The vocal, and often cut-through Latina we've come to know the past two years on the hit VH1 reality series "Basketball Wives Miami" is using the spotlight to leverage a career outside of TV drama. Evelyn Lozada is primping herself as a clothing designer, creator of her own makeup line, and most notably an author of new book Inner Circle (The Wives Association)—recently released on Cash Money Content—and it all seems to be paying off. Taking readers inside the life of an athletes life, Evelyn uses the character Eve Inez to weave a narrative similar to the life she has come to know as the former fiancé of former NBA star Antoine Walker, and current fiancé of NFL wide receiver Chad Ochocinco—who together with Lozada will star in a spin-off reality series on VH1 chronicling the couple's journey to the alter. Inner Circle will undoubtedly register with the loads of viewers who tune into "Basketball Wives" each week. We caught up with the Brooklyn-native to chat transitioning from reality star to author, working with the infamous Cash Money crew, and what's next.
EBONY: So, I read the book and I was surprised that you gave us so much information, upfront.
Evelyn: Right, I mean if you know me I mean obviously you watch the show. I’m very, very open with my life. The book was…how do I say it? Very therapeutic because a lot of things I don’t talk about. The stories in the book are real stories you know/
EBONY: On the show, you’re pretty comfortable in your own skin, but were you nervous at all when you were writing the book?
Evelyn: You know I wasn’t necessarily nervous because this is what I thought: if you were an acquaintance of mine or if I wrote about something that happened in the book, only you would know that that’s where I got the story from. I did it very tastefully. Names are changed. I made sure to keep things very private. I would never speak about anything publicly, especially with my ex. I’m not that type of person even, on “Basketball Wives”. I never talked about my ex, that’s something I would never do.
EBONY: The back-stories you give In the Inner Circle offer a little depth to who you are on the show. We’ve seen you at your best; we’ve seen you at your worst. Do you feel like people reading this book will be able to understand the good and bad of Evelyn from "Basketball Wives" a little more now?
Evelyn: I think so. I wrote the book with Courtney Parker and I wanted to be very open, very real about the stories and the things that have happened. You can get a glimpse of how I lived, how my life was and why I do react to certain things and why I’m so protective of my girlfriends. Why I’m the way I am.
EBONY: Do you feel like being young and married contributed to the uneasiness of a relationship like your first?
Evelyn: Yeah I mean we were young. We started dating when I was 23. I went from working for an attorney and taking care of my daughter, to living in the Bronx to driving around in Bentleys. My life was going a mile a minute. As far as being domestic, that was never an option because we’re going from plane to plane, traveling. But, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I feel like all those experiences are the reason why I’m here today. I wasn’t trying to be Betty Crocker. We were just having fun. Now, though it’s a different story. Like I just learned how to make baked macaroni and cheese
EBONY: You just learned how to make macaroni and cheese?
Evelyn: Yes, girl and it was good!
EBONY: Ok, I trust you. I still don’t know how to make macaroni and cheese or fry chicken.
Evelyn: Oh my god! I totally know how to make it and he [Chad] loves it.
EBONY: I’m sure he does. Was it difficult to accept Chad’s marriage proposal after dating past athletes or have you grown as a woman and just feel content and you know its right?
Evelyn: On the show, I said I would blow off every athlete. Then Chad comes in like a hurricane. I met him on twitter and I’m like, “We’ll hang out and whatever happens, happens. I thought I was going film this show, have a great time and then you know we end up meeting and we end up dating, falling in love. Blah blah blah. You know all that stuff. Then we ended up engaged. But you know they always say, when you know, you know. I knew. I was like this is supposed to be my husband. We’re a train wreck sometimes, but it is what is it. We’re like the same people, he gets me and I get mad at him and it’s not perfect, but we love each other.
EBONY: Is this a surreal moment for your love life and career?
Evelyn: No, I always knew in my mind that I was going to get married, but I never thought in a million years that I would be with somebody like Chad and that my wedding would be filmed and televised. I love make up. It’s something that I’ve always loved. I was showing my manager a photo when I was literally like in the 4th grade, and I snuck and wore eyeliner to my class pictures. My mom was so pissed off because I did it behind her back. But I’ve always loved make up.
EBONY: Why do you feel it’s timely now to publish your book?
Evelyn: I think it’s the right time because you know I’ve been working so hard in trying to brand myself outside of b-ball wives. I feel like it I were to have released this book say a year ago, it just wouldn’t have made sense.
EBONY: How was it working with Cash Money?
Evelyn: They are so cool. Everybody is usually intimidated by Slim and Baby. Baby has been so supportive of the book and the clothing line that we’re going to work on. He’s been great. I mean I feel like whatever he touches, he does turns to gold, so I was like I want a part of that.
EBONY: Are they really nurturing in their own way?
Evelyn: They’re very nurturing. They’re always checking in. “Are you happy with how everything is going”. Very attentive. It’s really like a family. I’m not just forgotten about. It makes me want to be successful and work as hard as they do because you know they work hard. They’re always in the studio and traveling, so I said to myself, “I’m not going be the only one on Cash Money that fails.”
EBONY: And were they very hands on or did they sort of give you wings and let you fly with the book?
Evelyn: No they definitely gave me wings and let me fly with the book.
EBONY: It’s really good to hear that because for women in the industry, it’s kind of tough to get that freedom and not to be under somebody’s full control.
Evelyn: Right and that was important. That was definitely something that was important for me and Courtney. We didn’t want to feel restricted. We wanted to be able to write what we wanted to and what we felt comfortable with. We didn’t want publishers telling us what to do and how to do it.
EBONY: When can your fans pick up your book?
Evelyn: Well it’s in stores now at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com and anywhere where they sell books you can buy it.
EBONY: Are you selling it on your site as well?
Evelyn: Yes, if you go to evelynlozada.com everything is on there so from the book to the makeup line. Everything is on there.
EBONY: Can you give us any details on your clothing line? When that might debut or are you still working on that project?
Evelyn: We’re in the early stages on that but I will say that it is going to be a line of maxi dresses and they’re going to be very affordable. It’s going to be around Spring 2013. That’s all I wear in Florida!
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Associate Beauty and Style Editor, Digital