Why Ashley and JaQuavis Coleman Are the Bonnie and Clyde of Street Lit

Ashley and JaQuavis Coleman aren’t the average husband and wife duo. Along with being a married couple, the two are creative partners who have penned 37 books together. The New York Times bestselling authors recently spoke with rolling out about signing with Cash Money’s book imprint and their new book, Murderville.

How did you guys first meet?

JaQuavis:

We first met when we were 16. I was about to sell drugs to an undercover cop. But after I realized it was a cop, I ran and ducked behind Ashley’s mother’s house and I threw my drugs in the bushes. I didn’t know Ashley at the time, but she later said that she saw the entire thing. The cops later checked and nothing was in the bushes. A few days later, through a mutual friend, Ashley contacted me and told me that she moved the drugs for me. Although it was bad, I thought it was honorable that she would do that for me. We eventually became close and we have been together ever since.

What were your thoughts on JaQuavis when you guys first met?

Ashley:

I was extremely attracted to JaQuavis when I first met him. He was a hustler so he was getting money, but in addition to that I respected the fact that it was a short term means to an end. He didn’t want to be in the game forever. His ambition was crazy and he had a knack for business that appealed to me. He was the smartest guy I had ever met. He was wise beyond his years and I was just sucked in by his entire mystique. I had it bad when we first met, lol. He introduced me to a new lifestyle and put me in the passenger seat of his luxury whip at 16. We developed an unbreakable bond and I’ve been smitten ever since.

How did writing come about?

JaQuavis:

We moved together during our last year in high school. Ashley had a miscarriage. She was bedridden for weeks. I needed something to get her mind off of what was going on. I made a $100 bet to see who could write the best book. She got over her sadness and she loved to write. The book she wrote was the best I ever read. She said the same thing about my book. We decided to put our stories together and knocked a book out in three weeks at 17. We sent out the book to every major publishing house. We got four offers for a publishing deal.

How has being an author changed your life?

Ashley:

Being an author has given me a legitimate career and has allowed me the ability to live out my dream. I truly get to do what I love every single day with the person I love most and we get paid well for it. Very well. It doesn’t get any better than that. Writing saved us from the streets. We were getting money before the books, but there was a risk associated with the type of money we were making. Not a lot of people make it out of where we come from. Writing gave us an escape from the harsh city that we come from. We are very blessed to be gifted with the ability to paint pictures with words. I never could have guessed that writing would take us this far.

How did you guys hook up with Cash Money?

JaQuavis:

We were fans of Cash Money. When we met Baby and Slim, they told us how much they liked our stories. We got together with them and signed a book and movie deal. Our latest book is Murderville. Its about two kids from Africa who came over in the sex trade. The book touches on a lot of subjects such as the blood diamonds in Africa and life in the streets.

What’s the best part about working as duo when it comes to creating fiction.

Ashley:

When JaQuavis and I collaborate we create magic. Its effortless and it just flows. He’s the best writer I know so I have to bring my A-game when working on a novel together. His skill pushes me to improve my pen game. He inspires me to create greatness as I do him, so we’re never putting subpar material in our books. The best part about it is that we give readers both sides of the coin. We pride ourselves on authenticity and as a female I can’t tell you how it feels to be in the game but JaQuavis can. He can give you the truth about a hustler from the male perspective and I bring the same accuracy with the female characters in our novels. I know what it feels like to go on shopping sprees and ignore price tags, or to be the lady of the hour on the arm of the city’s kingpin. We’ve lived what we write about and we have an advantage because we can appeal to both our male and female fans. It makes us relatable to both audiences.

A.R. Shaw
A.R. Shaw

A.R. Shaw is an author and journalist who documents culture, politics, and entertainment. He has covered The Obama White House, the summer Olympics in London, and currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Follow his journey on Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.

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