Scoochie & Skiddles: Scoochie’s Adoption Story follows a girl who teaches her friends about adoption and the different types of families. What was the inspiration for your story?
The character Scoochie is inspired by my oldest daughter. The book, Scoochie’s Adoption Story, recounts our family’s experience in adopting her. However, the book is inspired by a real incident in the park when another girl asked about my daughter’s family. The book represents how my daughter proudly explained her adoption experience to this other child. I couldn’t have been more proud of her, and in that moment, I knew it was a story that needed to be told again.
The art in this book is fantastic. How was the process of artistic collaboration with the illustrator Dusting James?
Thanks. Dustin has illustrated both of my books and has been a wonderful collaborator. He gets my vision, which makes the process easier. I provide a description of the scene and give you creative freedom to bring it to life. While Scoochie’s Adoption Story is primarily about the main character and his family, I wanted the images to represent a wide range of diverse families. Dustin and I paid close attention to the background characters in the park scenes to ensure this diversity. I am very happy with how everything turned out.
What were some ideas that were important for you to share in this book?
Most importantly, he wanted the concept of family diversity to come out. Every family is very different and I wanted to celebrate those differences. He also wanted to normalize the adoption process as a way to start a family. Ultimately, I wanted to showcase same-sex parents and create greater visibility and representation for gay parents.
What is the next book you are working on and when will it be available?
There are several concepts in the storyboard. Since I adopted our second child, my available time to write is not the same as before. At this point, I would project book #3 to come out sometime in 2023. Uplifting diverse families in children’s literature will continue to be the theme of my books.
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