Tell us about your book.
"Malik and the Magic Bow Tie" is about inspiration, empowerment and a wonderful relationship between a father and son. The name "Malik" comes from my son and his name means "King." When it comes to the "Bow Tie '' it's not just about style, but it also relates to a life practice, because when tying a bow tie or bow, it's often all over the place and your muscles hurt. The teachable moment of the "Bow Tie" is that you can't give up on things in life, keep going until you get it right. Moreover, the storyline is paired with spectacular illustrations from award-winning 3D illustrator, Mr. Tyrus Goshay. The book is easy to read and is crafted to encourage children to pursue their goals and dreams. It confirms that their greatness can overcome anything that they put their mind to!
What inspires you to create books for children?
One of my inspirations to become an author is a lack of Black men that are children's book authors. I wanted to write books that look like our children, but more importantly utilize writing to educate, inspire, encourage and empower. Becoming an author provides me the opportunity to use my creative side to reach children across the world, even youth and adults. Being an author with a inspirational story of coming from many challenges and persevering through a lot to achieve where I am today, it gives me the ability to relate to children, youth and adults, it allows me in spaces to share my story.
How important is it for African American children to see themselves in books that they read and why?
It is very important to our children's psychology to see positive images of themselves. I can remember watching and studying videos like the "Doll Experiment" which was conducted by psychologists Dr. Kenneth and Mamie Clark. Their experiment shows how early children understand seeing images that relate to them, either negative or positive. Moreover, I have received pictures from parents/caregivers of their children dressing up as the character "Malik," mentioning how their child wanted to be like the character, seeing a behavior change at home and school, these are just a few examples of when a child sees themselves in a book. Lastly, when they see themselves, it transforms the mind, impacts self-esteem, unlocks greatness within them and is relatable.
What keeps you motivated in such a competitive industry?
Out of the many things that keep me motivated, family and faith are the top two. Also, when I think about where I come from and the many obstacles that I've faced, it motivates me to keep achieving in this industry. I've always had a hustle/hard working mentality, but I n . Moreover, everytime I read one of my favorite poems called "Don't Quit," it sparks my motivation when the light seems to start getting dim. I must say, Dr. Eric Thomas "The Hip Hop Preacher," is like a distant mentor that I've never met, but motivates me to stay the course when watching his videos; we have similar life stories.
What does success look like for you?
Success is failure turned inside out, because of the many failures, iit allows me to achieve beyond measures. Also, success to me is being able to create generational wealth for my family one day, which allows me the autonomy to impact and influence on a much larger scale. More importantly, success is when I don't lose myself along the way or forget where I come from when accomplishing things on various levels.
How can we contact you?