Olivia: Hello, my name is Olivia Lauren. I am a co-owner of Lauren Simone Publishing House, which publishes children’s books written and illustrated by youth. Today we have with us, the Dowe Twins, two special guests, who are published under Lauren Simone Publishing House.
Olivia: Welcome. Before we talk about your books, please tell our audience a little about yourself.
Brazil: I am Brazil, one of the Dowe Twins.
Princeton: And I am Princeton, one of the Dowe Twins.
Brazil: So we are young authors. We [published] two children’s books. And we have our own brand of water.
Princeton: And we are 8 year old and from the Bronx.
Olivia: So tell us about your books...
Brazil: We have two book series under the Dowe Twins. He and She and More2Learn.
Princeton. He and She is about our life as twins. More2Learn teaches children different lessons.
Olivia: Brazil, what is the easiest part about creating the book?
Brazil: So, the easiest part about writing the book is writing what the book is about.
Olivia: Princeton, what is the hardest part of creating the book?
Princeton: The hardest part of creating the book is finding the illustrator.
Olivia: What would you tell young children that want to become an author?
Princeton: I would tell them, think about what you want to write, then write it. Then give it to your mom and tell them you want to be an author. Then think about the title. It will take like 3 months or 2 months.
Brazil: I would say, first tell your parents what you want to write about. Think about something that is easy for you. Think about something you like. Then you should be the one to look the stuff up.
Olivia: Well that’s all the time we have. Thanks so much for joining us. Please check out our bloopers and behind the scene action!
BEHIND THE SCENES
Melissa: Your children are so talented. I know you must be so proud of them. Your children box, act, model, write books, and are entrepreneurs. How do you find the time?
A.K.: Thank you so much, Melissa. I don’t know how I find the time. I am often really tired and feeling like I am hydroplaning.
Melissa (thinking): That should be a t-shirt.
A.K: But as parents we want to encourage our children to be all that they can be. We don’t want them to be limited by anything. So, when they ask to do something, we say sure let’s try it. We try to open their minds and eyes open to prepare them for opportunities that come to them when they get older.
Melissa: So you cowrite with your children and you go by A.K. Dowe. Tell us about that.
A.K.: Not as in also known as. A.K. is short for my name Alina Kelly. I use it because it is short, rather than having my entire name out there. Writing with my kids, is not about me. It is about my kids. I am secondary. I want parents to know that kids have so much potential. Sometimes it takes a little effort to pull it out of them. But they have it. It is embedded in them. They are magnificent. They have these talents that are there. Once you start discussing ideas with them, you realize they are highly intelligent beings. We just need to guide them towards the platform that will highlight that.
Melissa: What was your motivation for writing books with your children? How do you decide what topic to write about?
A.K: Initially, my kids were faced with learning challenges. One thing I noticed is they didn’t understand what books represented. We would read stories, but I believe they thought they were just words on a page. So, I wondered what would help my kids understand that books have purposes. They have a life. We asked them, what is something you know about? They are little kids with little life experience. But one thing they know is about themselves. They revealed to me that they know they are brother and sister who love each other, but they argue because someone is always telling the other what to do or not being nice. Those experiences we were able to take and put into the Dowe Twins He and She series. The More2Learn series we wrote because we wanted them to learn facts and information, not just write about their experiences. Books are created for learning. So I asked them what are the days of the week. I said, “Let’s make them fun. Let’s make them characters.”, so they could have fun learning and remembering. We took them from plain letters to fun and inviting characters.
Melissa: What is the next book going to be about? And when can we expect to see it in stores?
A.K.: We have to ask the publisher about that one. (laughs). We do have a lot of books that have already been written. The books published in the He and She series and More2Learn series were written over 3 years ago. We are writing some new books that are geared towards Health, which focus on the twins entrepreneurship.
Melissa: What do you recommend to parents who have children interested who want to write or illustrate?
A.K.: I think that is something that we all deal with. Our kids since they come out of the womb, we can say, “Oh my God they are so attentive. This one is so funny. Oh this one is going to be an actor. Those are things that we are really seeing. Our eyes are not playing tricks on us. We are not being arrogant about our children. As parents, we need to take the step to do it. The same way we teach them to say yes, no, thank you and please, we need to tell them you are creative. Lets sit down and see what you want to do. It is our right as a parent to Hey you need to have a business plan. Those are things that are ok. We are preparing them for life. I would tell any parent to observe their child and identify their strengths and weaknesses. If you notice they are corky and enjoy reading, maybe they can write a book about being corky. If you notice they are shy and like to stay to themselves, those are things other kids may be experiencing. Have them write about it. You will surprised how much these children go through that are also being experienced by their peers.
