I’d like to introduce you to a new children’s author that I met recently at a book event. Her name is Asia Crandall and she writes wonderful books that are creative, has a sense of humor, and help kids be better kids.
Well, I am originally from Brooklyn, NY. I moved to Orlando four years ago with my son Jahlil and daughter Nyasia. Fun for me outside of writing would be Karaoke, shooting pool, amusement parks and I love trying new restaurants I’ve never been to before.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I was in elementary school. I dreamed of becoming a Journalist. I wrote poems and plays in a black and white composition notebook.
What have you written? Tell me about them.
I wrote My first published play in 2008 titled Collect Call. I was part of an adult literacy program in New York and entered a writing contest and actually won. My first self-published children’s book Along Came Maddie: Football Tryouts was released last year 2016 it’s a series about a boy named Josie and his “know it all” sometimes bossy imaginary best friend (a girl) Maddie. their relationship and the many fun adventures they go on. I’ve written six books of the Along Came Maddie series. Other titles I’ve written still in manuscript forms are; Loud, Rhonda and the Great Escape, and several poems.
What is your favorite genre to write?
Fiction! I use to exaggerate the truth a lot as a child. I could make up a story just like that from the top of my head without thinking about it LOL. Once I was old enough to know what fiction meant there was no stopping me. I stuck to writing fiction stories for children.
Tell me about your writing process.
Oh gosh! No music, no people, a pencil, and notebook. I clean before I write which sounds weird, but cleanliness keeps me focused. I ask myself “what should I write about?” the first thing that comes to mind is always what I write about. When I begin to write, I do not stop until my heart says enough. It’s like blowing up a balloon, you know when to stop and tie it up.
Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?
My inspiration comes from family and my childhood. For example; when my three nephews were younger they always pretended to be superheroes. Well, one summer they vacationed in Florida and kept telling my daughter how they would destroy her and turn her into things. I thought it was hilarious so I named one of my books Along Came Maddie: Superheroes in their honor. When I was a child another family member used to wet the bed, I titled this book Along Came Maddie: Queenie Wets the Bed. I have stories for days.
What sort of research do you do for your novels?
I read books in my genre, I attend webinars, conferences, listen to podcasts, and I’m also a member of multiple writing groups. I read blogs and community boards and I always ask questions.
Do you have a special place where you write?
Yes, my dining room table alone during the day, or my bedroom late at night. Home is where I love to write. In my own space.
Do you have any type of music you listen to while you write?
No, I do not.
Do you have any rituals before or while you write?
Yes, I must clean my apartment first.
How long does it usually take you to complete a book?
With the Along Came Maddie series, it took me two hours to complete each book.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
One morning my family and I were talking laughing at one another’s corny jokes when my daughter says “we should write a book.” Later that night when everyone was asleep I did just that. And that was the birth of the Along Came Maddie series.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
I write part time lol, I must admit, I procrastinate. Not as much as I use to, but I’m still working on myself.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I love being creative, it’s part of my DNA. I work as a Program Coordinator for afterschool programs. My job allows me to be as creative as I want to be. I work with little humans which also helps with my creative development.
What are you passionate about?
My Faith, family, self-development, and kindness.
Have you written any books that made a transformative effect on you? If so, in what way?
No, not a book, but I wrote a poem titled Note to Self. It’s a letter I wrote to myself that chronicles my life from being bullied in kindergarten to the very moment I conceived my daughter at the young age of nineteen. It’s about one thousand words and pretty deep.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I love writing for children. I’d say plenty of picture books, and maybe a memoir.
If you could jump ahead in time, what would be happening for you?
I would be negotiating a deal with a popular TV network to turn my stories into cartoon series for kids.
What influenced your decision to self-publish?
Honestly, I was an amateur and did not know the difference between traditional and self-publishing at the time.
How do you market your book?
Do you design your own book covers?
Yes, I found an illustrator from fiverr.com her name is Goodaughter. She’s wonderful.
Thank you for joining us today and learning more about Asia and her books. I know your kids are going to LOVE them!!