By: Bayou Trésors Staff
You might have fond memories of your parents reading to you as a child.
Those precious moments happened thanks to your parents and to the authors who wrote the books they read to you.
Where do these authors get their stories from? And what inspires them to go through the process of making them into books for children?
One author from Louisiana answers these questions and shares insight into her journey in the interview below.
Check out what Murlonda Janelle has to say about her series, Playing With Angels.
Q: Tell us about yourself. Where are you from, and what was life like growing up?
A: My name is Murlonda Janelle and I am a local children's book author from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. My parents made sure we understood the importance of a great education and in my middle school years, my mom assigned me about 12 or 13 books to read before the summer ended. The summer was ending, and I hadn't read a single book. It was in the rush to complete the assignment that I discovered my love of reading.
Q: How long have you been writing?
A: I started writing in 2020. In the beginning I wasn't into it as much, so I hired a book coach to keep me accountable. Thanks to my book coach, Lorna Lewis, the story actually became published.
Q: What initially triggered your interest in becoming an author?
A: I was asked by my financial advisor, Joe Robins, my goals for the next five years. I played around and joked about becoming an author and he actually talked me through it. Being financially savvy, he made sure I had the business side taken care of first before getting into the talent portion.
Q: What inspired your most recent book?
A: My nephews. There are just not enough books for boys that have boy characters. Avid readers often find books that are interesting or relatable. Since there were not a lot of books that they could relate to, I made a book for them.
Q: What challenges did you face while writing and publishing your book?
A: Writing, staying consistent. Finding the words that I felt were important and excluding the rest. As a children's book writer, we keep it short. For publishing, the challenge was making sure the printed copy was nice enough to grab the attention of someone just passing by. People truly judge books by their covers when it comes to kids’ literature.
A: What do you hope people will feel after they read your book?
Q: I want people to feel heard and understood. I want people to relate to my books in such a way that they really feel like I'm telling their personal stories. Hence, why boys reading my books are so important.
Q: Now that you’re a published author, what is one of the most surprising things you’ve experienced about being an author?
A: When people say "I know a published author," it gets me warm and fuzzy every time! That feeling is indescribable.
Q: What do you love most about writing?
A: Writing stories that boys can relate to. I'll say it until the end of time, boys want representation just as much as girls. It's important!
Q: What advice would you give to anyone who wants to be an author?
A: Write, even when you feel like the words are crazy and it's not flowing. Actually writing things down will spark ideas and eventually the thoughts will flow.
Q: What is the first thing I should do if I want to become a writer?
A: The first thing to do is pick a genre and read books in that genre. Reading books when you want to write is more encouraging than people realize.
For more information about Murlonda’s exciting books for children, visit www.wordsinwebb.com!