Richard Stratton, Writer, Producer discussed on Morano in the Morning


Richard Stratton who is the author of a book called in the world which is all about he went how he went from federal prison to being a pretty respected and pretty complex writer and producer and now some of the writing that he did in prison wise you know personal correspondence to keep himself sane and Richard you chronicle a relationship that began in prison with a woman named Naomi in the song guns N. roses sweet child of mine was apparently a big part of your relationship with her and this turned out to be your first girlfriend once you got out of prison cells will do that a little bit about mail me well she was a wonderful lady still as I'm sure and we started this relationship when I was at Otisville when I say relationship there I was like whoa she was she worked there and she was in the education department and she was kind to me she used to smile to to the per other position was different from all the other people who work there a whole different she's bring like a whole sunny up upbeat atmosphere into the prison when she came in so I started writing letters to her after I got transferred out those letters became senior and steam your S. prison correspondence between a male and a female tends to do all that pent up energy gets expressed in these letters and once I get out she was there for me and welcomed me back into the world of women which is a great thing because once you after eight years of being around nothing but man and being you know absent from any company at the activity with the other sex it's it's it it's not an easy thing again it's one of those difficult transitions that you go through when you're coming out you're just not ready for it and it was a very welcoming and warm experience all right so at you will chronicle some very interesting relationship how difficult is it I mean I think every guy has been told by their significant other at one time or another that maybe they have difficulties with intimacy I would think that at that time have a relationship when there it will you're coming out of prison that there's all these other psychological issues that tend to be difficult in terms of a relationship how tough is it to have a relationship with him when you come out of prison well I obviously think it varies from person to person but yeah it's very difficult because you're not prepared for in any way mean when I was in prison I think it's still the same today there's no real pre release counseling you don't get to speak to anybody who can tell you how difficult it's going to be to become intimate with people even with the people of your own sex so you don't look at them as potential enemies which is awaiting work everybody in prison except for maybe once you form some close friendships in prison but it's it's really it the thing about it is that you become M. immersed in it the entirely different culture when you're in prison that that culture of of respect it's built up by aggressive behavior and once you get out you have to you have to adjust your behavior to to beat up the street so when you're in prison you were secretly well or maybe not so secretly working on this novel called smack gonna sway tell me about the work that you did on this novel in prison and then what became of it when she got out well I met this extraordinary woman when I was here in New York in the metropolitan correctional center MCC which I read a lot a lot about the second amazing place I mean it's it's not house did you you called called the criminal Hilton is that we right where the rock and roll jails what we used to call me the thing that made it so interesting was that there in those days there were men and women in the same prison they weren't obviously selling together but there was a whole floor full of women and you would run into them and I met this woman in the law library she was represented by a dear friend of mine who actually was my lawyer Ivan Fischer we speak about him too and I met her and learned but he she or her story been all over the news uses so called drug dealer to the stars she was in all the papers and everything English woman and we became friends we became real good friends while she was there and she got be a pretty significant sentence she was also charged in the kingpin statute and I said well hard she said others no way I'm going to go for all these years without heterosexual lan activity and I said well how are you how you gonna stick that she goes well I'm gonna escape I thought oh yeah okay you're gonna skate we're all going to escape everybody thinks has his escape fantasy but sure enough after a year or two I forget how long it was she did escape from maximum security women's prison somewhere in West Virginia and the F. B. I. had an idea in mind that I had somehow been helpful in getting her out of there which were which I wasn't now and but they came to visit me in prison and asked me where is she you know could target you could get some postcards from her after she left but she actually fled back to England and was living in England and her boyfriend in England ultimately gave up she not corresponded which became an issue for my parole officer when he realized that I was corresponding with someone who is a fugitive at that show smack goddess is a fictionalized version of of her it is a fictionalized version for right in the office she wrote it while you're incarcerated right and you had to you did they they tried to stop you from doing that tonight well they were always very suspicious of people who were riding or are you writing about this press Xen or you know is is it anything that you're writing that could help people escape from here so they're very suspicious of writers there they they look after you really intensely if you're someone who's on a typewriter right and most of that writing was done in the law library on the typewriter so it's it's mom a kind of a clandestine activity in prison to to be a writer if you get this book published well I sent it out senator mailer sent it out to a few people he showed it to a few people and sure enough there was a publisher here in Manhattan who wanted to publish it she eat well you're in a better position once you get out of prison then a lot of prisoners are in that you have a check for a book advance waiting for you yeah I mean not only did I have a check for book advance what I has loving supporting family I have good friends so I was in a very different different situation from most of the people come out of prison you you also though you can't just tell your parole officer I you know I'm spending most of my day writing you have to secure gainful employment that also became a bit of an issue for you tell us what job you talk in addition all the writing that you were doing what you came out pretty well I met in the came close friends with a great criminal defense lawyer named Ivan Fischer who ended up representing me at my at my appellate hearing he spoke in front of the public court and got you know was indeed involved in getting me out of prison so after I got out he's offered me a job so you could come work for me writing researching doing all of the same stuff used to do in the law library but working for me which was fascinating for me of course the parole officers told me right off the bat you can't work for hundreds fish that we're not going to approve that job because you will be in touch with other people who are involved in criminals yet SO IT and that or you'll have access to files about who were arrested also we had to fight them it took almost a year of fighting against the parole board and the parole commission to get permission to work for Ivan I continue to work for him all the time as it turns out he was actually a probation for a tax charges at that so they were like now just as a probation or parole no way going to be working for him but we ultimately won and I was allowed to work for either so that was that was a big part of my initial battles minute was just one battle after another we should give secure gainful employment you're writing briefs for a very well respected criminal defense attorney you publish a novel how the novel end up doing the noble did really quite well I mean it was well we see the kind of both front page review in The New York Times and did well in your it over there was always a talk of a possible movie or what have you but the eight did well enough that along with some of the other stuff that I was writing I was writing short stories were getting published one that won an award so I might I did have I kept thinking this career as a writer could actually turn into something for me and and sure enough it did we'll find out how well Richard went from being a prisoner to a novelist to being a television producer and film producer when we return this is an nine seventy the enterprise rental here with Richard Stratton for the hour more weather wisdom in just a moment with more on a on a a nine seventy three I say if I went to prison one of the things that I'd missed most aside from my wife would be my pillow because I have the privilege of sleeping on one of the most comfortable pillows in the world and are the my pillow is terrific it is the brainchild of Mike Lindell Mike Lindell has led a pretty fascinating story is pretty passing life himself he will eat it was a crack addict ten years ago and now is she over multi billion dollar come today and he owes a lot of it too he he ascribes it to his faith in god and to his pillow now how can one pillow change a man's life like that we got a try if you haven't tried the my pillow yet go to my pillow dot com give it a try if you enter the promo code M. nine seventy you can get some great 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