Six‐year‐old author, LaNiyah Bailey, released her debut book, Not FAT Because I Wanna Be in April 2010. In her book, LaNiyah details the struggle of Jessica, a fictional girl who has an underlying medical issue that causes her to gain weight. Bullied by her peers, Jessica learns to accept her body and eventually opens up about her condition to her classmates.
There are many kids going through similar situations with bullying from body size to the way they speak. What I love about LaNiyah's book is my family can relate to Jessica, and LaNiyah and her family’s struggles. Despite eating a healthy diet, which includes vegetables, salads and fruits for over the last two years, LaNiyah has been bullied by her peers for both the size of her stomach and the amount of time she spends in the bathroom. My son also had this same problem in his early school years. The reason? An enlarged colon…just like LaNiyah.
I've had the pleasure of chatting with LaNiyah and her mom, LaTonya. I asked LaNiyah if she would share what it is like being a youth author with us today. I'm excited to say she agreed and what a treat for us to get the inside scoop of a young author and why she started writing.
6 year-old, Author, LaNiyah Bailey...What is it like writing a book?
I don’t know much about publishing a book. But, the process my mom did helped to get the book out to the whole world. She put together a team of people like my dad, my cousin Sharisse and her good friend La Tasha Mason and they really worked hard to get me on TV, radio and doing interviews and it has been doing very good.
Writing a book has been very fun. At first, I was scared about it, but now, I'm excited that it is doing really good. It has shown me a lot of kids are going through some of the same things I went through, and now since they read my book...they will stand up for themselves and tell their parents what is going on with them. Hopefully, it will make people stop being bullies, too.
I think it is really important to write because you get to put your feelings out and you get to create stories that are fun and can help someone else. Many people have told me knowing that a six year old wrote a book that they now believe they can do it too, and that is a good thing. I plan to write more books soon!
I would say I have learned a lot about writing a book. I hope people who bully other people will read my book and it helps them to stop what they do. Because bullying hurts people’s feelings a lot. I used to think that I was everything they called me, until my mom, dad and my entire family told me that no matter what you are beautiful and we love you! That made me believe in myself more better.
With a message that words can hurt and that not all weight gain is due to an unhealthy lifestyle, LaNiyah Bailey hopes her book will enlighten and entertain her young readers. She has already taken her message beyond the pages of her book with a World of Ink Virtual Tour and speaking publically for the first time at the African‐American Youth Day Festival.
You can find out more about LaNiyah Bailey, her book and World of Ink Author/Book Tour at http://storiesforchildrenpublishing.com/LaNiyahBailey.aspx. There will be giveaways, reviews, interviews, guest posts and more. Make sure to stop by and interact with LaNiyah and her mother, and the hosts at the different stops by leaving comments and/or questions. LaNiyah will be checking in throughout the tour and is offering an additional giveaway for those who leave comments throughout the tour.
In addition, come listen to Blog Talk Radio’s World of Ink Network show: Stories for Children at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/worldofinknetwork. The hosts VS Grenier, Kris Quinn Chirstopherson and Irene Roth will be chatting with LaNiyah and her mother about NOT FAT Because I Wanne Be, being a youth writer, publishing a book and her experiences along with tips on how to deal with bullies. The show will be live August 29, 2011 at 8pm EST.