Friday, September 5, 2014

An Open Letter From Jasen Sousa To Supporters Regarding Upcoming 10th Publication

Friday September 5, 2014

Dear Supporters,

First off, I would like to thank each and every individual who has supported my efforts throughout the years.  For those not as familiar with my story, I founded J-Rock Publishing when I was 19-years-old as a small independent press which would give opportunities to young adults who were interested in getting involved in the publishing industry.  My knowledge of publishing and writing was very limited at the time, as I did not have much of a background in the arts or technology.  I was a jock who didn’t really care much about anything else in the world expect for basketball.  

However, as I continued to grow and be observant, I noticed there were strange things going on in my city, as well as other cities and communities around the world.  Young people didn’t have a voice, didn’t have job opportunities, and didn’t have the knowledge or networks to obtain the necessary skills to become successful adults within their desired professions.   

I also realized that many of my peers, including myself, did not like to read and came from generations of families where books and literature were not appreciated and respected in the home.  I began to write to deal with my own anger and frustration, and would bring poems and journal entries to friends who were spending time in different medical and correctional facilities in the area.

I came up with the idea to publish my first poetry collection, Life, Weather.  J-Rock Publishing functioned just like a large publishing house as I hired editors, usually young people from local colleges, built up a team of designers, purchased necessary ISBN and barcodes, and went on a marketing campaign to sell myself, my product, and my vision.  

The book was an instant hit with young readers as I traveled across the country with neighborhood friends, seeing the world, and telling my story, which also sounded a lot like the stories of other young people throughout the world.  

When I published Life, Weather, I was not in school at the time and was working odd jobs to fund my dream.  A faculty member from Emerson College saw the potential in it and encouraged me to get back into school and learn as much as I could about writing and publishing.  I was also fortunate to come into contact with other caring adults from the community who pushed and challenged me to become successful.   

This brought me on whirlwind journey where I would complete undergraduate and graduate school in a span of 6 years, all while working full-time jobs, writing books, and trying to get J-Rock Publishing off the ground.  

On November 28, 2014, I will release my tenth publication (9 poetry, 1 novel) DampnessDampness is a collection of poems I wrote over the past year, a year which brought much loss inside of my inner-circle.  Dampness will be dedicated in memory of two long-time childhood friends, Alex Foster, and Thomas Westcott.  

I want to thank each and every person who has displayed an interest in my journey and supported me along the way in some aspect, large or small.  My tenth publication is a milestone for me which details and documents over a decade of imagination, creativity, and an undeniable passion to keep going.

I have knocked down many doors along the way in this cut-throat publishing business, and I have many more to knock down.  All I know, and all I can promise, is that I will not quit.  I will not stop pursuing my goals and dreams as they are linked to the success and hope of every individual who has ever believed in what I do.    

It’s all about making change. I have given up a “normal life” and in the process have become a unique sociological experiment of what becomes of a human being who refuses to give in to the norms and values which society expects of me.  

I am truly greatly for every experience I have had over the past decade of being involved in the writing and publishing world.  It has allowed me to dream and think in ways which were once foreign to me.  I have lost a lot along the way, and it has not been easy at times to not give in and give up.   I have had to become robotic in certain aspects just to survive.  Who knows how it will all play it in the end?   All I can say is that I am satisfied to know that I have documented my life in a way which I hope will continue to reach deep inside the minds of my supporters. 

Until then, I am excited for my tenth publication, Dampness, on November 28, 2014, and even more excited for all which will come after.  


Jasen Sousa

1 comment:

SamSpade said...

Keep on, Jasen -

We'll make sure your latest effort gets publicity at the SPL....

Greg H.