Author Spotlight: Armelle Desir

Congratulations on your beautiful illustrated book! Please tell us about the book and your motivation behind writing it.
Thank you. I was inspired to write the book after writing my memoir and sharing my story of being a child abuse and sexual assault survivor. I wanted to write a book that could help parents and children, not just adults. My motivation behind writing the book was my own children. I wanted to write a book my own children can learn from and will help me to continue the bond that I have with them, so that they can continue the same cycle with their children.

What inspired you to pursue writing children’s books?

I realized there were not a lot of books that covered important topics that included diverse characters including people of color.

Please tell us more about yourself. Where are you from, what was your upbringing like? Were you able to have open discussion in your household like the mother in the book?

Well before anything else I am a mother first, I have three beautiful children . I am a wife, sister, and friend. I was born here in the states however my parents are from Haiti and were very old school and strict. I was not able to do much as a child, my bigget responsiblity as the third oldest to help my younger siblings, go to school, and church. My parents did not allow me to have any friends. My twin sister was my best friend. My parents worked a lot and when they were home we did not have much time with them. so conversations like the ones that Mommy has with Mellie and her brother did not happen growing up. It’s actually something I wish my parents did have with me. I think a lot of things that happened to me growing up wouldn’t have.

As a child welfare specialist, what are some major lessons for children and parents you’d like to share?

There are many lessons that I could share but that would take up pages lol, so I’ll break it down to three most important ones.

1. The first one being do not assume your child knows what to do when in an uncomfortable situation. Talk to your child make it a conversation not an interrogation.
2. Dont ever assume your child is lying about an abuse that occurred.
3. Lastly if you ever feel overwhelmed as a parent there are resources and help out there, don’t ever feel like neglecting or abusing your child is the answer it will not only affect them but it will affect you as you not only run the risk of having your child removed but you can also face jail time.

How has the journey to published author been for you? Any tips or advice?

The first time around there were a lot of hurdles and things I had to learn but it became easier as time went on. I think the hardest part is marketing my books and getting it in front of different people and different platforms. As an indie author with no big publishing company behind me I am responsible for getting my book out there. The advice I would give to someone who is going through the journey of becoming an author or maybe considering it, always remember your “why” because that is what will keep you going on the days you feel like giving up.

What’s next for you as an author? More books?
My next step is to conduct more trainings and speaking engagements to help raise awareness on sexual assault and violence, and mental health, and help more parents, caregivers, and those who work closely with children learn and identify possible child abuse and what to do when it is suspected, as well as having conversations with children about consent, body safety, and healthy boundaries etc. I definitely want to write more books in the future, my main focus now is helping others through the process of writing their books.