Melissa: You are so right Alina. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy life to meet with us.
Title: Kae’s Beach Day
Author: Kaelen Thomas-Harrigan
Format: Ebook (.pub/.pdf)
Publisher: Kaesani Publisher
Pages: 26 pages
Genre: Children’s picture book
As an author who writes children’s books, I appreciate the time, effort, dedication, and creativity it takes to complete a manuscript, publish, and market. I have tried many times to write fiction, and it does not come easily, so I am fascinated by those who are able to do it well. We know children are filled with imagination and creativity, but to be able to tell a story and publish it as a child is an amazing accomplishment. I believe we should celebrate talented youth and give praise where praise is due. One of my life goals is to provide a platform for these brilliant children to highlight their gifts, whether or not they are published under Lauren Simone Publishing House. I recently discovered 6-year-old, child author, Kaelen Thomas-Harrigan. Kaelen does an amazing job telling a very engaging story of Kae and his animal friends. This book is perfect for all children, not only those with love of dinosaurs and all things prehistoric. Kae and his friends go to the beach and learn a very important lesson about obedience, punctuality, and reality. Kae’s mom is super cool and accepting of Kae’s friends. I don’t know how open I would be to let my son or daughter being friends with a dinosaur, hahaha! I loved the bright colored pages with its child friendly illustrations and font, which were very appropriate visual aids for wonderful story telling. I loved everything about this book including the cover, the dedication, the discussion questions, and the glossary. Stories are not just for entertaining. Books help children learn, develop critical thinking skills. and advance vocabulary and knowledge. Kae’s beach day did just that. We recommend for boys and girls age 4 to 8. We give it 5 stars.
Lauren Simone Publishing House has had a very exciting first year. They announced on their instagram page, @laurensimonepubs, with a display of photos highlighting their achievements that they had garnered:
1 Spanish translator, Tanesha Bramwell-McKen
2 interviews by @kaesani and @fashionista_milan of @kiddustry
3 published book series called He and She, More2Learn, and Olivia Lauren
4 kids authors: Brazil Dowe, Princeton Dowe, Alyssa Simone, and Olivia Lauren
5 youth illustrators: Niquey, Leo, Simonne-Anais, Zachary-Michael, and Simona
6 published books: Days of the week, Siblings fight, Occupations A to Z, Guide to becoming an actor, Olivia travels, and their latest, Olivia Connects (described below)
7 book events (Book readings, story time, and book signings in NY, NJ, and CT)
Over a dozen book reviews on Amazon
Published essays and art in The Evolution Project
Online presence on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, and Createspace
Found in local book stores in Florida and Connecticut
Over 200 website visitors
Over 500 social media followers
The past year has been hard work, dedication, and determination. They anticipate increase in the coming year.
On the anniversary of its inception, they proudly release Olivia Lauren book series' fourth volume entitled “Olivia Connects”. Written by Olivia Lauren’s older sister, Alyssa Simone and mother, Dr. John, the book is about modes of communication. In a fun and engaging way using bright colors, interesting locations, and diverse characters, children learn about different communication styles and devices used for communication. The characters also explore communication devices used before the age of technology and those used by those with physical challenges (blind or nonverbal). They had a great time collaborating with youth author, Lionel Emabat, who they will continue to work with in the future.
This book is recommended for children aged 6 to 9. Available in print and kindle online at Amazon.com, bn.com, and Createspace. Enjoy! Share pictures with @laurensimonepubs on Instagram and please write a review.
The book can be purchased immediately at https://www.createspace.com/7376669
Get the insider scoop and see sneak peek photos in the gallery.
Written by Melissa-Sue John
Title: The Beetle and the berry
Author: Eve Heidi Bine-Stock
Format: YouTube Video, Read by Curly Shirly
Pages: 12 pages
Genre: Children’s picture book
As a psychologist interested in academic achievement of students and the increase of students in the STEM pipeline, it is fascinating to me to see students persist and develop critical, analytical, and problem-solving skills. Beetle and the Berry is a story of Arthur, who is a tiny beetle who finds a large, juicy berry and wants to take it home with him so he'll have enough food for a week. However, along the way, the berry gets stuck. The beetle has to brainstorm solutions to get it "unstuck." This is a great book to introduce the engineering process, learn determination and motivation, while simultaneously enjoying a great little story. The most important aspect of the story is learning that not all problems can be solved head on and straight forward. Sometimes you have to walk away from the problem and come up with alternative strategies and solutions. The author was inspired by an event in nature that she observed. The book was published in Ladybug in the 1990s and republished in 2015 with new illustrations. We recommend this story for 2 to 6-year-old children. We give this book 5 stars.
