Meet Brittany Thurman
Brittany J. Thurman is the author of FLY, (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster, Fall 2021) She lives in Louisville, Kentucky where she writes fiction and nonfiction PB, MG and YA. You can find out more and contact her at www.brittanythurman.com.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Sharon Flake has been pivotal to my writing career. We met through author friend Jonathan Auxier, when Sharon was looking for an assistant. Throughout the process, she provided mentorship. Often, I asked writing related questions, but it was always the advice I didn’t ask for that made the most impact. She has taught me that no matter the ‘no’s’ publishing throws my way, it only takes one ‘yes’. Keep going.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
"Brittany, your writing is FLY and so are you. What are you tripping for?!"
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
As a kid I lived in Germany. When we came back to the states, I commented to my grandmother about her accent sounding much different from mine. At a young age, I had an ear for hearing where people were from. I think this is crucial to writing and differentiating characters. Adding those important details that show us where a character is from and how this has an impact on not only that character, but the reader.
What does literary success look like to you?
At my former job, there was a child who would come in for our summer reading program. At the start, she asked for the first book in the Jada Jones series. A week later she came in asking for book two. One week after, she came in asking for the next. This led to her eventually asking to read something similar. She had finished the series. Literary success to me is what we don’t see. It’s the behind the scenes. A child in a library excited to check out read book one, book two, book three of my series. That’s success.
If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
I used to work as a Children’s Specialist at a library in Pittsburgh. Planning and running weekly storytimes, witnessing a child's reaction to a book, searching for that one special novel for a patron- this was everything to me. Obtaining my MLIS and becoming a children’s librarian is one of my many dream jobs.
The #BlackCreatorsinKidLit community is very proud of Brittany Thurman. We look forward to seeing more work and spotlights from the many awesome Black authors and illustrators in this space!