Brandie: Who is Chunichi outside of being an author?
Chunichi: I am a Registered Nurse on a cardiac unit, a student at Queens University working towards my Bachelors in science of nursing, and am part of Lot 123 Entertainment and acting manager for up and coming artist, YA Boi Dex. Outside of business, I am an auntie that loves spending time with my beautiful nieces.
Brandie: How did this all start? How did you become a writer?
Chunichi: Unlike many authors, I didn't have that dream of being an author my entire life nor did I submit my manuscript to a thousand publishing companies with hopes of getting signed. In my case, it was nothing more than a blessing from God. I was going through a rough patch in my life and I needed a way to release the hurt, anger and disappointment I was experiencing at the time. So I began to write.
Within thirty days I had a book. I let a few close friends read it and they suggested I get it published. So I emailed all of my favorite authors asking for advice. Carl Weber responded, he had just started the Urban Books Imprint and he was looking for manuscripts. So I sent him mine. A few days later he told me he was interested but it was not in proper format. I knew nothing about manuscript format so I basically gave up. Two weeks later I received a call from Carl he was inquiring about the status of my manuscript. It was at that point I knew he was really interested. So I enrolled in a class about writing basics. A few weeks later I resubmitted my manuscript in proper format. A month later I had an offer.
Brandie: How do you differ from other authors?
Chunichi: To be honest, I haven't read urban literature since I started writing so it's hard to say how I compare to other author's, However, I can say I only write about what I know. My writing is based on personal experience and knowledge. This allows me to engage with my audience more because I am able to tap into my readers emotions because it's emotions I've actually felt.
Brandie: When you decided to put pen to paper for California Connection part one, what was your vision?
Chunichi: I wanted to create a new series, but it was important to have the same elements as my Gangster Girl series. My readers had fallen in love with Ceazia and continued to follow the series because they were eager to see what drama she would face next. So I had to create a character that could replace Ceazia and make the California Connection series just as popular.
Brandie: Did you ever have an idea for a novel but quickly disregarded it? If so tell us about it.
Chunichi: Because I write about experiences in my life, as my life changes so does the direction of my creativity. So as I grew closer to Christ, I wanted to head towards Christian fiction. I had a story on my heart and I actually started it but I knew it would be difficult to get it published so I left it unfinished. But our God is so awesome that months later I was approached by Joylynn Jossel and given the opportunity to put my story in her anthology, Even Sinner Have Souls.
Brandie: If you can have anyone of your characters personalities who would it be and why?
Chunichi: Actually all of my characters have a little of me in them. My main characters have a whole lot of my attitude. Many times I live out my fantasies through my characters. I may write about an event that happened in my life, but how its written is how it would have gone have I had the strength of the character at the time. My main characters usually have a certain hustle, inner strength, and street savvy all while maintaining a certain sexiness. That is all me!
Brandie: What is your favorite book?
Chunichi: Before I began writing I was a huge E. Lynn Harris fan. There isn't one particular book I can single out.
Brandie: What aurthor, if any, do you look up too?
Chunichi: I've always admired the accomplishments of my literary sister, Nikki Turner. We've created an awesome bond and she's always there for words of wisdom.
Brandie: What are some of the perks to being a writer?
Chunichi: It opens doors for greater opportunities.
Brandie: Have you ever felt like giving up writing? If so what stopped you?
Chunichi: Yes,yes, yes!!! like with anything you do there are people you simply don't want to see you succeed, there are people that pretend to support you for ulterior motives, then there are people who are only there for the money. Going into the literary game I was naive, I thought everyone around me wanted the best for me. When I started to observe and experience the negativity associated with game, I was ready to throw in the towel, but the constant encouragement of my loved ones is the ONLY reason I'm still doing this today.
Brandie: What made you choose Urban Books over other publishing companies to publish your work with?
Chunichi: The offer with Urban Books was effortless. I'd be a fool not to take it.
Brandie: What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Chunichi: Right now is a tough time for new authors because the business is sooooooo oversaturated, You have to come with something new and refreshing that sets you apart from the rest.