LaToya: Hi Krystal St.Cyr , thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Krystal St.Cyr : Hi well my name is Krystal St.Cyr but I use the name Kay Brown for writing. I’m from New Orleans, La and I’m the only child for my mother. Growing up in New Orleans at that time was the number one murder capital city so I saw a lot, there were killings over the craziest things like a starter coat or the shoes on your feet but my environment didn’t make me, I lived inside my imaginary fantasy head a lot.
I began writing when I was a young child around seven or eight years old. Being so young I had a big imagination, maybe it’s because I am the only child. I remember I would sit in my room and look out the window asking the Creator all kinds of questions and sometimes I thought that I would hear an answer, after that I would start writing poems in my notebook.
At the age of fourteen I became pregnant with my first child, a boy, and he was the only child for sixteen years because my mother didn’t play that. I had the child so I had to raise my own child not her and that made me not want any more children until later in life because being a teen mother was very hard, going to school, working and taking care of a child. You can say I learned life experience early from being a teen mom and I knew I could not have another one until I was ready.
As I got older I did the one thing my mother wanted me to do and that was to get my high school diploma but I took it a step further and went to community college and received my Associate degree in Arts concentration in Journalism. I wrote for the college newspaper and was the assistant editor, I also interned at a local paper, wrote for an online magazine, worked at radio station and TV program called Phat Phat & All That, which played videos and did interviews with rap artist. I needed to see what filed I liked the most in Journalism. In 2005 hurricane Katrina enter my life and like everyone else we were homeless and moved around for a while until I settle in Atlanta with my son. My family was scattered and I was alone but somehow I talked my best friend to come move there and she became my only family for a year. While living there I began to write my first book Truth Love, at the time I just was writing because I needed something to do. When I finished the first chapter I let my friend read it and she wanted more of the book but unfortunately I didn’t finish the book until ten years later.
LaToya: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Krystal St.Cyr : My ambition for my writing career is to continue to write more books but also I would like my writing to open doors up for me to speak to young girls. I gather a group of women who can relate to young girls that have been through a lot in the streets and I’m working on us going to the girls’ group homes so we can talk to them like big sisters. I call it Listen and Talk because we are not doing this to be authority figures we want to take the girls in different groups and listen to them and if they have questions we then talk to them but we are going to gain their trust first and just be an ear. Also I would like my books once I have a collection to eventually become a movie.
LaToya: Which writers inspire you?
Krystal St.Cyr : Writers that inspire me, that’s a tricky one because to be honest I didn’t grew up reading a lot of fiction books like the one I wrote but the one that I couldn’t put down is my all-time favorite Sister Soldja The Coldest Winter Ever, and Midnight. The way she engaged the reader and the twists and turns, I knew if I ever wrote a book it had to be very unpredictable.
LaToya: What are you working on at the minute?
Krystal St.Cyr : At this moment I am working on part two to Truth Love.
LaToya: What genre are your books and why?
Krystal St.Cyr : My book is Street literature/ Urban literature. I had to start from what I know and what’s a part of my life. Eventually I would like to write children books.
LaToya: In 10 words or less can you create a quote that describes you and your writing?
Krystal St.Cyr : The quote for my writing I use is “Urban Literature with a Twist”. Now I can’t tell you the twist with my writing you have to read the book to get it.
LaToya: Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
Krystal St.Cyr : Who would I like to play the lead in my book? Well I never thought about it but since the question was brought up I might like a person for Truth the main character to be someone that no one has heard of. Someone new and fresh and that’s looking for their big shot like I am, someone that is hungry and can really put in the work.
LaToya: When did you decide to become a writer?
Krystal St.Cyr : When did I decide to become a writer, funny thing is that I didn’t decide it chose me. It was natural for me it was my go to as a child and when I went to college I really didn’t know what I wanted to do. My first year in college my English teacher told us to write about our summer, my summer was like every other summer so I decided to use my imagination and make some things up. Once the teacher received and reviewed our paper he pulled me to the side after class and asked what my major was. I told him I didn’t have one at the moment just general studies, he told me I should look into writing because I engaged him with my details and creativity. After that I changed my major to Arts concentration in Journalism.
LaToya: Do you write full-time or part-time?
Krystal St.Cyr : I write part-time but my goal is full-time.
LaToya: Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
Krystal St.Cyr : I do not have a special time to write. My writing is not structure at all. I can be sleep and have a dream and would wake up and jot it down for a plot in the book. But once I get in the zone of writing it’s very hard for me to stop and put it down so I tend to write when the kids are sleep late at night.
LaToya: Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
Krystal St.Cyr : I do not aim for a set amount of words or pages I just write until I get distracted, tired or writers block.
LaToya: Where do your ideas come from?
Krystal St.Cyr : My idea for my main character Truth came from living in New Orleans where creole’ women are at, but just mostly my ideas come from a place of familiar something or somebody inspired me, the life style, the lessons learned, and just life in general the good the bad and the amazing.
LaToya: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
Krystal St.Cyr : I do not outline or plot. I go with the flow of the book. When I began writing Truth Love I didn’t know where I was going with it but it took a life of its own. My scenes in the book in my head looked like a movie. I laughed as I wrote, and I cried as I wrote so mostly I wrote with passion and emotions and I want the reader to feel that same emotion when they read the book.
LaToya: How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
Krystal St.Cyr : Creatively I have evolved from writing poems as a young child, to short stories as a teen and young adult to now a fiction book. As I grew physically my world did as well, so inspiration and my outlook of life grew my imagination.
LaToya: What is the hardest thing about writing?
Krystal St.Cyr : The hardest thing about writing is starting. Once I start its simple but starting is so hard.
LaToya: What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Krystal St.Cyr : The hardest thing about writing my book was finishing it. Because I started at a time of uncertainty in my life, I put it down but I picked it up several times within these ten years and finally I made it my mission to finish it no matter what my circumstances were, June 16 of this year will mark the one-year anniversary of my book.
LaToya: What is the easiest thing about writing?
Krystal St.Cyr : The easiest thing for me with writing is letting go and just write. Sometimes you need to ramble and then go back and edit it.
LaToya: How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Krystal St.Cyr : Since this is my first book it took me ten years but not the next one I’m trying to finish this one in a year.
LaToya: Where can you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Krystal St.Cyr : In five years I see myself with three books under me and my own youth consultation to young girls along with some personal financial investments.
LaToya: What advice would you give to your younger self?
Krystal St.Cyr : The advice I would give my younger self would be don’t get to distracted.
LaToya: Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Krystal St.Cyr : I would like to meet any of the Dalai Lama dead or alive because they are peaceful people with a lot of spiritual knowledge.
LaToya: If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
Krystal St.Cyr : If I could have been the original author of a book it would have been the bible only because I know the whole truth is not in there and it was not always called the bible. I like to know the big mystery of spirituality and the energy connection to a higher power. Basically I would LIKE TO KNOW THE REAL TRUTH not everyone else’s truth.
LaToya: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Krystal St.Cyr : The advice I would give to aspiring writer is don’t give up. It’s so easy to stop and give up but don’t do it and when you have that first copy of your book or an article you wrote it feels so good.
Instagram… @Real_Kay_ Brown
Amazon author page… amazon.com/author/kaybrown