You can also have the story read to your child on YouTube by the silly and clever, Curly Shirly. The author has many other interesting looking children’s books that will interest children, parents, and self-published children book authors .
Title: Generation Next: A Journal of Life
Author: Chanda W. Johnson
Publisher: Self published, 2017
Let’s face it, our kids are living a very kind of childhood than we did. We ran outside until it was dark, meanwhile our children stay inside on their electronic devices. Generation Next is an attempt to help children develop healthy, confident, and active lives. Chanda W. Johnson offers Generation Next as a journal for children to discover who they are, where they are from, what they like, and how to find what makes them happy presently and in the future. She encourages children to be creative, imaginative, open and adventurous. She offers a way for the next generation to take charge of their own happiness and fulfilment. After offering am encouraging portion, the author presents questions for the reader to think about. Not only does she inspire the readers to become the greater version of themselves, she helps the reader find the source of this greatness- our Creator. I recommend this book for children age 8 to 12. I have always wanted the school curriculum to provide more than just education but encourage personal and cultural esteem and teach life skills. This book is a great attempt to fill that void. I give this book 5 stars.
Written by Melissa-Sue John
Title: When mommy got sick
Author: Alma J. Wilson
Publisher: Self published, 2016
As parents we want our children to be happy, healthy, and safe. We do everything we can to protect them from the evils of this world, any sadness, despair, or hurt. But unfortunately, life comes with ups and downs. As parents, we have to teach our children how to cope with hardship, so they develop resilience. As much as we want to shelter them, the best thing we can do for them is to prepare them for life’s trials and adversities. When mommy got sick is a marvelous story of a loving family, who must face the illness of the mother. Jacob is surrounded by the love of his mom, Dad, and Aunt Laura. Ultimately, the moral of the story is just that- life has trials but as long as there is love, everything will be just fine. This is a lesson that can resonate with any family, whether rich or poor, Black, White, Asian or Latino, young or old. I was very happy to read this story. By the time I got to the end, I did not have to ask for a review from my 9 year old and her best friend who was visiting. The shouted “I love that story” and they agreed the story was good because it discussed love, family, and being there for each other. I also liked that Jacob was an empathetic child. Empathy seems to be missing from our society. Any story that teaches kindness and empathy is a good story in my book. We also loved the bright illustrations and the diversity of the characters. We give it 5 stars.
July 25, 2017
Title: Don’t let the teddy bear fly the plane
Author: Derek J. Kenmuir
Publisher: Self-published, 2016
Don’t let the teddy bear fly is a story of a cute, cunning, and silly blue-eyed teddy bear who simply wants to fly a plane. I liked the concept of the story. It was a cute idea and a funny story for very young children. I recommend ages 2 to 4. The cute teddy certainly captured the attention of the reader. The story is short enough to maintain the attention of younger readers. Children will hear rhyme and playful storytelling and wonder why the bear should not be allowed to fly the plane. The teddy is the only character in the story, which allows the reader to be a participant. The style of art was different that I am accustomed to. It was interesting to see the author make use of varying font color, font size, signs, and backgrounds (such airport, field, brick walls, plaque) for the text. For example, the incorporation of the teddy juxtaposed against a background with human shadows was a cool idea, I guess. The use of signage in the text was also novel. For me the story ended abruptly, so I waited on my daughter’s response and it was “That’s it! I don’t get it!” I give the book 4 stars for being interesting but the purpose was lost on my 9 year old. I think the point is about perseverance and determination. Or perhaps, teaching children they have to be trained and certified to do certain tasks. Whichever the case, it was an interesting read.
Written by Melissa-Sue John and Olivia Lauren
Title: Marie and Mr. Bee
Author: Margaret Welwood
Publisher: Grandma’s Bookshelf, 2016
Marie and Mr. Bee is a very cute story about hard work and laziness. In particular, Marie and Mr. Bee discover the important lesson of prioritizing activities and balancing work and play. The moral of this story is everyone should work, then play. This great book through phenomenal story telling teaches children to not always depend on others or take them for granted. It shows the value of learning how to do things for yourself, doing them in a timely manner, and cleaning up your own messes. We know that work is no fun but procrastinating only makes it worse. This is perfect to read to kids to learn that they need to do their chores. But it does it in such a subtle manner, that the child is able to internalize the lesson on his or her own.
