Everyone has some kind of insecurity that makes them feel less special in certain moments. Kids typically suffer a lot when dealing with issues as they tend to get bullied for looking different or having unique features. Well, Jennifer Vassel is inspiring children all over the world with her story as she lets people know you can be comfortable in your own skin. Her inspiring story brings light to the black literature world.
1. Where are you from and how was your upbringing?
I was born and raised in Southern California. Being the first born of Jamaican immigrant parents, I was raised to work hard and strive for excellence.
2. How did you get into writing and what were some early influences?
Writing is my natural gift. I wrote my first poem at 6, my first short story at 8, and was published by 9. My earliest influences were my 3rd grade teacher, who had us write short stories as a class assignment, and my mom, who encouraged me to submit one of my poems to a poetry writing contest (I was 9).
3. How did the “I Am Unique!” book come about?
“I Am Unique!” stemmed from my childhood insecurity of having a birthmark. Now that I’ve overcome that insecurity, my mission is to inspire kids (and adults) to overcome their own insecurities and share their unique gifts with the world.
4. Was there ever a moment that you knew your career was going places? (Fan letter, special award, etc)
I knew my career was going places when I saw Erin’s (the main character of “I Am Unique!”) passport getting stamped up more than mine (LOL!). People from England, Australia, France, Uganda and Kenya were resonating with the story, taking pictures of it, and posting it on social media. I’d go to in-person events (pre pandemic) and kids would run up to me and say things like, “I want to read just like you.” Parents and non-parents alike would tear up because when I shared my story, it stirred up some emotions the inner child in them kept buried.
I am convinced that God didn’t give me this vision for no reason. He’s allowing people to open doors for us because we are solving a real problem.
5. How can the Black community improve itself in the literature industry?
An African proverb says, “Until the lion learns how to write, every story will glorify the hunter.” We need to continue telling our stories and owning our narratives.
6. Any advice to the young authors who are looking to advance their career?
Know your why, embrace being a life-long learner, master the art of (effective) networking and building relationships.
7. How can people get in touch with you? (Social media)
I Am Unique!
8. Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years?
I see myself being a sought after speaker, a New York Times bestselling author, and serial entrepreneur. I will be surrounded by fruitful relationships, will have attained financial independence, and will be exuding unabashed joy. My life will be in alignment with my goals and values. I will be physically fit, mentally sound, and spiritually guided. This is my declaration.
Jennifer Vassel’s latest workshop
[$20 Off Original Price] – The Non-Marketer’s Guide to Author Marketing