As we all should know, life experiences often imitate art. In my opinion, the novels that speak from true experiences or pull from real life inspiration seem to draw me in the most. ‘Crazy Summer’ by Cole Hart is a captivating tale written with strong dialect and believable characters. From the first page to the last, Summer’s journey in the streets is nothing to take lightly.
Since my stepdad has been incarcerated since 2005 and in the beginning stages of his novel, I was excited about interviewing Cole Hart. Being able to pick his brain on his process and the success he’s experienced was a great opportunity for me.
1. What inspired you to create Summer and tell us about her journey?
Summer was definitely a challenge for me. I had to bring her up and I wanted the readers to feel her character. Even using some of my home girl’s traits from Augusta. I know from experience that some women lose it after a tragedy happens in their life. But despite that, Summer still went hard in the paint. I think my biggest twist is that she was paranoid of going back to the feds. Now there’s so much feedback and request about a part 2. Maybe next Summer.
2. What fueled you to start Writealot Publishing?
When my first 2 manuscripts were rejected by TWP and TCP, I knew I had to make the next step which was definitely a bigger one. Self publish, and back then 01-02 in a Georgia prison trying to do something like that with little outside support was hard. I really thought I was gonna sit in here and write for a company and collect a royalty check. But I’m glad it didn’t happen like that. Another obstacle that I had to break through from in here and that was simply because everything happens for a reason.
3. Tell us about your motivation to take the next steps of publishing your book with such a big obstacle of being incarcerated?
When I was growing up I had bad habit of feeding off of negative energy. I came to prison with that same attitude in ’99, but I had to want to change. And when I began writing I got a few non believers telling me what I could and couldn’t do. So then I just went HAM like Kanye and Hov. Studying and writing. Writing and studying until it became a habit. Now it’s a part of my everyday life in here. And besides that, after 15 years there’s no way possible that I’m coming home struggling. Think And Grow Rich, 48 Laws Of Power, and As A Man Thinketh. And my Self Publishing book by Tom & Marilyn Ross. This is what I’m on everyday all day. Ambition and creative thinking is part of my blueprint.
4. Do you think your situation hurt or helped your success and why?
Being incarcerated gave me time to find myself. I carved out the positive side and molded it into the gifts that God placed in me.
5. You are also a columnist and journalist under the name Jarvis Hardwick, what is the most important thing you try to communicate to the troubled youth you write to? Why the pen name?
As of today I’m 38 years old, I’ve been incarcerated since I was 25. But before this I was deep in the streets from 14 to 25 and at that time there wasn’t a living soul that could tell me nothing about nothing. That was my attitude because of my lifestyle in the streets. And the younger brothers in the streets got this same attitude. I deal with them 24/7 around the clock in here. When you get a chance check the articles on my website. My favorite is Penitentiary Chances (90 Babies On High Alert) . My Ebook titled Street Advocate is highly recommended for middle school and high-school students. It’s a difference between telling them and showing them something.
6. We’ve seen other authors become successful while incarcerated. How do you feel urban literature benefits from being inspired by true life events?
In every writers and publishing book that I’ve read they tell you to write what you know and study what you don’t know. Basically saying.”Stay in your own lane until you’re ready for the next level.” But when you’re starting from in here authors and writers are the next level. Succeeding from in here in this business is the only option. Get Rich Or Write Tryin’.
7. My column is called The Lit Underground and what we are doing is focusing on authors who are self-publishing or are with independent publishers who have made their presence known on a smaller scene. What is the best advice that you can give? Something that you’ve learned from experience that no one told you before getting into the literary game.
I’m sure regardless of what I say every Indie author and publisher is gonna go head first one time. Really the first time. We all get our head cracked the first time. That’s what it takes. Then some come right back and do a Swan dive in a school of Great White Sharks thinking it’s an in ground swimming pool. Learn the game. Study other successful authors’ blueprints. I follow nearly every author that has become successful.
8. What’s next for Cole Hart?
As of now, I’ve just signed a three book trilogy with David Weaver with my new one called THE THRONE. And I know a lot of people is saying. “You made #1 on Amazon AA bestsellers list by yourself. Why sign with someone else?” D. Weaver and I share the same vision and that’s going to the top. Ambition on High, and definitely a man of his word. And not only this business but any business you’ll need somebody like him in your corner. #TBRS #We Are The Majors.
You can catch ‘Crazy Summer’ by Cole Hart on Amazon for the Ebook HERE and the paperback.
Facebook Cole at https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Town-VeteranAn-Official-Cole-Hart-Novel/111424442243722
Follow him on Twitter @writealotpub