Interview with Cherise “Reese” Charleswell

Cherise "Reese" Charleswell

Cherise “Reese” Charleswell is a self- and- internationally published author, describing her self as a poet/spoken word artist, bookworm, fashionista, penny-pincher, accessories designer, music lover, and sista-friend, who has been described as the “Mad Scientist”, due to her varied interests and passions.

She is of West Indian descent, with heritage from numerous Caribbean islands, such as St Thomas, St John, Puerto Rico, Tortola, St Kitts, and Anguilla. Despite her love for the arts, Cherise actually has an educational background in the fields of the biological sciences and anthropology, with degrees from California State University Northridge.

Cherise has also been a fixture in the historic Leimert Park district of Los Angeles, where she stepped in as a producer for the weekly venue Poets Jazz House; which she produced as a member of Liquid Whine Entertainment. The venue was an open mic, literary workshop, and showcase. Cherise is also the Executive Producer of the erotic poetry showcase “The Oralgasm.”

Cherise is also CEO & President of Eclectic Life & Eclectic Life Books.

(1) Real Talk TIPS sounds ambitious. Is it too simple to call it a self-help guide?

When I began the book project, I did realize that it was an ambitious undertaking, midway through I wondered if I actually had enough TIPS to share. I spent more than a year working on the project, when memories of past experiences, mistakes, or wisdom shared with me came to mind, I quickly jotted them down. When I came across something or someone that stood out to me, whether it be in person or via the news and entertainment media, I would write numerous TIPS based on that single observation.

I would say that referring to the book as a self-help guide would be too simple. It is more of a work book, that leaves it up to the reader to identify core areas that they may need to improve in their lives. Each TIP does not pertain to everybody, but everybody should be able to identify a TIP that pertains to and motivates them to make some necessary changes in their lives.

(2) How much of your experiences are reflected in the book?
I would have to say that my experiences, whether it was from direct involvement or direct observation, are reflected in this book. I admit that I have been guilty of a few TIPS, or I have observed family, friends, and acquaintances make a number of mistakes, missteps, and endured setbacks; and I have learned from their experiences.

(3) How are you promoting Real Talk TIPS? Who is the audience that you are targeting?
I actually just published Real Talk TIPS in May of this year, so I am in the early stages of promoting. I have been utilizing word-of-mouth, social media, the blogosphere, and have just begun to directly contact book distributors regarding the book. I am also finding it beneficial to join associations for writers and other authors. Exhibiting at the Los Angeles Black Book Expo will actually be the first event that I use for promotion purposes.

Real Talk TIPS target audience is actually quite diverse. The book is not reflective of any age group or racial and ethnic background, and I believe that this is due to the fact that the TIPS cover such a wide range of topics that many can relate to.

(4) What has been the response to Real Talk TIPS?

Thus far, I have had many positive responses to Real Talk TIPS. The initial response that my readers have shared is that the book was hilarious, and I was a bit amused by this assessment. Although, I did write in a manner, where I used some humor, so the tone of the book wouldn’t seem preachy; I had no idea that what I was writing would be considered that funny.

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