Ruth Parish Watson is a best-selling writer known for her romance murder mystery series, Blackberry Days of Summer, An Elderberry Fall and Cranberry Winter. Watson is a talented playwright, a graduate of Lincoln University and a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. With her most recent work, Who Said A Girl Can’t Be President? she stepped outside of her normal subject matter. She was inspired to write the book to encourage young girls, especially girls of color to dream beyond their circumstances. She believes in the possibility of a woman becoming president one day.
Rolling out spoke with Watson about her inspiring new children’s book.
How did you arrive at this career choice, was it a deliberate decision or a gradual and natural evolution?
I have been writing for most of my life. I started doing poems as a child but didn’t hold on to any of them. When I was in college majoring in chemistry, I was told I should be a journalist. I ignored everyone because I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I eventually got a master’s in business but was always eager to write whenever the opportunity would come.
Why did you write this book?
I wrote the book for the little girls who dare to dream. Little girls are told what they can be, and I believe they can be whatever they choose. I know one day we will have a female president, and this book inspires little girls and boys to do whatever they want; however, they must work hard.
What’s the story behind the title?
I started writing this book a long time ago, shortly after President Obama became our first African American president. I asked the question, “Who said a girl can’t be president?” and this became the title. No one ever expected to have an African American president, and there are many who feel the same thing about a woman. I want little girls and boys to have the confidence to become whatever they dare.
What do you hope readers will gain from reading your book?
I hope the reader will feel like things are reachable, but you must put in the work. I want to inspire people to believe in themselves and what they are capable of obtaining. I really want them to smile knowing with confidence they can even become the president.
How long did it take you to write this book?
It didn’t take long at all. I think I spent more time on the edits.
What separates you from others in your field? What is unique about the experience that you create?
I have spent years in corporate America feeling there was a glass ceiling for women. I have been an educator and when someone wants to do something unique or is not necessarily gender specific, we shake our heads. I believe little people should be able to choose a career that makes them happy, and if being a leader of a free nation is your desire, then go for it.
Name two of your top role models: one from your industry and one from outside of it.
I think Oprah Winfrey would be the one in the industry. She is a great example of perseverance and talent. The other one was my mother who always allowed me to dream. She supported all of my crazy business ideas and aspirations.