Fenyx Blue, a talented author, has made her mark in the literary world with a diverse range of works that cater to different audiences. From nonfiction books for parents and teachers to captivating young adult novels and insightful children’s books, Blue’s writing is both impactful and compelling.
“The Secret Prayer of A Righteous Black Woman” and “To Teach or Not To Teach” are two nonfiction works that delve into the experiences and challenges faced by parents and teachers. These books offer valuable insights, guidance, and inspiration to those navigating these roles in today’s society.
Blue’s Young Adult novels, including “Who Failed Johnny?” and “Battle of the Bullies,” have garnered praise for their ability to captivate readers with relatable characters and thought-provoking storylines. These books tackle important themes such as identity, friendship, and resilience.
In addition to her literary work, Fenyx’s passion extends to the fight against bullying, leading her to establish Team BFF (Bully-Free Forever). Her students actively engage in anti-bullying initiatives and community education efforts. Furthermore, she spearheads the youth anti-drug program Snowflake, fostering problem-solving skills, relationships, and positive choices among students.
Recognizing the importance of mentorship, Fenyx created DIVAS (Daughters Inspiring Values and Sisterhood) to empower middle and high school girls, preparing them for responsible citizenship.
On her YouTube channel, Fenyx warmly addresses her followers as “neighbors,” emphasizing the interconnectedness of all.
As an educator, how do you incorporate your experiences in the classroom into your writing?
You must change the names to protect the guilty…lol. Seriously, my young adult books were written to help my students to learn more about bullying prevention. It was very important to create a story that was current and relatable so I listened to my students and allowed them to give me input.
As a writer, I feel it is important to be authentic so I described students, teachers, and parents based on my true experiences while adding some details for entertainment purposes. In my nonfiction texts, I was able to describe the challenges I face as an educator while giving advice and resources to new and frustrated teachers.
How do you approach incorporating diversity and inclusivity in your writing, particularly for children’s books?
Creating a work of fiction or nonfiction that includes diverse voices is a priority for me. My students have said that they want to see books that reflect them. They want characters who have names like theirs, who look like them, and who speak like them. As an advocate for diversity, inclusion and equity, I purposely included strong female leads and children of multiple cultures. One of my most integral and beloved characters in my YA book Battle of The Bullies is in a wheelchair because I wanted to give my students who are in wheelchairs a voice, too. I believe characters should be presented as full-rounded, multi-dimensional human beings and all stories and perspectives should be honored.
What inspired you to create DIVAS and how has it impacted the lives of the girls involved?
I’d hope my girls would say that they developed friendships and character from the workshops and sessions. I’d hope the teen leaders would say they improved their confidence and competence as leaders. There was drama in our school between girls instead of bonds. I wanted to reduce bullying, fights and gossip so I decided it would be best to replace it with values and sisterhood. When I created the acronym for DIVAS, I chose Daughters for the letter D because that was a common place on which we could build. It was a happy coincidence that DIVAS was created when Beyonce’s song was most popular. It is great having a theme song.
Can you share any memorable feedback or stories from readers who have been impacted by your books or mentorship programs?
Most recently, one of my mentees just became a professor so that makes me proud. I have many former students who I am proud of who have become pilots, business people, athletes and entertainers. One of the perks of being a teacher is that you are the career that supports all other careers.
One of my readers said that my book The Secret Prayer of A Righteous Black Woman was the most important book that I have written because it honors the challenges and prayers of black moms and strengthened her relationship with her own daughter.
Another one of my readers said that the children’s book Worth The Weight gave her the confidence to remain abstinent as an adult woman because the book taught her about her value and worth as a woman of faith. Two educators who read To Teach or Not To Teach have decided to pursue their passions and to write their own children’s books in the future.
How would you describe the impact of social media on your writing career, and how do you leverage it to connect with readers?
Social Media allows your readers to connect with you directly. I love that a reader can DM me a picture of them reading one of my books, tune into an Instagram LIVE and give me feedback, or make comments on a post. Back in the day, there were fan clubs. Authors felt like celebrities that you couldn’t quite reach unless you flew in and attended one of their book signing. Social Media removes long lines, three to five day mail waiting periods, or the need to pay funds to connect with writers. Social Media has also removed the middle men and gatekeepers that separated readers from their favorite authors.
As an author with a diverse portfolio, is there a topic you haven’t written about yet that you aspire to one day? If so, what can you share with us?
I want to write a graphic novel because I love sci-fi and the hero’s journey. My readers always request a graphic novel so I want to give them what they desire most. It would also be fun to go to the conferences, festivals, and events that focus on graphic novels.
What else can we expect from Fenyx Blue as you continue your own personal growth and learning journey as an author and mentor?
Fenyx: For my personal growth, I am committed to my own mental and physical health because if I take care of myself, I will be able to pour into my readers, mentees, fellow coaches, family members, friends, and fellow educators. Professionally, You can expect more books, more local and global events, and more projects. I desire to create a podcast and to add more content to revive my Youtube channel. I’m also looking into Tik Tok. If something is connected to books, classrooms, or entrepreneurship, I’ll probably be somewhere around learning, serving and growing.
To stay connected, follow Fenyx @FenyxBlueInk across all social media platforms