I talked to S.R.D. Harris at the Ohioana Book Festival.
Tell me about your book and why you wrote it.
This is Camryn. She is my twelve-year-old co-author daughter. We are a mother daughter author team. For us, it has always been a dream. I was featured in two children’s books when I was a child back in the 1900s. I always knew I wanted to be an author when I grew up. Camryn and I started our own publishing company together. We have seven uplifting and inspiring rhyming stories for children with positive messages. I used to home school. I didn’t see a lot of those books on the shelves written by people of color, about people of color, with positive messages. I decided to change that. We started our own publishing company. We have seven titles so far.
How difficult was it to start your own publishing company and is it worth it?
It is absolutely worth it. It was difficult. All things that are worth it are a lot of work. I wanted to have creative control over my stories, the content, characters, and pictures. Every single thing I wanted from my heart. I wanted the messages to be uplifting and inspiring. I didn’t want someone else to tell me, “you can’t write about that.,” “you can’t say that,” or “it is too this or too that.” We wanted to maintain that control. Also, working with my daughter, we have a legacy now. It is a family business. It is so personal. It is us together. It is just as much her ideas as mine. We put our hearts and souls into the stories. Some things happened in real life and some things are from our imaginations. It is wonderful to be able to work with my daughter.
Is there anything that I didn’t ask you that you think I should have asked you? If so, go ahead and answer that question.
The challenge is finding people who support literature and getting young children to read. We are fighting against a lot of technology. Our books are available in eBook also. I think there is something really special about a print book and having it in your hands and on your bookshelf at home where your child can take it off the shelf and enjoy it every day. All our stories have a positive message and an activity in the back of the book. It is more than just a story. It is a tool they can use in their lives.