Author Crystal Bass on Revealing Dark Secrets


Author Crystal L. Bass is in the District this week promoting her first novel, "Dark Clouds." The new author speaks on family secrets and an important message to youth.

What was your inspiration behind "Dark Clouds"?

I wanted to write a book for people of all ages to let them know it's OK not to hold secrets in. I think in every culture, families tend to hold secrets about diseases, sexuality, abuse and more. I want to let people know that you don't have to hold it in.

Is the book based off of your life?

Yes, it's loosely based off of my life. It's my story and the story of other women who have carried secrets with them all through life. My sister owns a salon, and growing up I just remember women sharing so many stories that they had just started telling later in life. It hurt me to hear that. If you hold secrets in for so long, it affects you as an adult.

A lot of writers, like Tyler Perry for instance, talk about how African-American families tend to hold onto secrets of abuse. Do you believe it's just black families or every family?

I think families of all cultures hold dark secrets for years and we can't. We have to get it out and that's what Dark Clouds is about.

If a young man or woman feels like they can't talk to their family, who can they talk to?

I'd tell them to go to their school guidance counselor, to a family friend or an adult that you trust. You must tell someone.

This is your first novel. What's been your biggest challenge of making it as a writer?

If you're passionate about writing, I'd say the biggest challenge is time. Life can get in the way, with raising a family and working a 9-to-5 job. And if you're a perfectionist like me, time is definitely an issue.

What's the one message that you want young women to talk away with after reading this book?

I want them to know that their destiny is their own. No matter what happens, you can be a victim or a victor, but it's still possible to do better. It's possible to break the cycle of secrets, abuse, and bad habits. It's possible to rise above it all with no dark clouds hovering over you, your family or your life.

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