Tag Archives: The Supreme Team

Author Interview: Seth Ferranti

After reading a book by Ethan Brown called, Queens Reigns Supreme, which I personally didn’t care for.

I discovered Seth Ferranti’s book,  The Supreme Team, and found his book amazing.

If you want to know a true account of The Supreme Team, this is the book to read.

Mr. Ferranti’s writing voice is vibrant, bold, and raw. When you read his work, you know it’s the real deal.

I have been following Mr. Ferranti’s work ever since and it is with great pleasure to introduce him to you today.

 

1) So tell us a little bit about yourself? Where did you grow up? What was your childhood like?

I grew up in California, born and raised. My father was in the military, so basically, I am a military brat. We moved around a lot. I lived in Germany, England, and on the East Coast too, but we always moved back to California.

I was an outgoing and head strong child who was probably a little rebellious. Fancied myself a rebel without a cause. But my childhood was good.

2) When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I started out writing songs, music and poetry when I was 12 or 13. But before that I was playing “Dungeons and Dragons and creating worlds to play that game in.

I have always been creative. I was into poetry, music, writing articles, then chapters, and then books. For me, it was a natural progression. Hopefully movies are next.

3) When did you decide you wanted to write a book?

I started doing this short story idea which became my first book, Prison Stories. So probably around the late 90’s, I decided I wanted to become a writer and start penning books. But it wasn’t like I just did it, it was a long and slow process. At first, it took several years, but now I can crank them out in six months.

4) How did the idea or inspiration come?

I just saw what other people were doing and I liked reading the books on prison life and true crime. Like the Mafia and Cartel books. I decided I wanted to do something representative of the time I was doing in the Feds. I wanted to write about the inner city gangsters that the rappers were talking about, so I did.

5) What are some of your all-time favorite books?

I love In the Belly of the Beast by Jack Henry Abbot, Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, 1984 by George Orwell, On the Road by Jack Kerouac, Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter Thompson, Soledad Brother by George Jackson.

6) What was the hardest book to write and why?

The Supreme Team was a monumental effort. I got a lot of resistance from some of the dudes involved, so that was satisfying to finally get out. It is a monster of a book and I really think it needed to be published to give their history. They influenced hip-hop and the streets so much. But it was a big deal to get all the clearances for that book and I had several delays before I was finally able to put it out.

7) Which was your favorite book to write?

Every project I do is dear to my heart, but I like the Prison Stories book. Because it was my first and it was a journey I had never been on before.

8) How did you develop the confidence to approach magazines with your work?

I am very outgoing and I do what I call, jumping out there. I just expose myself. You get a lot of rejection and if you can’t take it, no sense in doing it. But I don’t have a problem with rejection. I believe in myself and maybe someone doesn’t feel me, my work or my vibe, but if I keep jumping out there, someone probably will.

9) Where have you published your articles?

You can go on the publications section of gorillaconvict.com and check out a lot of my published works from magazines and the Internet or just Google my name and a lot of stuff comes up. I am in the process of updating the site right now, so more recent stuff will be going up.

10) You were just released from prison a few weeks ago? For those of us who don’t know, what is it like being in prison? How did you manage to overcome the many obstacles presented to you? How long were you in prison for? Was there any retaliation for writing in prison and why? Do you have any ideas on how we can reform the justice and prison system? What are some of your thoughts on this?

Prison sucks for real. You just have to stay busy and stay out of the drama and keep your head down. It’s great to be out. I just did the time, I didn’t let it do me. I didn’t get involved in the mix and the prison politics. I didn’t let the system eat me up. I stayed busy with school, my writing and working out. That’s the key.

I was in prison for 21 years. I was put in the hole numerous times for my writing. The prison officials don’t like when you expose what is going on in there. And especially when you have a national audience like I did.

They need to stop giving out so much time, it’s absurd. I did 21 years for a first time nonviolent offense.

Reform the whole system. It’s a bloated corrupt system right now.

Investigate it. Stop turning a blind eye. People only care when it happens to them.

11) What are some of the valuable lessons you’ve learned from doing time?

Time is precious. I feel so behind now, like I have to accomplish all my life’s goals in the next 5-10 years. I just feel like I am way behind and that I have to catch up.

But doing time teaches you to be patient and that everything unpleasant is only temporary.

12) If you could have done something different what would it have been?

I wish I would have had a clue when I was 19 and that I wouldn’t have sold drugs, but that is now. When I was twenty, no one could have told me anything.

13) What kept you going and what got you through the hard days?

I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. I was living through my writing. I was accomplishing things. I set goals and I realized them. I earned college degrees, I wrote articles and books. I had a life outside of prison.

14) What are things you value and appreciate now that most people take for granted?

I just enjoy taking a walk with my wife and my dog. Choosing my own food to eat. Buying my own clothes. Walking around the mall. Going on the computer. These things a worthwhile to me.

15) How has your perspective on life changed?

I am grown and mature. I know life isn’t fair and that I don’t know everything. I know life can change in an instant and it can all be taken away.

16) What advice would you give the youth of today?

Time is precious, don’t waste it.

17) Will you be writing a memoir?

Yes. I am going to New York in the new year, when I get out of the halfway house, to find an agent who can represent my various endeavors.

18) Lastly, what advice would you give to writers who are just starting out?

I always tell people to just write. Just write and write and write and edit and edit and edit. You have to build up your catalog and content. You have to have pieces you are always working on and crafting and bringing to perfection. You can’t be a writer if you don’t write and you have to jump out there. Who will know about you if you don’t jump out there.

Thank you so much, Mr. Ferranti. It was a pleasure having you as my guest. I wish you a multitude of success, in your life, and future endeavors.

My name is Seth Ferranti. I am the gorilla convict writer. I completed my Masters degree in Humanities through California State University. Previously, I earned an AA degree in Letters, Arts and Sciences from Penn State University and a BA degree in Liberal Arts from the University of Iowa. I have written several hundred articles, including feature stories, for magazines such as Don Diva, Feds, King, FHM, Slam, Street Elements, Vice and websites like hoopshype.com, viceland.com and urbanbooksource.com, among others. I have contributed short stories and pieces to Nikki Turner Presents Christmas in the Hood, Out of the Gutter Vol. 1 to 5, Badlands Publishing’s Money Power and Betrayal short story collection and Prison Chronicles published by Gutter Books. My blog on gorillaconvict.com gives the 411 on prison, street legends, the mafia, prison gangs, urban authors and life in the belly of the beast. It attracts 15 to 20k unique visitors and over 250,000 hits a month.  For my next projects I am interested in writing a book on the notorious prison gang, the Aryan Brotherhood and a memoir on my case which led to my eventual incarceration. I have written two screenplays, THE DOPE SHOW, about gangs battling over the heroin trade in prison and THE SUPREME TEAM, which chronicles Prince’s rise and fall in the drug game during the crack era in late 1980’s Jamaica, Queens. You can find me on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

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