Chyrel J. Jackson and Lyris D. Wallace are avid lovers, readers and writers of African American Literature. They grew up in a Southern Suburb of Chicago, IL. Country Club Hills. As young girls they read Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and Judy Blum novels. College was the real scholastic awakening introducing these two Literary Enthusiasts to the Literary works of their great ancestors: James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Nikki Giovanni and Sonia Sanchez. These writers influenced Chyrel and Lyris so much. It only makes sense that they would now be writing in the Spirit of these ancestors. Giving a voice to social issues that plague our modern time. Their latest self-published work a book of poetry is Different Sides of the Same Coin. It is a modern and sassy collage of poetry as experienced from the Black female perspective of 2 sisters and authors. This timeless collection of poems is refreshing and unique. Different Sides of the Same Coin is a soul searing and heartwarming work of new age black voice and spoken word. This adaptation highlights the human experience of life, love, loss, parting and sorrow. Timeless wording, honestly written with a little of the unexpected. Black Expression has never been more vibrant, relevant and real. This work is an interesting twist on Harlem Renaissance revisited as it collides with 2020 social struggles and conditions of our current time. In no short order we are reminded of why written and spoken word is so vital to the sustenance of African American Literature. They have written for much of their adult lives. Opinion Political Editorials, Book Reviews, Television Show Treatments, Journaling and Poetry are what these sisters enjoy writing best. When asked why they write? Their answer, they write for visibility. They want to be a voice for all those who feel they have something of value to say but aren’t capable of putting it in their own words. Words surpass life, love and loss. Whether written, spoken or sung may the readers of our written words find healing and comfort in our poems.
Writers are born when life intersects with time and chance. You will always find them doing what they love reading, and writing. Writing, and telling stories is how they fulfil their divine purpose. You can’t ignore what is so visible and undeniable. Writing saved us at our lowest points in living. We hope to provide healing through our writing. We want to uplift others through their pain as writing has uplifted us and provided great healing in time of great despair and hurt. Throughout the passage of time words remain.
“The message of our book is that people are enough. There’s no need to add weave to hair, get breast implants or carving on yourself to be smaller or bigger. The creator packaged each of us in His own image”.
VERSAFI MAGAZINE: How did your journey as an author began?
CHYREL JACKSON: I have always desired to be a writer. In college I met James Baldwin and after that encounter there was no way possible I was going to write. For my sister, Lyris’s writing experience began with life and time. Life, living, and great heartache made us amazing writers.
VERSAFI: Was becoming a writer something you always wanted to pursue?
CHYREL: Yes for me. My sister not so much. Lyris is talented in so many areas. She doesn’t desire that world as much as me. She’s actually the better writer while I’m just passionate about it.
VERSAFI: Who motivated you?
CHYREL: Life is our greatest motivation for writing.
VERSAFI: What inspired you to write your first book?
CHYREL: The pain of living. Great loss in your life makes you start to question your divine individual purpose.
VERSAFI: How does it feel to be a published author?
CHYREL: This is the best feeling in the world.
VERSAFI: Since becoming a published author, what challenges have you faced if any?
CHYREL: Making people aware of your work.
VERSAFI: What genre do you write on?
CHYREL: African American Literature/ Poetry/Spoken Word.
VERSAFI: What message do you want your readers to take away when reading your books?
CHYREL: The message of our book is that people are enough. There’s no need to add weave to hair, get breast implants or carving on yourself to be smaller or bigger. The creator packaged each of us in His own image.
VERSAFI: What does being an author mean to you?
CHYREL: It means being a voice for the voiceless. It is visibility in every sense of the word.
VERSAFI: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
CHYREL: We truly take life one day at a time. You can plan but God plans best. We live our lives as best as we can and take one day at a time.
VERSAFI: Have you ever thought about being an author full-time?
CHYREL: I absolutely have. Lyris not so much.
VERSAFI: Tell us about your marketing strategies as an author? Do you find it to be challenging at times when promoting your books?
CHYREL: Book promotion is the most challenging part of the process. Writing is easy whereas drawing attention to your work is hard.
VERSAFI: Do you have any current book projects that you are working on?
CHYREL: Yes, we both have two books in the works. Lyris is writing a fiction story. I am working on a second book of poetry.
VERSAFI: How many books have you published in total?
CHYREL: Just one so far. We are working on two other books at this time.
VERSAFI: How can readers connect with you and support you?
CHYREL: We’re available on all Social Media handles:
Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, our blog, YouTube and Facebook.
Chyrel J. Jackson (@chyrel_j): https://twitter.com/chyrel_j?s=09
I’m on Instagram as @chyrelj.jac
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