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Monday, June 1, 2015

Interview with Children’s Book Author Ylleya Fields


1. Why did you develop the Princess Cupcake Jones book series?  I developed the Princess Cupcake Jones Series so my daughters, and little girls like them, could see themselves in the lead character of a children's picture book.

2. How did the idea for the series come to you? The idea for the series came after I attempted to find my eldest daughter, when she was two, books with a character that she could relate to. After a lot of searching, I realized that unfortunately that character didn't exist. So I decided I needed to create my own. Blending my daughter's images and personalities, Princess Cupcake Jones was born. 

3. The main character, Cupcake Jones, likes to create a mess.  Can a lot of kids relate to this?   Based on the feedback from Moms who have read my book, absolutely! Children love to play with their things but they are not the best at putting them back where they found them. Let's be honest, I know a few adults who aren't that good either! 

4. Why is it important that the books feature African American characters? For African Americans, seeing ourselves in books is as important as a seeing a black President or a black doctor. It drives home the point that we can do and be anything we want. But African American characters in books also help with a bigger issue, namely diversity. Diversity, along with acceptance, have to be taught early. A great way to "teach" this to children is by making sure the books they read are multicultural.

5. What’s Princess Cupcake Jones Won’t Go to School about? What inspired the story idea? Princess Cupcake Jones Won't Go To School is about Cupcake facing her fear of going to school for the first time. The story was actually inspired by my son's separation anxiety that he had as a 5 year old. I felt that it was a topic that a lot of kids and their parents could relate to. 

6. How about Princess Cupcake Jones and the Missing Tutu? Princess Cupcake Jones and the Missing Tutu came about as a direct result of my 8 year old hating to clean up. You literally know exactly where she has been in the house, due to her leaving at least one of her prized possessions in that room. 

7. What were the challenges in creating the series? The challenges of creating a series, at least for me, is writing about topics that keep readers as entertained as the previous story. It can be challenging coming up with new stories, in rhyme, that keep the story line moving forward.

8. What do you like most about writing for young minds? Definitely their imagination!! I love how children can imagine themselves as a character or in the situation that the character is in. When I meet a child, and she tells me that she is Princess Cupcake Jones, I know that I'm on the right path. 

9. Which came first- the drawings and then a story- or the words and then illustrations? How do you work with your illustrator collaboratively?  The words always come first. Strictly because I am a writer not a illustrator. But once a story is complete I give the vision that I have to my illustrator Michael LaDuca. It then becomes his job to bring that vision to life through the pictures. We go back and forth via telephone and/or email, making sure that all of my expectations are realized with his drawings. Obviously he nails it every time. 

10. Are there times when you get writers block or are ideas always flowing? Oh I definitely get writer's block! But I just see that as part of the process. There's no point in trying to force a story, because it won't be very good. Plus when a story finally does come to you, it literally bursts out of you! And you end up rushing to get it down on paper before you forget it. 

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

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