The author in the Spotlight is a series of interviews with Indie Self-published authors. The first author showcased this month is Children’s book author, Aisha Toombs.
NP: What is your writing process?
AT: Once I have an idea, I try to map out each chapter. Sometimes I know how a story ends before I have a beginning or middle, but the mapping helps me stay organized. I also do it by hand first. Something about pen and paper lets the ideas flow a bit clearer for me.
NP: How difficult was it to write your story?
AT: I came up with the character of Nerdi Bunny when I was 9 years old. I drew this horrible looking bunny with glasses and gave it to my mother. The idea sat on her desk until she retired. Then I read an issue of National Geographic that was all about the bees and what was happening to bee populations—and something just clicked that this is what Nerdi will tackle in her first adventure.
NP: What are your hopes for this project?
AT: My hope for Nerdi Bunny is that she inspires her readers to be a bit kinder to the planet and each other.
NP: Do you have plans for writing more books?
AT: Absolutely! I’m working on the third book in the Nerdi Bunny chapter book series and in April 2019, I published the first spin-off picture book series of Bunny Briefs called “Place in the Chase”. The original plan was to only be a trilogy, but I suppose as more things pop up on my radar about the environment and social justice that I feel passionately about—another book may manifest.
NP: What is your favorite genre of books and do you plan on venturing in those areas?
AT: I really enjoy YA, particularly dystopian themes. I would love to write a novel in that genre and have an idea for it, but Nerdi uses a lot of my creative energy.
NP: What do you want readers to know about you?
AT: I’m a cat person—lol. I don’t know. Usually, if people ask me questions, I answer them. That’s broad.
NP: Do you have a favorite author or book?
AT: Way too many to list. I read a lot of Robert Cormier growing up. I also really love The Canterbury Tales and 1984. But Charlotte’s Web, The Stinky Cheese Man, The Giver, anything by Flannery O’Connor or James Baldwin.
NP: What does literary success look like to you?
AT: When someone says how much they enjoyed your book—that’s priceless. I think every writer just wants to be read and enjoyed by as many people as possible. I certainly want that, but maybe on a global level. I’d like to see Nerdi animated or on lunchboxes someday.
NP: What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
AT: Overcoming writer’s block. I have so many other things going on besides writing that sometimes life blocks the flow of ideas.
NP: How have your books changed your life?
AT: I have expanded my circle professionally for sure. I love going to festivals and fairs and meeting other authors that are doing the same thing. It is a great way to network and get and give ideas to each other on growing our reach or brand.
NP: What advice do you have for an aspiring writer?
AT: If you have a story to tell, write it! Don’t let anyone tell you that you aren’t good enough.
NP: Do you have any future events or updates we should know about?
AT: Book 3 in the series is called The Sorry-Not Sorry Safari. I’ll also be returning to the African-American Children’s Book Fair in Baltimore in May 2019
NP: How can we contact you and purchase your book?
AT: You can go to my website, www.NerdiBunny.com to contact me and purchase all the books. They are also available on Amazon.