Twenty-year-old Kyle Chais beat the odds. Despite growing up fatherless, poor, and sometimes homeless Chais has accomplished something many people only dream about: he published a novel.
Chais told theGrio about his rough upbringing in Flatbush, Brooklyn.
“My mom and I were really poor. We had to survive on food stamps and we lived in a building that was nicknamed the Castle of Hell. It got its name, because it was shaped like a castle and it had hellish conditions. There were also a lot of drug dealers and gangs that resided there. I often got jumped.”
Despite growing up in a rough and uncertain environment, Chais, now a college student, credits his mother for encouraging him to rise above his circumstances and inspiring a love of learning.
“She made me realize that my life existed beyond the four corners of the building,” Chais said. “She would take me to the park and we would have picnics. She would pay for me to take horseback riding lessons. She would save up for me, so that I could go away to camp. She always wanted me to be exposed to different things, and she would save up for me to go on ski trips and more.”
All of his mother’s efforts inspired a love of storytelling in Chais, who recently released his first novel entitled “Nameless.” The book is a work of fantasy about one fallen angel’s quest to gain a human form and obtain a name.