Q: First tell us something about yourself?
I am Olaolu Ogunyemi. I am a first-generation Nigerian-American, U.S. Marine Corps Officer, mentor, and best-selling children’s book author. I am the fifth of six children from Ruston, Louisiana, and I am married with three children of my own.
Q: How and when did your journey start as a writer?
My journey as a writer started at a very young age when I would write and submit poems for my elementary writing contests. More recently, I started writing children’s books in 2018 and published my first book in April 2021.
Q: When did you write your first story? Is it published or not?
I wrote two stories in 2018 that have not been published yet; however, my first published story is called, “Crow From the Shadow.” It has been an Amazon best seller in several categories since publishing!
Q: Tell us something more about your books?
I write my books to provide parents, teachers, and mentors resources to connect with their children while creating fun and memorable experiences. All three of my current books are easy-to-read rhyming stories–each with its own message. “Crow From the Shadow” reminds children that they control their own destiny. “Billy Dipper’s time to Shine” tells children that they are valuable and have a significant impact on those around them. “Horace the Horsefly” is a concept book that teaches children animal sounds and sight words while reinforcing kindness and friendship. The former two books are actually illustrated by my brother, Joshua Ogunyemi!
Q: Why do you choose kids as your reader ? is there any specific reason?
There are two reasons: 1. As a young parent, I recognized a need to have more interactions and shared moments with my children. So I decided to create my children’s book series to give parents something to enjoy with their children while they teach valuable life lessons.2. I believe reading allows us to gain perspective and experiences we would not have had otherwise. So I hope to spark an interest in reading at an early age with my books.
Q: How did these stories and characters come to your mind?
Each of my stories and characters are based upon some aspect of my life. In “Crow From the Shadow,” Crow is an unlikely main character who is being told by an opposing force (whether it be internal or external) that he cannot achieve the things he wants to achieve. In “Billy Dipper’s Time to Shine,” the main character is met with a situation that caused him to second guess his worth and the value he brings to others. In “Horace the Horsefly,” the horsefly is another unlikely main character who is typically viewed as an annoyance. Instead, this horsefly is smiling and friendly and encourages children to be the same.
Each of my characters and stories are relatable. They are your “average,” everyday characters who do extraordinary things… just like my readers!
Q: Do you want to leave any message for your readers?
I want my readers to know they are valuable and there is nothing they cannot do! I believe each of them can achieve great things!
Q: Do you want to leave any message for your readers?I want my readers to know they are valuable and there is nothing they cannot do! I believe each of them can achieve great things!