“I want my readers to take away from my book the impact that relationships can have on your life no matter if it’s your grandmother, mother, father, siblings or even friends. Life is extremely short and I want to spread the message of cherishing the individuals in our lives and building on to those relationships.”
VERSAFI MAGAZINE: It is great to have you back a month later with Versafi and after reading and reviewing your book, I wanted to ask you do you plan to write more children books related to the same subject matter?
DAVID: My plan is to write more children’s books related to the same subject matter as Thank You Grandma in regard to my books being related around showing appreciation for the people who are important to you. My family is my inspiration when it comes to writing which makes it easy for me as an author be-cause everything I write comes from the heart and I’m able to put my feelings about them on paper.
VERSAFI: That sounds like a great idea! A lot of children and adults as well looking for children books for their kids will definitely gravitate to that! So what do you want your readers to take away from reading your book?
DAVID: I want my readers to take away from my book the impact that relationships can have on your life no matter if it’s your grandmother, mother, father, siblings or even friends. Life is extremely short and I want to spread the message of cherishing the individuals in our lives and building on to those relationships.
VERSAFI: That is so true! A lot of children were raised by either their grandparents, aunts, uncles, great-great parents, etc. Are you planning to write another children’s book this year?
DAVID: I’m currently working on a Spanish version of my children’s book Thank You Grandma. I’m extremely excited about this project because it will hopefully allow me to reach a broader audience and expand my reach as an author.
VERSAFI: Now that sounds like a great idea! To have your book in a different language. That’s also a great way to market your book to a wider audience like you mentioned. Now you are currently residing in California and you also stated that you are a youth fitness specialist. What does that intel?
DAVID: Yes, I’m currently working as a youth fitness specialist for the U.S. Army in Fort Irwin, California. As a youth fitness specialist I plan, develop and implement sport and fitness programs for the youth on my military installation.
VERSAFI: A very interesting job I might add! Because you are working a regular 9 to 5 and writing books as well, how do you balance both?
DAVID: I’ve learned to write down and plan everything. For me personally it can sometimes get overwhelming with trying to balance your work life with being an author. But I find that when I plan my days and allot a specific time just for my writing, I can make sure I solely focus on that.
VERSAFI: That’s the best thing to do as far as balancing between the two. Sometimes a lot of authors are struggling with the whole balancing piece, but it can be done. I want to piggy back to your job as a youth fitness. So As a youth fitness specialist, what was your inspiration behind getting that job?
DAVID: Giving back to the youth has always been important to me and I wanted to include that with my passion and love for sports. I wanted to be apart of change in my community and positively effect the youth in the environment that I grew up in as a military child through my expertise in sports. Growing up and living on military installations we always had people in the community that were mentors and guided on the right path to our goals.
VERSAFI: Sounds like the definite inspiration. Giving back is so important in the community. Do you do a lot of volunteer work in the community involving children?
DAVID: When I’m not working with the youth in my day job I volunteer with a non-profit organization for minority women and girls called The Society of Mentorship for Minority Women and Girls. I also volunteer my time with high school student-athletes to help them get recruited by colleges. I invest time in their recruiting process and educate them on different programs based off of their athletic ability. I believe in paying it forward to the youth so even though I tend to have a busy schedule I make it my duty to volunteer and make sure I pour into them.
VERSAFI: Awesome! Now what are some of our favorite authors and why?
DAVID: H.G. Wells is my favorite author of all time. My junior year of college I took an intro to literature course where we had to examine science fiction novels and depict the societal commentary in the novels. Three of the novels were by author H.G. Wells which were The War of the Worlds, The Island of Doctor Moreau and The Invisible Man. His novels changed the way I viewed reading and grew my love for reading novels based off of social commentary.
VERSAFI: I definitely seen the movie War of the Worlds so I’m assuming that’s the same author that wrote the book as well. LOL. Are there any particular writing strategies you have when you are writing your books?
DAVID: So far I’ve only written one book, but during my process of writing my book I used a few of writing strategies that I noticed worked for best selling authors. The first strategy I used was have an attractive title that would catch readers attention when they come across the title of my book. The second strategy that I focused on was studying my favorite authors and trends in children’s books. My third strategy was have an outline. I found during my process having an outline not only kept my story on track but it also saved me time. The last writing strategy I used and probably the most important strategy to me is write for the fun of it. The process of writing a book can be very tedious and stressful but as an author you have to write something that’s fun for you to write.
VERSAFI: Those are awesome writing strategies! With everything being said, how can readers connect with you via social media, website and also how can they purchase your book ‘Thank You Grandma’?
DAVID: Readers can connect with me on my Instagram page: @D.sledgejr, Facebook: David Sledge Jr. and even through my personal email: Davidsledgejr1914@gmail.com.