Desire, motivation, and dedication/ peace, power, and position: the works of Peter Mack!
Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Peter Mack is the pen name of Isiko Cooks, CEO of Peter Mack Presents, LLC. He has been writing groundbreaking novels for over ten years, including his recent release, FILTHY, based on a true story and winner of a PEN American Center book award. Peter Mack writes with desire, motivation, and dedication in pursuit of peace, power, and position. To live rich and die ready is the path to it all.
Peter Mack strives to represent the best of creative fiction by offering dynamic situations with relatable characters. All of his novels are based on true events that readers find themselves living long after the last page is read. Isiko Cooks is the father of Jelani Malik, whose mother, Lisa Nichols, is herself an accomplished author and motivational speaker.
KG: Who is Peter Mack and who is Isiko Cooks?
PM: Peter Mack is a man of responsibility and determination. He is my great-grandfather. Not until my Dad told me stories of his business savvy, love of family and gangsterism and tales of his progeny, did I understand who I am. I am Isiko Cooks, from a great line of great men from all walks of life. My stories pay homage to the family and vision of Peter Mack Cooks (1889-1954). There is no separation between Peter Mack and Isiko Cooks. We are one and the same.
KG: You began your career as a self-published author and later signed with other publishers? What was the lesson you have learned?
PM: Correction: My first novel, HoodSweet by Isiko Cooks, was published by Seaburn Publishing Group ( New York/2007). It was an exclusive five-year contract. A bad contract. Which is when I began writing as Peter Mack. Again, my first novel under my pseudonym, A Neighborly Affair, was published by Tru Life Publishing (Brooklyn/2009). Karen Mitchell, who’s now at Urban Books with Carl Weber, is still someone I speak to regularly.
My next publishing contract was with Lock Down Publications, whose CEO Cassius Alexander, himself a writer (Ca$h), reached out to me to publish Dirty LICKS.By this time I know the game and the right people. 2009 I formed an LLC, Peter Mack Presents, to publish my memoir, FILTHY, which won a 2015 PEN American Center book prize. I’ve also written two books, Coke Like The 80s and So Hood So Rich for Joy Deja King at A King Publications.
The lesson I’ve learned is that Freedom Ain’t Free.
KG: What is the most difficult lesson you learned about self-publishing?
PM: I don’t see difficulties. I see opportunities. I don’t see myself as a Self Publisher. I’m literally operating books and a apparel business, Peter Mack Presents. I got the license and tax returns to prove it.
KG: Did you know anything about publishing when you released your debut novel?
PM: No. All I knew was to send my novel to publishers and wait. I sent out a lot of novels, got a lot of rejection letters. All the while I kept writing. This is how I came to have such a large catalog of novels. By the time I got my first deal I was ten deep with completed novels.
KG: Describe your writing life?
PM: I write around a powerful person, subject or motivation. My writing life is constant. I’m always making notes. Developing scenarios in my head.
KG: One word that best describes your writing?
KG: What are your thoughts on the current president?
KG: You know that is a politically correct answer right?
PM: Why of course Kisha G!
KG: What is your opinion on Colin Kaepernick?
KG: Playing it safe again, I see.
PM: *Insert wink here*
KG: You have spent a majority of your literary career incarcerated, how has this affected you?
PM: Writing has freed me from incarceration.
KG: What has been your biggest literary accomplished?
PM: It’s a blessing to share my vision with people. To impact lives. To write stuff people like. Impacting people’s lives is my biggest accomplishment.
KG: Where do you see yourself in five years?
PM: Peter Mack Presents. Free. Really successful. Manifesting the vision of providing quality entertainment through special events, theatre, and film. My vision is also to see Signature Peter Mack Apparel in retail outlets nationwide.