Womenlines guest contributor Maiye Waller from North Carolina, United States, is sharing her conversation with Latrice Crook, authoress of the book In The Myx. Born in Richmond Va and raised in the mean streets of St.Petersburg FL, Latrice discovered her love of writing at a very young age.
St. Petersburg raised Author, poet, and Mother of 5, Latrice Crook reflects on her life and trials that have
brought her to be the first published author in her family. She is breaking generational curses and she is
on her way to shattering glass ceilings in the writing world.
1)What did you want to be when you grew up?
So you always knew that you wanted to be an author how is the first book I ever read was called a blue moon. Growing up I found solitude and solace in writing. I started where I’m very first book when I was in the 10th grade I’ve always had this very strong love for reading and because of my childhood that’s that was my peaceful place that’s where I escape into other people’s lives, it was easier to read someone else’s problems than it was to deal with mine.
2) Tell me about your children and your high-risk pregnancy.
I have 5 children ranging from ages 4 to 14, four girls one boy.
3) How old were you when you had your first child?
At 18 years of age. It was really different. It was like it was so new to me but it wasn’t bad. It was just new to me and even though I was young, I was going through a lot. You know my family had pretty much walked away from me, and the family that I did have I was the one I created on my own. I moved clear across the state to my friend with my baby girl and my friend and her dad helped me a lot. I came back to have my baby when I was about 8 months but I just stayed away and then when I had her it was regular labour. I didn’t have any issues, but I had an epidural. I didn’t have any complications; it was your typical pregnancy.
3) What was it like the day your baby was born? When did you know something was wrong?
I actually was not diagnosed with preeclampsia before I gave birth!
4) So you didn’t know about your diagnosis before it happened? How did it make you feel upon receiving that diagnosis?
I wasn’t in labour. I had to work all day and I noticed throughout that workday that my feet felt really weird. It felt like I was walking on pins and needles. They were so so tight. Plus, I already have bad vision, prior to that diagnosis year back. I noticed one night when I got outside, it was nighttime, but I noticed when I walked to my car that there was no definition to anything! Everything was kind of like a blur. I got in my car and I drove myself to the hospital and that’s when the hospital ER doctors took me to the back. There was no rush, I was laying in the bed and you know, I can hear the machines beeping and going off but I didn’t really know what it means. This doctor that was not my doctor came rushing in and he was like, “Are you ready to have this baby?”
I’m only 31 weeks pregnant! He didn’t even ask me how the conversation went prior to him coming into my room. I told them “no” ’cause I was not ready. He basically tells me that I have to have the baby within the next 10 minutes. No one could make that birth. My platelets were low and they didn’t expect me to clot, I wasn’t supposed to clot at all.
5) Did you know that preeclampsia could occur before it happened to you?
Yes, I had heard and read about it. We don’t ask questions, we don’t ask enough questions especially women from the urban demographic. You know, women who are to me are mostly receiving state-funded healthcare. We don’t even get the doctors who even encourage us to ask questions. And most times, they are NOT coming record daily your blood pressure and other important things. They say you know have you pee in this cup then they tell you that everything looks okay. Before you know it, you’re out the door “Alright, see you in a month!”
I remember being in my first two pregnancies and never asking questions because swollen feet are considered normal in the Black community while pregnant.
5) Did your baby have a NICU stay?
Yes, She had a NICU stay for over a week.
6) How has your life changed since the preeclampsia diagnosis?
With my subsequent pregnancies, I lost my vision, except this time I was ready. I had to purchase my own blood pressure cuff, checked twice a day. They did more tests on me, we knew my platelets were low prior to so they were vigilant about my health.
7) How long did you suffer from the side effects of preeclampsia?
I will say maybe a year. I was on medication for a while trying to regulate my blood pressure. I had horrible migraines. And shortly after that, I was diagnosed as legally blind, I think I want to say the swollen feet lingered a few weeks afterwards
8) Who was your hero growing up?
I had a lot of heroes, a lot of women, Ms Candace Dillard. One of my heroes was also my sister, my stepdad, my friend’s family members who helped me you know get through my childhood. Especially through my teenage years.
I have so many heroes. I was a parentless child, so these people stepped into my life and guided me, most from a very young age. The Highest, my God, would place different people in my life in different manners. Back then I didn’t even realize but now that I’m going through it, and I look back it is amazing. Especially with Mama Candace!
I don’t think she even knows what she does for others or what she’s done for me. When she came into my life I really was on my own. I had parents but my dad worked seven days a week from 7 to 7, and my mom was on drugs, and she used to be gone for weeks at a time.
I didn’t have a mother figure; I didn’t have anybody to be on me or even ask about my grades. I didn’t have anybody to be on me about boys. I dated her son. But even after we broke up, she just never left my side. That goes for a lot of women. My sister, Tammy she’s a big, big hero for me because she is always praying for me. She wants me to win. Being ten years apart, watching her go through so much and then her trying to help raise me and being a young mother, herself is an amazing reflection because now watching her progress into the woman she is today is so inspiring to me,
Questions about your books:
9) How many books have you written?
I’ve written 5 Books and 3 are published.
10) Why did you pull your books from Amazon?
Go ahead I unpublished do to be rewriting the books because my style of writing has changed by publishing my first book as well as fact that I am currently in the process of turning my books into an immediate adult cartoon.
9) How do you do research for your books?
