Today's authors Cherelle and Amari Yarbrough have turned the tables on expectations. Their book, The Elle Rays embraces feminine sci-fi heroes and empowering story lines. Discover more in our interview with Cherelle Yarbrough.
Tell us about your book?
The Elle Rays is a sci-fi adventure book series for early readers. It follows the journey of three young sisters who are suddenly gifted with individual life virtues that awaken unknown powers to be used in the evolution of Generation Alpha. The Elle Rays Series is a coming of age story. It encompasses non-traditional superheroes who teach lessons of social awareness, empowerment and self-discovery.
Why did you want to write this story?
My brother, Amari Yarbrough, and I wanted to write this story to help children reach their highest intellectual, social, and emotional potential. Although the story is fictional, the message within the story is centered on truth. Therefore, the mission is to have kids attain the level of greatness that they possess within through an entertaining fun adventure. We want children to absorb the message that it’s one thing to believe in magic but it’s a whole different ball game when you know that you are magic--once you begin to know, then the possibilities are endless.
What's been the best reaction from a reader so far?
The best reactions have been the reactions from the children’s reviews. The children express their liking of the vivid colors and imagery, of course in their vocabulary. Then they will point out specific segments from the book that they can relate. Some of those examples have been from the youngest Elle Ray sister, Little Lily, being afraid of the dark. Or all of The Elle Rays doing ring-around-the-rosie and creating a whirlwind of energy which magically brings forth magnificent things.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find my inspiration from my three daughters Arielle, Brielle, and Lilielle. That's where the idea for The Elle Rays began. They are currently ages eight, six, and four. At the time we began the writing of the first installment of The Elle Rays series, the girls were ages seven, five, and three. I love to sit back and observe how they interact with each other and how they choose to overcome obstacles that may test their physical and emotional limits. So, throughout the story of The Elle Rays, the characters are undertaking certain actions or activities that actually occurred with my daughters but are elevated to a magical realism level for the purpose of each story.
What's the most fun part of being an author?
The most fun part about being an author is being able to create a world, time, and space that you can absolutely call your own. In this creation you are at once the architect, the tour guide, and the first time explorer. As an author you can build a house made completely out of toilet paper and nail glue. But, if written well, it can be a house that most would want to live in because of how you describe it. At the same time, as authors, we can all write about the same place. But depending on the delivery of that narrative, the readers can walk away with a myriad of different experiences. It is the delivery of the written words that truly makes us unique.
What's your tip for parents to encourage reading?
My tip is to find out some of your child's favorite books, gather simple art supplies, and during some free time work with them to create their own book. As parents, we should have our children use their favorite book as a guide to create something similar. This is a fun activity that fosters creation and keeps them engaged. It also opens the door for reading, and a learning curve for writing. Paper books from card stock have become a staple in my home now that my daughters do the art portion on their own and use their favorite books as a reference for ideas. In the end, they are excited to share what they have written.
What's your favorite book of all time?
My favorite book(s) of all time was any title from the Berenstain Bears series. The cover of each book and the catchy title would draw me into wanting to know more about the story. Also, Brother Bear and Sister Bear felt like relatable characters to me when I was a kid. As a kid, I found myself in similar situations and/or circumstances that the kid bears were in. Even as a young child I absorbed the message behind each story. There was always a moral or life lesson that Papa Bear and Mama Bear strived to teach. It was mainly that there are always consequences to our actions. Papa Bear and Mama Bear were stern enough to teach values, yet, gentle and loving enough to still embrace their kids even when they did wrong. That was one of my early life lessons that remind me of my own family and upbringing.
Cherelle Yarbrough is a hard working single mom with an affinity of mystical and spiritual studies. During trying personal times that split apart her once happy home, she never thought about writing a book. But when her brother Amari Yarbrough, the author of ‘Enigma’s Child’ and children’s book ‘Bruno The Morkie’ presented her with the concept she saw it as divine intervention and couldn’t say no. As a real life superwoman, she had to provide for her daughters, manage a stable home, and maintain a positive front for sake of her family. Now, she hopes to inspire not only her daughters, but young girls across the world that they too are superheroes.
You can find out more about Cherelle by following her on Facebook and Instagram. You can find her books here.
Where to Next?
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