Chanel Jones is a member and author at SBR Publications and a 27 year old mother of one baby girl who she calls her "little miracle baby”
From living in Compton California, the “Home of Killers and Murders” that has birthed dream chasers from rappers to writers, Chanel has been with her grandmother all her life because her father was a hustler and her mom was addicted to drugs. Chanel struggled with peer pressure, depression as an adult, and raising her daughter who was diagnosed with a heart defect and needed surgery at seven months; she is healthy as they come now.
Nursing her daughter, Jaycee, back to health was stressful and kept Chanel in the house for months. That’s when she began to write what was once an untitled story which she later named, “For the Love of the Social Life.” As months went by more characters came to mind, including Dafon and Jasmine, two of the main characters from her first book entitled, “Rap Star: A Crazy Love Story.” One year of writing 88k words of drama, suspense, romance, erotica, and more, Chanel’s dream of becoming an author became real.
About “Rap Star the Beginning”
Dafon aka “Boss Dada” was just another product of the mean streets of Los Angeles, California (his hometown); and a place where he constantly fought for respect and loyalty from the cats on the streets. Dafon knew that he could do a lot better than being a stick up kid and a drug dealer, so at the age of 17 Dada gave up his reckless lifestyle to dedicate his life to rapping. After spending days standing in front of Death Side records, Dafon finally ran into manager Mike Sanders who took the time to listen to his mixtape- and subsequently get him some real studio time. After spending four years in the studio with Mike and the Death Side records crew, Dada was signed to the label at the age of 21.
After receiving his first million dollars, he was ready to step it up. He married his childhood sweetheart----
Watch what happens when a person misplaces loyalty. When a person allows haters, enemies, and snakes to bring their world to pieces. Will Dada be able to keep it all together or will he fall victim to the wishes of the haters?
DP: When did you first decide you wanted to become an author?
Chanel: I've always been a writer since my school days. I didn't have many people to talk to so I wrote down everything I was feeling. In middle school I would write little short stories about people I had crushes on at the school which I still have to this day. I decided I wanted to become an author when I became an avid reader, reading Terri Woods, Sista Soulja, Blake Karrington, and K'wan’s books. Constantly, I said hey if they can do it I can too so I bought me a laptop and started my journey of writing.
DP: How did you decide on the idea for your first book?
Chanel: I decided on the idea for my first book by watching reality shows sitting with my daughter in the hospital and at home til she got healed from her surgery. That's all I had plenty of time to do - read books, watch TV, and listen to music. Their lives on TV reminded me of the many fiction books I read in my generation. I noticed that many females think all we have is reality TV, so I thought to myself maybe I can come up with a better idea and write a book about it and get our young females out of the TV and into a book.
DP: How long did it take you to write your first book?
Chanel: Rap Star took me only 5 months to write simply because I was unsure what I wanted to do with the book; but as I got into it and figured out what I wanted to do after Rap Star was published I started to write Rap Star 2, which I hope to finish soon. I’m halfway finished with it as it only took me a month to write it, then I’m going to start writing Rap Star 3. In the midst of this I’ve completed two short stories that will be released soon.
DP: Did you self-publish or are you signed to a publishing company?
Chanel: I’m currently signed to SBR Publications which is Team Bank Roll Squad owned by David Weaver. Eventually I want to self-publish a few things just to get the feel of the book industry and let readers see another side of me.
DP: How did you decide on the cover for your most recent book?
Chanel: Me and my publisher, David Weaver, came up with the concept simply because of the title of the book Rap Star speaks for itself so we had to put a rapper and things that involve hip hop on the cover.
DP: Tell us about your writing style. Do you write on a schedule?
Chanel: I love writing hip hop fiction but I’m trying this romance suspense style of writing with my upcoming short stories. I usually write at night when everyone is sleeping and I have all my thoughts together - that’s my favorite time to write. And music is a must because it gets me moving. I do writing exercises as well such as freestyle writing with other authors to get my brain going when I have writer’s block. I started off brainstorming and writing notes but since I have gotten the hang of things with writing I freestyle write.
DP: What makes your writing unique?
Chanel: The fact that it’s more modern and up to date. If you read my book everyone is young and fresh and into the hip hop world and things that are going on in my generation ages 18-30. My goal is to write about things that will catch the attention of young readers. Ultimately, I’d like to get more young adults reading rather than watching TV. I like to deliver raw and uncut fiction.
DP: As a writer, what motivates you?
Chanel: Music. Since I write hip hop fiction, music is a must. Another thing that motivates me is reading books from my favorite authors - the more I read the more I want to become a better writer.
DP: How do you balance your writing and various responsibilities that come along with being an independent author?
Chanel: I pretty much stay humble. Sometimes it can become stressful but I believe in the Lord so just taking it day by day pretty much helps me balance out everything
DP: When you’re not writing what are you doing?
Chanel: When I’m not writing I’m thinking about writing and in the mist of that I’m spending time with my daughter, family, and friends or I’m reading a good book.
DP: What’s a typical day like for you?
Chanel: Writing, reading, and taking care of my daughter. I’m a stay at home mom so my daughter is my priority
DP: Tell us about your last book signing.
Chanel: I haven’t had any book signings yet but in May I’m going on a ladies tour which consists of several book signings from Texas to the Harlem book fair that is in July.
DP: Do you have contests or giveaways?
Chanel: I do have some contest in my Facebook group where I give away signed paperbacks or gift ebooks to the winners.
DP: Many independent authors find it hard to get readers to buy their books. How did you handle the challenges that come along with being a first-time author in a competitive and ever-changing market?
Chanel: I've learned you have to brand yourself so heavy promo, conversing with readers, and giveaways are a good way to get yourself out there.
DP: What did you do on your 2nd book that you did not do in your first one?
Chanel: Lots more drama, sex, and emotions. Rap Star 2 will definitely make the readers laugh, cry, and maybe want to jump through the book. There will be more excitement and everything that they were wanting in part two
DP: If you could give one piece of advice to an up and coming author, what would it be?
Chanel: Never stop writing even if it becomes challenging. I understand putting your book to the side for a while because of writer’s block but always pick it back up and get back to work. And never let anyone talk you out of becoming an author. Some people think writing isn’t a career but if that’s your passion you can become a successful writer.
DP: Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?
Chanel: Readers can purchase Rap Star on Amazon for 99 cents and paperbacks are available as well on Amazon.