Rolling Out

Author Candelaria Silva-Collins draws inspiration from family for 1st book

Silva-Collins is a writer’s writer

Author Candelaria Silva-Collins draws inspiration from family for 1st book

Candelaria Silva-Collins is the embodiment of a writer’s writer. She listens to the universe, digests interesting and applicable ideas, then transfers them from her head to paper for a tangible work of art.

An arts consultant, writer and facilitator, Silva-Collins is active in the community as well. She is dedicated to community development as evidenced by the arts and cultural institutions she’s helped connect with community-based groups. A published journalist with work that spans from local interests stories to national news publications across the country, Silva-Collins became a bona fide author when her book, Stacey Became a Frog One Day, was published in October 2020.

Silva-Collins spoke with us about her recent accomplishment and more.

What inspired you to write this book?
I was inspired by my children and grandchildren, who used to pretend that they were different animals. Also, when I was young, my mom, who had light hazel-colored eyes, would pretend to be a cat sometimes.

Author Candelaria Silva-Collins draws inspiration from family for 1st book
Photo credit: Todd McNeel

What is the story behind the title?
The story was originally called Tracy Became a Frog One Day, then I woke up one day from a dream and realized that if I added an “S” it would be a love note to my children and grandchildren as follows: “S” is for Saige, “T” is for Tommie, “A” is for Amber, “C” is for Cyrus, “E” is for everyone who’s encouraged me, and “Y” is for You, too (Maddie, Unique, Darian, Dionna, and Leanne). The title lets the reader know that this little girl changes into a different animal each day. My second story about Stacey is in the works and will be dedicated to the indomitable Stacey Abrams.

Do any of the characters in the book represent you?
No. The book was inspired mostly by my granddaughter, Saige.

Name three things the reader should walk away with from the book.
The reader should walk away with a sense of joy at a young, Black girl’s imagination. It will also teach or reinforce days of the week, names of different animals, and the actions and sounds these animals make. Finally, it will reinforce how wonderful it is to be a girl as is shown on the last page.

What advice can you offer those who desire to be a playwright or author?
Ain’t nothing to it but to do it. A writer writes. Being a published author is [the] next step. To be a writer is to be your name, title, and words on a page, and do so regularly until you have something completed. To be an author you have to be published, whether you get published through a mainstream or independent publisher or you self-publish, you can make it happen. The technology and instructions are easily accessible.

Describe your writing style.
I hear the words or am sparked by music, a phrase, my regular eavesdropping, or a memory and it makes me write. I try to write in the way I hear dialogue in my head.

What is the mission you set out to accomplish with this book?
I wanted to publish a book that brings a child’s joy and delight to life. I believe I have accomplished this.

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