Meet Author J’son M. Lee

Posted on May 15, 2012

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Those of you who know me know I’m always into something, and I’m accused of dragging others along. By the way, thank you to all of those who answered my call and purchased books during the Authors4Trayvon event. Thanks to you and my guest today, over $2000 was raised. As I was saying, I’ve been known to start some—stuff. Well the Authors4Trayvon was the brainchild of J’son M. Lee. A downright awesome author and person I’d like you to get to know.

Tell us a little about yourself. I am 42 years old and a country boy at heart.  While I was born in Brooklyn, NY, I grew up in a small rural town in North Carolina called Lewiston-Woodville.  I was raised by my great-grandmother and my great-uncle.  I left home at 18 to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill earning a degree in Speech Communication with a concentration in Performance Studies.  I currently work full time as a Property Manager for a large commercial real estate company in Washington, DC.  I am also the CEO of Foresight Publishing, LLC.

Tell us something few know about you. This is a really good question!  Few people know that I was in a Comcast commercial a few years back.  Readers can go to the multimedia page of my website (www.jmccoylee.com) to check it out.  Also, I used to be a dancer for Bally Total Fitness.  One crazy thing about me is that I am fascinated with mental illness.  Sometimes I think the mentally ill are gifted and we simply can’t understand their gift.  Yes, crazy I know…

What genre(s) do you write? I am a gay fiction writer.

Tell us about your latest book? Just Tryin’ To Be Loved is a love story of sorts… a love story that goes horribly wrong.  The book is centered on Mark Harris who has never felt worthy of love (much like I did for a long time).  His parents disown him after he divulges that he’s gay, and this leads to low self-esteem.  Like many other people with a poor self-concept, he ends up falling for the wrong guy.  Unfortunately, his choice has serious consequences, and he ends up fighting for his life.

As in all good love stories, a noble guy does come along.  Unfortunately, Mark is so damaged by this former relationship and his parents’ abandonment that he doesn’t feel he deserves to be loved.  He literally throws himself into his work and shuts himself off from the possibility of ever being happy again.  You’ll have to read the book to see if he opens his heart.

I hope the reader leaves believing in the universality of love.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination? Most often my characters are based on people I know or have observed.  In Just Tryin’ To Be Loved, the main character is most like me in that his thoughts on love, relationships, friendships and life in general mirror my own.  Through Mark I think readers will really get to know me.  I experienced a lot of pain in my life and I release it through Mark.

Where can readers purchase your latest book? Purchase the ebook or print from Amazon or the print directly from www.jmccoylee.com

What other titles have you written?

I recently released a short story called Best Friends.

Synopsis: 

Throughout the years, Roland kept his secret from everyone, including his best friend, Terrence.

Terrence, a varsity letterman, and Roland, a guard on the basketball team, became fast friends in high school.  After graduation, they jumped at the opportunity to be college roommates and share everything from the bills and good times to friendships.

A quiet movie night at home left Roland deciding whether to take a chance and reveal his secret and risk changing their friendship forever.

…a change that could leave them both with a secret only best friends can keep.

I also co-authored the multiple award-winning book, How could my husband be GAY? with Ondrea L. Davis.

Synopsis:

How could my husband be GAY?, is an autobiographical look into the life of Ondrea L. Davis. On the outside, Ondrea’s life is nothing short of a fairy tale. She has a dream home, the perfect husband and three beautiful children. Ondrea soon discovers that her husband, Marceous King, is not the man she thought she married. Exhausting all efforts to salvage her marriage, Ondrea finds herself in the fight of her life. In the process, she uncovers a highly sophisticated web of deception and shocking secrets. Marceous will stop at nothing to keep Ondrea from exposing the truth and derailing his plan – even if it means destroying her in the process. In this battle of good versus evil, who will be the ultimate victor?

Lastly, I also wrote, produced and starred in my own one-man show called One Family’s AIDS.

Synopsis:

One Family’s AIDS is the captivating story of an African-American man who has been diagnosed with HIV. One Family’s AIDS addresses the alarming statistics of HIV/AIDS cases among African-Americans.

This one-man show, told from four different perspectives, is the story of Gene Alexander McCoy – a young, educated African-American man who finds himself in a race for time to make peace with his family and with God upon being diagnosed with HIV. The play chronicles Gene’s life as he confronts such issues as HIV/AIDS, family, abandonment and homophobia. With the help of his over-bearing mother, a nurturing grandmother, and an uncle who doesn’t really feel comfortable talking about Gene’s sexuality or disease, we learn the complexities of love and relationships, the damaging results of fear and shame, and how the relentless quest for the truth ultimately leads us back to each other

When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route? I self-published originally through AuthorHouse.  Partnering with them was an amazing learning experience as it relates to the publishing industry.  I quickly learned my limitations and it was very frustrating.  In fact, I became very discouraged with the industry, with the politics and the overall treatment of self-published authors.  So much so, that I gave up writing for a few years.

I would love to be published traditionally, but at the same time I feel that self-publishing affords me an amazing amount of control both of my voice and my finished product.  This was one of the reasons that Foresight decided to re-release my first title.  I’ll tell anyone, when you know better you do better.  When Just Tryin’ To Be Loved was originally released, I think the product was great as evidenced by the reviews, but the book lacked commercial appeal and it wasn’t marketed well. People say, don’t judge a book by its cover, but that’s not really true in this industry. We are a visual culture.  I didn’t want to be associated with a subpar product.  So, we re-released a product that we think is on equal footing with titles that are currently being released.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors? Two words:  Write & Research

What do you have on the burner for the next year? I am working on a number of new and exciting projects, but only one that I can share right now.  I am currently working on the sequel to Just Tryin’ To Be Loved called ‘Til Death Do Us Part which will be out some time this summer.

How can readers reach you? (websites, blogs, social media… give urls) I currently do not have a blog site.  Maybe I’ll start blogging one day.  Until then, readers can find me on Facebook and Twitter @jmccoylee.  I recently posted my official book trailer on YouTube.  It features music by one of my favorite singers, Adele.  I had a lot of fun working on this trailer with my designer.  I’ll be uploading more videos soon.

Of course, readers can visit my website (www.jmccoylee.com) and sign up to receive updates from me!

Dee here: Thanks for coming by J’son and spending a little time with us.

Please use the share buttons to spread the word!

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