Please Share

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Interview with Crystal Victoria


Will you introduce yourself to our So Fyh Readers?
Crystal Victoria
My name is Crystal Victoria and I’m a published author, entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and life & business coach. I do my best not to place real definitions on myself or what I do because I’m not someone I can really define. If I do or try, I'd be limiting myself and I don't believe in those, hence the title of my book. What I can tell you is I’m on a mission. My role, at this point, is providing a solution to the unemployment rate. Target Evolution is the solution and I’m very passionate about assisting in the advancement of education and people. I love people, I love to be of service, and I’m not a stranger to hard work.

When did you start writing?
I’ve always kept a journal since I learned to write. Writing is a means of escape for me. There are many things that I want to say, but sometimes the only way for me to communicate effectively is through writing. In addition to that, there are times when the only way for me to understand the things I’m feeling or thinking is by writing them out.

And how long have you been writing?
I believe I began writing in the first grade. I’d love to scribble. There is something about a pen flowing on paper that I love. The things I type are usually handwritten first. I read a quote once that said “When we write the eye, mind, and hand are all involved.” Since I read that I wondered if maybe that’s why I like to write so much.

Can you tell our readers what genre that you write and why?
I write non-fiction. I probably could write fiction or short stories, but I’m more of a philosophical thinker and I love getting my thoughts down on paper. I do a lot of meditation and I allow my spirit to talk through me in my writing.

What is your writing routine?
I really don’t believe I have a routine per say. There are days or specific times when I can be sitting around thinking or reading and a thought crosses my mind. At that moment, I’ll stop whatever I’m doing to complete it and expand on it. I call it “A flow of creative juices”. During those times I can write for hours and one thought or idea leads to the next, and the next and before I know it I’ve written several pages on thoughts that I’ve had.

What inspired you to write?
My grandmother inspired me, but I know the gift came from my mother. My mother is an excellent poet, and she always has been. She never really tapped fully into that talent, but I picked it up and I allowed mine to flow.

How personal is your writing?
My writing is very personal because I write based on what I’m going through, feeling, or thinking. I don’t hold anything back. I write my secrets as a means of getting them out. I learned that me keeping secrets, kept me crazy. I have nothing to be afraid of and I get sick of covering myself and other things up. My theory is if the skeletons if your closet are dead, cause they’re skeletons. There’s no need to be afraid of them. Just clean house before they start to stink and someone else smells it and tell it.

The worse thing that happens all too often is for other people to tell someone else’s story or their versions and perspectives of it. It’s not easy but it’s far simpler to just tell the truth about whatever people are already going to talk about before they make things up. It’s difficult to reverse rumors, so I just make it easy and put it out from the horse’s mouth.

As a writer what you say has been your greatest achievement in the industry?
My greatest achievement was discovering that I really had something to say that could help people and that I had a story to tell. I’m still in amazement when people tell me that my story is inspiring because I never thought it as such. I was ashamed of it, and I couldn’t hide it but I had to deal with it someway. When I realized that publishing my life story helped me to deal with all of that mess and help others at the same time, I felt more than accomplished and beyond successful. I felt like I was a human that belonged in the world, and no longer was it all that bad.

If you could change anything about your process would and why?
I’d probably begin my own publishing and marketing company. I have great contacts and I really learned how to market myself quickly. The publishing company I have was wonderful, but I saw how much work I had to do still after their work was done. Somehow I made it happen, and I feel confident that I could make it happen for others too. In my path came an amazing publicists, who’s exceeded my expectations and there are truly no limits to where this partnership or my network can go. I’m truly grateful.

If you could work with any author who would it be?
I’d have to get Omar Tyree. I have read every book he’s written and I love his urban style.

If someone wanted some advice about how to get started in writing what would you say to them?
Make sure it’s a passion and not an interest first. A lot of people want to do things, but those things do not fit them. I love to sing but I’m not a  Beyonce, and if I practiced every day and went to school to learn, I’d still never be Beyonce. Writing is a gift in itself that is truly natural. Yes you can learn to do it and do it well, but who’s to say that you’ll be happy with it later. So I guess my first tip would be “Know thyself”.

