Born in Washington, DC, Thomasina F. Johnson now lives in Maryland with her husband and 7 wonderful home schooled children and has found writing as a calling and a great way to give to others.
But it all didn’t start off that way. As a way to escape the mean words that were being said about her when she was younger she attempted suicide. Fortunately she failed in her attempt and in 2000 started writing whimsical and rhythmic books that help children build character. From that experience she started writing her first book The Bully, which she is currently working on illustrations for.
Thomasina, can you give us a summary of Mama, When Will I Be Popular?
A mother and daughter talk. That provides insight into how today’s struggles will teach her daughter to triumph in her future endeavors. It’s the concept of, what people mean for evil now will eventually work out for the good in you! Don’t give up!
On the first page we find out that the character wants to be popular. What does she think popularity will bring her?
Acceptance, sadly that is all most kids want. Most just want to be liked and not judged for who they are.
I noticed right away that you didn’t give your character a name. Was this intentional?
Yes, and that’s really neat that you noticed that! When you are bullied you don’t “feel” like you have a name. However, that was why I intentionally put the “titles” of roles you will be called upon to fulfill later in life.
Through out the story we found out different things that character building can prepare someone for. My favorite was being an astronaut. What do you think the character would choose?
She chose to be a teacher. Her experience gave her a heart for children just like herself. And being an educator gave her that opportunity to help shape and mold those who were in her classroom.
“Or maybe you’ll have character like an astronaut who has to spend a lot of time alone, out in space, for months, just communicating by phone.”
What is your favorite part of Mama, When Will I be Popular?
The crying scene, when she is in her bed. It is a tender picture of what I have seen at times in my own life/home.
Is Mama, When Will I be Popular the first in a series?
Yes, I have several more coming that talk about bullying, true friendship, geography and dance, a princess story and a crying little brother. I have many stories that I have written over the years that I can’t wait to share!
That’s great! Can you tell us about some of your upcoming projects?
I touched on “The Bully” project so I will talk about my project after that which is Amber & Emily! This is a book dear to my heart that talks about interracial friendship. It’s the true story of my daughter and her best friend Emily!
Excerpt: “These two friends are special what could they possibly not share? Amber is as dark as chocolate and Emily has blonde hair.”
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Well, being a mom I just think it’s important to have children build strong character morals’ and a huge secured sense of their value! My hope is that we can end child suicide by building up our young people up. And stop bullying by getting to the heart and anatomy of the bullies in our grade schools before they end up in our colleges.
Where can people find more information about you and your books?
Our website is at http://www.booksbythomasina.com. Please don’t forget to join our Google Friend Connect and to “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter (@booksbytj)
I also have a blog spot that focuses primarily on the personal side of me being a wife and mommy of 7 children called Mommy Writes it on my web page under the tag label blog.
Thank you Thomasina for taking time for the interview. I wish you much success with your books.