I met Brandi Worley at my school's African American History Month Quiz bowl, we were both judges and it was an honor for me to be among incredible and talented people. I asked her if i can feature and interview her and after a couple of emails, here is what we talked about :
2dots-Can you tell readers a bit about yourself?
BW-Well, I grew up on a farm. No, not really. But, really my grandfather had a farm and he would let us feed his animals. That’s about the closest I got to being on a farm. I'm a third child, of a third child and I was born in Baton Rouge at the charity hospital. We were financially challenged and humble people. Growing up and even now, I love really good food. I have an aunt, she's very old and she cooks for me all the time. Grits. Gumbo. Crawfish. Any great Southern dish. you can name, she can whip it up for me. I love that. I travel a lot, so she has kind of spoiled me because I look for really good food –but I'm let down when I travel up north, to places like New York and Chicago because the food's bland.
A bit more about me, My mom's very creative artistically, so I grew up around a lot of art. She raised us to be free intellectual, thinkers. And art always catches my attention. I went to school and majored in art, twice.
2dots-When did you start writing?
BW-I really started writing my freshman year in undergrad. I didn't want to be or knew I was a writer. I was always a prolific reader.
2dots-What made you write Crumb Snatchers and how did it come about?
BW-Crumb Snatchers came to me during a trip I took to Mauritius, Africa. We had a long flight and I started thinking of ideas. My stay and experiences there on the beaches, the people, the food, all were just very inspiring. I was able to really clear my mind and the theme of the book popped into my head. And I left all fear behind.
2dots-What is the agenda or message behind it?
BW-My definition of a Crumb Snatcher is a youth who obtains things by usage of a five-finger discount/ or youth who steals. It's pretty much self-explanatory after that point. You know what happens to adults who steal. I took it and wrote a kids version.
2dots-What is the theme of the book?
BW-Stealing is bad. (Depending on whom you ask) People take away different messages.
2dots-Can you tell readers a bit about the main character or any significant character?
BW-My main character, Miley, 12, starts off as a thief, who runs with a pack of thieves and the story's just about her battle with good and evil, decision making. It's a classic storyline. Even in real life, there's always that battle with good vs. evil, we all face. I wanted the kids to relate to the book. That's why I write realistic fiction.
2dots-How many installations is Crumb Snatchers since this Part I?
BW-It’s a three part series.
2dots-As an independent writer what are some of the challenges you face?
BW-I face a lot of challenges. They just make me stronger. The biggest challenge is finding a distribution deal right now. The book is doing really well. I would just like to get bigger distribution. And a bigger platform. I’m sure it will come.
2dots-Any future projects or plans?
BW- I plan to continue be an advocate to increase youth literacy rates in my city. Reading is important. It’s a lot of young people who can’t read. Or they dislike reading. I just think they’re reading the wrong things. Sometimes, they are forced to read books, material that are mainstream and labeled ‘classics’, like Shakespeare. I don’t even like Shakespeare, but I was forced to read him. I think he’s overrated.
I really like Alice Walker. If someone introduced me to her style of writing earlier in life, I probably would have loved writing then. I love it now because I discovered writers like her. I think I picked up more banned and mature books than anything when I was younger. I plan to turn Crumb Snatchers into a movie. I think it will be a really great movie. And get a lot of Crumb Snatchers merchandise for kids to enjoy.
2dots-Where can one purchase it?
BW-On my website: www.brandiworley.com