You’ve written a book that has great potential to positively influence the lives of orphans under the care of grandparents, would you want to share with us what inspired this book?
Yes, my mother left me and my siblings with my dad, when we were infants. Although we were not orphans, my grandmother stepped in to help him raise us. She died 8 years later, but she had such an impact on my life.
Can you share something about yourself? What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about my love for God, family and friends. I love to write and to read. I love music, Broadway plays, and concerts. I am an avid NY Knicks NY METS and NY Liberty fan. I love to travel and have traveled overseas and to 36 of the 50 states.
That is quite a feat! Is there a link between your personal experience as a child and the message in Grandma’s Hands?
Yes, because of my situation, I was very sad as a child. I would sit, cry and wonder why I couldn’t have a mother in the house, like everyone else. I didn’t realize that others were going through the same thing, until as an adolescent I read Maya Angelou’s book, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”. So, I want younger children in this situation to identify and to know, they are not alone.
What is the link between your experience as a social worker and your writing?
I think being a social worker has further opened my eyes to the many things that people go through and need help with. It has given me a keen sense of awareness. I’ve written about some of those things, especially in my poetry.
What has been the most exciting thing about this book and what has been most frustrating throughout the process of writing and getting it into the hands of readers?
This is my third book, but my first book for children. So that is exciting. The marketing and promoting is hard. I really want to get the book out there to children who need it.
What are you currently reading?
Well, I’m always reading and studying the Bible, but besides that Terri McMillian’s latest book.
Grandma’s Hands is an inspiring book, a story of love and loving kindness. While you celebrate this story, do you have plans for the next book?
Well, there are several things I am working on. I’m working on a memoir or a biography to tell my story. I currently work with caregivers who are taking care of someone with dementia/Alzheimer’s and have received suggestions to work on a children’s book about that. I’m contemplating it.
I have a lot of poems and may publish another poetry book in the future.
As the author of Grandma’s Hands, what do you consider the essential message of the story and who are your intended audiences?
My intended audience is children who are living with and being raised by their grandparents, no matter what the reason. The last US Census showed that 2.4 million grandparents have responsibility of caring for their grandchildren. I want these grandchildren to know that they are not alone and the grandparents to know that they are appreciated.
Interviewed by Christian Fernandez