There’s something about the writing of Maureen Boyer that gives you this persistent gut feeling that she has a novel within her that can pour out on a Word document—with some light pinching. Maybe there is. She’s already written a children’s book, Where is Lola?—so that’s more than a start.
Growing up in New York, Boyer was raised in an incredibly artistic environment. There was her musician dad, a craft-friendly mom, and a fine arts-schooled stepmom. It wasn’t until Boyer started writing, that the idea of pursuing the arts occurred to her. Like many scribes before her, she fell in love with words, and with writing.
After living for much of her existence in the USA, the Brooklyn transplant moved to Haiti in late 2009, and lives with her cousin Pete and two dogs Tchoko and Tchino. Haiti is a little island she left when she was twelve, but she’s doing her best to connect the lost years. Where is Lola ?—a story about a little girl’s search for her lost pet—seems to be an apt metaphor for the author’s own identity search.
Kreyolicious: At one point, did you imagine that you would one day be the author of a children’s book?
No actually! I love children, but I never imagined myself writing a children’s book. But when this opportunity presented itself from One Moore Book, I had to do it. I had a chance to demonstrate my version of Haiti through a colorful manner. And I’m so grateful that Wayétu Moore gave me this opportunity.
Kreyolicious: Did you have a say with the illustrations?
I had an idea of what I wanted, but I was more excited about what images my word conveyed to another person and I feel like Kula Moore did an even better job than I could have imagined.
Kreyolicious: Sometimes when people think of children’s books, they think they’re easy to put together. But they probably can be just as much as putting together a Tolstoy. What was the process like for you?
Writing for children is definitely not an easy task. What I had to do was bring out my inner child. As a child, I loved reading—so I tried to imagine what I would have liked to see in a book, what would stimulate me. And you also have to make sure that you use the right words and to make your lines as simple and to the point as possible and that can be hard, especially since I like using metaphors in my writing.
Kreyolicious: The plot and concept for the book came easily to you?
In a way yes, at that time I had a dog named Lola and I was just falling in love with Haiti as a landscape, so the book represents my life and my state of mind at the time.
Kreyolicious: What do you think can be done to encourage kids to read more?
I’m guessing it starts at home. I don’t have children, but I’ve been a teacher for the past year-and-a-half and I noticed that kids whose parents read to them or whose parents read we’re more likely to read. I guess it’s instilling at an early age that words aren’t the enemy.
Kreyolicious: How soon can your fans expect another book from you, children’s books or otherwise?
That, I am not sure! I’m writing this book about a woman finding herself while experiencing the highs and lows of living in Haiti. However, I feel like I’m still not certain about the direction of the book because I feel like I’m sort of living that story, but I’m hoping to have a draft of it in a year. Then who knows….