The Cartel PublicationsThe Year of The Cartel

by Eyone Williams
May 2008

Bestselling author T. Styles is stepping her game up in ‘08: She’s now the CEO of The Cartel Publications. Styles has paid her dues in the urban fiction genre with her novels, A Hustler’s Son and Black and Ugly, both of which were published by Triple Crown Publications. However, with her own vision of what’s needed and what will better urban fiction, Styles is putting her money where her mouth is and has a blueprint for The Cartel Publications that would make the hustler in Jay-Z smile with approval.

From the very beginning, T. Styles’ hometown produced the go-getter in her. “I’m from Southeast, Washington, D.C.,” says Styles. “I grew up off of Benning Road, not too far from the legendary Shrimp Boat. I’m a Chocolate City girl to the heart.” In the part of town where Styles grew up it’s a well known fact that if you don’t grind you don’t shine. Her Chocolate City roots have given her a lifetime of urban fiction content to captivate her loyal fans, but many of them have no idea how Styles began writing. “I started writing as a means to get some stress off of my chest back in 2005. I was in an awful marriage, at best, and I was feeling my lowest. Writing was a way for me to get some things off my heart and to move forward in life.”

Move forward is just what Styles did, without a second thought. She completed and self-published her first book. While at a book signing she noticed that Triple Crown Publications was killing the urban fiction market. The hustler/writer inside Styles went into action. “I sent TCP a synopsis for a book I hadn’t even written yet, that was to be called Mama’s Solider,” Styles says, remembering the gutsy move that led to her becoming a bestselling author. “TCP hit me back the next week wanting to read the entire book. Since it wasn’t written, I wrote it in two weeks. To be sure I got a deal I also wrote Black and Ugly. They gave me a deal within a few days of reading my novels.”

Once Styles got her book deal she was no longer on the outside looking in—she was in the game, so to speak. Clearly pleased to be an author that went on to make the Essence Magazine bestseller list, Styles also gained firsthand knowledge of the publishing industry. “When asked to share some of the terrible display of professionalism I’ve ran into. I’d tell authors not to jump into this industry expecting the warm embrace from everyone. Jump into this industry with clear and concise goals.”

Running into things that she didn’t like nor respect, T.Styles decided to do her own thing, “The Cartel was something I had to do. I was pretty much told by my publisher that if I believed in myself so much I should put my own money where my mouth was. The way she said it hurt because she was someone I looked up to, I admired her greatly and didn’t understand how a simple question could’ve resulted in such a nasty comment.” From that point on, Styles knew that she would not be dealing with her publisher for the long run. “A few days after that conversation I formed The Cartel,” Styles asserts. “I didn’t wait to work things out for weeks or months . . . I moved and moved quickly! People who have a firm desire and goal should not wait for the perfect time. All you’re really doing is waiting for the perfect time to change your mind. Move and move swiftly. Only then will results come.”

Truth be told, T.Styles is humble and down to earth, she always has kind words and a smile—that’s the kind of woman she is. However, her actions as a businesswoman are aggressive. From the outside looking in, the mentality of  The Cartel is: He who is not with me is against me! Cartels have long been formed with such ideals in mind; cartels are formed to limit competition and enforce a monopoly in areas of commerce. The Cartel Publications is no different. In the last few months The Cartel has exploded onto the scene, like a Desert Eagle .50 at gun range and is one of the hottest and most talked about publishing companies in the industry. Cartel books are selling out everywhere they are sold. Shyt List by Reign, Pitbulls in a Skirt by Mikal Malone, Victoria’s Secret by Jason Poole, and Poison by K.D. Harris are the initial releases for The Cartel. “2008 is the year of The Cartel,” stresses Charisse Washington, VP of The Cartel, “it’s not a game!”

Although publishing is a business, T. Styles sees more in it than money; she loves what she’s doing. Writing and publishing have given her so much. “It has absolutely saved my life,” says Styles. “Not only did it allow me to discover who I really am, it empowered me to finally be a boss and ditch my full time job.” Styles admits that it’s still work. “I realize there’s always work to be done, I often find myself getting up earlier than I ever did when I was employed. Having a business doesn’t take work off your load; it just makes it smoother to carry.” Styles points out.

As for the direction of The Cartel, “We have great things coming. I have a clear and concise swag to urban literature, the Cartel way . . . ” Styles is also set to open a Cartel book store that will showcase Cartel titles as well as the best in urban fiction.

Many times, what you put into a situation is what you get back, for that reason Styles is looking to be the best. “In life I love to succeed and I love to see others succeed. Therefore my company is run with that in mind.” Beware of The Cartel.

Eyone Williams is the author of Fast Lane and Hell Razor Honeys; you may visit: for more information.

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