Today’s Author highlight is me, Crystal Burks aka Chantilese (Gotti) aka C. Lynette.
“I was born by the river, in a little tent. And just like the river I been running, ever since. It’s been a long. A long time coming but I know, a change’s gon’ come!” That opening line from Sam Cooke describes her life perfectly. C. Lynette was born in Northwest Indiana but raised in Southeast Michigan. She knew she was destined to write from the age of 9 when she was just submitting short stories to her elementary school newspaper. Upon graduating from high school, C. Lynette turned her attentions to Journalism. She has had 17 articles published in various Michigan newspapers and even in the South Bend Tribune. It took 8 years, but she finally took a leap of faith and decided to write, with some encouragement from her friends and family. C. Lynette lives in Indianapolis with her 3-year old son and works for the State of Indiana. Keep an eye out for Urban Lit under her pen name Chantilese.
Facebook – http://facebook.com/writerclynette or http://facebook.com/clynettewrites
Twitter – http://twitter.com/cgotti22
Goodreads – http://goodreads.com/clynette
Website – http://burkscry.wix.com/clynette or http://clynette.weebly.com
Instagram – Writer_C_Lynette
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
How does it feel to be published?
It is truly amazing. April 1st, last year, I had no ideas or even dreams of having a physical book in my hand that was written by me. I’m still in shock!
What inspired you to become a published author?
There were several people who inspired me. The original concept for the book came from my son’s father. There were some snags in the initial plan, so I worked around the problem and “got er done.” Then I had encouragement from several friends and family members including the awesome authors James D Sanders and Michele Kimbrough. Celese White-Cooper also kept her foot in my behind. Keep a look out for her though. And I cannot forget Queayna Battle. I hit a rough patch and almost stopped writing and then we got to talking about some things that happened when we were in school together and it encouraged me to get back in the writing lab.
What is your preferred genre?
I might have taken the easy road and wrote about sexscapades. Erotica is simply easy, to me, to write. I feel like that one line from “Gotta Have You” by Stevie Wonder, when it comes to writing about sex. “And although someone else may have said them, I’ll say it in a way you never heard.” That is my goal. But as far as preferred, I don’t have one.
Are you working on any other titles?
I’m working on and developing several. Ebony Articles 2 and 3, an untitled horror/thriller, a street lit book and a slew of novellas, based on some chapters of the Ebony Articles series.
Do you have a favorite author which influences your work?
I credit Beverly Jenkins with the most profound influence. I met her while I was still in high school, and got a couple of her books from the Reading Is Fundamental program ran in Michigan. I found the love of reading again— until I got to college and it was required. But I still have her books and remind myself of where I want to eventually be. Another influence is Zane — although I’ve actually never read any of her books.
Do you have any bad writing habits you would advise new authors to avoid?
Procrastination, no matter how good you are on deadlines, is NOT your friend.
Do you write full time or do you have a day job as well?
I am a full time Secretary in EMS Certifications for the State of Indiana. I am also a fulltime mommy, cook, cleaning crew, teacher, professional child bather, storytime teller, cuddler, playmate, etc.
What hobbies keep you busy when you’re not working and/or writing?
I love watching movies and playing Facebook games.
Self-promotion is hard work, what types of promotion do you find most beneficial?
Networking and supporting other authors are the best types of promotion. Let me tell you why. With self promotion, you will only get so far. You know a limited number of people and unless you’re out in the streets pushing your novels/books like an underground rapper pushes his CDs, you’re not getting too far. Through networking with other authors and promoting/supporting other authors you often gain not only a supporter, but a friend. Sometimes they’ll plug your book and sometimes they’ll buy your book.
Can you share a random thought, or a favorite quote with your readers?
“In the night I hear them talk the coldest story ever told. Somewhere far along this road he lost his soul, from a woman so heartless.” – Kanye West (Heartless will be the Autobiography of me.)
Do you have a go to writing spot?
Work. SHHHHHH, don’t tell them.
What’s on your to read list?
I’ll be finishing up Perfection by JL Campbell, The Forbidden Man by Elle Wright (ARC I received), What’s Happening Brother by Mario D King (coming July 4th), Scandalous Deceit 2 by Moni G, Home by Adrienne Thompson, The Come Up by Nia Forrester, Love Never Felt So Good by Barbara Joe Williams (comes on May 22) and Holiday Hotel 3 (July 1st), and The College President by Xyla Turner. (clearly, I have to finish them before my July release lol)
Who is your favorite character? Why?
