For the month of July, we will be giving special attention to a few of our young authors and their published stories! Upon the release of his 2022 book Differences Matter, Diversity Matters, author Justin Blount spoke with Young Authors Publishing Assistant Editor, Brooke Shannon. Here, they discussed Blount’s writing process, writing influences, and his hope for his readers.
Brooke Shannon: What inspired you to write your book?
Justin Blount: I was inspired to write my book because my brother and I are from different racial groups. I wanted to bring awareness to cultural diversity through my own experiences, which are shared in Differences Matter, Diversity Matters.
BS: What was one takeaway about writing you discovered while writing your book?
JB: The most important takeaway from writing my book is that it’s okay to be different.
"I wanted to bring awareness to cultural diversity through my own experiences, which are shared in Differences Matter, Diversity Matters."
BS: Who is your favorite author and why?
JB: My favorite author is Raphael G. Warnock. He has been my pastor all 12 years of my life. He is the Senior Pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church. He is an African-American Senator for the United States. He is a graduate of Morehouse College. He is my role model and mentor. He praises my book Differences Matter, Diversity Matters and encourages me to attend Morehouse College. He autographed my copy of his published memoir A Way Out of No Way.
BS: What do you hope readers will take away from your book?
JB: I want readers to know that racial and cultural diversity is important because it is a main part of our everyday lives. I want us as a society to continue to celebrate and embrace cultural diversity.
"With Young Authors Publishing, I have had some amazing opportunities to promote Differences Matter, Diversity Matters."
BS: What advice would you give to young authors or creatives?
JB: The advice that I want to give to young authors is to continue marketing your book as much as possible. With Young Authors Publishing, I have had some amazing opportunities to promote Differences Matter, Diversity Matters. I have learned that with every engagement, consumers at every venue want to interact and hear from the young authors. The parents are very excited to purchase YAP books for their children. In addition, educators want books for their school libraries.
Thanks to Young Authors Publishing, I have my first Instagram page. My Instagram page has been very instrumental for me to get a lot of preorders for my book. I have been able to successfully market my book with my Instagram page. Most importantly, my Instagram page has been fundamental for me to continue to advocate for cultural diversity in addition to promoting Differences Matter, Diversity Matters.