Ms. Nique was born and raised Monique L. Crusoe in Chicago Illinois and is a single mother, poet and writer currently living in Savage Minnesota. She has written poetry for more than 15 years and has had it printed in several circulations including some local neighborhood newsletters, then eventually publishing “The Definition Of Me, Poetry Written By A Novelist” her book of poems. That is also what motivated Ms. Nique to author her new memoir, “If My Past Wasn’t So Dark… My Future Wouldn’t Shine So Bright”. This book goes into vivid details about her life growing up and touches on many subjects she feels has had an effect on not only her but so many others as well. Ms. Nique is self titled an advocate for the lost and unfound and joining in her mission to find her purpose she’s set out to motivate anyone she can by using her own life lessons to teach and encourage others. While on her self proclaimed journey to motivate and inspire others, Ms. Nique has had the opportunity to speak with groups of both adults and young people at branches of Social Services, high schools, community centers as well as several speaking engagements at local churches including her own. She has been interviewed by radio show hosts, freelance reporters, newspapers and magazines both print and internet and “If My Past Wasn’t So Dark… My Future Wouldn’t Shine So Bright” has been featured on several websites. Ms. Nique initially used writing as a way to vent (get her feelings out) while dealing with some of the toughest times in her life and recently decided it would be better to let others read it because she believed she could inspire other people including single mothers in the world to follow their dreams. One of her favorite quotes is, “Appreciate life and all it has to offer.”-Ms. Nique
She has held many titles, “Nursing Assistant”, “Employment Specialist”, “Receptionist”, and “Customer Service Representative”, but none of those titles seem to fit her personality like “Poet/Writer”. Ms. Nique initially self published her book, “The Definition of Me, Poetry Written By A Novelist”, in 2008 and then again in 2010 and now comes back to you with her new revealing memoir, “If My Past Wasn’t So Dark… My Future Wouldn’t Shine So Bright”
Since the publication of her book of poems, she also has gone and added other titles to her name like “Actress”, “Advocate” and “Novelist”. Ms. Nique can be found performing in live shows as an opening/featured act, stage productions, advocating for the voiceless victims of abuse by speaking at schools/organizations and headlining poetry slams and spoken word nights within the Minnesota Twin Cities and surrounding cities and states.
Q&A With Ms. Nique
BS: Where did your love for poetry initiate?
Ms. Nique: Well when I was younger I became a fan of the greats like Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou, although I’m not for sure where my exposure to it came from, if I had to guess I’d say it was through my elementary school librarian.
BS: Where does the inspiration for your written work come from?
My ability to write is a gift and I can never know what’ll inspire me to write, sometimes I can be moved by the littlest situation or thing but only those things that seem to touch the heart makes me write about it. Rather that be a relationship gone array or a baby’s cry.
BS: How did you develop and enhance your work?
Ms. Nique: I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, my writings became influential to me and also served as a coping tool for me once I began going through very difficult times in my life.
BS: How have your life experiences affected your writing?
Ms. Nique: Because of the tough times I often faced growing up, writing was the only way I could vent (get my feelings out). My life’s experience is my writings… Through almost every trial or tribulation I wrote so through my work people are able to relate to the situation in which I’m writing. I’m told I provide enough information that allows you to plant yourself in the story in which I’m telling.
BS: What compelled you to write your memoire “If My Past Wasn’t So Dark… My Future Wouldn’t Shine So Bright”?
Ms. Nique: I have come to a place in my life where I needed and wanted drastic change. I began self reflecting and while looking inside of myself I began getting answers to questions I’d asked over the years and also I began noticing and appreciating all the things I’d overcome. Looking back on where I had been and where I am currently inspired me to write. I felt there was a lesson to teach others by Me overcoming so much. I wanted to show others that you can make it through, I wanted to inspire others and motivate them to want better and do better because they deserved it and lastly I wanted to give the world something I didn’t have when I was going through my situations, which was not just literature but a personal book of stories I could relate to and become inspired from.
BS: What can we expect from it?
Ms. Nique: You can expect vivid and direct details about the situations and circumstances I found myself in growing up. Honesty in it’s rarest form, darkness through the realization, but most importantly you’ll leave moved and inspired by the stories being told and my outcome.
BS: What topics do you address when speaking publicly?
Ms. Nique: Because I’m a survivor of many different forms of abuse I speak on several different subjects and platforms. I cover domestic violence, teen pregnancy, rape, molestation, living with a parent with mental illness and growing up a ward of the state, just to name a few.
BS: What motivates you to reach out to others?
Ms. Nique: It’s therapeutic for me to reach out to others because I feel I’m not only healing my self but by sharing my stories with others I’m attempting to heal them by letting them know they are not alone.
BS: What do you hope to accomplish by doing so?
Ms. Nique: I hope to accomplish at least three things:
1) Bring awareness to the several forms of abuses
2) Create a voice for the voiceless victims of abuse
3) Break the cycles of abuse.
All of these things are important all to themselves and even more once joined together. By bringing awareness to these different forms of abuse people are more aware to what’s going on, creating a voice for the voiceless victims allows people who have been victimized through the years to finally cleanse their spirits (get it out and say something about their abuses) and therefore they’re able to break the cycle of abuse either by directly calling out the perpetrator or by saying something they then gives the next person courage to say something without fear of embarrassment.
BS: What are three of the most important lessons that you have learned in life? One of my mottos is “Live, Learn and Let Go”. How have they contributed to your success?
Ms. Nique: Because I have learned to Live my life, learn from the lessons life has taught me by applying them in my everyday and letting go of the things I could neither change or accept, I’m able to finally live without fear, shame, embarrassment or guilt. I can love, be loved and accept good things without wondering in the back of my mind when the bad things are coming.
BS: What does writing do for you?
Ms. Nique: My writings create a safe haven for me, I feel I can do many things through writing and I have started down that path by writing about things I feel we need to know more about. It also creates work for me, I’m able to release a little bit more through every group I speak to or every email I read that is sent to assure me that what I’m doing is needed.
BS: When did it begin to play an integral part in your life?
Ms. Nique: I have always written but it wasn’t until after the publication of “The definition of me, poetry written by a novelist” my poetry book that I realized or was compelled to share more of my experiences.
BS: How do you continue to develop yourself and your brand?
Ms. Nique: I keep my head to the sky for what my next tasks are, being that this is a spiritual journey for me, I never know what’s next on this path but am never bored. Life is one big inspiration it’s all about who’s life your watching. We all have a story to tell and I’m in no short supply of inspiration. I continue to write through whatever moves me and because of this method I’m constantly challenging myself and growing. I recently came back from a book tour and am looking forward to going on another which reaches more areas. I am currently working on two projects of my own a non fiction book and a stage play (both written by me) as well as I’m going to be in a stage production (Summer 2012) and an independent movie coming soon.