It was important for me, as a black author and black self publisher to have black illustrators and African American main characters.
My books are bilingual (Spanish/English). My goal is to reach a child who speaks English because they are born here whose parents speak Spanish. Parents can help the children read in Spanish and they then can read in English.
I promote Latino writers who write originally in Spanish. Not translations, original Spanish.
What is unique about the book is it has an interesting blend of history, personal narrative, fiction, documents (excerpts from newspapers and sociological discussions of the time period) and why people would be doing what they did.
When looking at traditional lynchings, people of color represent anywhere from 50 to 75% of those lynched. Way out of proportion to their numbers. When talking about tar and featherings, people of color represent like 10%, which is much closer to their actual number.
The media shows Catholic sisters as being judgmental and dour. I wanted my books to dispel the myths about Catholic sisters.
Christine Brennan broke down many barriers as a female sports journalist. When you go to her website, she has a special section where she tells journalism students exactly what they need to do to follow in her footsteps.
I wasn’t done with Angie’s story. Fat Angie was a book that touched a lot of young people. As it relates to death, after the time when people stop bringing you the casseroles, and coming to your door saying, “I’m Sorry,” seven months later if you don’t have someone to talk to, how do you cope with some of that.
Since I have a background in journalism and went to journalism school in Chicago, I decided to write a book about women who are reporters. I tried to focus on back in the day when they were called “girl reporters.”
Young people are unpredictable. The world is unpredictable. The ending of the book is a surprise even to me.
You write with your hands, you cook with your hands, you hold a dying elderly person with your hands. I feel most of our emotional connections are done through our hands.
My book is about the Vietnam war but it’s not a war story. It is a coming of age story.