Next, I believe that in order to be a great leader, you must be an even better follower. So my next tip would be to do a lot of reading. From this you can determine what styles you like and what your style is. Once you’ve determined your style, you have to truly see how easy writing that style is to you. If I tried to write a fictional short story, I may get writer’s block and it’s take me 2 or 3 years. It’s more difficult for me to creative write. Some people have fantastic imaginations and can just think of a plot and write about it. Whichever you do well…do better what you already do well. Focus on the style that comes most natural to you. So to sum it up step one is know yourself, step two is read a lot, step three is determine your style or genre, step four is focus on what comes easy to you.

I see that you’ve written a few books, and with each one which one was the most difficult to write and why?
Well I’ve written one novel which is my autobiography and the other book is an entrepreneurship course and program that can be taught in schools or stand alone. I could say that it’s pretty much a business model that is working.

Honestly, even though my entrepreneurship course was difficult, writing my life story was hard because of what I had to write about. How do you tell the world you’re an ex-offender, drug addict, and once upon a time you were a prostitute? How do you easily tell the world that you mistreated your mother because you were a spoiled brat? There is no easy way to communicate that message besides just doing it. What was even harder was looking at it and reading it for myself, all put together. Every event that I had to detail, I had to re-live and experience the emotions associated with it all over again. I remember the hardest chapter for me to write about was the chapter about the domestic violent relationship I was in. A few mornings after writing parts of it I’d have nightmares or wake up angry all over again. It was a rather strange process, but since I’ve written it and read it several times now it doesn’t even bother me but at first I almost quit.

As businesswoman and a career as a writer, how do you find the time to host virtual book tours, write books and work on websites is that hard to do all at once? Then what is your strategy?  
Of course it’s hard to do all at once, but I’ve learned to do as much as I can while I can without procrastination. There’s another quote which reads “We have the same amount of hours in a day as Albert Einstein, Michelangelo, Picasso, and Benjamin Franklin” With all the things they contributed to civilization, you’d wonder if they ever had a wink of sleep. Truth is they didn’t sleep much but we all do rest. I work hard, play hard, and have a whole lot of fun in between. I keep a sense of humor and sometimes I’m laughing so hard at what I’m writing or saying that I forget I’m actually working. That is my strategy.

What was your life like before becoming an author?
I was searching; searching for something to do and a way to fit in with the world. Little did I know it would make me stand out, but I wanted to do something and accomplish something; I didn’t care what; just something positive and purposeful. I begged God to give me something to do or shine light on something I could do to put me out of my misery. When He lit up my journals, I laughed but I also said to myself “Thy will be done.” The rest is history.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
My upcoming book is the sequel to From the Streets to the Skies No Limits, and it’s about my first year in business and all the drama associated with the creation of my non-profit organization. It’s some wonderful tips for people starting their business about harmonizing business and personal life based on my mistakes and how to overcome them by perseverance. I believe that by the end of the year I’ll make a decision on whether it’ll be published in April or if I’ll extend it out some. Like my first book, its lots of drama, bad decisions, disappointment, and adversity but it ends with lots of success and achievement. I’m grateful to be here and on this side of it, but realize that without those bad things happening we wouldn’t appreciate the good. They all happen for a reason and work together for our good and are really just experiences and lessons learned.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
The only challenge I had with the first book was the editing, and that’s because I didn’t wisely choose an editor. Once I got past that it was a breeze because I had an amazing publishing company. The cool thing was, even though they did everything for me, I still learned and taught myself how to do what they did. There have been things that I thought I could do and could have done better, so that’s why I’d consider my own publishing company.

Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them at all, or let them influence your writing?
Yes I do and I pay attention to all of them. However, I understand that I cannot please everyone. So far, I haven’t had any bad reviews and I’m really truly grateful.

Where can your book(s) be purchased from?
My books can be purchased from BarnesandNoble.com, Amazon.com, Author House.com, and CrystalVictoria.com.
How can the readers reach you?
Readers can reach me via Facebook at facebook.com/bossladydiary and on Twitter at twitter.com/diaryboss. In addition, they can email me at bossladydiary@gmail.com for interview request, to purchase books in bulk quantities, or to send comments or suggestions.

Thank you for your time and the opportunity to be a part of this interview! Much love!