Monday, December 11, 2023

Q&A with Modello Brown





Modello Brown is the author and illustrator of the new children's picture book Nona's Nerves. It's the second in a series, following Jordan's First Day. Brown is also a hip hop and R&B artist. 


Q: What inspired you to create Nona’s Nerves?


A: As an inspiring hip hop artist, in my earlier years of high school I came to the point where I figured it was time for me to showcase my talent. Which I’ve been perfecting since the seventh grade.


Growing up in a high crime area initiated my anxiety, always having a feeling something troubling is on its way. The feeling of regard. Being on stage in front of the entire school body for a performance took it to another level.


The talent shows were really huge events in my high school. Remembering those moments and recalling fellow classmates encountering the same issue inspired my creation for this title.


Q: This is the second in your Hip Hop Littles series--how would you describe the relationship between this story and the first in the series, Jordan’s First Day?


A: The common connection between the two would be the coalesce from the characters. Using friendship as a key factor for problem solving. Both titles have a school setting to defy the environmental issues in those particular societies our children deal with on a daily basis.


Pushing the dynamic change is a muscle play in both stories and also, projecting that anyone can always use a friend. Diving into the poetic device, this allows educational purpose for remembering words to stories they will love.

Q: As an author and artist, did you focus more on one aspect of the book before turning to the other?


A: Actually, yes I did! Using my musical talent allowed me to be very dauntless in my storytelling. In order for me to create these literary arts I write them as songs, then I break them down into a poetic reading format.


This allows me to create the perspective direction needed for the lesson I'm trying to teach comfortably. Once I have that, my co artist and I illustrate the proper environments with the characters.


Q: What do you hope kids take away from the story?


A: Honestly, the true reward would be a kid saying they did something a certain way because of how one of my characters did it. I want them to feel related to the characters rather it’s as a brother, sister, or best friend. Each character was created with a very relatable personality for the everyday child.


Q: What are you working on now?


A: Well, I’m working on my next book which I plan to release July of 2024. Recently, as in weeks ago, I lost a very young family member to depression so I plan for my next book to touch on that topic.


Q: I’m so sorry to hear about your loss...


Is there anything else we should know about your books?


A: The characters in my books may be all of fictional but the stories are very real. Every book is written through my personal life experiences to give adults and children a connection to the author.


Parental Digest is a way for me to connect with the parent in a poetic way. Giving them a profound understanding of the book before they began reading to their children.


Jordan’s First Day introduces each character and their role and or passion; you really can’t follow the journey without having that book first. 


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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