Six Questions with Erika Lynne Jones
Erika Lynne Jones enjoys creating quirky characters and stories that affirm and celebrate cultures. Her creative mission is to show every child they are worthy of good and deserve positive representations of themselves in literature. She loves working in mixed media and
collage because it reminds her of time spent with her mom, who helped make sure all of her school projects had that special artistic shine. She grew up in St. Louis and now lives in the Dallas area with her husband and three daughters. Her debut picture book as an illustrator, The Loud Librarian, was written by Jenna Beatrice and releases in just a few weeks. Visit Erika's website to learn more about her and her work. Or, check her out at @erikalynnejones on social media platforms.
(Photo credit: Tiffany Washington; Book cover photo credit: Jessica Grose)
1. What three things bring you joy?
1. Traveling/quality time with my husband and daughters
2. Making others laugh
3. Hearing that my art brings others joy.
2. What kind of student were you? What were your favorite subjects?
I was an excellent student in all subjects and well-behaved… until something funny would get a hold of me. I found it hard to control my laughter.
3. What was your favorite book when you were a child? Why?
The Best TIme of Day (out of print) by Valerie Flourno and illustrated by George Ford, because it was one of a few books we owned that told the story of a black family. Also the main character’s favorite time of day was when he was reunited with his parents after school and work. I could very much relate to that relief I would feel when it was time to be at home with my family.
4. If you read The Loud Librarian to a room filled with kids, what message would you want them to leave with?
I hope children take away that whoever you are inherently, in other words whatever quirks, likes dislikes, you are born with… you don’t have to change to be like everyone else. You will find your purpose, your place. Just how you are - you will shine.
5. Where do you get inspiration for your characters? Are you influenced by people you know?
When it comes to what characters look like, I do sometimes draw upon inspiration from people I know. In The Loud Librarian, Penelope’s dad may have had inspiration from my husband’s facial features and preferred loungewear. And my youngest daughter actually helped bring the main character, Penelope, to life. Her wild (to me) parkday outfit ended up being the perfect way to showcase Penelope’s LOUD persona.
6. Who should read this book?
Everyone of course… but especially people who want to see lots of: bright colors, silliness, character diversity and a story that stretches your imagination.