As an author and playwright, Charron Monaye was certain about one thing writing was her one and only destiny. When asked about her writing journey, her responses were honest and straightforward. Monaye did not necessarily have a kind of divine intervention experience that willed her into the Art and Business of writing.
Her experience was more direct. When asked what inspired her children’s book Adventures of Michelle, Monaye hesitated before responding. Saying, “Um, actually, to be honest with you, it really wasn’t anything that magically happened that made me want to write Michelle, Michelle is actually my real name. I’m also a publisher, and one of my authors had the opportunity to publish a children’s book, and when I saw his book, I thought, I want to do that too!” To date, Monaye has authored over twenty-five books in six different genres, served as a staff writer for CNN iReport and The Philadelphia Association of Paralegals, contributed to twenty book compilations, and created and produced five theatrical productions and one short film. Her stage play, Get Out of Your Own Way, is her most successful play, with premieres and sold-out audiences in Hollywood, CA, and Times Square, NY.
Monaye elaborated on the experience of creating her children’s book by explaining how she connected with the illustrator her author had used for his book, and as the saying goes, “the rest is history.” Throughout the conversation, Monaye elaborated on her journey as a writer about how at the age of seven, she had an opportunity to be published in an anthology.
When asked if had she always wanted to be a multi-genre author, Monaye replied quickly. Saying, “No, No, No, when I first started my writing journey, I started out as a poet.” Monaye describes her overall journey as an evolution, saying there were a series of events that felt like “A great idea!” With every idea came a new opportunity that she capitalized on, especially since the word NO was not in her vocabulary.
This tenacity ultimately landed her a three-year staff writing job with CNN as well as writing for iReport, and The Philadelphia Association of Paralegals. As a result, Monaye interviewed various celebrities, from Bernadette Cooper to Tammi Roman and even former First Lady Michelle Obama. With all of these favorable circumstances, one would think it couldn’t get any better, but for Monaye, it did she was afforded the chance to take a Master Class with the one and only Shonda Rhimes. When asked about the encounter, Monaye talked excitedly about it, saying, “Shonda Rhimes offered a Master Class writing for Television she continued by saying it was something I wanted to put in my toolbox as a writer or journalist, there are things you want in your toolbox just in case opportunities come, it was definitely an honor.”
With all that she has accomplished, Monaye understands the importance of sharing the knowledge she has attained through her experiences, and when asked what advice she would give someone looking to start a publishing company, her response was simple. “Be successful first.” It was this tactic that led her to start her publishing career in 2015.
This groundbreaking literary company provides a platform to elevate the voices of aspiring writers through book publishing and scriptwriting. Pen Legacy has published over one hundred books, with some becoming Amazon Bestsellers and others generating corporate deals for authors. From this conversation, it is safe to say that Charron Monaye is a tangible example of what it looks like to “Get out of Your Own Way!”
Interview Done by: Candis Johnson | Candis Johnson is an author and freelance journalist from NJ. She is the editor of the Literary Magazine series SOUL as well the erotica anthology Erogenous Zone. She has a passion for music and the artists who create it.