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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Author, Cherrye Vasquez, Tells Us about Her First Book, No Tildes on Tuesday

I am a public school administrator and an adjunct professor who teaches graduate level courses to students desiring to become public school principals and/or curriculum specialists. In 2005, I obtained a Doctorate of Philosophy in Curriculum & Instruction from Texas A& M University. In 1985, I earned a Master of Education in Special Education from Prairie View A&M University; and in 1981 I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Speech Pathology/Audiology. I specialize in Multi-cultural education and hold certifications in Early Childhood Handicapped, Mid-Management and Educational Diagnostician. I live in Houston with my husband, Roy, my 9 year old daughter, Kelly, and our dog Floppy.

When I am not working, I spend time with my family and close friends, but I also find time to write and market my book. In addition, I visit public school campuses as an author. I enjoy working with children as my goal is to instill a sense of empowerment and ownership of their identity.

Tell us about the genre of your work.

The genre of my work centers on Fiction, chapter books, bilingual and multicultural categories.

Why did you choose this genre?

This genre is passionate to me because my platform centers on diversity issues and instilling in children a love for self first as well as others.

What are some of your books, stories that have been published?

I have published one book, No Tildes on Tuesday.

What ages do you direct your books?

My books are directed toward children aged 7-13 years.

Tell us about your book, and where we may find it.

No Tildes on Tuesday is a children’s chapter book. It has 96 pages and 10 black and white illustrations. My book can be found at Barnes and Noble Booksellers, The Bookery (El Paso, TX), and Left Bank Books Bookstore (St. Louis, MO). It can also be found on line at:,, Tate Publishing and Enterprises.

No Tildes on Tuesday - ISBN: 978-1-61663-689-0

Do your books have a teaching objective? If so, what is it?

Yes, my book has a teaching objective. In order for my book to be used as an educational material and more useful in classroom settings, the fictional story can be coupled with the worksheet that I’ve included at the end of it. Educators (teachers, counselors and social workers) may use the worksheet to elicit dialogue and friendly discourse among students.

How do you come up with the names of places and characters in your books?

The names of places and characters in my books always stems from places that, and people who I know in my personal life. Although my characters are disguised, I try to give my readers a picturesque view of my journey. For example, in the book that I am currently writing, Dedicated Identity, I named the dog portrayed in this book Sargy. My uncle’s dog was named Sergeant, so I shortened the dogs’ name. When I think of Sargy, I have fond memories of my uncle who is now deceased. By doing so, writing takes own a soothing personal approach for me.

How did you develop the character/s of your in each of your books?

My characters are developed by crafting a detailed character study of how I’d like them to look, act or feel. These include their name, age, appearance, relationships with other characters, and personality.

Is there a unique character or a recurring character if you have more than one published or to be published book?

Isabella, my main character, is biracial. Because my message concerns self identity and strength for realizing and taking ownership of one’s self, I spend a lot of time shaping Isabella’s character so that my message resonates in the mind of the reader.

What is your favorite thing about your book/s?

The favorite thing about my books is the message that I hope to deliver to children which is a love of self and empowerment.

Is your book illustrated? If so, would you tell us by whom, and if you worked with an illustrator, can you discuss that experience?

After consulting with my publisher about my character’s; how they should look, age, personalities, and how I as the author imagine them, within my book the reader will find 10 black and white illustrations of characters who will give a feel of who they are inside and out.

Are there any problems in getting children’s’ books published?

I wouldn’t say that there is a problem with getting children’s book published. It all depends on who you want to publish your book, how long you are willing to wait to be published, and what standards you may have for getting your book published.

Why and when did you begin writing?

How I began my writing comes with a story that I’d like to share:

Approximately five years ago, I was engaged in, what I thought at first, was a friendly conversation with a group of ladies at my place of employment. As mothers, we often talked back and forth about daily activities that our children were involved in. We did this often to amuse ourselves, or so I thought, and generally ended with much laughter among the group.

When I ended my “story for the day” on the subject of my daughter’s latest activity, one of the ladies turned and said, “Well, she’s going to have psychological problems anyway." I looked at her and asked, “What?!” She went on to say, “She’s biracial, and all biracial children end up with psychological problems."

This woman was the first person who'd ever made a statement like this to me. What she claimed never crossed my mind before. Why? Because my daughter is a charming, well-rounded, culturally balanced, beautiful biracial girl who excels academically, and I might add that she's one very fine pianist. She has friends of all races, heritages, ethnicities, and she loves people. In fact, if someone ever refers to my daughter as one ethnic group over another, she quickly informs them that she is neither one over the other, but both. She loves all of who she is, and is very proud of both her heritages.

Well, I can tell you this, I have heard about and read of stories of biracial children and adults alleging that they've encountered problems because they are biracial, but I truly hadn’t spent anytime at all pondering over this subject where my child is concerned.

I suppose this topic didn’t affect me as a parent because I have ensured that I’ve done my part in balancing out my child’s life to include knowledge of both heritages, and pointedly building her character and self-esteem. I believe that issues, good or bad, have to do with parenting and environmental situations in totality.

Now, because I happen to be the mother of a biracial child, I felt that if there are those that declare that because a child is biracial they will automatically have psychological problems, I needed to set my writing and platform in motion.

Although I have wanted to write children’s books for some time now, that moment set the precedent for me doing business as, Books That Sow: Strength Character & Diversity. I needed to get a collection of books written and published that would build character, self-worth and empowerment in children, all children, whether monoracial, biracial or multiracial. I want children to read my books and use my materials.

What is your writing schedule?

I often write in the early part of the day, or late at night, but I especially favor early mornings. I love the quiet and peacefulness that early morning brings. Many times I can hear birds chirping and see squirrels moving about on power lines. Once my husband, daughter and dog are settled in, I can write with ease and comfort.

What projects are you working on now, or plan for the future?

Currently, I am working on a sequel to No Tildes on Tuesday. I hope to title it Dedicated Identity. Dedicated Identity has a message of identity ownership. My main character, Isabella, goes full circle as she moves into her new home, school and environment, but she is in for quite a surprise.

As I complete Dedicated Identity, I am writing in a helpful tips page entitled: Positive Approaches in Forming Healthy Identity in Biracial/Multiracial Children. On this page, I will begin with an Introduction followed by tips for parents, educators, and then the biracial/multiracial child. Finally, I will end with a message specifically for the child which contains acknowledgement and affirmation statements.

What kind of advice or tips to you have for someone who wants to write and get published?

I want to encourage writers to write with purpose and passion. One should never give up if they have a message to share.

What do you do when you are not writing?

When I am not writing, I spend time marketing my book, working in public education and as an adjunct professor, spending time with my immediate family and friends, and visiting school districts as an author.

What “Made It” moments have you experienced in life?

I never dreamed that my book, No Tildes on Tuesday, would be approved for the shelves of Barnes and Noble Booksellers via a letter from Corporate Office two months after the official release date.

What to know more about Cherrye and her work? Visit these websites:

Email address:



R.B.W. said...

Congratulations on getting your book on the shelves of Barnes & Noble, that is an awesome achievement in itself, let alone getting published. I wish there was a magic button that could market published books, because marketing does take away from writing big time. Again, I want to say congratulations on all your success.

Our Parenting Spot said...

Congrats on getting your book published Dr V!

judith said...

Wonderful article, Cherrye! So enjoyed getting to know you more through this lovely piece!

Ms. Martin (Teacher) said...

Congratulations on your new venture! It sounds like an exciting opportunity and I'm looking forward to reading your next inspiring, dynamite and very educational book!