By way of introduction, here is Djennicia A. Francis’ bio:
Whimsy is my name and Building Positive Mental Health practices is my game!
Djennicia A. Francis is an educator, pageant queen, and author of the book In the Mirror. She is a veritable fairy whose love for books is only matched by her love for life.
After graduating with her degree in Psychology she embarked on the journey that led her to teaching. Through this melding of worlds, she’s received certification in “Strategies for Dealing with Low Self Esteem in Children” and “Counseling Children and Youth.”
When she manages to tear herself away from her books, she trains aspiring Pageant Queens in Public Speaking, sings in her church’s choir and binge watches Japanese Anime. Believe it!!
She is free spirited and sees Mental Health as tantamount to success and joy. Add that to her love for kids and you have a fantastical soul who’s on a journey to teach children to Master their Minds so they can Master their Reality.
Hello, Djennicia, welcome to Angel Kiss Publications. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.
Thank you for having me.
When did the writing bug ensnare you?
Years ago, honestly, but in the form of Spoken Word and Pageantry Speech Writing.
However, the children’s book writing bug, took a huge bite out of me about two years ago, one morning while I was in prayer.
Is writing your full-time profession?
Not at the moment but it is definitely a profession that I am interested in pursuing for the long haul.
How long have you been writing?
As mentioned before, I’ve been writing for numerous years, just in varying capacities. But let me let you in on a little secret, I wrote In the Mirror in one evening’s sitting!
How many published books have you written?
This is my first one. OMG I am a published author!!
Which genre do you write?
I am a children’s book author whose focus is mental health in children. So, my current book and all the books to come will be deigned to teach children positive mental health practices
What do you find most challenging writing for this genre?
My use of words for sure. I am a lover of words for sure, which is evident by the fact that I have a web series entirely dedicated to words!
I am always working towards expanding my vocabulary. So, it was quite difficult keeping my words at the level necessary for the pronunciation and comprehension of a younger audience.
What are you working on now?
Surviving lol. Seriously I am working on marketing. I am brand spanking new in the industry and must put the work in to make myself known. I am also working on my second book, so 2021 here we come.
Where do you find inspiration for your characters?
That’s such and interesting question, and the answer is, it varies. Isabel Ink was inspired by what I truly wanted to see in a children’s book and people tell me all the time that she looks like a mini me.
So maybe I, even as an adult, wanted to see myself in a book. Additionally, diversity is very important to me, so I try to create characters that are relatable to children across the globe.
Finally, I’m inspired by my students, their mannerisms, everyday interactions, curiosities, and all that they go through on their journey.
I have been in the presence of children of all ages with insecurities, dealing with loss and more. So being with them essentially inspires me to write for them.
What has been your most rewarding experience since publishing your work?
You should have seen my face when I read this question. Big bright smile!
Hands down the most rewarding experience thus far, was when a lady messaged me and explained that she had shown my book cover to her daughter and her daughter loved it because Isabel looked like her!
That almost made me cry, because I wanted that. I firmly believe that representation matters, and I took a lot of time ensuring that Isabel looked the way she does, so little girls who look like her can see themselves, know that they’re beautiful and can do anything they put their minds to.
Isabel is meant to inspire all, but in that moment, all the work was worth it.
What advice would you give to authors just starting out?
Find a mentor. My mentor Felisha Bradshaw has so much to do with how I got here.
Join author groups on social media. Essentially be ready to learn a lot and align yourself with people who are doing it successfully for guidance.
Reach out to someone, authors are nice people lol. Just ask the lady that started it all for me, this very special blogger here lol.
You will be surprised at how many things you don’t know that you don’t know.
Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know about you?
All my books are meant to be read aloud, because I believe that reading out loud is the foundation of public speaking. This is another love of mine.
I’m currently a speech writer and public speaking coach for pageant queens. I am currently developing a program to help children build public speaking skills and I look forward to sharing it with you all.
I am a vocalist, dramatist, and pageant queen. Additionally, as mentioned before, I have a You Tube Series dedicated to words. It’s called Wonky Wacky Words.
There I introduce my audience, to the Wonkiest, Wackiest Words that actually exists and words with mega cool meanings.
Its for all ages so check it out and get wonky with me lol!
What message are you sharing in your books?
It’s all about mental health. The mind is the most essential part of what makes us, us and what makes us succeed.
Unfortunately, though, insecurities, negative self-talk, negative environments, and in general poor mental health practices, hinder us immeasurably.
So, my dream is to equip children with the tools they need to keep their minds healthy and happy.
My mission is to: “Teach our children to Master Their Mind, so they can Master Their Realities.
In this I can see them excel academically, financially, and truly be free human beings.
What are your favorite books?
I am a huge fiction fan! Both Young Adult and Adult Fiction tinkle my fancy.
My all-time favorite book series is The Vampire Huntress Legend by L.A Banks.
If you could create an author’s group with writers from any time period, who would you invite?
L.A. Banks lol (I’m sure you saw that coming), Felisha Bradshaw, this awesome blogger right here.
P.C. Cast- and I’d ask her where is book 4 of the Tales of a New World Series? and Tomi Adeyemi.
I’m pretty sure there are more but those are who I can think of right away lol.
Who has influenced your writing the most?
As it pertains to my children’s books, I’d have to say my students. Their troubles and triumphs keep my creative juices flowing.
In general, maybe my mom, I want to use all my talents to create a better life for her.
When you’re not writing where can we find you?
Reading, watching Japanese Anime, or doing Karaoke.
I’m also usually in church or at a church event, teaching or hanging out with friends and family.
P.S. Food would most likely be involved in most if not all of those. I LOVE FOOD.
A movie producer wants to turn your book into a movie, and you get to make a cameo. What would you do in the movie?
I would be Isabel’s mom. Encouraging her every day to speak into being everything she desires for herself.
I would speak life into her, every day, making sure that my little Issy knows how powerful and loved she is.
An elf named 12-25 approaches you. He’s sneezing, wheezing, coughing and there’s a strange tattoo of a snoring dog on his cheek. What do you do?
Did you say Elf? OMG!
Normally I would offer the poor dear some tissue and ensure that he was ok. Then we’d have to talk about Santa of course.
Eventually, I’d ask what inspired the tattoo and since when did elves start getting tattoos. But, its 2021…. and Covid-19… so I’d most likely head for the hills, because Lord alone knows what magical Covid-19 could do.
What are your most effective marketing strategies?
I am still figuring this out, so if you have some advice, feel free to share them.
Do you have a website/Facebook page, etc?
Email Address: SpeakPeekTT@gmail.com
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B08NCGPZL6
Where can we find your books?
The book is available on Amazon in both E-Book and Paperback.
Additionally, if you live within Trinidad & Tobago, it can be ordered directly from me, however on Book link http://www.amzn.com/B08N9ZSFQB
Thank you, Djennicia, for spending time with us and sharing your story. We wish you continued success and lots of luck!
Djennicia’s Featured Book
Come spend a day in the life of little Isabelle Ink as she asks every living thing “What do you see in the Mirror?” Endearing Isabelle Ink is a remarkable little girl who believes in the magic and power of Positive Affirmations!
So imagine her surprise when she hears her best friend saying negative things about himself! What will Isabelle do?
Come dive into “In The Mirror” to find out, as we teach our Children, to Master Their Minds so they can Master Their Realities. This book is written with Mental Health for Children in mind.
It aims to foster Self Love and help children develop Emotional Intelligence all while featuring Diverse Characters.
It also comes with Affirmation Games for Families and Classrooms alike, to truly bring to life the lessons learned!