In the world we live in today. It’s growing more and more difficult to visualize what our new normal will be. Are we living in it? Will it get better? What about the kids? While young children are learning to adapt, we as adults have to provide something for them to “adapt” to. In the digital era, it’s easy to influence these precious young minds, so imagine my surprise when I came across the Violet Book Series.
Founded by Kenyatta Scott, Author of The Violet Book Series. The Violet Book Series creates positive images of children of color. Each book has an underlying moral theme, focusing on making doing the right thing FUN. So, add a black female pilot to the mix and we have something incredible. Inspired by the career of Tammera L. Holmes, AeroStar Avion Institute NFP. In the latest edition to the series; “Violet Takes Flight” Violet is taking a flight for the very first time.
I caught up with the ladies to talk about the new book.
What inspired you to write this book?
Kenyatta: Short answer, God. All of my best book ideas come to me from God. The idea will manifest from a thought. For this book, it was like, “Let’s write a book about a little girl going on her very first plane flight.”
What can you tell me about the book?
Kenyatta Scott: Violet and her little brother, Derek, are flying on a plane to visit their Step-Mommy, with Daddy. Violet is afraid. She meets a special person in her day that talks to her about “doing it afraid.”
Tammera: This book for me was more than a tool to teach about overcoming fear. It is an opportunity to show children that success is oftentimes just on the other side of something that they must overcome; even the success of becoming a pilot.
What did you learn when writing the book?
Kenyatta: That it’s ok to be afraid as long as you do not allow fear of the unknown to stop you from moving forward.
Tammera: With this project, I learned that collaboration can bring even the smallest ideas to life. When she first reached out to me to work together on the project, I believed that Kenyatta was looking for my expertise to create a children’s book that reflected accuracy and realism with regard to Aviation. With our shared love for children, empowerment, and education, this project provided an opportunity for us to impact thousands of children across America through positive messaging and powerful imagery.
What surprised you the most?
Tammera: I was really surprised that Kenyatta wanted to share this book with me as a collaborator and give a portion of proceeds to AAI! What a class act! I was only expecting to revise it for accuracy and lend my expertise. It was a pleasant surprise to see the acknowledgment in the back cover and for the pilot to be illustrated in my likeness as a tribute.
What does the title mean?
Kenyatta: That Violet is taking flight both literally and figuratively. She is literally flying in an airplane and figuratively flying free of her fear that day.
This book goes further than the traditional imaginary friend storyline, what advice would you give to a little girl who desires to become a pilot?
Kenyatta: I would tell her that she can be anything she wants to be in this life if she works hard at reaching every milestone she sets for herself along the way. I would tell her to stay focused and work hard because her dreams can become her reality. I would tell her to seek out programs, mentors, and take advantage of the opportunities that come her way, using wisdom.
Tammera: My advice to any little girl who desires to become a pilot is to not let fear stop you from doing the incredible. Flying a plane, like many stem jobs, can be difficult but with practice, focus, and preperation, you can do anything you put your mind to.
What was the hardest part of completing this project?
Kenyatta: My work tends to move pretty seamlessly, thank God. Tammera was a joy to work with. She fully trusted me with the storyline and process. I support her Organization and all of the work she does for black and Brown children, educating them on the wonderful world of STEM and Aviation. Most important, we are friends who believe in one another. This was and continues to be a really fun collaboration.
Tammera: Collaborating with Kenyatta was such a great experience. I have never been apart of a book before and this book was number four for her. She was patient and thorough, wanting to get every detail correct and wanting the book to be a realistic depiction of a little girl’s first airplane ride. I can’t say that anything was “hard.” It was a wonderful experience.
What inspired you to write your first book, Kenyatta?
Kenyatta: Again, God. I always knew I’d be working to help children, in my career. I was blessed in that I knew this early on so I followed that life path. I also loved reading as a child and young adult. I was happily working as a Speech Therapist on the West Side of Chicago when, in prayer, God said, “Remember I told you to write that children’s book?” I obeyed. The rest is history.
Tell us about your amazing business, Tammera?
Tammera: Kenyatta and I launched AeroStar Consulting Corporation in 2008 as the umbrella entity by which several aviation services and programming were provided. All of AeroStar’s programs exist with the vision to enhance, promote, and support the academic awareness of aviation and aeronautical career path opportunities for students, particularly female, minority, underprivileged, and at-risk youth. By providing aviation academic curriculum development, programs, activities, and support services for youth Grades K-12, interested in Science, Technology, Engineering & Math, AeroStar has paved the way for the future of our industry. Due to the need to build capacity for a sustainable aviation talent pipeline through strategic partnerships, sponsors, donors, and grants, The AeroStar Avion Institute Non Profit was formed.
Was the character inspired by a real person? If so, who?
Kenyatta: Violet and Derek are every little black girl and boy who desires to explore the world and have their stories shared in a truthful, honest, and refreshing way. They really enjoy learning life lessons in every book, as lovingly taught to them by their Dad.
Tammera: I believe the Airline pilot was inspired by me, based on what Kenyatta shared with me.
What do you think happened to the characters after the book ended?
Kenyatta: I think they went on many more plane rides with their Dad and Violet researched everything she could find on black female pilots, like Tammera L. Holmes.
Tammera: I believe that Violet was encouraged by the words of her father and the African-American female pilot who she met. I also believe that she gained the confidence necessary to pursue her dreams. It is my hope that after her experience, she was empowered by having conquered one of her biggest fears.
What was the hardest part of completing this project?
Kenyatta and Tammera: There were no hard parts in completing this project. This project was inspired by dreams and fueled by passion. The entire journey, including the occasional stumbling block, was met with grace and humility, but neither I nor Tammera ever lost focus and desire. We knew in our gut that we were on to something. So our success, in our minds, was only a matter of WHEN never if. It was just a matter of timing, GOD’s timing and we were okay working within HIS time.
Keep up with the Violet Series
The Violet Book Series books and clothing apparel can be purchased here.
A portion of all “Violet Takes Flight” sales benefit AeroStar Avion Institute.
Follow The Violet Series on social media at:
IG: The Violet Book Series
Facebook: The Violet Book Series
AeroStar Avion Institute, IG: @aerostaravion
For all media, speaking, school, organization, and book store requests, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Featured Image by Derek Lindsay Photography