Guest Post by Children’s Author Tymeka Coney

What inspired you to write this book?

I was inspired to write this book because I had something to say about racism and I wanted to be a part of the conversation and I wanted to make a contribution to positive change through my gifts and after prayer and meditation this was the project that came to me and I continued to move on it and everything started to flow together. It has been 9 years since I wrote my 1st book so it was also time to give birth to another book and the Pandemic afforded me a chance to do that.

What can we expect from you in the future?

You can expect more children’s books. I really enjoyed the process and you can expect a book about Wisdom, you can expect another Poetry book as I have a Volume I so there has to be a Volume II. You can expect me to continue to write and create media that is thought provoking and entertaining with a message. I will continue to Entertain, Educate and Empower.

Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?

No, I can’t think of any side stories about the characters.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in the book?

In “I Don’t Like Racism,” the main character is DaNyla. The story is told through her eyes as she witnesses police brutality done to her cousin and then she goes on a journey to find out why racism exists as she talks to her Mom, her Dad and her history teacher. She prays and seeks change through protesting and other positive community efforts and she continues to play with and continues to love on her multicultural friends.

How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?

I basically thought it would be great to see a young girl talk about her views on racism and how it affects her and this would be good to educate children all ages about the subject of racism.

Where did you come up with the names in the story?

DaNyla is- (DA)Dallas where I am from and my two favorite entertainment cities (NY) New York and (LA) Los Angeles and Los Angeles is where I now reside. Her name is made up of three major cities where I want to really push the book to as well.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I enjoyed telling the illustrator the vision for the scene and based on what I described to her…Seeing her come back with an illustration that captured my vision and fit perfectly with the words I had written for the scene.

Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?

What makes DaNyla tick is going on a journey to see why racism exists and how she can be a part of the peaceful protest to change/eradicate racism in her community and in the world.

How did you come up with the title of your first novel?

The title of my first book was Words Unspoken: Volume I- Deeper Than Eyes Can See (This title was simply me sharing all the words I write but never speak out loud and allowing readers a chance to hear my thoughts on love, relationships, historical subjects, entertainers, purpose and so much more.

The title for this book “I Don’t Like Racism” was simply the first words that the main character DaNyla said and this is how she truly feels about racism and this became the premise/theme for the whole book.

Who designed your book covers?

I design my book covers. I tell the graphic artist/illustrator exactly- the colors I want, the images, the layout and design of the book from front to back and we keep working at it until I can say… Yes…this is my vision…Love It!!

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

If I had to do it all over again… I would have started sooner on this book because this topic is so urgent for the current times we are living in.

Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

I learned that this topic really does affect all ages. I didn’t realize that there were kids as early as six years old that are aware of racism and its affects on the human race and the importance of being an African-American children’s book author as we only make up 7% in this category.

If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

If my book was made into a film I would like Marsai Martin or Quvenzhané Wallis.

Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I want to tell the readers to spread the message and the word about this book and please do write a review on Amazon etc. about what you have read and learned as a result of reading the book.

How did you come up with name of this book?

The title of this book was from the first words I had my character say. I thought it would make a great title.

What is your favorite part of this book and why?

My favorite part of the book is when she says “I love everyone, no matter their race. We are all different but we can all still embrace.” Then we see her in the illustration in the center of her multicultural friends.

If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

I would definitely spend time with the main character DaNyla and I would go on the journey with her to eradicate racism.

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

They are all from my imagination and what could happen.

Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story? Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.

I have the reigns and I pass the baton to allow my characters to have the reign. This book is a must read because it’s going to teach us all the value of loving each other despite the color of our skin and it is a must read because racism is relevant right now.

Have you written any other books that are not published?

I have not written any other books that aren’t published, I have two published books. 

If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?

If my book had a candle it would be vanilla because it is a popular fragrance that most people like and buy and it has a sweet aroma to it. 

What did you edit out of this book?

I edited out a few illustrations that didn’t quite align with the words I wrote. 

Is there a writer which brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?

I’m inspired by all the African American children’s book authors that are on the bestseller’s list like a few are:  

Matthew Cherry- “Hair Love” and Grace Byers-“I Am Enough,” and so many others.  

I would ask how it feels to be on the bestsellers list and some of the steps they took with their book to get there in this genre.

Fun Facts/Behind the Scenes/Did You Know?’-type tidbits about the author, the book or the writing process of the book.

Did you know this book was written in one day?  Did you know that the Author is really an introvert/reserved and somewhat shy and she communicates better through writing which is why she enjoys it because it is a form of self expression and it is relaxing and cathartic? 

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