Author Spotlight: Kirstie Myvett

 


 Oct. 8, 2020

Today we are pleased to feature author Kirstie Myvett and her debut picture book, PRALINE LADY, illustrated by Kameko Madere (Pelican Publishing, Nov. 2, 2020).

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Tell us about yourself and how you came to write for children.


I’ve loved reading since I was a child and wrote my first story when I was twelve years old. When I was a senior in high school, I won an essay contest, and that win gave me the confidence to continue writing throughout the years while raising a family, finishing school and working. 


Congrats on your debut picture book, PRALINE LADY. Tell us about the book and what inspired you.


PRALINE LADY is a historical fiction picture book that tells the story of the Praline Ladies of New Orleans. In the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Black women sold goods throughout the French Quarter to earn a living. Praline candy was a popular choice because the main ingredient, pecans, was free for the picking and was inexpensive to make. 


Pre-Civil War, some of these women were able to purchase their freedom or that of their loved ones by selling pralines and other goods. I was inspired by their perseverance and also wanted to give credit where it’s due. Black women popularized praline candy. They were out and about selling to tourists who spread the word about this special New Orleans candy, yet they are seldom given credit. 




Was your road to publication long and winding, short and sweet, or something in between?


My road was long and winding. I wrote this book over a decade ago and revised it over the years. I would often take breaks from writing when life got in the way, but I submitted this book to my publisher in 2016 and had to do more revisions. I’ve received countless rejections over the years and recently came across a journal entry with my very first rejection noted in 1999. 

 

What projects are you working on now? 


I have two picture books on submission so crossing my fingers I’ll hear good news soon. I’m also putting the finishing touch on a middle-grade historical fiction book and conducting research for a biography book. 


What advice would you give to your younger self? Is it the same you'd give to other aspiring authors? 


Push through those feelings of imposter syndrome and stay focused on your craft and learning all you can. 


What is one thing most people don't know about you? 


Most people don’t know that I lived in Taiwan and Brazil as a young wife and mother. I also spent a few weeks in Seoul, South Korea. Those travels sparked a passion and deep appreciation in me to learn about other cultures and peoples.


Where can people find you online?


Instagram: kirstiemyauthor

Twitter: kirstiemy2




Kirstie Myvett is a children's author whose books feature diverse characters. She was fortunate to live in Taiwan and Brazil where she developed a deep respect and admiration for different cultures. She resides with her family in the rich cultural city of New Orleans which is the location for her upcoming debut picture book, PRALINE LADY.​




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10 comments:

  1. New Orleans has a special place in my heart. It's inspiring to see a story like Praline Lady celebrating the rich culture (and delicious candy!) of one of my favorite cities.

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  2. I find the subject of this book fascinating, something I never knew. These ladies were instrumental in making praline candy know outside of New Orleans. What an interesting piece of history to give to a child. I'm looking forward to reading your book.

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  3. Thanks for sharing. This sounds like a wonderful book with some history.

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  4. I never knew about praline candy history before and find this fascinating. Congrats on your book and I can't wait to read it too.

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  5. Congratulations on your debut picture book, Kirstie! Your book looks delicious! The title brought fond memories of when my godmother used to send pralines on my birthday.

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  6. This book looks interesting, look forward to reading it!

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  7. I loved watching them make pralines.

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