Actress Chrystale Wilson on what inspires her writing, and why Patti LaBelle’s book is golden

chrystale wilson
Photo courtesy of Chrystale Wilson

Actress Chrystale Wlson penned the sassy and saucy Sexipes Sexcapades & Recipes, and she wouldn’t change a single line in the book. “Because this book is based on true events and also filled with recipes I honestly prepare, I wouldn’t change a thing because you can’t change the past,” she says.

Here, Wilson talks about how she started writing, which books have touched her soul, and whose writing is currently intriguing her.

What inspired you to write your first book?
I have enjoyed writing since a very young age.I remember the first book I wrote was in the first grade and it was called The Magic Tree. It had a book cover and everything! As I got older I started to live through my writing because my mother was somewhat strict and did not allow me to do the things that other girls my age could do. Therefore, I would tell stories through my writings and swore that when I got old enough the things I wrote about I’d one day live.

Do you have a specific writing style?
I do not think so. However maybe I do. I just love to write whether it be raps, poetry, screenplays, Dear John letters … you name it, wherever my heart takes me I write about it. it’s a form of therapy.

What books have most impacted your life (or life as an author)?
A book that has always been a standout for me is Miss Patti LaBelle’s Patti’s Pearls. It is an incredible book; especially for women. It talks about her life, her experiences, and the things that she’s learned along the way. It is a continuous inspiration for me. And I so enjoyed the book that when I wrote my book I wanted the reader to feel the same way that I felt when I read Patti’s Pearls.

What books are you currently reading? Why this writer?
The latest book that I’ve read is one of the young ladies that’s on the docu-series “From the Bottom Up” with me. Kim Smedley wrote a book titled The Backside of the Story, I read it because of course I want to support her, but it is a great book and it should be definitely turned into a movie, starring me of course, but seriously it’s just that good.

What new writers have piqued your interest?
I’m so strange in the way that I don’t even think about “what author wrote this book,” if I see a title or I see a book cover that interests me. I’ll pick it up and I don’t care who else read it or who wrote it — none of that sells me on the story. [If] I like it, I’m buying it, I’m reading it. The latest author to pique my interest is me. Isn’t that narcissistic? Seriously though, I just enjoy my writing and I enjoy the process

Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing or coming up with a concept for your book?
I think when you try to force anything it becomes difficult, that’s why I don’t want to be locked into a situation where someone is telling me to pound out three books a year or something crazy like that. I don’t want to not enjoy a craft, ever. I don’t do boxes. I didn’t come here in a box and I refuse to live in one.

What was the hardest part of completing this project?
Exposing myself.

What advice would you give other writers?
Expose yourself, even if it’s fiction. Tell the characters’ story as authentically as possible.

Describe the process of getting published. 
I’m self-published at the time because of [the] reasons like I described about demands of forced creativity, but I have a couple publishers I’m looking at who seem to get me and what it is I do. So we’ll see.

What were the literary, psychological and/or logistical challenges in bringing your work to life?
Just telling the stories beautifully and honestly without offending or exposing anyone who didn’t sign up for that My book is not a tell all. I tell on myself and that’s it. The other part was giving up my good a– recipes.

What are five of your favorite books and why?
A Piece of Cake by Pancake Brown, because it is a story of true redemption. Patti’s Pearls Patti LaBelle because she shares valuable pearls of wisdom I use every day. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T Kiyosaki because I thought of money and home to make it differently. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold kept me page turning from the beginning to the end and I learned storytelling at its best. It was like the Slick Rick of books to me. All things Jessica Holter because she breaks open in everything she does!

Please provide three good to know facts about yourself. Be creative. Tell us about your first job or the inspiration behind your writing.
I’m advocate for us as a nation to insist on better treatment of our elderly and have a yearly event where I do a “gifts for grandparents” drive. I wish I had more so I could do more, more often. 2. I have a strange energy about me and I’m considered a “slider.” 3. I have the work ethic of the greats like Lucille Ball and the heart of a hustler like Iceberg Slim. I was the first at a lot of things I may never get recognised for but when you do what you do from your heart, you can’t let the lack of recognition stop you.

What is the mission you set out to accomplish with your voice in this book?
To love each other better and to love ourselves more.

Who are the writers you reread and why?
Patti LaBelle, Jessica Holster

A great book has what?
A beginning, middle and end and you are drawn in enough to get through each of them before you know it.

 You develop character and ideas by …
Living and observing

Where would you travel to if you could to write your next book?
My spiritual aunt Verna’s place in El Salvador.

What is the gift of reading and why does it around up a new world?
The gift of reading allows you to know and appreciate every other gift you have — the gift of sight, and imagination, you can hear your characters’ voices you can feel what they feel. So many senses are sparked through reading; [there are] so many worlds to explore through the mind’s eye.

Munson Steed
Munson Steed

Founder and publisher of rolling out's parent company Steed Media Group.

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