Complementing my interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the two hundred and eighty-second, is of children’s author and interviewee Dr Cherrye Vasquez. If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look at author-spotlights.
Cherrye Vasquez has only been published for three years, but she knew early in life that one day she’d become an author of at least one children’s book. Today, we can assert that her dream came true. Vasquez is not only the author of two books (one will be released later this summer 2013); but she has also written two journals and co-created a little girl’s diary with her eleven year old daughter (then ten years old).
Vasquez spent countless hours earning three degrees and several certifications stemming from 1978-2005. Her extensive educational timeline is as follows:
1978-1981: Bachelor’s Degree – Speech Pathology / Audiology with minor in Special Education and certification in Early Childhood/Handicapped from Sam Houston State University; Huntsville, Texas.
1984-1985: Master’s Degree – Special Education with certification in Educational Diagnostician from Prairie View A&M University; Prairie View, Texas.
In 1991, Vasquez returned to Prairie View A&M University earning a certification in Mid-Management by 1992.
2000-2005: Doctoral Degree – Curriculum and Instruction with emphasis in Multicultural Education from Texas A&M University; College Station, Texas.
Taking many courses in education allowed Vasquez to perfect her writing skills. While completing her studies, she was often required to write research and reflection papers. Once she recalled one of Professors was particularly interested in her writing style, but the Professor explained to Vasquez, “For the purpose of your research courses you’ll have to stick to research facts.” Vasquez’ Professor went on to explain that her writing was that of an author scripting for children because it appeared that Vasquez included lots of feelings as if telling a story. Vasquez never forgot her Professor’s words, so it wasn’t long before she decided to take a chance on taking a writing aptitude exam from The Institute of Children’s Literature. Vasquez responded to a few prompts and submitted a short entry titled “A Different Kind of Sports Day.” Her goal was to determine if she would qualify as a recipient in their course. A few weeks later, Vasquez received news from the institute that she passed the writing aptitude exam, and would become a student at the Institute for the next 18 months.
After completing her course, Vasquez wrote three “How To” articles. One of her articles titled, “Wee Can Play Too” was published in Mr. Marquis’ Museletter; Creative Connections for Readers, Writers and Artists; Kwil Kids Publishing, Winter 2007.
Vasquez streamlined her educational track, and set her career path toward the educational arena. She has been a public educator for the past 32 years and an adjunct professor teaching master level courses to teachers aspiring to become school administrators for 5.5 years, so she takes her job training future instructional leaders seriously. Vasquez believes that our future teachers and campus administrators of tomorrow should love children just as she does, and each should possess efficacious, pedagogical spirits undertaking whatever is needed to perfect a student’s academic growth.
Vasquez loves children and hates seeing them hurt at the hands of others, especially people who are within a child’s circle and who should treat them with respect, care and consideration. Due to her feelings and passion to see children empowered, Vasquez spends time advocating and promoting cultural diversity, and is an anti-bully advocate. Needless to say, Vasquez’ genre is juvenile fiction, social issues, people & places, prejudice & racism, self-esteem & self-reliance, and multicultural education.
Vasquez is the author of two children’s chapter books, No Tildes on Tuesday, Clique, Clique, Stop (due out summer 2013), two journals, Diversity Daybook: Journal and Affirmation Daybook: Journal, and a little girl’s diary, Guess What? Dear Diary, and her latest untitled manuscript is in the hands of her publisher. This latter book, geared toward younger audiences, is about bully awareness, and is told in poetic style by a young boy who began school happy, and eager to learn only to find that he is being physically attacked by his former friend, now a bully. This young boy just wants his teacher to listen to his plea for help, intervene, and stop the bully.
When Vasquez isn’t working, she spends time blogging about bullying and diversity issues, writing articles, sending blurbs on her social networking sites as relative to her platform topics, engaging in book signings/readings when available, and researching her platform topics so that she can always remain current.
Vasquez has spent time in elementary schools performing author school visits, and book signings / readings at Barnes and Noble Booksellers, but she wants to also inform school administrators, teachers, librarians and parents that she is available for Skype an author teleconferences.
And now from the author herself:
I have a passion to help those who have been labeled as oppressed and disenfranchised, so whenever I write I think about children who I feel need to hear my stories. My goal is to empower and uplift children because I believe they are all beautiful, unique and worthy of happiness and joy in their world.
Although I’ve wanted to write a children’s book for a very long time, my plight and story line of my first book, No Tildes on Tuesday, although fiction, was mirrored on similarities of my personal life. You see, my family is mixed-race. My husband is Hispanic and our daughter is biracial.
