Q: First tell us something about yourself?
I am the recruitment manager for an education nonprofit called City Year, we are a national organization under AmeriCorps and our overall goal is to build up youth and their identity and close the achievement gap in high need schools across the country. With the current times, we are working hard to encourage, uplift, and inspire our youth. Thus, if you or if you know of anyone with a passion to serve youth and the community please tell them to visit cityyear.org. Oh and I love blue, what’s your favorite color?
Q: How and when your journey started as a writer?
My journey as a writer began in high school. One day, my high school English teacher paired me with a classmate to create a piece all about friendship and betrayal. I wrote and performed a quick poem on the topic and the whole class cheered and applauded, I was so shocked! From that moment, I got excited and interested in writing. I started writing poetry and performing as a spoken word artist and even traveled to perform!
Q: When did you write your first story? Is it published or not?
I wrote my first story in 2017 for a writing fellowship. It is not published, but it is my passion project and I hope to complete that in the next 3 to 4 years-so please stay tuned for that one. I enjoy coming up with creative ideas and stories that are out of the box or use themes we’ve heard of before to put a nice sweet touch or twist on them.
Q: Tell us something more about your books?
This is my 1st children’s book all about a young girl named Unique who must confront her fears after her family recently moved to a different side of town halfway through the school year becoming every third-grader’s nightmare. Being a child with physical differences in a new school creates worries for Unique. But a changing butterfly takes her on a magical journey of self-discovery to celebrate her differences and find out exactly how unique she truly is. The power of imagination, the importance of self-empowerment, and acceptance are celebrated in this picture book.
Q: Why do you choose kids as your reader? is there any specific reason?
I choose children as my readers because I believe that everyone has a voice and everyone deserves a chance to be l listened to and heard. I’ve worked with little 3rd graders and preschoolers in the past and they definitely want to be heard. I simply want to highlight children’s voices and stories to spread joy! I want to encourage children to be kind, to be thoughtful because hopefully through the words I share they can carry that with them in the future and in turn be caring and kind to others. I loved reading as a kid, there is something magical in reading stories, you get to travel, explore and learn through words and I think young readers should have the opportunity to discover that joy!
I’d love for families to know that through reading and spending time with one another they, in turn, grow in many ways possibly never thought of before.
Q: How did these stories and characters come to your mind?
This particular story came to mind after creating a mind map of themes and character ideas. I thought about some of my experiences a year prior. One year, I kept seeing butterflies every day and it truly brought me joy. So I knew I wanted to incorporate a butterfly into a story one day. I also worked with third graders and they inspired me to write.
Q: Do you want to give any message to your readers?
To all my new readers and future ones too, I encourage you to continue to read and discover the amazing things around you. On a simple note, enjoy the cereal in your bowls in the mornings, the jumps in puddles of water during the rain, and singing in the car or eating ice cream in the sun. Those moments make up great memories.
Don’t ever forget what you’re capable of and always dare to be butterflies!