Written by: Wesley “Godfather” Hunter
What do you call a man who’s misspent over $20,000 to launch his own publishing company? Who’s acquired promotions and entered into chain store deals requiring him to pay for the printing and shipment of 5000 copies of a paperback, only to have those paperbacks returned less than 60 days later, after being told the chain store had closed? A man who then runs into another bunch of dream sellers, which promise to help re-distribute the few copies which could be salvaged from the jumbled junk which had been literally shoved into a box and returned, only to discover that this group too would almost instantly disappear into thin air, without returning a single copy. Leaving shuttered doors and changed numbers in their wake. Yes, what do you call him? What do you call a man who’s been almost signed, but then warned not to do it? A man who’s chased his dreams, but then given up? A man who’s sat in a cage with a pen and a dream, who was a boss in the streets and commanded his change, but then enters the so-called “legit” world to become a victim of thieves, left suffering with the angers and pains which drive a reformed hustler to his knees: the streets calling, the clouds falling. A dream filled with storms and rains. What do you say? What do you call him?
In 1996, Rumont TeKay, was just 18 years old, when he was captured with a kilo of rock cocaine and sentenced to 35 years in the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. Rumont was made to serve 12 years on that sentence, and while serving his time, Rumont began to write. A prisoner with a dream and no clue, simply trying to find his way, but as a penpal of a then incarcerated Wahida Clark, he had formed a long term bond which mattered; a bond which even he himself couldn’t know would prove to be so life changing and meaningful.
“BE MINDFUL OF THE COMPANY YOU KEEP, FOR YOU NEVER KNOW WHO’S WATCHING.”
With the ups and downs of the publishing game; with the twists and turns; with the ones at the top suddenly in flux, and the entire landscape of the industry so drastically changing, I can promise you that everything you thought you knew just 3-5 years ago; all of the so-called top dogs of the industry, tools, costs and trends: Everything and ALL OF IT has changed. So, just imagine being trapped in a cage, with no mentor, no internet, no phone, no plugs, and no clue… The publishing game can be super challenging and made even more so by the physical state of our struggle. That said, Rumont had taken the journey, put it all on the line to escape old ways and carve out a new life, and, in the end, was left holding a shamefully empty bag loaded down with dull hope. But, then, the Urban Lit. Queen called.
In April 2014, after Rumont had all but given up and walked away from his dream of becoming an author, Wahida Clark picked up the phone and asked him simply, “you ready?” she said that her people had taken a look at Rumont’s novel ‘Venom in My Viens’ and they instantly knew that they had to have it! Rumont had sent Wahida the manuscript almost a year before and had pretty much forgotten about it as he continued on with day-to-day life. Until, one day, he just happened to call his old penpal friend to check on her. The convo eventually turned to him asking if she’d read the manuscript, he then discovered that she had not and, in fact, that she’d been moving around so much that she didn’t even recall having seen it! Yet, the call lead to the hunt, the hunt then lead to the discovery, and the rest, as they say is history! On, August 26, 2014, VENOM IN MY VIENS by Rumont TeKay, officially dropped, and is currently making major waves, as a part of the WCP Team.
“THE SEEDS WE PLANT, BEAR THE FRUITS OF OUR PATH.”
In the beginning, I asked you what you’d call a man like Rumont TeKay. Well, I’ll tell you what I call him: I call him a man with a vision, a man on the move. I call him a serious author/business man who’s taken the risks and paid his dues. I call him reborn, rebirthed, replenished, refilled and ready to take the game by storm!
I promise you, Rumont TeKay, is NOT just another fly-by-night author out to make a bit of extra lunch money on the side, this brother is the honest to goodness built-to-last truth! I assure you, this is a guy who’ll be around for a while, and I’m truly honored to have met him. I definitely see what Lady Wahida saw, and so, now, I share him with you.
RT: It’s about a young kid (Bromise Balducci) growing up in the streets of Chicago, fatherless, and worships the ground that his biological grandfather (Brisco Balducci) walks on. It just so happens that Brisco is the Head of one of the two most powerful mobs within the underworld, so Bromise was born in to it. And the story also has a profound love saga inter-woven into the plot, as Chasidy mirrored Bromise’s very image, although they clearly had their differences. And the two make one dynamic team. The title Venom In My Veinz is when pain meets with fury.
I know you’ve spent a lot of money in trying to go it alone. You ran into some struggles. Learned some lessons. Knowing now what you do, would you have done it different?
