Born in Flint, Michigan, Ashley Snell and JaQuavis Coleman have survived the tumultuous streets finding their way to literary fame. At only 20 and 21, both Ashley and JaQuavis are in their third year of college balancing a full class load along with a demanding writing schedule, but love every bit of it.
UBS: How did you two meet?
Ashley: Read chapter one of Dirty Money. Real TalkÖItís a true story.
UBS: What made you two team up and write as a duo?
Ashley: Writing collaboratively comes naturally for us. Dirty Money was like 70% true. The scenarios and the emotions in that book are real. We lived through the hardships together so it was only right that we pen it together. The story would not have been complete if it had not been written by both of us. After its release Dirty Money sort of hit the ground running so we made the decision to keep our writing ventures intertwined. Men and women interpret things differently and we tell our stories from both perspectives which make them real and relatable.
UBS: Do you ever have disagreements on how a novel or a chapter should be written? How do you solve it?
Jaquavis: We donít really beef about that. I know what my role is and she knows hers. If we influence each otherís work it would defeat the purpose of collaborating, we want to give realistic viewpoints from both sides.
UBS: Do you write exclusively as a team, or do you each have your own projects in the works?
Ashley: We both have aspirations to write separately but it will be in a different genre. We feel like we have a recipe that works for us when it comes to street fiction. If it ainít broke why fix it? I can say that we are equally talented so when and if we do drop separately we still goní produce quality, page-turning stories.
UBS: We know you had other publishers interested in your work, what made you sign with Urban Books?
Jaquavis: Keep it real? We followed the money. Everything or everyone has patterns and we saw that Urban Books was steady growing and is continuing to grow. I think that influenced the decision the most. We are a part of a movement. Carl Weber also is a real thorough dude, and he kept it real with us from jump street and we respected that. When it came to making the decision, it wasnít hard.
UBS: What can fans expect from you in the near future?
Ashley: I think the fans can expect to see a natural progression in our work. We want every story to be better than the one previous to it. We work hard to give our fans original plots that they will feel. Our readers can expect to keep getting real, original, and gutter titles that are well written and intriguing to the mind.
UBS: What is it like being in college and being an author at the same time?
Ashley: Iím not goní lie, it can be stressful at times. When we are not writing on a new idea we are studying. It can get hectic having so much on our agenda but I would rather have a full plate than an empty one so I am always grateful. At the end of the day, everything always seems to balance itself out though. Plus, we both know that once we get them papers in our hands it will open up so many doors for us. Not just in the book world but in the corporate world. We are always looking for a new hustle and them degrees goní speak louder than any words can ever do. So although it is tough, we both know that it is worth it and that our hard work will pay off.
UBS: What kind of reception are you getting from your peers?
Jaquavis: I always made it a point to always keep thorough people around me, so things havenít changed much. Of course I get more ďfriendsĒ now but I see through them and keep it moving.
UBS: We know you are currently on a book tour. Can you tell us what that is like?
Jaquavis: Itís cool. I enjoy meeting the readers, they are my motivation. To know that you ďtouchĒ people without actually knowing them is a wonderful feeling. The fans are the best part.
Ashley & JaQuavis Crack New York Times List
For more information on Ashley JaQuavis, visit: www.ashleyjaquavis.com
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