I liked the fact that the main character had a strong female lead even though she was wheel chair bound. We need as many books with diverse characters as possible that allow both boys and girls to feel empowered by their representation in the stories they read. Kudos to Margaret Welwood for such an excellent, unpredictable story, and nicely illustrated children’s picture book. I recommend this book for children aged 6 to 9 to read on their own and parents should read this to their 4 to 6-year-old children before they develop bad habitats. We give it 5 stars!
Title: Talk to me about things that fly
Author: Ea Eon
Genre: Children Picture Book
Series: Talk to Me
Talk to me about things that fly is a children’s picture book. It has large beautiful pictures with their names identifying each object or animal. This book is not a story book to read to your child. Instead it is a guide book to be used for having a discussion with your child about how much they know about different things that fly. It would be a great resource to use before going to an air and space museum or zoo. I think boys and girls would equally enjoy this book if they were interested in learning about flight. I recommend this book for younger children who are learning new words or want to increase their vocabulary. There wasn’t anything to my 9 year old, so I recommend for 4 to 7 year olds.
Interviewer: Hello Readers!!!! May of you are aware that Lauren Simone Publishing House is on a mission is to provide a platform for young authors, editors, and illustrators. Today we have with us, Dalton Richards, a young man who recently published his edited volume, The Evolution Project on Amazon, that has works of art, poetry and literature done by many young people from different walks of life. Thank you for joining us Dalton.
Dalton: Thank you for having me.
Interviewer: Tell us about your book. What is the inspiration behind your book?
Dalton: I’ve always been obsessed with knowing. This curiosity, more than anything else, has been fuel for The Evolution Project. However, in this instance it was my need to have everyone engage in the process of learning about other people’s lives; to look within and beyond themselves to gain a broader perspective of being, of humanity and the influences that have impacted or continues to play a roll in their development.
Interviewer: How long did it take you to collect works from contributors and edit?
Dalton: It took me almost a year to collect the pieces. People were still offering art, poems, and essays up until the month prior to publishing, but sadly not all fit the theme of this volume of The Evolution Project.
Interviewer: What is your favorite contribution to the volume?
Dalton: My favorite written contribution to the book would have to be The Seed That Hit Fertile Soil. I remember sitting and thinking about an image of my mother walking across a stage receiving a certificate, I believe from her church, Fellowship Tabernacle, bible study. It was that image that set it in motion, me reflecting on how the Spirit of Christ works through each person. It took almost 20 plus years for me to realize how long He’s been pursuing my very heart for his glory. So, the seed He planted in my mother, was transferred to me. We are all to be like fertile soil, producing as He gifts us a part of himself.
Interviewer: Why should readers buy your book?
Dalton: I think more than anything else, The Evolution Project is bold. It offers such refreshing, yet familiar tales from people from all over the world. Most importantly, it opens up this platform for the raw insight of “us” immigrants. It shows what should be common knowledge, that we are more than bottom feeders or people eluding impoverished lives. We are not limited to any one category, and this book further reiterates that fact. Just incase people forgot.
Interviewer: What do you have next up your sleeve?
Dalton: Next I’ll be focusing on my novel series. The first of which will be Piece of Mind: Return to Sender. It is a novel that somehow turned itself into a love story while exploring personal ancestry and funny enough, personal evolution. Whilst finishing the novels I’ll still be continuing the book drive aspect of The Evolution Project, collecting funds and literary supplies to aid underfunded schools, locally and abroad.
Interviewer: What was the most difficult aspect of compiling this work? Was it getting the submissions, editing the volume, or marketing the completed project, or was it something else?
Dalton: The most difficult part was convincing people to relax. People were so concerned about other people reading about their personal lives, getting all in their business. Others were concerned about their inabilities or self-consciousness about their writing skills. Others just failed to see the significance in their story. Luckily most came around after I rambled as I often do. I think they agreed just to shut me up. The editing did also prove difficult because I didn’t want to lose anyone’s personality, nor have I ever edited such a collection before. As for marketing, that is a whole new ball park, but an enjoyable process.
Interviewer: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors or editors?
Dalton: Be mindful and responsible with this freedom of producing. We must all hone our skills and individual talents, dig deep and present our best selves, not just offer because you can, offer your absolute best with pride. Secondly, don’t be stingy, if you wish to build something, or produce something great don’t be shy about investing in yourself, both time and money. Pray obsessively, for it’s the only thing that quell the mind and soul and replenishes the body like, it’s amazing. Oh, and don’t overuse adjectives, just tell us what it is.
Interviewer: Thanks again for sharing your work with our audience. We wish you much success. Readers you can get your own copy of The Evolution Project on Amazon in Kindle books. Print copies will be available in Fall 2017.