Just briefly. I ask men and women about their viewpoints on things the way that they view them. As far as the main character in my book “In the Myx”, Akeylia, it took a lot of researching, like a nursing-to-nursing career and steps to their educational journey. We have another character that is in school to be a different type of nurse.
I research the things that I would include an urban setting as a black woman and I know how black women talk but I kind of have to channel the inner me. I did have to reach out and do a lot of research on male verbiage and demeanour.
10) What are the tools of the trade?
So, when I first got it writing books, I was going to become an author. I was gonna follow my passion for writing I reached out to different authors that were in the community and nobody really wanted to help nobody really wants to help. It was like a B13 classified secret but I did finally come across the author named Toni Michelle(The Mone Is The Motive Series) and I met the author name Neicy Dorris(Dirty Little Secrets) and they both help me, they both were authors that are from here, St. Pete, and these are two black women really gave me the in’s and out. So, when you say what are the tricks of the game, I say first and foremost, a storyline story.
11) Is writing your full-time career? Or would you like it to be?
It would be nice if it was but because I’m so multifaceted I don’t think writing will ever just be my primary career because writing is only a piece of who I am. It’s a big piece but it is in itself just a piece of who I am my ultimate goal is to make movies, to write screenplays, to be a film director.
12) On a typical day, how much time do you spend writing?
When I get a chance, it’s usually a full day. I am a mom and I have other business investments too.
13) Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you?
Yes, I am. You can find me on Instagram at
Facebook: Latrice Crook
On the Web: www.melaninreads.com
14) When you’re writing an emotionally draining (or sexy, or sad, etc) scene, how do you get in the mood?
I take a couple of shots of Hennessey. I will take two shots if I have writers blocks. Pretty much a lot of authors do. I more so do it to distract my mind, it helps my mind get more creative. Honestly, my day to day life had to be so conservative. As a mom and entrepreneur, in a way when I take shots it loosens, it makes me feel like more of a freethinker.
15) Writing can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips for aspiring writers?
Don’t stop even if it doesn’t make sense! Even if your ideas don’t seem to make sense from the beginning, keep writing! I parking lot things but never stop writing. I say, never allow your mind to get to a point where you’re writing is much more of a job than it is fun. For me, it’s fun and therapeutic for me to release. One word turns into two words and those two words turn into thousands of words, and that turns into your book. When you get writer’s block it’s OK to take time to let your mind do other things, let your mind think other things and don’t rush yourself. Please just you know to trust the process. If you wanna do it, you gotta do it.
Questions about writing:
16) What is your most current Project?
“I am creating an animated series called “In The Myx” Series, a spin-off of her first book. I Am also rewriting my book, and entering into creating animated commercials for other people.”
It includes Myself and I have a total of eight-plus voice actors.
17) In what ways did those involved help you/ create challenges for you?
Because we’re in the beginning stages right now the only problem that I’m coming up with is getting everybody in the same place at the same time there have been no challenges really started production as far as their input into theories but what they are doing for me is they’re giving my characters life they are breaking them they’re making them relatable they’re making them household names because once people hear them and who they portray and you can’t help but love them I’m excited to see the outcome. They are making my dreams come true!
18) What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
I am uncensored, unfiltered in my way of writing is I’ve been told Zane times 10!
19) Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?
They are ANGRY! They want more content! They ask me when the Third book is coming!
Questions about your current book:
20) Are there any secrets about creating the book (that aren’t in the blurb), you can share with your readers?
I wrote this book on my phone! I did it on the bathtub, every free chance I got.
21) What is the significance of the title?
It has to do with 8 different people’s lives having intertwined to come together in some way.
22) What is the future for the characters? Will there be a sequel?
You will have to read and watch. I hope you’ve read the first two books, In The Myx and Myxed Up. I am doing a re-tale called Love and Loyalty about the Book of Ruth from the Bible. It will be a modern-day take on the story.
23) Are there any secrets from the book (that aren’t in the blurb), you can share with your readers?
24) Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?
One of them? Well, they all do in different ways. I relate to them all. My favourite character has to be Akeylia because she is my first character!
25) What was the inspiration for the story?
I don’t even know! These are the people that have lived in my head since I was 16 years old.
26) What is the key theme and/or message in the book?
The key message is “ One has to find that in the character that they relate the most to. It’s easy to be In The Myx.”
27) What do you hope your readers take away from this book?
What is the significance of the title? That’s what life is. 8 different people whose lives are intertwined. ONE life. Different results.
28) Tell us about the process for coming up with the cover.
The first cover of all they carry the people on the covers are old friends the young lady her name is Brittany Harris she herself is a nurse she is a model she’s an entrepreneur she embodies everything that characters subway former fashion displayed the guy in the picture he is someone that I looked at one day and said you look like somebody I know and that person happens to be the main character tricks I think a lot of pride and every cover of my book is playing a black woman that would take as well as the person who did the cover his name is Zhaeberian Pugh is a graphic designer.
Questions about Future Work:
29) How many plot ideas are just waiting to be written? Can you tell us about one?
I have so many! It is so hard to say. One is I want to write a book about a wife in an open marriage, I want to write suspense and thrillers.
30) Do you have any new series planned?
Right now, no. I am working on my latest project to complete the “In the Myx” series.
We’ve just started a new year and I’ve seen lots of posts about new years’ resolutions. Do you have anything special that you’ll be focusing on this year? (Obviously for the new year!)
Yes! In the Series and the Third book, I have to get the scripting done for the first few episodes. I have a ghost-writing project I am working on too. Just be ready to get In the Myx.
The Mace Anthony Williamson Foundation
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