ABOUT ME

 

Krys Batts grew up in Houston, Texas and has always been passionate about a variety of creative writing formats, including poetry, music, short stories, and novels. Having spent her childhood singing her father’s original compositions, her artistic gifts naturally sprang from an early appreciation for how lyrics and rhymes could be used to tell both humorous and human stories. Years later when she was ten-years-old, she joined the Brentwood Baptist Church children’s choir, soon becoming one of the lead singers as well as an ardent fan of the band and choir members of all age ranges.

While her family attended Brentwood, Krys was twice asked to perform “God Bless America” for the local NBC channel in recognition of Black History month. The resultant commercials aired for the full month of February in the early 1980’s. During this time, she also made appearances with her church choir to sing Christmas-themed music on a TV series anchored by Ron Stone.

At the behest of the children’s church choir director, Krys’s mother eventually enrolled her in both piano and voice lessons at a music school. By then, Krys was also attending Missouri City Junior High School, where she learned how to play the clarinet. She would later go on to join the Willowridge High School marching band, and excel at playing the bass clarinet throughout the ninth grade. One year later, however, Krys transferred to the High School for Health Professions, which was then ranked one of the top ten schools in the country. With her blithe band days cut short, she completed the remainder of her high school years and graduated in 1989.

Despite the change of high schools, Krys’s musical foundation had already been well laid. Over the years, she had learned a great deal about the construction of melodies and harmonies in  church choirs, school bands, and music school. She also had been exposed to a broad range of music types that she enjoyed equally. As a result, her loves for classical, R&B, rock, Broadway, and pop all coexisted side-by-side. And though she had written songs as a child, her education in music now inspired her to integrate far greater complexity into her songwriting. She also began to pen more thoughtful poetry, often writing about whatever personal circumstances she was experiencing. But when she wasn’t creating her own works, her nose could be found buried in books. In fact, reading was Krys’s primary source of entertainment, a virtue that was well-known to both her family members and school teachers. Her love for books rivaled her love for music, because books, too, told tales that enthralled her imagination.

Despite her passion for the arts, Krys was undecided about her professional future. And at age eighteen, she was admitted to the University of Houston with no clear resolve about which college major would most interest her. For the first two years, she explored music and political science, eventually settling on English. Still feeling aimless, however, she wasn’t yet committed to meeting the academic requirements, and it wasn’t long before Krys opted to drop out of college while supporting herself with a fulltime job. Over the next two years, Krys searched for direction, in the process meeting multiple aspiring music producers and leapfrogging to a host of low-level accounting jobs before finally relocating to Atlanta, Georgia in 1992.

Now that Krys resided in a completely new city that was teaming with successful Black professionals, her focus on realistic goals seemed to snap into place. She soon enrolled in community college, and attended night school while continuing to work fulltime. After two years, she then enrolled at Spelman College, where she majored in English and took a variety of creative writing courses to refine her storying skills. To her surprise, the curriculum at Spelman not only broadened Krys’s understanding of women’s issues around the world, but it also introduced her to the odious connection between media and the unfavorable social perceptions of people (particularly women) of color. Additionally, she gained a deepened knowledge of the hurdles confronting Black adults who didn’t enjoy healthy relationships with their fathers as she had. These sensitive issues took permanent root in her heart and psyche, along with a desire to somehow rupture the destructive norms that had burdened most of her friends and peers.

Unlike her tenure at the University of Houston, Krys was motivated to meet the steep academic challenges at Spelman, graduating with a wealth of accolades: Phi Beta Kappa, Who’s Who, Magna Cum Laude, a serial Dean’s List honoree, and more. Months later, she relocated to Dallas, Texas, where she then earned a master degree in Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Dallas. Although being a fulltime worker and student overwhelmed her daily schedule, Krys still found moments to indulge her pleasure with writing short stories, poetry, and music.

As Krys continued to both think about and discuss with friends the importance of fathers and positive media for people of color, she also began to understand that she could use her creative energies to inject these ideals into the social consciousness. With this objective in mind, she wrote and published her first romance novel, "Walls Fall Down", in 2003. Years later, she went on to write two more books—"What's Done in the Dark" (2014) and "Not Flowers, but Love" (2015), the latter placing first in the romance category of the BookLife Prize in Fiction contest in November, 2016. On the heels of her recent accomplishment, she is currently writing her fourth novel, “Chasing the Fire”.

Even as Krys begins to find greater success with her novels, her passion for writing music has never wavered. So in 2016, she decided to record an inspirational song entitled “Love Sweet Love”, which had come to her in a dream two years earlier. The song is one of countless others in Krys’s repertoire, but she believes that the message in “Love Sweet Love” is meant to remind every listener that there is a great, almighty Being who loves us all, and from whom we can never truly be alienated despite our human frailties and mistakes. She hopes that this song brings joy and hope to all who hear it while also spotlighting her songwriting talent. Not one to be boxed into any particular creative category, Krys envisions herself as a productive author and songwriter for many years to come.

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