Intimate Conversation with author Missy Jackson
Author Tennette “Missy” Jackson hails from Somerset, New Jersey. She has two daughters and three grandchildren. Missy began writing at a very young age and knew it was her passion. After years of drug abuse and numerous prison stints, Missy found an outlet in writing. Cheetah, her debut novel, was written in the state prison. Missy currently lives in Bound Brook, New Jersey while working on her second novel.
Book Spotlight – Cheetah by Missy Jackson
Born and raised on the mean streets of Newark, New Jersey, Yanika Johnson aka Cheetah is far from your average female. A true thug in every sense of the word, Cheetah has the ego and persona to prove it all. After she and her best friend Naj take Newark drug trade by storm, the haters begin to do just what they do best…HATE. Can the tough streets of this brick city accept being ran by two women, or will their budding empire come tumbling down?
Cheetah is a young woman with a heart of gold and steel. Follow her journey through a year of murder and madness. In this book, you will see how a true friendship is supposed to be. You will become engrossed in the “Hood Happenings” as you ride the wave of real street life. Cheetah will make you cry, laugh, and truly understand how things work in the ghetto.
Ella: Missy, please tell us a little about your main characters. Who was your favorite?
(A) My favorite has to be Cheetah, since she was designed from my past. Her gritty, no nonsense attitude, and love for her family made her my favorite. Actually all four of the main characters Nissan, Qua, Naj, and Cheetah are mirrored after my life. I took a piece of me and structured each one.
Ella: What sets you apart from other books in your genre?(A) The fact that I write from the lesbian point of view, sets me apart from many. When you read about drug dealers, gangs, clique, or a pack of robbers it is usually guys or a mixture of guys and girls. My story shows the struggle of not only the women in the hood, but also the lesbian women. The stereotyping and the differences they face due to life in an alternative lifestyle are prominent.
Ella: What issues in today’s society have you addressed in CHEETAH?
(A) CHEETAH touched on issues close to home for me. Here are a few of them: how some young people feel as if the only way to make it is to either sell drugs or rob. It touches on how you can even be educated, headed in the right direction; yet allow the lure of the street and the lifestyle to suck you in. My main issue is how most families in society deal with either having a drug dealer, gang banger, or drug user in the household.
Ella: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
(A) No, I would leave the story as is. Though this is not a true story, it is very dear and personal. I feel that CHEETAH is one of the realest books out there. It portrays the everyday hustle and grind that’s going on in every hood. The corner boy/girl hustler, the one who don’t see the mansions and millions, and also the brutal end results that most encounter.
Ella: Missy what’s next for you? Are there any new books on the horizon?(A) My upcoming novel “THE JUMPOFF” is sure to catch the same buzz. Be on the lookout for it summer 2010.
Book Reviews for Cheetah by Missy Jackson
5 Stars by Readers in Motion Book Club
Can’t Knock Her Hustle
Meet Yanika Johnson a.k.a. Cheetah, a female thug with more swagger than any male thug on the block. Born and raised in Brick City, life has been a struggle for her and those she loves. Her ultimate goal is to become financially stable and get out the game. With her best friend, Naj, covering her front and back, nothing is impossible. That is until she runs into a few stick up dudes, who obviously didn’t know who they were messing with. Revenge soon becomes added to Cheetah list of goals.
With the love of her life, Naj, and other loyal members of the crew, Cheetah locks down the drug game in Newark. Will she survive being the backbone to her family and loved ones, since her gangsta will be tested time and time again? —Reviewed by Minah, for Readers in Motion Book Club
4 Stars by The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
What Goes Around, Comes Around
Cheetah, born Yanika Johnson, is far from the cuddly name presented here. She is a street hustler from Newark, NJ and she is no one to mess with. She gives new meaning to the word “thug.” Circumstances make her even more ruthless and she sets about the streets of Newark on a reign of terror. Eventually what goes around comes around, and unfortunately for Cheetah, it comes around in the worst way.
CHEETAH was a very powerful read. I could not put this book down. Missy Jackson gives the reader some insight on what could be happening in the streets where you live. This book fits the bill when we read about or hear about street violence in newspapers and on television everyday, but it hits home once you read it.
The reader gets a glimpse as to what really goes down between street hustlers and crime. It also shines some light on females living in “the life”…the life of lesbianism.
Despite the hard core persona Cheetah portrays, she has a soft heart when it comes to the people she loves. An excellent read! — Reviewed by Cheryl Dublin, for RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
Cheetah by Tennette “Missy” Jackson (ISBN-10: 0981854559)
Purchase the book from Wahida Clark Publishing