What compelled you to tell the story/stories in your most recent book? (And specifically, why this genre?)
I wrote this story because a lot of the stories I listened to growing up were negative. They dealt with bullying and deaths. They had darkness. For example, the big bad wolf in The Three Little Pigs bullied them so he could eat them. In Goldilocks and the Three Bears she was responsible for breaking and entering and who looked bad? The bears. Those are just a couple of stories read to me over and over as a child. Hearing these stories put me in a place and created negative thoughts and from those thoughts, I became a bully. I found myself replaying what was read and taught to me.
What obstacles—either inner or outer—did you encounter while writing the book?
When I was younger, a lot of my teachers judged me for not having a dad and labeled me a statistic. But I saw that what I learned was not right. So, with writing Chillin the Courageous Coyote Meets the Young Kids I was able to learn about myself, break the barriers and overcome the obstacles of judgment, and treat people who looked different than me or did not have as much as others may have had in a better way.
How has writing your most recent book changed or added value to your life?
My book is not a traditional children’s book because my characters do not represent a certain race. They are multi-colored because I want every child to relate to the book. I have seen people not carry my book in their stores because I am a black author. However, through writing this book I have also gained a lot more respect and understanding from people that do not look like me.
Did you self-publish, or did you go the traditional route? Why did you choose the route you chose, and what was that process like?
I chose to self-publish this book because I believe in myself, and I believe that people seem more genuine when you are self-published and trying to become more in life and become successful because they have seen my struggle and all the hard work it took to publish my books.
The process is easy for me because I have a team. I write the book and the team works on the other areas of the book before it can be published. For example, an illustrator from Forever Tattoo, a tattoo shot in Portland that sponsors me, helped me with the art for my first children’s book. I also have an editor I’ve worked with for the past few years
Are you friends with other writers? If so, how do they influence your writing?
I am friends with other writers. We feed off of each other’s energy. We share thoughts and learn different writing styles from one another. It also helps see different views and brainstorm ideas.
Do you maintain a regular writing practice? If so, what does it look like? If not, how do you stay engaged in your writing projects?
I stay engaged in my writing projects by writing the book. I go full force writing and completing it to have it out for people to purchase. My process for writing can be different, depending on the day. Sometimes I write every day. Other times, I write when I feel inspired, like when I’m watching a movie or a show and hear a word that inspires me to write. I also like to do free style where I just listen to music and say what is in my mind.
How many other books or stories do you have in progress right now?
I am in the process of writing my second book in a five-book series. In this story, we’ll find out if Triple C (Chillin’ the Courageous Coyote) will go to school. Stay tuned to find out.
Do you view writing as a spiritual practice?
I don’t view my writing as a spiritual practice, but I do believe that writing is a gift from God, and I use writing as a tool to speak.
What would your life look like if you didn’t write?
Without writing I feel that my voice would not have been heard as much. Writing is a platform for me to speak to people in ways to share my story. Everyone has a story, and sometimes, they need to hear someone else’s story to help them speak. I believe that I do that for people.
Why do you write?
I speak to people. I show people no matter the challenges in life they can overcome them. For me, I could not read or write well. I did not have any help from my teachers, so I taught myself and pushed myself. I took my pain of not knowing how to read or write well and turned into my passion. Now I am a published author.
Montrell “Chillin’thePoet” Goss grew up in a single-parent household. He is the youngest child among five siblings: three older brothers and a younger sister.
Growing up illiterate, Montrell made it his passion to teach himself how to read and write. Throughout his life, Montrell “Chillin’thePoet” Goss has experienced different adventures and achievements. Working as a coach, summer camp counselor, behavioral specialist with the school system, and now full time author “Chillin’thePoet,” he has found himself in many positions that have allowed him to act as a male role model, and mentor to the people, especially youth, around him. Now the author of six books, Montrell’s mission is to try and help change stereotypes and statistics within the school system and his community through his writing.
To learn more about Montrell and his work, visit his website: https://chillinscreations.com/