Someone You Should Know: Author Vie Cine

Someone You Should Know

I came across Vie's YouTube channel in a natural hair group on Facebook. I loved her content, strong opinions, and passion about subjects having to do with dealing with abuse, trauma, the Black experience, and other hard-hitting subjects. Vie is a 24 year old Haitian American author from Boston, MA (and we're birthday twins!). Her new e-book "Memoirs of a Forgotten" child released August 1st and tells the tale of her experience as a survivor of abuse and encouraging other victims to rise from the ashes into triumph. Read her interview about her career as a writer and her new book release!

1. Introduce Yourself (Age, Ethnic Background, Education, Hometown, etc)

Hey, what’s up, hello, my name Vie. I’m 24 years young and a Haitian Taurus so that’s twice the wit, passion, and opinions. At the age of 21 years young I decided to write about my life growing up in the metropolitan cities of Boston, MA and Cambridge MA. At the time I just graduated college, and I was a new booty, meaning I thought the world was going to operate the way I wanted it to on some hocus pocus stuff. Sadly, it didn’t. I was at a standstill trying to figure out what that period of life meant for me and if college really did validate my worth. I had a heap of debt, no job, and no plan B. Simultaneously as this mini crisis was going down, I was rekindling my relationship with my half sister who confided in me about our similar upbringing (we’re related through our father and we raised by our mothers). What we both had in common was trauma. She advised me to write a book on my life. I promptly shut that idea down but with much eagerness on her side and a few supportive "MEMOIRS OF A FORGOTTEN CHILD" will be available for purchase on Amazon Kindle.

2. How long have you been writing and when did you know it was your passion? 

Honestly, I’ve always written, but I never thought it could be a career which is weird to say while I’m doing this interview. I never saw myself as good enough” to be a writer. I thought you had to be an expert or a highly regarded individual to be a writer but whenever I felt passionate or opinionated about something I would write about it. Writing was a useful tool when I was in middle school to let some of my anger go, but I didn’t take it seriously. Funny thing is people used to encourage me to have a journal, and I protested against it but writing poetry or short stories were hobbies I did all the time.

When I read Sister Souljah’s "The Coldest Winter Ever", it sparked a flame in me. I was one of those kids who HATED reading. I preferred being read to like a Kindergartner. If I wasn’t told to do an assignment, I wasn’t reading. One day my 7th-grade teacher Mr. Buttermere handed us a reading list for the summer. I glanced at the sheet but made my mind up I wasn't going to read. While reviewing the reading list as a class, "The Coldest Winter Ever" was on the sheet as an option. Mr. Mr. Buttermere read the synopsis of the book and me and about ten other students raced to get "The Coldest Winter Ever". Unfortunately, the school library didn’t have it. I had to go to the main library, but this kid ended up selling it to me. Long story short (but in "MEMOIRS OF A FORGOTTEN CHILD"), I fell in love with the book and again the thought of writing enticed me. I began to write a story but lost the notebook, and I dismissed the idea. In my early 20's, I randomly would write down my ideas, quotes, and poetry. I always felt someday they would either be worth something or mean something. Fast forward to 2013, the topic of trauma surrounded me, but I didn’t take heed to it. It wasn’t until finishing up my internship at The Home For Little Wanderers nonprofit organization, sending a four-page letter to my father, graduating college, and talking to my sister that writing is my passion, specifically exposing trauma.

3. You have a new book coming out, tell us more about it and what your goal is in publishing it. 

"MEMOIRS OF A FORGOTTEN CHILD" e-book is about triumph from trauma. It is centered around childhood abuse. Growing up in a Haitian-American household reined by my Haitian single mother, I battled sexual abuse, physical abuse, verbal abuse, and emotional abuse. As with many victims, I felt ashamed, fearful, and guilty to verbalize the taboo abuses but found outlets to strive while hiding these horrendous acts. My story is one of many stories that go on behind the closed doors of picturesque families. Many adult victims live healthy lives yet are scared to speak their truth due to many factors, but the main one, brokenness. As I say, "When you're a survivor, you can tell who's a victim, it's like a radar. You can just tell." 

My purpose is to break down the walls of shame, guilt, and fear stemming from childhood abuse. "Survivorship can be achieved but you must confront the past, heal from trauma, and this all starts by speaking your truth!” Often we hear stories about people who've been abused or gone through traumatic events, but we mostly focus on life before trauma and life after trauma. The middle where most of the lessons brewed, we skim over. This middle section is where I explored thoroughly because of how it affects the development of a child, and there's no better narrator than in the first person. In "MEMOIRS OF A FORGOTTEN CHILD" I speak as if I’m experiencing the abuses as the reader turns the pages, it’s necessary because it gives the reader a chance to see trauma from a child's perspective. These events will ultimately shape who I am and set the stepping stones for how I saw herself in a world that was organized as prey or predator. Putting pen to paper to illustrate a journey towards healing, survivorship, and purpose is the ultimate message. As I say, "It's imperative that these acts of wrongdoing do not continue unchecked for it's our children who pay the highest cost.” #readtoheal

4. What inspires you to write? 

Besides trauma, I would have to say the Black experience. I know that sounds funny to read, “the Black experience” but being Black in this reality is an experience that no one can quantify. It’s one of those, "you had to have been there to get it" sort of things. Although we aren’t monolithic as people, we have very common reactions, culture, and experiences that we as Black people experience across the board in this White supremacist system. Although certain topics like police brutality, mass incarceration, and lack of economic opportunities are topics I could write about forever; I like to write about being African-centered, finding yourself, Black women conquering, why Haitians eat squash soup on the first, and how we as Black women universally wrap up our hair at night regardless if you speak Swahili, and I speak Ebonics. In short, life inspires me.

