Winkk has already travelled the world as a dancer/choreographer working with many big name musicians such as R. Kelly, Avant among others, but now she hopes to showcase her writing abilities with release of her books Tour Secrets & Tour Secrets 2. Winkk was able to take time away from her busy schedule to sit down with me to talk about her days as a dancer/choreographer, her publishing company, her love of writing and her local charity work back in her hometown of Chicago.
Parlé: Can you tell us about your days as a choreographer/dancer and how you transitioned into wanting to become an author?
Winkk: I started off modeling then got into to dancing because that was more my passion at the time. There are a lot of performers in my family so dancing just came naturally for me. When I was dancing, I worked with many big names like Avant, R. Kelly, Ronald Isley and many others. I got to travel the world and live a dream of mine. Also when I was touring, I got a lot of down time on the tour bus to write but I didn’t really do anything with it until after I got married and had a child. That’s when the dancing stopped and I needed a new creative outlet but I was always interested in writing. It’s just for the earlier part of my life dancing came first but it was from dancing that I was able to find my inspiration in writing.
Parlé: Your books, Tour Secrets & Tour Secrets 2, can you tell the readers a little bit about them?
Winkk: Both books follow the characters of two friends as they try to make it into the music industry as dancers but along the way, they face so many challenges that threaten to tear their friendship apart from discrimination to abuse and pretty much everything in-between. I will say that book was inspired by my life as a dancer but it’s NOT a tell-all book even though a lot of what’s in here holds true to what I’ve seen and experienced as a dancer it’s still a work of fiction.
Parlé: Without giving anything away, one of the characters in your book holds a very big secret. This secret is very similar to that of a young woman in real life who was also a dancer, is there any connection or is it a coincidence?
Winkk: I know who you’re talking about and my book was out way before that person came into the public eye. I don’t know them personally but on the flip side when people read my book they didn’t believe that it could happen until that person came out. It’s not related at all to her but it definitely help prove my point about it happening.
Parlé: After life as a dancer, did you gradually ease into writing or did you jump right into it?
Winkk: Its like I said before, I was always interested in writing, dancing just came first. When I was writing for fun on the tour bus I didn’t really think much of it. I was somewhat shy, I didn’t let anyone read it and if anyone asked to see it, I would hurry up and put it away. It wasn’t until after my life change, I needed something new so I went back to what I was writing on the tour bus and decided to go with that. I let someone read it and that was pretty much it.
Parlé: It’s funny, you chose to become a writer because many dancers usually become singers. Was that your goal of becoming a writer to break away from that stereotype of a dancer becoming a singer?
Winkk: I can’t sing. If I could I probably would be in the studio right now. But yeah, you’re right many dancers do transition themselves in front of the camera. I knew that wasn’t going to be a task for me, I wanted to take it a step further with my work. I also feel like being a singer, there’s only so much I can do creatively because I’ll have to answer to someone else. I prefer behind the scenes work anyways, it allows me to creative something out of nothing.
Parlé: How’d you get your book out there? Did you use any of your connections from when you were a dancer?
Winkk: I didn’t use my connections as a dancer because the people I knew as a dancer knew nothing about the literary world and because I wasn’t doing a tell-all which made it harder for me to get it out there. No offense to people who do tell-all books but that wasn’t for me. I decided to self-publish it myself because I wanted to have control of my book and you can only do so much with a company behind you and telling you what to do. I started my own publishing company, Ailam Publishing, and my third book, Misleading will be out in September will be released under my publishing company.
Parlé: With your publishing company, have you signed any other people?
Winkk: I hope to in the future but right now I’m just getting started. I would love to sign new young talent but I don’t wanna hold up anyone’s career because I’m just learning myself. Hopefully down the line, maybe in a year, I’ll be able to do that.
Parlé: Where can readers purchase your books?
Winkk: They can purchase it on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles and because I’m just getting started with my publishing company my books won’t be available in all book stores right now. Readers can pre-order Misleading now on Amazon. They can go to my websitewww.winkkatme.com and order the books. My books are in print and eBook.
Parlé: Can you tell us about your charity work?
Winkk: Right now in Chicago, I work with a lot of local talent, and kids. I wanted to give something back to my community because I was so fortunate to make something of myself and I wanted to show others that it can happen to them too. I wanted to prepare young kids about the business and how to go about obtaining their dreams because many people will tell you to follow your dreams but they won’t give you any options about how to reach them. When I was coming up as a dancer, no one wanted to help me, it’s a shame that world is so competitive. I couldn’t understand how someone helping someone else would take away from what they wanted to do. I also stress to them about education first, you can still sing, model, dance and live your dream but go to school and get an education first. You don’t have to be that starving artist.
Parlé: Are you connected to any social sites where readers and fans can get updates and learn more about you?
Winkk: Yes, everything is pretty much Winkkatme. I try to keep it easy so people can remember it. My main site is www.winkkatme.com. You can email me at Winkk@Winkkatme.com, I very good at emailing people back whenever I can. Facebook.com/winkkatme2, twitter.com/winkkatme, Winkkatme.blogspot.com and YouTube.com/WinkkTV.
Parlé: Do you have any words of advice to the readers and fans?
Winkk: Live your dream but also remember to have something else to fall back on.
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