Many people know the sayings, being “Street Smart” and being “Book Smart.” Oasis, author of “White Heat” and “Push Comes to Shove,” takes being book smart and being street smart to a whole new level.
I came across “White Heat” at my local book store and was blown away by the storyline and the professionalism this Urban Street book possessed. After sitting down with Oasis, I learned that being book smart doesn’t have to be achieved in a classroom. A jail cell suited Oasis just fine and he didn’t let the confines of his temporary living space keep him from achieving his goals.
Oasis always knew he wanted to write. He told himself years ago that someday he’d be a published author. From the many poems and love letters he wrote at a young age, he always had a desire to write. Before he got the chance to put pen to paper, he got caught up in the street life and was sent to prison for a little over fifteen years.
While doing his time in jail, Oasis decided to get started on his very first book. Once the book was finished, he passed it around to many of the other inmates and asked for feedback. It began to circulate getting positive feedback but he wasn’t sure how true their opinions were, “I don’t know if they were stroking my ego or not.” He tells me, but in the end Oasis was happy that he was finally accomplishing something he always wanted to do.
Being a writer is not something one must go to school for. Either you have the talent for words or you don’t. In Oasis’ case he never went to school for publishing books like many of us. He had a passion and was destined to fulfill it.
Writing is a craft, like many other hobbies or skills. In order to perfect your craft, you must practice and dedicate a lot of time to that craft. But, there are not too many people that know that writing is a craft. It is thought of to be a quick hustle or easy to accomplish and Oasis has learned all too well that if you are not good at your craft, it will show in the product.
While his book made its way around the prison, Oasis got the attention of a man he thought paid him no mind. He approached him one day giving Oasis a piece of advice that would forever change his literary career. “Oscar was an Italian guy I met while in prison. He was very quiet and kept to himself. My manuscript was circulating around the jail and getting quite a buzz. Out of the blue Oscar walked up to me and asked me if I knew anything about the craft. I didn’t have a clue of what he was talking about, and he knew it by the expression on my face. So he told me if I was serious about being a writer then to get a book called “Dare To Be a Great Writer” by Leonard Bishop and walked away. So I ordered the book because I was intrigued and I wanted to know what he was talking about. I read the book, and found out that my manuscript was terrible. I didn’t know that there was an art and discipline to novel writing. I had broken every craft rule in the book. And that put me on my journey to mastering the craft to novel writing.”
Once Oasis came to the realization that he had work to do on his “craft” he turned his attention to become the best novel writer in the business. Oasis calls himself a perfectionist and I must agree because any man or woman that goes to this type of extreme to be one of the greatest is destined for success.
While doing his time in prison, Oasis went to work on his novel writing degree. He began to call prestigious colleges acquiring information on books he needed to be a literature major. After getting the names of these books and receiving them through libraries, he studied these books and began to rewrite his manuscript.
After hearing this story from Oasis, I was blown away. Never in my years as a business woman have I heard anyone take the time to do this. You could say it was because Oasis had a lot of time on his hands that he was able to study these books the way he did but I think it was his determination and dedication to his “craft” that allowed him to receive his self-made literature degree.
Once the manuscript was rewritten, Oasis sent his manuscript to a few companies and within a week he’d received an acceptance letter. Oasis explains that throughout his years he’s received several rejection letters but only received one when he submitted his first manuscript, “When I submitted my first manuscript for publishing consideration I only received one rejection letter and two offers my first time out. And that one rejection letter made me feel like the craft was the reason for me getting only one rejection letter and that Oscar knew what he was talking about.” At the time, Black Pearl Books was the hottest publishing company. Oasis felt that for the work he was putting out and the direction he wanted his work to go in, this was the best decision for him.
While Oasis, was writing, he was also doing editing while serving out his time in prison. It was then that he decided he not only wanted to write, but start his Literary Agency. At the time he edited for free of charge in exchange that the author would recommend him or promote him and his work in some way.
