Quill’s Edge Author Spotlight: Sharon Jones-Scaife
Quill’s Edge Author Spotlight: Sharon Jones-Scaife
Welcome to another issue of Quill’s Edge. This week in our Author Spotlight we have Children’s Author and Independent Book Publisher, Sharon Jones-Scaife!
Virtual Book Reading
Book Sharon for your next speaking event!
New Book Release!!!:
Maddie on a Mission- June 2020
Sharon Jones-Scaife grew up in Marvell, Arkansas, the fourth of 15 children. As one can imagine, she spent a great deal of time reading to her younger siblings. She is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a BA in Graphic Design and Illustration. This multi-talented powerhouse makes her home in Texas where she spends her time supporting her son in basketball, creating adventures with her grandchildren, running, cycling, playing softball, writing, and of course, reading.
Stephanie: Welcome to Quill’s Edge Sharon. Tell us about yourself.
Sharon: Thanks for having me. Where to begin? Well, I wear many hats. I am the publisher of Teen Graffiti, a magazine that serves as a voice for teens and as an avenue of communication, allowing teens to express their opinions, concerns, and ideas through poetry, essays, articles, and photography.
I am also the author of several children’s books including: I Miss You Papa, Mrs. Hughes is Missing, It’s Bedtime Lil’ Marco, Lil’ Marco Plays Hide, and Seek, Maddie on a Mission and Becoming, a collection of original poems and illustrations.
As the proud owner of an independent Publishing firm, Coffee Creek Media, we focus on providing the following: Children’s Diverse Books, Graphic Design, Illustration, Publishing, Editing and Printing Services
Stephanie: What an amazing list of accomplishments! So, tell us about your latest book, Lil’ Marco Plays Hide and Seek?
Coffee Creek Media: http://www.coffeecreekmediagroup.com
Sharon: Thanks Stephanie, my book, Lil’ Marco Plays Hide and Seek is about a little boy playing his favorite game, Hide and Seek. He’s found the perfect hiding place that stumps Mother. But Mother has a plan to draw her son out. Will her plan work or will Lil’ Marco win another game of Hide and Seek?
Stephanie: Lil’ Marco Plays Hide and Seek is such a wonderful story! The story and the beautiful illustrations made the tale a delight to read to two of my own little reviewers, who gave your book a thumbs up by the way!
Sharon: Thanks Stephanie. I’ve even included a little something extra in Lil’ Marco Plays Hide and Seek! We have included information and activity sheets that relate to the story theme. We are providing these additions for the benefit of you and your young one. Preparing for emergencies is something that does not cross our minds until an emergency happens, and that’s too late.
Stephanie: You are so right. When I ran my nonprofit organization dedicated to families in crisis, in Maryland, the Baltimore City Fire Department came to visit annually. They spoke at length about what to do in an emergency situation and about how to be safe at play. Your book brilliantly reinforces that crucial, very timely concept.
Sharon: Thanks Stephanie. Lil’ Marco Plays Hide and Seek not only leads children on a trail of fun play, but also introduces them to safe places to hide when faced with weather-related emergencies. The information sheet and activities pages reinforce key learnings and highlight the importance of being prepared.
Stephanie: When did your book come out?
Sharon: Lil’ Marco Plays Hide and Seek came out on May 3, 2020.
Stephanie: What inspired you to start writing?
Sharon: I’ve always written poetry; however, after the passing of my husband of 33 years, I was inspired to write my first children’s book ‘I Miss You Papa’ in his memory.
Stephanie: Describe your writing space.
Sharon: My ideal writing space is my bedroom, at my computer desk with a little R&B playing in the background. I do not mind anyone being around, but I do want it QUIET – free from talking.
Stephanie: What puts you in the mood to write?
Sharon: Free time gets my creative thoughts flowing, In addition, thinking of some of my childhood experiences mixed with some of my experiences with my grand kids, nieces and nephews just float around in my head and find their way to the page.
Stephanie: What computer software do you use to write your book?
Sharon: I use Microsoft Word to write my books.
Stephanie: Which do you prefer? Paper and pen or a computer?
Sharon: I prefer a pen to do my initial writings and brainstorming, however, I use the computer for my final drafts.
Stephanie: Who is your favorite author and why?
Sharon: I don’t really have a favorite author. I just like reading good diverse children’s books.
Stephanie: What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?
Sharon: There have been many people in real life and in the authorial world that have influenced me. The usual friends, family, and teachers inspire and influence my writing too. How can you not be influenced by those around you? Also, my late husband. He was incredibly supportive and encouraged my writing among other things and he pushed me to keep going.
Stephanie Okay here at Quill’s Edge we like to give our readers a peek into a writer’s personality, so we ask some ice breaker, get to know the writer better kinds of questions are you game?
Stephanie: Would you rather be in a room full of snakes or a room full of spiders?
Sharon: Neither, lol; I am afraid of both.
Stephanie: Would you rather have an endless summer or an endless winter?
Sharon: Endless summer!
Stephanie: Coffee or Tea:
Stephanie: What artists or songs would you want on the soundtrack for your book(s)?
Sharon: Stormy Weather, Walkin’ on Sunshine, Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head, Singing in the Rain, and You Are My Sunshine.’
Stephanie: Wonderful choices! I love those songs too!
Stephanie: What is one bit of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors?
Sharon: If you can’t find writing that represents you, take it as your chance to fill in the gap. You have a right to be in the world fully and you have a right to see representations of yourself wherever you go. If you don’t, write your way out.
Stephanie: For many years, I taught school aged children. I can honestly say that reading books that feature children of color not only builds self-esteem, but it builds character. Many of the children I taught are adults with their own children now. During a recent reunion with a former student of mine, he said the following:
‘First time I saw a hero in a book that looked like me, I cried. You gave me that gift and that very book and now, I share it with my son.’
Well Sharon, I gave my former student your book for his son’s growing library. The work you do as an author and as an independent publisher is more than a gift. It is a ministry with a marvelous ripple effect that educates and inspires. It was a joy and an honor to have you on Quill’s Edge!
Sharon: Thanks for having me Stephanie.
Stephanie: And with that, I’ll end this edition of Quill’s Edge. Be sure to pick up your copy of Lil’ Marco Plays Hide and Seek, and Sharon’s latest book Maddie on a Mission!
Check out part II of our interview with Sharon Jones-Scaife in the Creative Nation Section to hear more about Sharon’s Publishing company, Coffee Creek Media Group!