#CLE-ative Groove: Meet Deantè Young, book coach, ghostwriter, and content creator

Our #CLEative Groove series features Q&A profiles on our city’s creative makers and shakers! Read on for our next installment with Deantè Young, a Wickliffe resident is making waves on the publishing scene and helping Clevelanders elevate their writing projects to big things. Learn more about Deante in his own words below:

How long have you lived in Cleveland and where do you currently live? I was born and raised in Cleveland, and I lived in the city proper for my first 22 years. Overall, I’ve lived in Greater Cleveland since day one with a one-year exception when I lived in Tuscarawas County. Currently, I live in Wickliffe.

Name something local that helped to shape your creativity as a kid: The Cleveland-based television show “Big Chuck and Little John.” It was so irreverent and silly, and it truly inspired my creative instincts to act out sketches as they did.

Share a bit about your work and your creative path to date: I am a book coach, ghostwriter, and content creator. In 2021, I launched my publishing imprint, Dirty Truth Publishing; since then, I have written and published five of my own personal development books.

Additionally, I am the co-writer and publisher of Fox 8 co-anchor Wayne Dawson’s new memoir, The Seeds of Greatness Are Within You. Many people have asked me where I came from (because they never heard of me before), but truthfully, I have been a writer since I was four years old.

At age 12, I was honored at The Young Authors of America ceremony for a 10-page book that I had written. I have written countless notebooks full of articles, essays, and stories for decades. I also kept several blogs and wrote screenplays over many years. 

From 2008 to 2013, I produced and hosted a web series that was both controversial and entertaining. The point is, I’ve been a multi-decade creative—I just hadn’t gone truly public with it until the past three years.

Deantè YoungDeantè YoungCan you share a few of your favorite local authors and collaborations? I held a book fair and included local authors James Wingo, JJ Winston, and Zachary Fenell. I love author Dr. Tameka Ellington’s work, and I am the ghostwriter and publisher of a notable book project by fashion designer Stephanie Morris Nunn.

In your opinion, what are Cleveland’s best-kept cultural and creative secrets? University Circle is dynamic and epitomizes the city’s diversity well; the Urban Kitchen is a phenomenon in that area. The Hough area has experienced a resurgence like no other. I recommend Cafe Phix, as it serves not just as a coffee shop but also hosts author discussions at times. The Larchmere area—specifically Loganberry Books—is a cultural landmark.

What are some of your other creative passions and how do you indulge them locally? I believe that creativity extends to one’s personal style. That said, I’m almost addicted to hats—specifically fedoras—so I indulge myself with going to Mike the Hatter in Downtown Cleveland.

I also spend time at Evergreen Podcasts in Downtown Cleveland when I want to record around creative people.

Any quirky Cleveland stuff people need to check out? The Coventry area is the very definition of quirky and filled with awesomeness. Mac's Backs Books is essential and in my opinion, is a cultural hotspot for readers and writers.

Any favorite local artists/galleries, or businesses you want to shout out? Fashion designer Stephanie Morris Nunn, singer Maria Daniels, musicians J.T. of Horns and Things, and Vince Robinson.

Share a fun fact about you that might surprise other people: Not only am I a huge fan of the CBS soap opera, “The Young and the Restless,” but I’ve been obsessed with it since the age of four.

Deantè Young is co-writer and publisher of Fox 8 co-anchor Wayne Dawson’s new memoir, The Seeds of Greatness Are Within YouDeantè Young is co-writer and publisher of Fox 8 co-anchor Wayne Dawson’s new memoir, The Seeds of Greatness Are Within YouIf you were a Cleveland landmark, which one would you be and why? Key Tower because I see myself as towering over the city with my gifts, experiences, point of view, and aptitude. But I don’t get as much notoriety as others (Empire State Building, Willis Tower) because I am currently not as well-known as others.

Favorite Cleveland mural/piece of art? The Soldiers and Sailors monument in Public Square.

A typical day in your life might include ... outlining one of my upcoming book projects, editing video for my YouTube series, connecting with potential clients and/or meeting with them. Taking a moment to catch my breath!

Anything else you want us to know about you? I have scheduled and organized Wayne Dawson’s ongoing book tour, and I am often asked by attendees for my autograph along with Wayne’s in his book.

People should subscribe to my new YouTube series, Discuss It with Deantè. By the time this year comes to its conclusion, I will have a minimum of 10 published books that I will have either written or ghostwritten. They will all be published by Dirty Truth Publishing.

I will also have at least three online courses, and most importantly, I will have served many more people in positive ways.

Keep up with Deantè on Instagram at @deanteunlimited. Also, stay tuned for more #CLEative Groove profiles! You can also follow @cleativegroove on Instagram and send suggestions for people to profile here.

Jen Jones Donatelli
Jen Jones Donatelli

About the Author: Jen Jones Donatelli

As an enthusiastic CLE-vangelist, Jen Jones Donatelli enjoys diving headfirst into her work with FreshWater Cleveland. Upon moving back to Cleveland after 16 years in Los Angeles, Jen served as FreshWater's managing editor for two years (2017-2019) and continues her work with the publication as a contributing editor and host of the FreshFaces podcast.

When not typing the day away at her laptop, she teaches writing and creativity classes through her small business Creative Groove, as well as Literary Cleveland, Cleveland State University, and more. Jen is a proud graduate of Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.