I was walking down Lenox Avenue last week in Harlem going to a meeting. As I was walking by a well-known CD and DVD spot in Harlem, I saw these ladies passing out flyers for a book signing for a new author. Being the media hound I am, I said ok, I will stop by for a few minutes. I am really glad I did. Met Frank Matthews, a really great person who is putting his words into action. He has not only lived the life but is reaching out to our youth to help them not make the mistakes he has made. His book has already been optioned for film and television. If you havent heard of Frank Matthews, then check him out. He is the real deal.
Frank C. Matthews
“The best stories come from everyday life, and I intend to tell those stories”
“Don’t Do The Crime, if you can’t do it right.”
Profound author Frank C. Matthews’ triumphant transformation from inmate to novelist has established him as a leading force in the world of urban literature. Armed with his mastery of the written word, Matthews has achieved feats that are only reserved for the most seasoned of writers, selling an unprecedented amount of books as a first-time author and self-publisher. When it comes to putting the urban voice – the human voice – on the page, Matthews has no peer. His unprecedented journey demonstrates that even when confronted with a web of trials and tribulations, creativity has the ability to flourish. As a New York City native, Matthews grew up with aspirations of one day becoming a household name as an NBA Superstar. His dream took a detour, but his resilience and determination allowed him to persevere.
The lure of the streets and its fast money took Matthews away from hoops and into another game – the drug trade – where he found instant success. But a deal gone bad eventually landed him behind bars. Once incarcerated, Matthews had few options of how to spend his seemingly unending time in what felt like a black hole drawing at all happiness. Taking advantage of the still and silent nights, Matthews spent hours plunged into two of the world’s most renowned, contemporary African-American storytellers, Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines.
The books empowered the now bright-eyed and enthusiastic Matthews and awakened a creative bug to tell the stories locked inside him. “Incarceration transformed me,” said Matthews. “I went from a young, frustrated, and confused boy to a mature, humble, and pensive man.” Much the way Malcolm X used the power of words to transform himself in prison, Matthews used the power of the pen to write his way to freedom, real freedom. While the calamities of his past may have blackened his vision they did not still his pen.
He found his purpose. He would write his stories in notebooks, on torn-open envelopes, and anything he could get his hands on and would pass them around through the system. While some traded cigarettes, Matthews traded his highly demanded stories, which inmates clung to like emotional life rafts.
Matthews delved into the business of publishing, an industry he now planned to one day master. He found his style of writing to be unique, labeling it as “true fiction,” an alternate take on real events he had witnessed firsthand. He honed his craft and further developed a distinctive writing style that was uninhibited, dramatic yet cinematic as his readers traveled to adventurous sonic territory. He had a burning desire to share his rare experiences in the underworld of crime with anyone who would listen. Matthews’ drive and passion was reinvigorated. He would be relentless in his pursuit to share with the masses his tales of underworld crime, drama, brotherhood and love.
Upon his rebirth in 2005, Matthews discovered that he could put his past behind him and emerge with a renewed sense of purpose and unwavering determination. The resilient author took his astounding gift of writing “true fiction,” coupled with his compulsion for words and decided to pursue his passion. Even after numerous failed attempts at landing a publishing deal, Matthews did what he learned to do best – create opportunities for himself. He knew that there was an untapped niche audience eager to hear his voice, and he was steadfast in his desire to supplant the current favorites in the urban lit arena.
Matthews self-published one of his first novels, Respect the Jux, and it caught fire, selling over 20,000 thousand copies. The book catapulted Matthews into the sphere typically reserved for seasoned literary greats while capturing the attention of everyone from rappers Jay-Z, Ghostface Killer, and 50 Cent (who rapped on Lloyd Banks’s single, “Hands up, if you want to party with crooks you have to learn to Respect the Jux!”) to literary powerhouses like bestselling author and publisher Karen Hunter.
The gripping tale borrows from Matthews’ recollection of urban legends through the saga of Cat, who journeyed from Jamaica to the United States as a teenager. After a stint in the military, Cat returned with newfound skills and a desire for his own version of the American Dream—by any means necessary.
Using his extensive military background in weapons and intelligence, Cat formed “The Order,” a band of thieves that specialized in pulling off juxes, which Matthews defines as emulating and acquiring another’s style, intellect, or swagger for personal advancement.
Captivating, intriguing, mesmerizing – all words that describe Frank Matthews’ uncanny ability to bring readers into the worlds that he creates. His first auspicious debut Respect the Jux, a dynamic tale of brotherhood, greed, and power, hits the shelves nationwide in September, the style made famous by Slim and Goines will be revived…with a 21st century twist!
RESPECT THE JUX
A Novel based On True Events.
The Frank C. Matthews
Dream Ink Foundation
“Dare to Ink”
Created, founded, and funded in 2010 by literary powerhouse Frank Matthews, The Dream Ink Foundation seeks to channel the frustrations, passions and aspirations of disenfranchised communities into creative outlets. We are dedicated to harnessing creative spirits, by allowing the urban storytellers of the next generation to flourish through the implementation of literary programs, coveted scholarships and mentors.
We believe that we can elevate artistically oppressed minds while actively engaging their interest in the written word. Desiring to inspire the silenced, The Dream Ink Foundation was established to promote the evolution, education and empowerment of intrinsically gifted youth. Through the combination of opportunity and guidance, inspiration and talent will be cultivated from the fertile breeding grounds of its urban epicenters.
“The Dream Ink Foundation will strengthen the literary voice that has been stifled by socioeconomic constraints while also uplifting and enriching the community,”
“Dare to Ink” Grant Program
The Dream Ink Foundation is helping aspiring writers fund their dreams. With a firmly-rooted belief in the emancipating power of words and self-expression, Dream Ink is gifting $2,500 quarterly grants to support the creative vision of tomorrow’s literary stars. To apply, submit a photo along with a writing sample and a 1,000-word essay detailing your journey as a writer and how the grant will help you achieve your dreams.
Eligible applicants must:
- Have a passion for writing
- Be a current U.S. resident living in a socially underrepresented or economically disadvantaged metropolitan area.
Dare to Ink Grant Awards Announced Submit Materials By
December 1st, 2010 ……… January 1st, 2011
March 1st, 2011 …………………. April 1st, 2011
June 1st, 2011 ………………………July 1st, 2011
September 1st, 2011 ………..October 1st, 2011
Send photo, writing sample, and essay to: Dreamink@FrankMatthews.Com
Dream Ink Foundation will announce the grant award recipient on Http://FrankMatthews.Com with the winner’s photo and essay.
For more information, please contact:
Lulu Cohen Media
545 West 45th Street
New York, NY 10036