Today we’d like to introduce you to Chevel Nelson.
It’s an honor to speak with you today. Why don’t you give us some details about you and your story. How did you get to where you are today?
Allow me first to describe what I mean about words are incredibly sexy. I mean not sexy in the sensual way but sexy in the exciting appealing way. In order to tell stories that leave you vested in the characters you have to make their stories exciting. Writing has always been my safe space, my escapism from the craziness of life. I am more known for being a poet and have read all over New York City and have previously written two poetry books. Originally, I was writing another book and God said no, that this was the book I was to write. Had no context on the subject matter. I fought tooth and nail not to write this book, however here it is and I am super excited about it.
I’m sure your success has not come easily. What challenges have you had to overcome along the way?
Life itself is a challenge. Just the basic day to day. As Langston Hughes wrote, “Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair. It’s had tacks in it, and splinters, and boards torn up, and places with no carpet on the floor—Bare.”
I have felt bare before. Stripped to my core. When I started to write this book, I had two characters. Diane & Patrick. Those two became thirteen. The year I started writing this book, I was going to the school part time to finish my bachelor’s degree, I did this while being a full-time employee, full time wife, full time mother, full time daughter, sister and friend. Failure has never been an option. Does failure happen? Sure, it does, however instead of looking at it as an F, flip it sideways and use it as a step to your next level. My confidence did struggle during this new writing journey. I didn’t feel confident to write a novel and didn’t feel qualified to write this novel. What I realized in the process is that I am more than confident and qualified. All I had to do with was just to start. The first step is to just start. Start somewhere, anywhere.
Let’s talk about the work you do. What do you specialize in and why should someone work with you over the competition?
My books are aimed at marginalized individuals. Those who feel unheard and unseen. This book is about characters who went through difficulties and how they persevered, and the characters just happen to be gay. Hence the play on words in the title, My Gay Ain’t Happy. Reading other authors and figuring out how their minds work is thrilling to me. Everyone has a story, and every story deserves to be heard. Being a poet is my core, however I have a bunch of stories and individuals in my head that want their stories told. If I tell a fictional story and someone can see themselves in it then I did something right. I will always tell anyone that you want to work with me because I am beautifully indomitable, which means I am beautifully resilient beyond belief. Beautifully impossible to subdue or defeat. We can all win. There is enough out here for all of us and enough stories for all of us to learn from. Why compete when we can collaborate.
What’s your best piece of advice for readers who desire to find success in their life?
Find joy. Make finding joy your goal and mission. Joy will make the dark times much lighter. Also, learn something new every day.
Always remember that no one can take away what you know. Knowledge is free.
Speaking of success, what does the word mean to you?
Success for me is simply waking up every day. Waking up allows me to do new things. Contrary to popular belief fame and money are not success. Fame is fleeting and money is numbers and numbers never end.
Having joy is successful to me. Some people never find joy.
The biggest success is when someone says it was because of me they could. There is no better feeling for me.
What’s next for you?
Recently it seems this short story book is going to be the start of a series. Each character will have their own book. I believe the characters and the readers deserve a back story of what made the characters the way they are. There is also another three unrelated books ready to go sitting in my head.
Simple answer is, I plan to keep writing as long as I have stories to write about.
Finally, how can people connect with you if they want to learn more?
My website is: https://chevel-nelson.myshopify.com
Instagram – @chevelnelsonauthor
Facebook – @chevelnelsonauthor
Tik Tok – @chevelnelsonauthor