Join me in welcoming African American author Cherese Vines. I met Cherese through the Facebook group for African American authors. Her passion for the written word impressed me hugely, and this is what led me to interview her.
Can you tell the readers about yourself?
I’m an author, wife and mother of two. My parents were in the military, so I’ve lived all over the U.S. I’ve lived in Georgia near Atlanta since 1999. I’m a self-published author. I love to read and write, and I can’t get enough of the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com). Many movies are just adaptations of great books and plays. I participate in the National Novel Writing Month each November (www.nanowrimo.org) where we write 50,000 words in 30 days. I’ve won (reached the goal) three years out of four. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so I have a number of books written that I haven’t published yet because I’m still editing. I like talking and encouraging people who are interested in writing and publishing their books.
What inspired you to start writing books?
I started writing my own books when I was 11 or 12 and since then I’ve always felt comfortable writing at that level. Just the idea of being able to enter a story I created and change what happens is exciting. I’ve always loved to read, and writing just came naturally. I especially like fantasy, magic and science fiction, and children’s literature really focuses on those genres and imagination and less on reality. We have to deal with reality everyday. Why read about it?
What are your thoughts on the lack of children’s books that portray children of color in a positive light?
Since I have a five-year-old I’m always going to the library, and we have found many positive books with children of many different cultures. I think the popularity of TV shows like Dora the Explorer has really opened the industry’s eyes to the need of diversifying TV as well as the book market. Also, the ability to publish on demand and ebooks has really opened the market for writers to put out books that have good main characters of color. We have a ways to go, but I see positive changes already.