Native New Yorker, Cheryl “Cherry Bomb” Winley was born and raised in one of the most affluent counties in the eastern most part of Long Island. The progeny of scholarly and dignified parents, Cherry’s childhood not only mimicked richness and decadence it encompassed balance and an avid love of the English language. However, being gifted with a passion for English and poetry wasn’t her only reward; Cherry’s parents would reward her every action with monetary treats. By the age of 15, Cherry’s lifestyle would consist of limitless credit cards, fine dining, cars, and shopping and more shopping. The excessive gratification from her parents would in turn increase Cherry’s desires and by the age of 16 she would meet her first real boyfriend, a drug dealer, who would change the suburban girl into a lady and a hustler’s wife.
Fast money, fast living, diamonds, designer brands and fancy cars; Cherry’s years as a young adult would be a ‘glamorous life’. Everyone knew her; she was on the arms of the who’s who, traveled the world, and partied with the best of the best. It was also during these years that Cherry would craft a certain strategy and set of skills to attract a specific type of man that would fulfill her ever-growing insatiable desires. “As my tastes grew, the type of man that dated me had to as well – he had to be one up from the last”, Cherry comments. Yet, no matter how ‘sponsored’ Cherry was, something was missing – she would spend her late twenties in search of that “missing piece”. Cherry would become an entrepreneur several times, even a homeowner; nonetheless, being spoiled would always find its way back to her. As luck would have it, it would be another boyfriend who would change the mindset of this ‘professional girlfriend’ and put her on another journey.
After living in Dubai and seeing true wealth, Cherry decided to return back to the one place that gave her balance and clarity – New York. “One day I woke up and wanted the only thing I’ve never really possessed, my independence”, says Cherry, and that day she figured out how to get it. “Come hell, high water, or high heels” is Cherry’s favorite motto which reflects her innate determination to never be without and has led her to figuring out that the one thing that proves to be most profitable is herself and why not sell it! After being asked a million times, how do you get men to give you money? Cherry decided to pen her strategy, thus, her authorial debut I Am Not a Hoe – a handbook that details Cherry’s best possession; her game, her time, and her attention and as Iceberg Slim would say “the game is to be sold not told”.