Interview with Author, Ronel D Pierre
Ronel D Pierre is the author and illustrator of the book, Ronel & the Best Gift Ever!: The Story of a Boy’s Love for Animals, Nature, Art and His Friends.
Ronel's first book (which he self-published) has only been on Amazon for five months, but it’s already received over 200 5-star reviews. For a known author with the support of a publisher, those numbers are impressive, however, for an unknown author without support, it's staggering.
To give you a sense of what people are writing in their reviews, here’s my review as an example:
“Ronel D Pierre's book is a keeper and one to be read aloud to kids over and over again. I wished I could go back to being a third-grade teacher and read this book aloud to my students. Hope and empathy, two things we need more of in this world, leap off the pages of this beautifully illustrated and written story. I cheered with tears in my eyes when Ronel received the best give ever, and I so wanted to hear my students' reflections on his hope and strength of character.
We can all learn so much from Ronel! I highly recommend this book.”
Best Selling Author
I had the opportunity to ask Ronel questions about himself as a reader growing up, why he became a writer and what he hopes boys learn about being human from his book. I hope his answers inspire you to check out his book and read it with your son this summer. Click here to read "5 Ways to Make Summer Reading Fun."
1. Did you read for pleasure growing up?
Ronel D Pierre: I read to learn and for pleasure because I was usually alone due to being bullied all the time. Some of my favorite books were/are: The Big Friendly Giant, Where the Wild Things Are, Are You My Mother, and Dr. Seuss’s books to name a few.
My favorite spot to read was always to sit beneath a pine tree in the wilderness where I could escape the bullies and so that I could read or draw in the margins of my books.
2. How has reading books opened your world to what’s possible and shaped your life?
Ronel D Pierre: Reading books is brain food to me. It has helped me be more aware of our world and made me more multicultural, accepting of others, and not carry grudges.
3. What made you decide to become a writer and illustrator?
Ronel D Pierre: Well, being an artist/painter, I figured that the best way to promote my work is through writing. What I mean by that is the fact that whenever I had a show, people would ask questions about a selected piece of artwork. They wished to know about what inspired its creation, etc., so for my book I basically brought those answers to life via my first book which was originally a painting that I did, and then a doctor decided to purchase it.
4. What was your inspiration for writing Ronel & the Best Gift Ever!?
Ronel D Pierre: My inspiration was partly because I wanted to give a voice to orphans like myself, and I also want to continue supporting orphans in nine different countries via nphusa.org. That’s why for every book sold, part of the proceeds will be donated to that organization to help provide shelter, education, and medical care. My plan is to continue doing that with the Ronel series which will have 10 more books.
5. When boys read your book, what do you hope they come to understand about what it means to be human?
Ronel D Pierre: When boys read my book, I simply hope they strive not to bully their peers and that they too fall in love with the idea of being creative, accepting, and develop a caring attitude towards other kids that are not as lucky as they are to have had biological parents.
6. When can we expect book 2 in the series to be available?
Ronel D Pierre: You can expect books 2 and 3 to have a 2017 copyright. Books 4 and 5 will be out in 2018, and my plan is to have 2 books out per year, God willing.
7. Would mind sharing a bit about what this book has in store for us?
Ronel D Pierre: Both books 2 and 3 are about lessons that my mom, Kat, has taught me about the importance of volunteerism and why it’s important to learn how to “fish” (educate oneself to be self-sufficient). The books will be part biographical and part the concept: anti-bullying and the importance of having a family.
8. Final question: what are a few of your favorite things (food, books, people, vacation spots, hobbies) that your readers may be surprised to learn about you?
Ronel D Pierre: I love anything new, meaning anything that I never tried before, when it comes to food. I am very open-minded and eager to learn. Currently I’m reading All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel. I love going to museums and the beach. My hobby is always painting and writing, but I haven’t been to New York. The best vacation spot for me would be Disney Land, where my dreams always come true because I remain a child inside.