Multicultural Children’s Book Day Spotlight: Shining the Light on Inclusive Authors & Illustrators continues! This week we are shining the spotlight on author is Bliss Group’ Books’ Desirae Foston for The Hawaiian Hiatus of Herkimer Street!
Question 1: What is your favorite letter of the alphabet and why?
The letter D. It’s the first letter of my name, and it’s the first letter in dessert.
Question 2: What’s next? What projects/books/events do you have in the works that you would like to share?
A biography for older children. I’m working out some ideas as to who. New York City planner and builder Robert Moses is one person I’m considering. I’m an architecture and urban planning enthusiast. Thinking about different kinds of places to live is fascinating to me. Currently I’m designing a home made out of storage containers.
Question 3: What do you want readers to know about your latest book?
Herkimer Street is very nostalgic for me. As a kid, group games, block parties, street fairs were not only fun but brought about a sense of community, a feeling of belonging that is very important to all children. I wanted to create a story that shows the joy of neighborhood.
Question 4: As an author, how do you know when you have discovered an idea for your next book?
When I have an idea that won’t leave me alone until I sit down with pen and paper.
Question 5: What was the catalyst for creating your latest book?
One day I was walking in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn and I walked down Herkimer Street which reminded me of Sesame Street and its strong sense of community. I had been thinking about ways to create community for my own son. The story was influenced by the tall tales from around the world I was reading to him. The art was inspired by the African American quilting community Gee’s Bend–simple geometric graphics, bold colors that would look good on digital devices as well as in print.
Listen to an audio excerpt of The Hawaiian Hiatus of Herkimer Street here.
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