Thursday, January 28, 2010

Women Writers of Color: Kelly Starling Lyons

Full name: Kelly Starling Lyons

Hometown: Pittsburgh

Current Location: North Carolina


Genre: Children's Books

WIP or most recently published work: My most recent book is One Million Men and Me (Just Us Books), a picture book that explores the Million Man March through the eyes of a girl who was there with her daddy. I have two forthcoming picture books with G.P. Putnam's Sons. The first, Ellen's Broom, is tentatively scheduled for 2011. It's a story that's explores family relationships and African-American history..

Writing credits: Children's Books: One Million Men and Me and NEATE: Eddie's Ordeal (Just Us Books). Dozens of newspaper feature stories and magazine articles. A few essays in books in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

How frequently do you update your site? I update my site and blog occasionally. I use my blog for author interviews, book reviews and recommendations and developments in my writing life. But the main place I do regular updates is my FaceBook author page.

Is your site designed for reader interaction? My site has resources for readers and writers, but the main point of interaction there would be emailing me. My FaceBook page is where I share kidlit news -- particularly about authors and illustrators of color -- favorite children's books and give regular updates on my writing journey. That's definitely designed for interaction. I'm also part of The Brown Bookshelf and blog there. We love to receive comments from readers.

Post of note, something in particular you want readers to check out: My trailer for One Million Men and Me. October 16, 2010 marks the 15th anniversary of the Million Man March.

100 words or less how would you describe your work? My mission is to transform moments, memories and history into stories of discovery. As a child, I rarely saw children's books featuring characters of color. I write to help make a different reality for kids today.

100 words on less please share your thoughts on children and reading - Books open doors to understanding. They are safe spaces where children can explore tough realities. They are wings that take kids on flights where they can dream, grow and soar. That's why it's so important that they reflect the lives of all children. We live in a multicultural world. Books must affirm that. Reading and celebrating books by people of color is vital to children and our world.


Pollarddeb said...

Congratulations Kelly Starling-Lyons! Kelly, You are an amazing woman. You create picture book stories interspersed with history that enlighten and foster pride in the young. Great job!

Deborah Pollard

M. LaVora Perry said...

Thanks for sharing, Kelly! You're not only a inspiring writer, you're an inspiring person--always giving back.

Kristi's Book Nook said...

This is a great interview. You are truly inspiring.

Unknown said...

Good Job, Kelly.

Karen Strong said...

Thanks for this wonderful spotlight. Kelly is such an inspiring person who shares her knowledge of the craft.

Loved what she had to say about children and reading. Books do need to reflect the lives of all children.

mind bloggling said...


Great interview! I'm so proud of you. I remember when your story about the broom was just a seed. Wow. Yeah. Keep the stories coming! That's what's up.

Crystal Allen

Kelly said...

Thanks so much for the support, everyone! This forum Susan created is so important. I'm honored to be part of her wonderful series.

I'm inspired by all of you too. And Crystal, I can't believe you remember that Ellen's Broom was born at Chautauqua. Amazing memory! Look at how far we've come. So proud of you too.

Cheers to Susan and everyone who writes and supports multicultural children's literature. Thanks for all you do.

Zetta said...

Kelly's spirit shines through all her projects--so glad you featured her, Susan!

Jessie Carty said...

i love both of the 100 or less answers! excellent :)

Mrs. Pilkington said...

"My mission is to transform moments, memories and history into stories of discovery." Love that. Kelly is amazing, and I am so grateful for her work. Thank you for spotlighting her!

Tee Brown said...

Kelly is a prolific, giving and dedicated writer in the children's lit world. Our kids are fortunate that she's on the scene, advocating for them. Great person to feature!

Neesha Meminger said...

I met Kelly in NC a few months ago, and she is every bit as warm and open as her words suggest. Wonderful feature! Thanks to both of you.

Kelly said...

What a blessing to be in a field with such loving and supportive people. Thank you so much for your kind words, everyone.