Because my daughter comprises two races, it is important to me as her mom to teach her about both her heritages. Our home has pictures and artifacts of multiple races and not just one over the other. She is being raised to love all people and respect them for the unique virtues they possess. Each has something to offer, so she is to judge her friends and classmates on their character and not the color of their skin. In society, we must all give and create an atmosphere of hard work ethic. My daughter is being reared in preparation for her bright and successful course in life. In order for me to see her through her successes, I must empower her, so I use lots of affirmation and self-fulfilling prophecy techniques. I believe that if we tell our children what they are, they will evolve and become.
In my first book, No Tildes on Tuesday, the main protagonist, Isabella Santiago, is biracial. I wrote this story for two reasons: Firstly, I felt the need to reveal the complexities that some children may feel who are not raised to embrace and love all of who they are (any and all of their combined races). I believe that in order to combat adversities in life, especially bullying, one must love who they are first. Self-identity is an important gift to uphold and cherish. Children must feel empowered and feel deep-seeded passion and adoration for self.
Secondly, I once heard a woman make the comment that children who are biracial would eventually have psychological problems because they would not have a sense of belonging to one group or another and feel torn and perhaps left out.
Realizing there may be children among us who feel this way, only added to my passion to write my books. My goal is to denounce these isolated and personal ideologies from the hearts and minds of people, and especially children who are born into mixed-race families.
Please note, however, I do not have blinders on. There may be children who are biracial with psychological problems, but I believe there has to be underlying variables attributed to these problems.
I certainly do not feel this is the case for my own biracial daughter. If she were to have psychological problems, her problems would be no different from any other child whether biracial or monoracial. Just because a child is biracial doesn’t mean they will automatically have psychological problems. If so, I would be the sort of mom to offset any such thing. My daughter happens to be a very well-rounded biracial child who loves life, people of all races, and is a very fine pianist for her age group, I might add.
I would love for you to peruse my website. You’ll find my Teaching Diversity and Diversity Activities pages and learn more about who I am.
You can find more about Cherrye and her writing via…
No Tildes on Tuesday
- Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/No-Tildes-on-Tuesday-ebook/dp/B007XVV5GC
- Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Tildes-Tuesday-Ph-D-Cherrye-Vasquez/dp/1616636890
- Audio: http://www.amazon.com/No-Tildes-on-Tuesday/dp/B004Y8LDNC
- No Tildes on Tuesday Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7ZM-ftiT1k
- Facebook Exclusive – Chapter 1 of No Tildes on Tuesday: http://cherryevasquez.tateauthor.com/?page_id=1627
- Scavenger Hunt Book Contest – No Tildes on Tuesday: http://cherryevasquez.tateauthor.com/?page_id=616
Affirmation Daybook: Journal
- Create Space eStore: https://www.createspace.com/3771349
Diversity Daybook: Journal
- Create Space eStore: https://www.createspace.com/3757400 (includes diary and this ink pen)
- See more at: http://cherryevasquez.tateauthor.com/diversity-books/personal-diary/#sthash.hm9lFdLb.dpuf
Guess What? Dear Diary,
- http://www.BooksThatSow.com (diary and ink pen set)
- Create Space eStore: https://www.createspace.com/3935920 (diary only)
Social Networking Sites/Links
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/bullieswillstop
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BooksThatSow, https://www.facebook.com/BooksThatSow/app_139229522811253
- LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/cherrye-vasquez-ph-d/22/907/352
- Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/booksthatsow
- Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5391542.Cherrye_S_Vasquez
- Google+: https://plus.google.com/101407349826340013789/posts
- Go ahead and OPT-IN (bully news updates, latest statistics, articles, links, poems, and more): http://cherryevasquez.tateauthor.com/help-stop-bullying/
You Tube Videos
- Video of Poems – The Bully-ee (victim) & The Bully (perpetrator): http://youtu.be/TXnOn9JjxHo
- Video – How to Approach Your Child’s School: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xaj15w0mSI&feature=plcp
- Support Anti-Bullying: http://cherryevasquez.tateauthor.com/?page_id=1916
- My Child Is Being Bullied, So What Can I Do?: http://ezinearticles.com/?My-Child-Is-Being-Bullied,-So-What-Can-I-Do?&id=7072491
- Focusing on the Child Bully. What Can We Do To Help THIS Child?: http://ezinearticles.com/?Focusing-on-the-Child-Bully—What-Can-We-Do-To-Help-THIS-Child?&id=7099166
- Parents and Teachers: Addressing Social Emotional Learning and Nipping Bullying in the Bud: http://ezinearticles.com/?Parents-and-Teachers-Addressing-Social-Emotional-Learning-and-Nipping-Bullying-in-the-Bud&id=7086727
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As I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t unfortunately review books but I have a list of those who do. If there’s anything you’d like to take part in, take a look at Opportunities on this blog.
I welcome items for critique for the online writing groups listed below:
Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group
We look forward to reading your comments.