Markeise Q. Washington is a visionary who had a dream and made it reality. By fighting through the hardships and obstacles of starting a business from ground up and writing/ publishing his first book this young man has become an inspiration too many who doubted his dream. SayWhatNews had the pleasure of being the first to interview Markeise and get to know who the man is behind the vision.
SayWhatNews: Tell us who is the man behind the book “Entrepreneur”?
Markeise: I’m originally from South Philadelphia. I’ve been living in Delaware for a while now. I am a proud father and I would say a workaholic. When I work on something I want to get it done. I lost my mother early on and everything I do is dedicated to her memory.
SayWhatNews: At what age did you realize you liked to write?
Markeise: I was around ten when I started writing short stories. I didn’t start to write a full length novel until now though.
SayWhatNews: Did you ever think you would one day have a published book?
Markeise: I was becoming really frustrated during the halfway point. I kept thinking it should be moving along much faster. Patience isn’t my strongest suit. But I learned a lot of it going through the self-publishing process. When the support kept coming, I realized it was really going to happen.
SayWhatNews: What inspired you to write the book “Entrepreneur”?
Markeise: I wanted people to see how two friend’s lives paralleled each other’s. It was a lot more than people would expect. It’s multilayered and different people will pull different topics that apply to their lives. The perception that a college degree automatically gets you a great job really jump started it. I never agreed with that. That is how Swift was born.
SayWhatNews: Tell us in your own words about the book and its main characters.
Markeise: It is a movie to me in book format. Swift is a college graduate frustrated at a lack of relevant job prospects. Block is his best friend and the most feared and respected guy in the Philly underworld. When their worlds cross they both don’t anticipate how their situations will change. They end up needing each more than they ever did. What unfolds is a roller-coaster ride that grabs the reader and never let’s go.
SayWhatNews: What do you want your readers to walk away with when they read the book “Entrepreneur”?
Markeise: I want them to walk away having enjoyed a great story. I want them to appreciate my blood, sweat, and tears. I just hope they anticipate more quality work from 5ive Star Publications. That’s what I intend to give.
SayWhatNews: What was your inspiration to write your first novel?
Markeise: I have always had a vivid imagination. I remember my brother knew a guy who wrote a book. I read the book like I can do this too. I had written little short stories but nothing serious. When that first page was done, it snowballed. I felt I could entertain people through literature. I decided I wanted to do it full-time.
SayWhatNews: How long did it take to complete the book?
Markeise: It took me maybe 6 months to complete the actual story; all the politics and learning how the game worked added additional months. It ended up being a year. It was the hardest year of my life. It was all worth it because it completed now. My son will have something to remember his father for.
SayWhatNews: What inspired you to start your own publishing company, 5ive Star Publications?
Markeise: I definitely wanted to own my own imprint. I felt that if I failed or succeeded it was on me. I didn’t want to point the finger at anybody. I also wanted to represent other author’s and put them in the marketplace. There are thousands of author’s that aren’t heard. I wanted to provide a place where they were accepted.
SayWhatNews: Have you had any professional training to enhance your craft?
Markeise: No I haven’t but I intend to take some writing classes just to sharpen up some.
SayWhatNews: Which authors influence you and why?
Markeise: Kwan and Carl Weber inspire me because those are some of the guys who came before me. When I think of great stories I think they provide them. I also like Mary Higgins Clark and Noire. When I read a new novel I get that itch to put a new idea on paper.
SayWhatNews: You mentioned that you want to represent and help other authors who are being ignored or find it hard to get their work noticed? What motivated you to want to help other authors?
Markeise: I know every struggle and hurdle they must overcome in order to see their dreams. I been in that I don’t want to do it anymore stage. I almost shut down Entrepreneur all together. When I realized you shouldn’t squander talent I refocused. I just wanted to be an example because I been there.
SayWhatNews: How can authors get in contact with you to submit their work for review?
Markeise: They can get in contact with me through my company email: firstname.lastname@example.org or www.myspace.com/5ivestarpublications. They can also send it to 5ive Star Publications P.O. Box 9176 Wilmington, De 19809.
SayWhatNews: Tell me what is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Urban Literature?
Markeise: A platform for young men and women to express themselves and how they see the world.
SayWhatNews: What kind of challenges have you faced?
Markeise: Many. The laptop I had my book on broke and I was scared I’d lost the book. I felt the pressure of people in my inner circle discouraging me. Don’t get me started on missed deadlines, misinformation, and money issues. I had so many problems with the cover sizing and the editing process. These are challenges you face being your own boss. I welcomed the responsibility and made it work.
SayWhatNews: What advice would you give to someone who wants to write a book but doesn’t know where to start?
Markeise: Never force an idea. It should come naturally to you. Imagine it in your mind playing out first. I would love to say it’s a piece of cake, but I’d be lying. I’d say that make sure your mind is clear and let your imagination run wild.
SayWhatNews: Are working on any new projects?
Markeise: I am working on a couple books and hope to put out another one or two at the end of this year.
SayWhatNews: What’s in the future for Markeise Q. Washington?
Markeise: I’m hoping that I can grow my publishing company and introduce new author’s to the reading community. Other than that I hope to entertain readers with more great stories.
5ive Star Publications Website
5ive Star Publications Myspace