5. What has been the most challenging thing in your journey as a writer? What has been the most rewarding? 

Understanding! Most writers are misunderstood I believe even if people read their content and remember them word for word they’re still misunderstood. When you’re a writer, it’s like you’re playing GOD. You create your own reality through words. You have to give your words life and a purpose that engages the reader to understand the point of your story. You may convey the message, but the message may have three layers, and Most people will get the surface level. Some may get the double meaning, but very few get the subtle third. In rare cases, people will get all three and place their significance concerning each other and their connectedness to the story. Writers are complex, multifaceted creatures that try to find a connection with themselves, their thoughts, reality, and humankind through their words. I think that’s why we love them so much.

The most rewarding aspect of writing is knowing that my words connect with someone. I think nothing feels better to a writer than to hear, Your story impacted me.” “I can relate to what you wrote.” “I love your content!” It’s not necessarily an ego stroke more than you vibe with me thing. Understanding is what’s rewarding to me.

6. You have a Caribbean heritage, Haitian to be exact. How do you connect your culture into your writing? 

I love being Haitian as well as being Black American. I compare and contrast the two to being biracial in the sense of both of these worlds makes me who I am. At home, I was raised as a Haitian girl, but outside of my home I was seen and treated as a Black American girl. I’m equally both of these realities, and they shaped me into who I am today. When I blog, I do a couple of posts about Haitian History. For the month of February, I blogged about Black History including Haitian History. During the Haitian elections, I made a post about what was going on and the citizens feeling outraged with the Haitian Government. In "MEMOIRS OF A FORGOTTEN CHILD", I used a couple of words in Haitian Creole to give the story realness. To my non-Haitians or non-Haitian Creole speakers, in the "How To Read This Book" section, I provide a website link that helps translate Haitian Creole to English.

8. Why is it important that you share your childhood stories through your writing? How do you want your background to impact others? 

It’s important for all of us to share our stories to role model” so to speak for anyone who’s going through this thing called life. When I was in middle school, I read the book A Child Called It. The topic of the book was child abuse. As relatable as some aspects of that book was, I also felt disconnected because it wasn’t my story. I wrote "MEMOIRS OF A FORGOTTEN CHILD" because I didn’t know of any books written by a Haitian-American abuse survivor in my generation. I’m not saying race matters, gender matters, or nationality matters, but relatability does. Not only does "MEMOIRS OF A FORGOTTEN CHILD" expose abuse but it also touches on topics like race, sex, nationality, religion, child development, attachment, self-esteem, etc. Not for nothing, this book is for this generation because certain time periods only 90's kids will understand. Of course, anyone from any generation can purchase "MEMOIRS OF A FORGOTTEN CHILD", but this book does set an example for Generation Black Y-ers who’ve been abused and want to speak their truth or at least know that they aren’t alone/defective.

As Cardi B said, I’m just a regular, schemegular, de-regular girl.” I don’t want anyone to see me as above or below anyone else. I don’t want people to take my story as a hit piece on Black America or Haitians. I don’t want people to pick sides on who is good or who is bad. In "MEMOIRS OF A FORGOTTEN CHILD", there’s A LOT of different shades of gray because that’s the human experience. We might do bad things, but that doesn’t make us bad, but that doesn't excuse the act. I honestly want to convey the message of understanding; how my background shaped me but as a survivor of abuse how these abuses shaped us. Understanding the way we are and how we got here makes it easier for us to seek help and start healing. Our stories will influence others to want to change and to want to stop the cycle of abuse. We actually have the power to dead this taboo that’s not taboo enough to act but taboos enough to keep silent.

9. I love your YouTube channel. A lot of your videos pertain to mental health and abuse in our society, but specifically within the Black community. What could people do to improve the climate we live in where mental illness is so taboo and sexual abuse is sometimes swept under the rug? 

Thanks! The best thing we can do to stop the taboo of mental illness and dismissal of sexual abuse is to speak our truth. Our silence is killing us softly. I know in the Black community we love to leave our troubles at the doorstep on Jesus, but as the famous saying goes, God helps those who help themselves.” We must be willing to support those who’ve been abused or who suffer from mental illness to seek help and support them while they are going through their healing process. The biggest issue for both groups of people is judgment. We don’t want our perception to shift in the minds of others. Society needs to create an atmosphere where survivors of abuse and people affected by mental health can feel just as safe acknowledging their hardships as someone who has never walked in our shoes. In many cases with sexual abuse, it’s a generational curse. What I mean by that is, if everyone in the family was asked if they’ve been abused multiple people from different generations would raise their hands. Sometimes the perpetrator is someone with high authority within the family. Sometimes there’s more than one perpetrator, and sexual abuse is viewed as normal because many people in the family have abused and were abused. Abuse is a complicated topic with many layers, but the one common factor is trauma. We can stop trauma by breaking down the walls of fear, shame, and guilt by speaking our truth. Not only does that shed light on the problem but prevents more children from becoming victims.

10. Where do you want to take your writing in the future? What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

I would love to branch out and write about other topics; possibly adolescence-targeted stories and children's books. I don’t want to be confined to ‘That author who writes about abuse’ or That author who was abused.’ I want to be seen as an author who creates content that relates to the human experience from all dimensions.

The advice I would give aspiring writers is Like Nike, Just Do It.”

Thanks for your time, Vie!

I have free excerpts from "MEMOIRS OF A FORGOTTEN CHILD" that I post daily until August 1st. My YouTube Channel VIEIS_ME: is a platform I use to discusses sexual trauma and mental health. My second YouTube Channel: Vie Ciné is a platform that I utilize to speak about the Black experience. My website is where I blog and vlog. My email address is for any business inquiries. 



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