired me to write were Ruben “Hurricane” Carter and Teri Woods, just to name a few.

HICKSON: Without going deep, can you tell the people what to expect from you at GHETTOHEAT®?

JASON POOLE: The best novels yet to come, true masterpieces and classics, ones with deep plots and suspenseful twists.

HICKSON: When writing your novels, who exactly are you talking to? Who are you trying to reach and teach lessons to?

JASON POOLE: I’m trying to reach a certain person in the streets living the lifestyle that I’ve lived, as well as to inform those who aren’t. For instance, Larceny was geared to those in the drug game, focusing on trust and loyalty, as well as to females, showing how much her position is needed in a man’s life. My intention is to teach people by appealing to their intellect. My stories captivate readers, brings them into that world, only to have that message pounding in their heads at the end.

HICKSON: This phone call is about to be a wrap, but I have one last question. Jason Poole.

JASON POOLE: Yeah, what’s up?

HICKSON: Are you happy with your new deal and set-up at GHETTOHEAT®?

JASON POOLE: (Laughs) C’mon, what type of question is that?

HICKSON: A simple one.

JASON POOLE: I don’t think there’s a word that could ever describe how happy I am with my new deal and set-up at GHETTOHEAT®. Like I said earlier, I’m feeling like Jay-Z when he got the president position at Def Jam (Laughs).

HICKSON: (Laughs) That’s what’s up! (Laughs) Jason Poole, thanks again for phoning in.

JASON POOLE: Yeah, thank you, HICKSON. You know this is my very first interview, I’m glad you made it happen for me. You know, this really means a lot to me. My dreams are really starting to unfold.

HICKSON: It’s all good, playboy. Truth be told, this is the first interview I’ve ever conducted, so I guess we both just made history together. Jason, stay strong, keep your spirits up always, focus, remain positive and keep writing!

JASON POOLE: Okay, I’ll do that. Give Tre Black my regards, as well as the whole staff at GHETTOHEAT®.

HICKSON: (Laughs to himself, knowing that he hasn’t any staff members.) Yo, tell “Amin” to call me!

JASON POOLE: I will, one love.

HICKSON: I’m going to visit you and “Amin” on—

Phone automatically cuts off from federal prison.

JASON POOLE is co-author of Essence Bestseller, CONVICT'S CANDY. E-mail him at JASON@GHETTOHEAT.COM





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