Updated: Aug 6
We're excited to have Author Kimberley Jones in the Booktique today! Her book, Our Friendship Matters, is a great read. We had a chance to find out more about Kimberly, her writing, and her book.
How would you describe yourself? What makes Kimberley, Kimberley?
What makes me is my passionate for writing and expressing how I feel about situations in life. Not only how I feel but making a change through the eyes of world. Letting the world know how others think and may react to situations. Everyone will not see things the way you see them, but I want people to know, it’s okay and the world will change with or without you. My writing is my voice and how I see potential in a change society.
How did you fall in love with writing?
Me and one of my friends in middle grade use to play around in writing but I never had and interest until college.
You have several titles under your belt, particularly several children's books. Is your upcoming book, “Our Friendships Matter” a children's book also and can you tell us more about it?
In Our Friendship Matters, these two girls graduate from a St. Louis, Missouri, private school. But during the summer, they become enemies because one friend decides to protest for her race. One black and one white. But once a tragic accident happens, one must come forward to tell the truth by leaning on the friend she betrayed.
Sasha is the smart one who works hard to get good grades. They both have the jocks at school. Leah doesn't care, what she says goes and if it doesn't go her way, then expect to pay. When one friend is interested in protesting the other gets jealous of the other’s new friends and goes against her. It's all about revenge.
It takes a tragic accident, threats, and leaving the city for one friend to realize that she made a huge mistake. A threat which will make all the high school friends come together and protect her.
So, what was your inspiration behind “Our Friendships Matter”?
What inspired me to write Our Friendship Matters was when African Americans started the Black Lives Matters movement. I would search the internet and watch the news. I would see other groups, like Whites Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, and Blue Lives Matter forming against the Black Lives Matter movement, taking the focus off the real issue. In my view, it wasn’t fair or right. The reason Black Lives Matter started was to stop police brutality against African Americans, which has been happening for decades. Yes, all colors are brutalized by police. But in all reality, African Americans suffer the most.
Another reason I wrote this book is for African American parents who shelter their children from the truth. This isn’t good all the time. Children need to be aware of certain things that could happen because of who they are. That way, when they are faced with reality, they can handle the truth and know what to expect in certain situations.
The world is becoming more diverse and our children are the future that can make change. In this book, two best friends struggle with a friendship because they have been sheltered by money and do not appreciate the role race could play in their lives. Sometimes, we have to sit back and think to ourselves on the point we fought for. We need to think what we can do to make things better. It starts with the youth, who are the future. If we can reach out to them, we can help them, and they can help us make this world a better place.
Do you often draw inspiration from your children and/or students?
Absolutely. As teachers and parents, we have some knowledge to what children like to read because we spend most of our time with them.
I read somewhere that you had an interest in writing children's book about slavery. Would any of your books be categorized that way?
I started off writing children books because my motto was “young children deserve to learn history.” I was fortunate to have a grandma who lived until she was 94 years old, to share with me all her stories of her coming up through the Marcus Garvey Movement, Great Depression, boycotting chain stores, War World I & II, The Great Migration, Harlem Renaissance, and the Civil Rights Movement. I wanted children to know history to make life better for those who pave the way for African Americans today.
I wrote my first children’s book in college and the book that inspired me was White Sox Only. It was a cute book about a young African American girl, who was confused of signs posted that said, “white’s only.” She does not understand the concept of race, but only understands the color.
Do you have a writing routine? If so, please share.
On the weekends, I start writing first thing in the morning. If my son allows it, I can get a full day of writing.
During the weekdays after work, I try to do my daily chores and get writing in for a while. Then, I have to stop to get my 5-yr old son into bed by 8:00pm. After that, it’s back to writing for me.
Thank you Kimberly for your contribution to the literary world!
17-year-old best friends Sasha, a black teenager and Leah, a white teen are two girls from affluent backgrounds and live comfortable lives, attending a well-established private Christian academy in St Louis. As they enter their final year, the main things occupying their minds are graduating and their senior prom.
But the lives of two popular girls are about to undergo a transition that neither of them wanted or expected when Mitchell, a young African-American boy from the city’s East View High School is shot and killed while walking home from a basketball game, by a police officer who had mistaken him for someone else.
Now tensions are rising among the community where he lived, and the citizens of St. Louis are angry.
One night, while Sasha is out, she sees her old childhood friend, Ricardo, who is protesting the death of Mitchell. Curious about him and wondering if there is anything, she could do to become involved, Sasha talks to her friends about it.
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