WHAT/WHO INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A WRITER?
I was a second-grade teacher and read many stories to my students and I loved watching the expressions on their faces when it came to exciting parts of the story or discovering the main plot of the story. I often thought I would like to write children's books. After retiring from the field of education it became my goal to write my first children's book.
DO YOU HAVE ANY QUIRKY OR FUN WRITING HABITS?
I like to write early in the mornings when most people are sleeping. I feel the clarity in my thoughts are especially clear in the morning.
HOW DID YOU GET THE IDEA FOR YOUR AWARD-WINNING BOOK?
It is my feeling that many times people of color are not often seen in commercials, television, and magazine ads. Young people of color do not see themselves as beautiful or strong leaders because they are left out of the media. People of color should feel relevant and should appear frequently in current media. Children need to see images of people that resemble themselves. Diverse media helps to elevate the self-esteem of young people of color.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LINE FROM YOUR AWARD-WINNING BOOK AND WHY?
When the character Tina Thomas truly felt positive about her beauty, "--her dark eyes are filled with mystery. They shine with pride and knowledge of her own history!" I like this quote because she discovers a deep appreciation from learning about people of color. She learns that people of color throughout history were brave, creative, and filled with courage.
WHAT MESSAGE DO YOU HOPE READERS WILL GLEAN FROM YOUR AWARD-WINNING BOOK?
I hope young readers will learn that beauty comes in all colors. Readers will recognize that beauty is not only the image we reflect outwards; but, also the respect and kindness that comes from one's heart. Tina, the main character, along with young readers learns to recognize that brown skin is just as beautiful as the many other shades of skin. All young people need to feel positive, beautiful, and confident.
IF YOU WERE STARTING YOUR JOURNEY AS AN AUTHOR TODAY, WOULD YOU DO ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY?
If I was starting my journey as an author today I would learn as much as possible about marketing my book.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST TIP FOR ASPIRING AUTHORS?
Aspiring authors should write of things they're passionate about. My first book was about my Pitt Bull, Sugar. I wanted to share my personal experience about the Pitt Bull breed. I found my family Pitt Bull to be loving, family-oriented and a very intelligent dog.
My other personal passion is for young people of color to be fairly represented in media. People of color should be depicted as beautiful, leaders, and competent individuals. People of color should be equally as visible in movies, television commercials and in a variety of magazine ads.
CAN YOU OFFER ANY ADVICE FOR WRITERS ON HOW BEST TO PROMOTE THEIR BOOK?
I would advise writers to submit their books for reviews, enter book award contests and be willing to be available for book readings.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST LITERARY ACCOMPLISHMENT?
My greatest literary accomplishment is having my book Mirror, Mirror declared a Literary Classics award-winning book.
WHAT ARE YOUR GREATEST LITERARY ASPIRATIONS?
One of my greatest literary goals is to have one of my books win the Coretta Scott King book award.
WHAT OTHER BOOKS HAVE YOU PUBLISHED?
Sugar, A Princess Pit Bull, Finds Her Family
Super Smart Sugar
...also available at Barnes and Noble book stores
LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org