While editing, his books got into the hands of a popular author and publisher, Zane. “I hooked up with Zane through my literary agent Brenda Hampton,” Oasis says. At the time, a good friend of his, Tina Brooks McKinney, took his work to Zane. With her busy schedule, she did not have a quick turn around after receiving Oasis’ work. So he pushed forward. A month later, Zane contacted Tina in hopes of signing Oasis but he was in the middle of contract issues. A year later, he pulled his work and resubmitted to Zane and they’ve been working together ever since.
“White Heat” published in January 2013 is the book that introduced me to Oasis. A story that is captivated to be 100% fiction is actually 95% Non-Fiction and 5% fiction.
As you know, Oasis spent some time in prison and part of this story is why. Main characters Limbo and Rhapsody are based off real-life people and the events of this story are mainly true. With the research and studying that Oasis did while in prison, he paints a perfect picture; an amazing storyline that blew me away. I had no idea how real this book was until the author disclosed that information to me. “This is my life,” he says. It is very clear to me just how much Oasis loves what he does. The well written story is amazing and as you read the book and scan through each line and each word in the publication, you can feel the hard work put behind it.
“White Heat” is available everywhere books are sold. “White Heat” Part two is coming soon.
Although, “White Heat” is Urban Fiction, Oasis has a love for Mystery and Suspense. Oasis explains that he was writing in this genre to get in the door. It was what readers wanted at the time. But he’s always wanted to write suspense. “I like the suspense police procedural novels. That’s my reading choice so naturally it’s my writing choice. I like the interaction between crooks and cops.”
Many will notice that Oasis writes under a few different names. I wondered about the confusion of this change in his literary career, but he explained exactly what he wanted to give his readers, “Oasis is a nickname I’ve had for a long time and Oasis addresses the black audience. E.L. Myrieckes is strictly a suspense, police procedural novelist and the Weed man is a pure street lit novelist. My plans for Oasis and E.L. Myrieckes is the New York Times best seller’s list.”
Oasis, has evolved from a new writer to a seasoned author who’s perfected his “craft”. He’s chosen to not only help other authors where needed but to also cut out “the middle man” and make things happen for himself. He said, “Why should I pay someone for something I can do myself?” I love his drive and dedication. “I’m an ambitious person with a soul of a hustler,” he begins. “I believe in getting me and my family ahead, so it is imperative that I do my own thing in the publishing game in order to get the most benefits. I understand that my loyal supporters are looking for the next Oasis novel and not who I’m publishing with. So why wouldn’t I eventually offer my readers books directly from me without a middle man involved? I had a goal when I first got in the game. I wanted to be published traditionally so that my publisher could help me build an audience through their marketing and promotional avenues. Once that audience was built, the readers would be looking for my next work not the company that helped me build the platform. And once I had a strong audience, it would be time for me to flap my wings and fly on my own. I’ve put my work in and filled my obligations. Now it’s time to take flight and constructively raise my royalty rate by paying myself.”
Before the interview was over, I asked Oasis two questions. To describe himself with one word and what makes him different from all other editors and publishers. “One word? Hungry! I am for the author. I was once on the author side of the fence. I know firsthand where authors don’t get their just due. With Vision House Publishing and Docuversion LLC and Docuversion Literary Associates, authors will get what they truly have coming to them. They are the ones who put in long hours and mental thought that gets publishers rich. On my team, we eat together. Period.”
In 2014, followers of Oasis can expect the launch of Docuversion’s and Vision House Publishing’s Web site. Two new novels from Oasis, in two different genres, and several releases from his talented authors.
Oasis is the example of a true dedicated and hard-working author. This story should inspire all writers in every way. You should realize that your excuses to be the best that you can be should be far and in between because if Oasis can do it while spending fifteen years in prison, so can you!
About the Author: Oasis is a craft expert and a certified creative writing instructor who lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with his sons. Oasis’ fiction has won the Mahogany award, and he is the CEO of Docuversion, a full-service editing firm. Currently, Oasis is pursuing an MA in Communications and creating his fifth novel. To learn more about Oasis, visit www.oasisnovels.com.
Other Novels by the Author:
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