Talented, educated and self-motivated…These are just a few words that describe our “Belle of the Month” Mrs. Ci Ci Foster. From writing her own books to dishing out relationship advice to those in need of it, Ci Ci has made her presence known in numerous areas and continues to take on more as her career progresses. Being the multi-talented person that she is, Ci Ci wears many hats and has told UBM about how she manages to balance all of them.
Urban Belle: Ci Ci, I see that you are a native of the Chicago area and you relocated to Los Angeles in the late 2000’s to further pursue your career. How was that transition for you? Is Los Angeles like night and day compared to Chicago as far as the residents and living environment?
Ci Ci Foster: The transition was definitely a challenge. Moving the entire family across the country where we knew no one was a bit scary, but we were able to quickly acclimate ourselves into the LA lifestyle, and it’s so different from Chicago where I spent my entire life. LA has parties and events every night of the week, so there’s always something going on. In Chicago, people are more accustomed to working hard during the week and partying on the weekends. What I miss most about Chicago are the people. It’s one of those very friendly places where strangers will greet you as you pass them on the streets. That rarely happens in LA. I love both places in a different way.
Urban Belle: As a graduate of Chicago State University, you received your bachelor’s degree in psychology. Was that always what you desired to get your degree in? Or had you considered majoring in theater, film or another related area?
Ci Ci Foster: Initially, I did want to get a BS in theater, but after giving it deep thought, I actually decided to take on theater as a minor to have something to fall back on. At the time, I was more of a person who always played it safe. If I had to do it all over again, I would have just went for it full speed ahead. If you don’t plan on failing, you wouldn’t need anything to fall back on.
Urban Belle: “Sunny Rain” was the debut novel that introduced Ci Ci Foster to world of published writers. How long did it take to complete it? What was that feeling like of having your very first book officially published?
Ci Ci Foster: It took me at least 5 years to complete Sunny Rain because I kept putting it down and then I’d pick it back up. Once I actually got serious about writing it though, things moved pretty quickly. I remember the first time I held my book in my hands, I cried. It was like all my hard work was finally starting to pay off. I’m still amazed at how great everything turned out.
Urban Belle: I know that was a wonderful feeling. In addition to being an author, you are also a relationship advice columnist. When giving your advice, do you ever feel like your own relationships (and even current marriage) were under close watch from your readers? Are people really looking to see if you follow your own advice?
Ci Ci Foster: I think anytime you offer people advice on relationships the first thing people are going to want to know is what is your marital status, and that’s a valid question. I mean, I won’t take relationship advice from anyone who doesn’t have their own house in order.
Urban Belle: That is so true; a lot of people feel that way. Giving relationship advice, even to a close friend or relative, can be challenging at times. Has there ever been a time when you were asked a question that you didn’t quite know how to answer?
Ci Ci Foster: Not yet, but I’m sure as I do this long enough, someone will have a question that stumps me. I am fine with being honest and admitting when I don’t know something.
Urban Belle: In the entertainment industry, we see many husbands and wives working together like Beyonce’ and Jay-Z and Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. How has it been for you working with your husband with the production of “Digg Into Books”?
Ci Ci Foster: Working with my husband on Digg Into Books has definitely brought us closer together. I’d be lying though if I said every moment is bliss. LOL! There are times when we don’t see eye to eye on something and then go home and argue about it some more. But overall, working with him has been a great experience. We support each other 100% and challenge each other to produce the best work possible.
Urban Belle: Sound like you all are a great team. Now your documentary, “I Heart Hollywood”, is about the struggles of 14 women that are attempting to break into the industry. What event or people inspired you to do this?
Ci Ci Foster: I became inspired to produce this documentary after moving to LA and seeing how hard it is to break into this industry. My production partner, Mashari Bain and I met through a mutual friend and discovered we had similar goals. The I Heart Hollywood project was our way of saying we don’t have to wait on Hollywood to hire us, we can create our own projects.
Urban Belle: Being a member of Cali Connect, you get the opportunity to interact with other authors, some of whom share your same passion for the craft of writing. Have you ever considered starting an organization of your own?
Ci Ci Foster: No, I’ve never considered starting my own group because I couldn’t commit the time needed to make it successful. I’ve met some really great people through the Cali-Connect group, and I’m looking forward to collaborating with them in the future.
Urban Belle: Working with at-risk teens, I’m sure you hear a lot of different stories about what these girls have gone through in their young lives. Other than giving educational advice, what is your overall message to these young girls?
Ci Ci Foster: I always try to open young girls’ eyes to the fact that they are more powerful than they know and that they can do anything they put their minds to. When young girls tell me they want to be a lawyer, I tell them to think about owning the law firm. It’s really important to teach kids to dream big and follow those dreams.
Urban Belle: I totally agree with you on that. Those who dream big are often the ones who find long term success. Back to your writing, the title of your upcoming book “Hollywoodn’t” has me intrigued already. Can you give us a snippet of what to expect from this read?
Ci Ci Foster: Hollywoodn’t is about a rising actress named Nile who gets blackmailed by a scorned ex lover, Steve. He is fresh out of jail, armed with a sex tape of her, and things get really crazy when he stops taking his meds. Hollywoodn’t is so different from Sunny Rain, but it still has the “sexy drama” theme. I think the readers will enjoy it.
To learn more about Ci Ci and her upcoming projects, Click here.