Welcome to SCBWI-MI's Book Birthday Blog!
Where we celebrate new books from Michigan's authors and illustrators.
Congratulations to Kinyel Friday on the release
of I Feel You
How did you come up with the idea for your book?
I wrote this during the first six months of the pandemic. Everyone deals with situations differently and as stressful as this pandemic has been, it’s easy to say that we’re doing “fine” or “good”. Why not truly express how we’re feeling? So that’s what I wrote about. What that would look like if we said how we really felt.
What is something you hope your readers will take away from your book?
I want readers to learn new words and use them! I also want readers to express themselves accurately verbally. Even as adults, sometimes we don’t want to bore folks with our drama, so we say we’re “good”, instead of how we really feel, “embarrassed”, “overwhelmed”, or “hopeful”.
What inspires you to write?
I’ve loved writing since I was young. This has always been my preferred way of expressing myself. Overall, I want to promote literacy and loving yourself. For children, I write stories Black children can not only relate to, but also so they can see positive images as they’re young. When I was a child, I didn’t see the kind of books that are available now for children who look like me and cover the topics I didn’t know I needed to read about. For adults, I strictly aim to entertain!
What was the most difficult part of writing this book?
Choosing the right feeling words. I use the thesaurus religiously, so I was very strategic in how I chose them in making sure I didn’t have too many a words (for example) and not enough t words.
What are your marketing plans for the book?
I plan to share my book via social media, festivals, school and/or event readings.
A little bit about the book . . .
There are so many words we can use to express our feelings, so why not use them? This book aims not only to teach children words for their feelings and broaden their vocabulary, but also to teach that feelings are healthy and only become unhealthy when we express them through inappropriate behaviors.
A little bit about the author . . .
Kinyel Friday is the author of children’s books, I Am My Hair and Swim Like the Fishes, Book One and Two of Six of the Believe In Me Series, and short story, Troubled Minds. I Am My Hair Coloring Book and Bookmarks accompanies Book One, and Swim Like the Fishes Activity Book accompanies Book Two. Her new book, I Feel You, aims to increase children's vocabulary, as well as boost self-esteem and confidence as the prior books. Kinyel’s next picture book will debut Fall 2022.
Kinyel earned a B.A. in Psychology, and a Masters in Social Work and in English (with a specialty in Creative Writing). She began her career as a School Social Worker, and later accomplished her dream of becoming a published author. Besides being a Professional Organizer, Kinyel’s an avid reader, who loves to write compelling stories, shop, and watch movies. She braves the unforgiving winters in Michigan with her family.
KinYori Books LLC is a self-publishing company that produces books and other products to empower Black families. The mission is to promote literacy among Black families, while encouraging children to love themselves while they’re young. KinYori Books aims to change the narrative by creating stories that feature Black protagonists in books, as well as on the covers; deliver stories through a social work lens; entertain adults through fiction; and provide positive images for children.