Q: First tell us something about yourself?
My name is Patricia Nicole Harris. I am a wife, a mother, and the product of immigrant grandparents from the British Virgin Islands. Their sacrifice and commitment to the pursuit of a better life is the reason I can pursue my own dreams. My Grandmother laid the blueprint of service to others. It is the reason I am so proud to follow in her footsteps and serve others in my own way.
I am Lexington (Lex) and Savannah’s mother and Camden’s (Cam) Aunt and God mommy.
I enjoy puns, baking, writing, meditating, nature, and spending time with family.
Q: How and when did your journey start as a writer?
I have, in a sense, always been a writer. Writing was/is how I expressed myself emotionally and creatively. I never considered it a gift though. Family and friends would tell me I was talented when I shared poems and other projects but was discouraged when my creative writing teacher in college was less than supportive. I even changed my major. However, I knew I had a way with words and felt like my wit and humor and storytelling were in fact worth revisiting. Luckily, I found my way back.
Q: When did you write your first story? Is it published or not?
If we aren’t talking about my elementary school assignment where I wrote a fictional Halloween story about a haunted house on Stockton Drive, then I wrote my actual first story recently in 2020. I was on maternity leave after having my baby girl Savannah, between careers and decided to dedicate time to something I had wanted to do for over 2 years. It was an idea that had been nagging me and wouldn’t leave me alone, so I responded. I hired an amazing accountability coach and set milestones and just started writing. Cam And Lex Adventures was born shortly thereafter. This book and the series of books that follow, is my outward expression of admiration and love to my boys, my daughter and to all children. I dreamt of writing these books, I put it off repeatedly and convinced myself the dream I carried wasn’t big or important enough. I was wrong…
Q: Tell us something more about your books?
Cam and Lex Adventures highlights the unique love and bond that exists between cousins who are growing up as close as siblings. It is inspired by Cam (the big cousin) and Lex (the little cousin). Throughout the series there is fun, learning, discovery, conflict, and resolution. We follow Cam and Lex on a series of adventures, based on real life explorations. The book normalizes and humanizes the experiences of boys of color while being relatable to all families. The representation and humanization of their day to day, matters. It makes you wonder what they will get into next!
I have a few goals with this book, and they include 1. Joy and learning for kids 2. A sense of nostalgia for adults (“I used to do that with my cousins too! “) 3. Representation for kids of color and 4. Solidarity with any family that has experienced infertility/loss – there is an element of remembrance and hope on each page and an explanation at the beginning- you’ll have to grab a copy and see.
Q: Why do you choose kids as your reader? is there any specific reason?
I have realized part of my gift is my ability to relate to and speak their language, yet kids teach us so much more than we can ever teach them. Their interpretation of what they read, and experience is always so profound–yet simple. Kids have a way of reminding us of what is magical, uncomplicated, and easy. Kids are also so open, teachable, and impressionable. My hope is that young readers retain and expand upon their sense of adventure and curiosity. And, that if for any reason their sense of wonder has been misplaced (especially during these tough times), they can be reminded of how fun life is and go along for the adventures with Cam and Lex and create adventures of their own.
Q: How did these stories and characters come to your mind?
Cam is my nephew and Lex is my son. They are so close, in relationship and proximity, and are growing up like brothers. Everyone asks how I come up with their adventures, and I say, “I just watch them in their element, write it down and make it rhyme.” I had to! Their time together is just too good not to capture. Everything in the book is art imitating life. My sweet Savannah even made an appearance because they are so in love with her too. My original goal was to satisfy a creative itch and to archive memories for our babies. It became so much more, and I am honored that anyone would want to have this book in their home.
Q: Do you want to leave any message for your readers?
I want kids to know that while capes and magic wands and superheroes are awesome, that YOU are the true magic. Without any sensationalizing, you in your purest form can make anything an awesome adventure. So, I hope you never stop exploring and having fun. No matter how old you get. Cherish your siblings, cousins, friendships, and family. Be kind- to yourself and others.
The thing I hope to get right in these books is to show my children, to show all children, especially those of color- children whose dreams are deferred and told aren’t significant enough – that you do it anyway. Pursuing your dream isn’t optional, it’s a necessity. Pursuing your dream, holding on to the thing that lights you up is what we can do to light up the world. I started out simply wanting my boys to see themselves represented and memorialize the joy I see in their childhood. I wanted them to remember the times when life was easy and fun, and their cares rested only in what adventure would come next.
Our children deserve to see themselves and to live in their innocence and sense of adventure for as long as they can. Any parent knows having children is like having your heart walk outside of your body – Cam and Lex Adventures is me sharing my heart with the world.