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  • Writer's pictureMary Boone

Six Questions with Natasha Tripplett

Natasha Tripplett lives in Northern California where she writes from a tree house perched in a sycamore tree. Natasha is a Jamaican Jewish American author who is passionate about cultural representation in children's literature. She bubbles with excitement over antiques, chocolate, coffee on the front porch, and cozy movie nights in front of the fireplace with her husband and four children. Visit Natasha's website to learn more about her and her work.

You can find her on social media at:

@TashaTripplett on X

@Natasha_stories on Instagram

1. What three things bring you joy?

There is so much beauty in the world. I am constantly drawn to the details in life. I love noticing different shades of green in nature. I love listening to the symphony of different laughter during a movie. I love hearing about the specific ways that people impact the world around them. There is so much variety and beauty in the details of life. I am fascinated by it all.

Anything WARM and COZY brings me joy. Fuzzy socks, a cup of coffee, my weighted blanket, sitting in a sunny spot, a hug…

I also love antique shops. Thinking about ways to repurpose yesterday’s treasures, fills me with joy.

2. What was your favorite book when you were a child? Why?

As a young child, I loved the story and the pictures of The Olden Days by Joe Mathieu. That book transported me into another time and place. It also paved the way for my love of The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I was drawn to the adventure, the love of a family and the simple life.

3. What's the best piece of advice a mentor has given you?

I am fortunate to have spent many hours with author Martha Brockenbrough. She is a writing genius. One of the plethora of bits of wisdom she said is that “a setting in a book is not decorative.” Settings should reveal something about the character. What you choose to highlight should tell the reader an important detail.

4. If you could tell readers one secret about this book, what would it be?

The story that turned into Juneteenth Is, was the 17th version of the story. I had written many drafts before this version eventually made its way onto the page. I want to encourage writers to keep going until a story feels right. Don’t give up. If a story keeps showing up in your mind, follow it until you get it onto the page.

5. Who should read this book?

Juneteenth Is paints a picture of unity. This is a universal story about a family honoring their past. It is also a story that every American should read and take ownership of. While certain characters are central, the Juneteenth holiday is something everyone should celebrate. It commemorates our collective fight for freedom and the lengths we can achieve to make sure that freedom is a reality for everyone. As a country, celebrating Juneteenth says

we refuse to let anyone live in bondage because as Emma Lazarus said, “until all are free, none are free.”

6. Did you have a lot of collaboration with the illustrator?

Daniel J. O’Brien is not only an amazingly hardworking and talented artist, but he is also a genuine person. I have had the privilege of spending time with him, and he cares deeply about people. While working on Juneteenth Is, Daniel and I communicated through our editor and art director. Since publication, we have interacted more frequently. He has given us all a treasure with the artwork and additional storyline that he created through illustrations in Juneteenth Is.

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