Exclusive Interview with "Ebony Troncoso"
Meet Ebony Troncoso, a three time Children's Book Author and a graduate of Lehman College, holding a Bachelors Degree in English Literature and a Masters in Early Childhood Education. She is an educator and the founder & CEO of Aspired Dreams LLC. Publishing House.
Q: You’ve authored three books correct? Please give us a brief summary of all of your books.
A: Yes, I have three books that I have composed. The main theme and focus that spans throughout each book is family dynamics. In “Mommy And Me,” readers get to see the strength a single mother has raising her daughter as she is displayed as a superhero for delivering chocolate milk to stores and teaching at night. In “Best Friend First, Dad Second,” you get to experience the unconditional love felt between a father and his daughter as they have tea parties and summer bike rides. Lastly, “Mom Has The Key To My Heart,” is a loving story that shows the relationship between a mother and her son. With all that’s going on in our society with our young black men, I created this book of affirmations to boost their confidence and to help instill in them that they are valuable as well.
Q: With the lack of diversity in children’s books, it’s evident that mainstream publishers do not see the value in books featuring black and brown characters. In your opinion, why do you believe it’s important that children of color have access to books featuring characters that resemble them?
A: I personally believe that as children are growing up and finding their way, they need to be able to identify themselves within the books that they are reading. This not only builds their imaginations, but it provides them with a boost of confidence and self-esteem to say, “Wow, I can be a President too like David was in this story.” When I was a child, I didn’t have many books with characters that looked like me. But I must say that I am so proud to be a part of this new generation of diverse authors because we are changing the narrative of children’s books and what their typical characters may look like.
Q: What do you hope young readers will learn from reading your books?
A: I really hope that my readers will understand how important and vital family truly is. As a child, I always thought that my family members will be alive and around for the entire course of my life. But when I grew older, I realized that’s not how life works. Family is truly all we have and I wanted to depict that message to readers from different aspects within my books.
Q: What do you think needs to be done for diversity to become the norm in children’s literature?
A: Honestly, I need to compose 100 more books! But seriously, there are so many new authors that are on the rise daily. If we continue to produce as many black and brown characters as we can, the normal characters with the blonde curly hair and blue eyes will not be as prevalent as Mia, with the afro puffs and dark brown skin. If just a handful of us authors that promote diversity within their stories went mainstream as best sellers, we all made it so to speak.
Q: Tell us about your publishing company, “Aspired Dreams Publishing House LLC,” how it began as well as the services you offer.
A: I started writing “Mommy and Me” in 2016 and for the life of me, couldn’t find a publishing company that would charge me less than $2,000 just to get started. So, I put the book down and became so discouraged as to how I was going to get the book out. For months, I researched and found methods to self-publish. I spent plenty sleepless nights in front of my laptop, publishing my book and learning all of the tricks behind it. After the release of my first book, everyone came to me with their own story to tell and I was just so inspired! Then, the light bulb went on. I figured why not create the affordable publishing company that I wish I found during my writing journey. So, in July 2017, Aspired Dreams LLC was born. We offer editing services, proofreading, story formatting, ghostwriting, and of course, publishing. We have published over 11 stories that span across a wide range of genres.
Q: What were some challenges you faced while self-publishing your books? How did you overcome those challenges?
A: OMG the entire process was a challenge! The most tedious part of it all is the formatting process. Between finding the right size for the book, to adjusting the margins, I could not understand why the words inside the book kept getting cut off and why my images were not printing in high resolution. My initial release for the book was supposed to be February 1st. But one thing after another just kept going completely wrong which made the release impossible. I never gave up and as I started to learn new techniques, I realized it was God’s way of saying, “Good things come to those that wait.” The book was officially released on April 17th. Research and YouTube were my best friends during that journey and still are today!
Q: On a personal note, tell us about your life outside of writing (hobbies, job, family life, etc).
A: Outside of writing, I’m finding other things to work on! It’s very rare if I’m home and not on my laptop. Everyone think I’m this super serious person, and honestly I’m not all of the time. Even during this interview, I wanted to throw in some quirky terms LOL! I just enjoy making others around me laugh and smile. I come from a close knitted, Christian family that creates any reason for us to come together to eat and laugh. Now you can see where my deep love for family stems from. Besides that, I am the Executive Director of a school in Yonkers, NY and I have just completed my Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Lehman College.
Q: What advice do you have for any aspiring authors who may be reading this interview?
A: Honestly, don’t ever think that your ideas are not enough. They are more than enough and someone in the world needs to hear them! As a writer, I’m very critical of myself and so I know how that feeling of second guessing myself or not meeting your own personal standards can be. Research is your best friend! Read tons of books to ensure that you are composing something unique and unlike anything you’ve ever read. Just pray and push forward. God will never give you ideas or visions he feels as though you cannot execute!
Q: How can readers connect with you?
A: Readers can definitely connect with me via Instagram, @OfficialEbonyTroncoso_ I truly enjoy receiving DM’s , feedback, and answering any publishing questions! Also, my website displays all of the books we’ve published, the services we offer, you can purchase my books from there, and book a publishing consultation at www.EbonyTroncoso.com
Just for fun
Q: What was your favorite children’s book as a child?
A: I don’t think I really had a favorite book because I loved so many! I was definitely obsessed with anything Dr. Seuss and “Chicka-Chicka Boom-Boom.” The love for those books followed me well into my career as an educator because I was able to incorporate these classics into a lot of my lessons and units of study.
Q: What was the last book you read?
A: The last book I read was, “It Didn’t Start With You,” by Mark Wolynn. Such a great read of how so many generational traumas or situations unconsciously contribute to who you are.
Q: Do you prefer hardcover or paper-back books?
A: Umm, I guess I enjoy both. Some books you just have to get in hardcover if it’s a classic book to add to your collection. I just prefer to turn the pages and physically hold a. book.
Q: Do you prefer fiction or non-fiction?
A: Fiction, hands down. I like to learn of new characters, their backgrounds, their friends, family. I don’t know, but as a writer, that kind of excites me to see how other authors think.
Q: If you had to promote your book “Mommy and Me” in a tweet, (140 characters), what would that tweet say?
A: It would pretty much sound like: “Have you ever had your own personal superhero in your life? “Mommy and Me” allows you to think outside of the box and crown any special woman in your life as your own hero! Mommy’s have a pretty tough job so why not share this story with someone to display your utmost appreciation and gratitude to them!