Thank you for stopping by. Ronaldinio and I recently met at the Essex County Library Bookfair. We both had a booth alongside each other. I was so impressed with him.
Tell us a little about yourself: I was adopted from Haiti in 2010 into the United States during the earthquake. Opportunities came from this allowing me to become a State Champion at the 200m and Runner-Up in Long Jump. There was always a focus on academics and I earned a Full Tuition Honors scholarship. I published my first book at 19 years old after my first year in college. I am on track to graduate in May of 2023 with an undergraduate degree two years early.
Where do you live? I have lived in Virginia Beach for the last two years as I have been at the University. However, I grew up about forty minutes outside Richmond.
Do you remember the time you actually said, “I’m an author!” What was that feeling like? I do not remember at what moment I said I was an author too much. I remember getting the proof copy of my book and thinking, “Wow, I made this.” I think that was a big moment for me because the book was physically in my hand.
Where do your ideas come from? My ideas come from my interests and or experiences. The first book was loosely based on my adoption story, and the second was something that meant a lot to me—mental health. I guess I get my ideas like a lot of authors witnessing life around us.
How do you get over writer’s block? How do you clear your head? I do not have trouble getting over writer’s block too much because I do not spend enough time writing to get stuck truly. When I was younger and wrote more, I suppose I pretty much just took a break and either listened to music paying attention to the lyrics or watched a movie and paid attention to the dialogue. Essentially, I relaxed in a way that still offered words to be subdued into me and spark something.
How do you select the names of your characters? I choose names that have either significance to me, a pun or meaning within the story, or else I do it at random sometimes and change it in editing. I just test them and see which reads well. The names are not the biggest factors in my stories typically, as they are shorter. I can change out the names at any point. The longer the book, the more consideration there is to name.
How many picture-book rough drafts do you have? Will you keep them on the shelf or try to edit them? I have about 6 picture books in draft geared toward different emotions that I want to discuss in children similar to the way anxiety was written. I definitely plan on editing some of them. There are some that are a different story but the same emotion. I am going through choosing which stories portray the emotion the best.
Tell us about your books:
Reunited After the Storm is about two friends an a orphanage in Haiti getting separated during an earthquake and find themselves in the United States. The story focuses on one of their adoption processes and their adjustment to the United States, as they are hopeful to find their friend.
Willy’s Worries and Exercises to Conquer Them is a story about a kid that has recently moved and suffers from anxiety. The book follows his day at school with a “Worry Worm” on his shoulder and how he overcomes those worries with the help of a friend.
Why did you choose to self-publish? I chose to self-publish because it made the most sense as a 19 year old in college. It was financially reasonable and offered the most direction and voice. Additionally, it felt more rewarding to see the individual steps myself and attribute to all pieces and then see the result.
Tell us about your publishing experience. I decided to use Amazon KDP as I came across YouTube videos of other self-published authors and found it to be very interesting from not only the flexibility but the metrics it provided. I was able to find an illustrator through freelance service websites and social media. This made agreement of price easier and more upfront. The first book was more of a test trial to learn everything. The second book has significant improvements from the knowledge I took from the last. Problems still occurred when it came to sizing issues of the illustrations and other minor details. Nonetheless, each book becomes easier to make.
What’s next for you?
The next step for me is to graduate in May and attain a full time job that will allow me to fund my interests. I do not have plans to become a full time author, but I want to keep producing books. I want to keep my focus on children’s books for a time being and then move towards Young Adult reads.
One last question, tell us something that no one knows—something about you that isn’t posted anywhere on your website or social media. One thing people may not know about me is my love of pool. I started playing pool at my church when I was about eight years old and played nearly every Sunday until the church moved. After that, I played off and on. Once I got to college, I picked it back up and played for hours.
Below is Ronnie’s contact information if you’d like to follow him:
Instagram-stickley_creations, YouTube-stickley_creations, YouTube-Haitian_Creations, Facebook-Stickley Creations
APRIL’s BOOK GIVEAWAY.
AND THE WINNER IS? LORYN from Virginia won Ronaldinio’s book.
My next book giveaway will be on May 1st.