Q: First tell us something about yourself?
Hello, my name is Omar Bala and I am a husband and father of 4 children. I am currently a train operator for a mass transit agency in the Bay Area. I have always wanted to inspire young minds and becoming an author is my way of doing so. It started with my son, Khalil Bala, who is nine years oldand the illustrator of all of our books. We are a father/son duo. Our story is so special because there are not many duos like us in book publishing.
Q: How and when did your journey start as a writer?
My journey as a writer began quite recently and my son was the driving force behind the initiative. He’s a talented artist and I have always told him ,”This is your gift. Use it so you don’t lose it.” I figured if he saw his work in a book it would fuel his ambition and drive to create and to never stop drawing.The summer of 2020 is when I began to fully immerse myself in writing children’s books.
Q: When did you write your first story? Is it published or not?
I began to write our first story in 2019 but we didn’t complete the story until late 2020.
Q: Tell us something more about your books?
So far, we have published three books, all featuring animals, dinosaurs, and dragons as the central characters. I initially wanted to keep the artwork in his comfort level, however as he’s gotten older, his artistic skills have grown, and in an effort to support that growth, our 4th book will include people as the characters. Q: Why do you choose kids as your reader ? Is there any specific reason?
I chose kids as my target reader because my passion has always been to inspire the youth. My son is a perfect vehicle for that inspiration. When children see him and realize a 7 year old can illustrate books, that will give them the inspiration to publish their own book or aspire to something greater.
Q: How did these stories and characters come to your mind?
Our first story, “Why Dogs Chase Cats” is an old African American folktale I used to recite to Khalil all of the time. Our second book, “The Lost Baby Spinosaurus,” came to be from Khalil’s love of dinosaurs. And our third book, “The Big Friendly Dragon,” was inspired by Khalil’s love of drawing dragons during that time. All three of our books are published and available online at various retailers.
Q: Do you want to leave any message for your readers?
Shoot for the stars, land on the moon.