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Sunday, March 7, 2021

TAKE TEN with Author and Visionary Eve Lynne


by Cyrus Webb

There is nothing like the power of the imagination. When I first heard about author Eve Lynne Robinson and her character Ella B. Jenkins, I was excited about how she was able to takes real-life situations and make them fun and educational for the reader. I even had the privilege to blurb her book Ella B. Jenkins Meets First Lady Michelle Obama

Now Eve Lynne and Therapist Whitney Jade Gordy have teamed up for the latest installment of the Ella B. Jenkins series: Ella B. Jenkins Meets Vice President Kamala Harris.

In this Take Ten I talk with Eve about the series and the new book. 

Eve, congratulations on the new release ELLA B. JENKINS MEETS VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA HARRIS. Before we discuss that what has it been like to see the response to Ella B. Jenkins?

I have been incredibly grateful to watch the evolution of Ella B. Jenkins in the last decade. Many people initially gravitated toward this character because at the time, there was no character out there quite like her. We also understand at this point in history the importance of representation and being able to identify with cultural situations in our day-to-day life are of the upmost importance. Everyone seems to love Ella B., and I hope to give our Ella B. Family more content and material to connect with.

I never had a chance to ask you before, but where did the idea for Ella B. Jenkins come from?

Before Ella B. was created, I was creating ceramic art and sculptures with an Afrocentric flair and influence. I wanted to make ceramic tiles for my bathroom with a character representing a little chocolate girl. At the time,  I had not seen ceramic tiles with any African American images available, so I set out to create my own.  I was in my studio with a friend who said she needed a name. We went back and forth, but the name Ella kept standing out to me.  After hours of trying out different names, I decided upon Ella B. Jenkins. Her name sounded strong and had a ring to it.  I also love the Letter B. for her middle name. The story behind that will be disclosed in a future book.

We look forward to that story. Have you always wanted to write children’s books?

I have always dreamed of writing children’s books! The ability we have, especially the younger audience, to tap into the gift of imagination and fantasy is unparalleled. In these moments we have a chance again, to experience magic. 

Ella B. Jenkins has become more than just another character in a book. She’s become her own brand. How did that come about?

Ella B. truly has a life of her own. Her brand developed quite organically. Ella’s charm, mixed with sly wit has won over the support of small families, young children, independent artists and activists alike. Ella B is on a mission, and people are paying attention

Going back to the new book, it is literally right on time with where we are in time. Tell our readers about the new book.

The new book takes us on Ella B’s next adventure. We get to learn more about Ella B. and her family and how her roots around activism and social justice were influenced. We learn Ella’s mother is an incredible advocate and has inspired her passions and enthusiasm for cultural and community based causes. As an added bonus we learn Ella B. Jenkins meets Vice president Kamala Harris along the way. It’s a very fun story and highlights other important figures within the community

This book includes not just Ella B. Jenkins meeting the Vice President. It also includes some of the issues that we see going on in the world today. How did you decide on that element?

To ignore what is happening in the world right now would be a serious injustice.  Black communities and communities of color deal with a systemic problem on a day-to-day basis, that is not designed to protect or support us. The world we see today has reached its breaking point, again. Not talking about what happens around us and what we see on a daily basis is like asking us to ignore the biggest and most important parts of ourselves. 

Social media has taken on even greater importance today because of life during the pandemic. How has it helped you to read your readers?

Social media has allowed us to engage with new readers and new audiences. In the age of new media, we are also working on being able to provide a digital copy of each of these books so that you can download and access these stories on your tablets, phones and e-readers. Having access to these books through various forms is incredibly important especially as we all are doing our best to socially distance and reduce our interactions in the public. 

You have been writing for a while now, Eve. Any advice for aspiring authors out there?

The best advice I can give is to write from a place of passion and love the subject matter you are writing about. Writing can sometimes feel like a thankless job, however, being able to see your artistic vision and creativity come to life on the page is truly a rewarding and inspiring experience. 

Can you give us an idea of where Ella B. might pop up next? 

I have given a lot of thought about Ella B.’s next adventure, and I’m sure if I know Ella B. the way I think I do, she will definitely be making her way to Georgia to get a firsthand look at a certain hero who has mobilized voters and advocated for voters rights.

That gives us something to look forward to. Thanks for the time, Eve. How can our readers stay connected with you and get their copy of ELLA B. JENKINS MEETS VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA HARRIS?

I encourage everyone to visit and follow us on Instagram @ellabjenkins and be our friend on Facebook under the same name. We have have all of Ella B’s books available for purchase along with clothing items, accessories and soon to be released, the Ella B. Jenkins plush doll. 

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