RT: I have no regrets. Sometimes you have to pay financially to learn from your mistakes. Rather you pay knowingly up front, or get swindled from behind, experience is always the best teacher. However, I will say that the biggest change or difference this go around is that I removed my publisher’s hat and focused only on being a writer.
What advice would you give someone who’s actively building their own company?
RT: Make sure your company is legally registered. Do your due diligence and connect with reputable peers in the business. Start the same way you want to finish. In other words, branding is everything and you start at the onset. Don’t cut corners in the production of your works. And take advantage of every marketing avenue known, be creative, a trailblazer, and create your own lane.
Self-publishing vs. Publishing what advice do you give?
RT: Well, that depends on what the person is trying to achieve and in what order they look to achieve it. It also depends on what the current options are. If you are an aspiring author who has a manuscript that you really believe in, my advice would be to look around at publishing houses, see who’s doing what and where your work would be a good fit, and then submit. Now after doing this a few times, only to receive back rejection letters,then it’s time to think about self-publishing. And never stop networking.
What’s the most challenging part of this business?
RT: Time management.
What marketing tips would you give?
RT: Look at what other successful people in the business are doing. And don’t be afraid to take calculated risks. That’s what separates the men from the boys, the ability to recognize an opportunity and pounce on it like never before.
What distribution tips would you give?
RT: Major distribution is an absolute must if you truly want your voice to be heard by the masses. My tip is to get signed.
How many books have you written? What are the titles?
RT: Venom In My Veinz is the only title that I’m promoting at this time.
Who is Rumont TeKay?
RT: A child of God. A father. A friend. Goofy at times. A realist and an all around cool dude.
RT: I write from the soul through my perspective.
Sitting in a cage with a pen and a dream, what/who inspired you to
RT: While doing time, a very talented author caught my attention with his novels. He wasn’t the first to do it, but his books were the first to resonate with me. His name is Victor L. Martin. After I read his first book, the flame within me was lit. I quickly dove into his second book, finished it and reached out to him with praises and works of my own. He reached back with support and words of encouragement. That was all the motivation I needed. I immediately put my pen to work! Thereafter, we remained in contact and years later, we are now label mates. God is good! Big Shout out to, Victor! Hold ya head, you don’t have much longer!
What advice would you give a new author?
RT: Keep writing. Hone your craft. Work hard at being the best at what you do and the literary world won’t be able to deny you. There’s a place for you, all you have to do is get in where you fit in.
What’s your thoughts about eBooks?
RT: I like paperbacks better.
Speak to the readers: why should they take a chance on Rumont TeKay?
RT: In Truth, my pen recipe contains the ASG formula: Action! Scandal! Grit! Venom In My Veinz will cause sexual arousal to the tenth power, provoke intellect, and take you on a ride you won’t soon forget. Simply put: this book will make your jaw drop.
I know it’s a little early in the progress, but talk about your vision
to marry hip hop music and Hollywood personalities: what, if any,
help/support/talent are you seeking?
RT: I have a big Book Release Party Celebration scheduled in downtown Chicago on November 15, 2014. And we are looking to do it even bigger the following month in Atlanta. And I’m not stopping there. The plan is to create a movement which will enhance the literary industry as a whole, and bring back the camaraderie. I’m in the process of talking with celebrities who have shown interest in partnering up. So stay tuned for sure.
What’s next for Rumont TeKay?
RT: Expect to see the sequel to Venom In My Veinz, in the near future, and other projects are on the horizon as well. I’ve decided to stick around for a while.
I see you’ve been nominated for Outstanding Author in Urban Literature 2015. Tell us about that. How were you selected? How will the winner be decided?
RT: Yes, and I’m humbled, honored, grateful and every other feeling along those lines. AMB Ovation Awards allows the readers to vote for their favorite authors, and by God’s will I was chosen. I was elated and shocked to say the least, mainly because I wasn’t even aware that the contest was taking place. So I didn’t even get a chance to promote it. The winner will be announced on December2014. I’m up against four powerhouses, so justbeing nominated is a win for me.
Anything else you want to say or share?
RT: Through it all there’s one thing I’ve learned… and that is, hope never dies just as long as one breathes life into it. Starting small is the beginning of it all, so never-mind your age. You’re never too old to learn, nor too young to teach. Just never lose hope in yourself, no matter the price.
Where can your book be found?
RT: Aside from the usual Amazon, Barns-N-Noble, etc., it could be found wherever books are sold nationwide. Venom In My Veinz is also available in Audio as well.