In Situations – Jay – he was a sparkplug/live wire; but he couldn’t help it that’s just who he was. He never apologized for being himself and he was kinda rugged. My type of guy *smiles* (written by James D Sanders)
In Prudence – Prudence – her situations remind me of some things that I had willingly (and at one point would have willingly) put myself in for the sake of not being alone and believing I was in love. And to think I didn’t like her at first, but upon reading her story, it became ever so evident that I could have been her. (written by Michele Kimbrough)
In The Worst THOTs Ever – Ceanna – Because you can only take so much crap for so long until you snap the &*@# out and “whoop that trick!” (written by Jessica Wren)
What can your readers expect from you in the future?
Bigger and better 🙂
Finish this sentence: One thing my readers don’t know about me is:
“I will not lose.”
And I quote movies and TV shows for a living. I mean my movie quote game is serious. Like so serious I mean, “I’m surgical with this b*tch!”
Chapter: Blacks And Hennessey Pt 2
He poured himself some Hen, on which I passed. I didn’t need it for what I was about to do to him. I wanted him to get as loose as possible, because he was about to take this L in a major way. Although he was confident in his abilities, when he drinks a little he gets real loose-lipped. I let him get it all out and I took it all in. He was a cunning linguist, but I was about to make him tap out. He didn’t even know it.
“And, your head game is okay. I can ignore it.”
I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. “I’m sorry, that sounded like the weakest challenge I’ve ever heard. You know better.”
He smiled as he rolled his eyes. A small smirk remained on his face as his eyes diverted toward the TV. That’s when I made my move.
I slid off the sectional to the floor, on my knees directly in front of him. His eyes never left the TV as he licked his lips with anticipation. He always loved a challenge, and I was about to present him with a version of it he had never seen. I unbuttoned and unzipped his jeans; watching his manhood twitch and jump as it grew within the confines of his boxer. Then I sat back down on the couch.
He wanted to play “hard to get” so I played the game right back with him. If I didn’t have his attention when I partially freed him, I certainly had it now. He looked at me with a semi-angered, disbelief look.
I let him simmer for a few more minutes before I leaned over and worked my magic touch. I released his manhood free of its prison. He readjusted himself but I warned him, “no, no. Keep watching TV. Don’t pay me any mind.”
WIP (Writing In Progess) – Just a snippet from the upcoming Ebony Articles 2
Untitled but the Placeholder title is “In Process”
“So sorry about your wait, can I take your drink orders,” I heard a deep voice say. I looked up at the waiter; a skinny milk chocolate-colored man with dreads perfectly braided and tied up in the back. He reminded me of that football player from Seattle. He was sexy and I must have been staring too hard and too long because Bryce spoke up.
“You good. Let me get water,” I snapped to and scrunched my face up at Bryce.
“And for you ma’am?” I glanced at his name tag, to make it a little less informal.
“Jason, my guy, you already messed up,” I put a playful tone in my voice to let him know it was all jokes.
“What did I do?”
“When taking orders of any kind, you should start with the woman. It’s not a written rule, but generally that’s what helps you get the bigger tips, especially being a male server and my name is Tia,” I said smiling intensely at him. I glanced over at Bryce, who had his eyebrows raised at me. “Sorry, I’ll take a Long Beach Ice Tea,” I finally answered. Bryce shot a look at me that I hadn’t seen since we first met. “I mean, a glass of water,” I changed my decision.
Jason looked at Bryce and nodded his head in approval. “That’s amazing man.”
“What?” Bryce asked.
“You got her to change her mind just by looking at her. I wish I had that kind of control over a woman,” Jason praised him, much to Bryce’s delight.
I began to protest, “Whoa. I am…”
“It’s not about controlling your woman dawg. It’s about leading her to the better decision,” he cut me off. I shot him a look and he smiled at me with intent. I nodded in agreement to what I knew was going on. It was a game and we were going to have to follow through to conclusion.
“I will not lose,” I mouthed to him.
Jason shook Bryce’s hand and proceeded to get our drinks.
When I felt he was out of earshot I spoke. “So we’re going to do this? You really want to play a live game of chess with me?”
“You’re not going to flirt with another man in front of me.”