My name is Jason Cook, I'm dyslexic and an ex-con. I was smoking and selling hash from my bedroom when I was 12. By the time I was 16, I'd moved on to ecstasy and became involved with local gangsters. For more about my life story check out my web page http://www.authorjasoncook.com/
I carried both knives and guns, took steroids and worked out at the gym to build myself up. By 17, I was helping local gangsters collect debts, from money lending to drugs. It was a game of survival, dog eat dog. I was living the good life, fast cars, fast woman and clubbing. Money was hidden in safe houses, and trust was based only on fear and addiction. Life was about earning respect from other criminals further up the chain.
I was 18 when my house was raided, my first stint in prison followed, and there I came into contact with more hardened criminals. On my release, I was able to use my contacts and progressed further into the underworld, people who were once my suppliers were now my clients. I was hitting the big time.
Was I happy? No I was numb; everything I did was about getting my next fix of 'devil's dandruff" cocaine. I couldn't trust anyone, real friends didn't exist and I was in a constant state of paranoia. Part of me wanted out, but where does a gangsters runner run?
After my third overdose, I was arrested again, and given a Seven and a half year sentence, of which I served two years, nine months. It was during that period in prison that I was able to finally turn my life around. I joined the education programme, taking computer studies and also volunteered for a drug free wing, where I was given help and support to kick my drug habit. As part of the rehabilitation programme we were encouraged to start writing about our experiences, which I have continued with, and it is what inspired me to write my first book, "There's No Room for Jugglers in my Circus". I published my first two books myself and they have out sold the Da Vinci Code By Dan Brown's in the local WH Smith, I have attended local signings in WH Smith and well as a Charity signing for the local Tesco and I am currently waiting to hear from their book buying department as to whether they will be stocking my first two books. My first two novels are being used in the local community in 'drug awareness' groups and I have made many appearances in local Library's to talk about my work, writing with dyslexia and my former life.
My Books are based on my true life story, biography and crime novels. They will be of interest to all age groups, as this is not your typical gangster story, it's about an innocent, naïve, easily lead boy, from a poor estate in Hackney, London, who found himself involved in the criminal underworld. It's told through the eyes of a young boy struggling to grow up with the influences around him. It's presented from a different angel and in a way we all can relate too.
I am 39, the youngest of four half brothers and sisters. I am a father myself now to 5 children. Since leaving prison, I've had many jobs from sweeping floors to working in the criminal courts in London and Barnet. I have been a bodyguard, worked in the complaints department of Royal bank of Scotland, as well as the M.O.D. Twelve years of my life have involved drugs and drug addiction; I have spent four years of my life in prison. I am totally clean now, and a respected family man and part of my local community. I like to act in my spare time and have been an extra in film 'Ten Dead Men Clubbing to Death" and I have co-produced a film called "Thugs Mugs and Violence" and acted the main role as Otis.