AN INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR JFAM JOHNSON™ | AUTHOR INTERVIEW
Me: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
JFAM: In these unprecedented times, there have been so many things to discourage people; the pandemic, social injustice, school closures, people losing their jobs, and so much more! We kept hearing about how adults were being affected by the current events, but no one was talking much about how children were being affected or how to help them; especially Black American children. So, we knew something had to be done and we were the best people to do it! We’re children and we’re going through some of the same issues so that’s what made us think about working together to write inspirational and motivational content. “HIP HOP HAIR” was a way we could talk about how special every person is and how beautiful the hip hop culture truly is.
Me: How long does it take you to write a book?
JFAM: Our publisher, Testimony Publisher, LLC., has a program that taught us how to write at least 1500 words in 15 minutes or less. So, we used the technique for “HIP HOP HAIR,” and because we work as a collective group, we all sat together and wrote it in less than 15 minutes. We wanted to make sure “HIP HOP HAIR” spoke to the hearts of young people and was an encouraging book. The writing technique helped us do that in a very short period of time. Abigail and Jael illustrated the main drawings using FlipaClip. Everyone in the collective (Emmanuel, Elizabeth, Phoebe-Shalom, Sarah, Judah, and Joshua), designed and created most of the graphics and graffiti using Canva.
Me: What is your daily schedule like when you’re writing?
JFAM: We’ve been homeschooled all our lives. So, we’re usually in class for the early part of the day. Our mom is our homeschool teacher and publisher, so she knows what we need to learn and when we have events for our book. She’s also an author and our dad’s a business owner, too. So, they’re pretty flexible with our daily schedules. It’s important to them that we stay focused on learning as much as we can in class and in business. So, our day is filled with classes, a lot of reading, and chores in between. In the evenings, we work on writing, drawing, and working on our clothing brand, Umotiv8 Cre8tions & Fashion. We also love to have free time and play Minecraft, Portal Knights, and Roblox as a group. It’s fun because people don’t know we’re all together in the game and we can trade items or Stands with each other.
Me: Do you intend to keep writing?
JFAM: We definitely intend to keep writing! There are eight of us between the ages of 4 and 13 years old. So, we have a lot to write about and a lot of time to do it! Right now, “HIP HOP HAIR” is an Amazon Bestseller and #1 New Release. We’d love to continue writing books that parents love to buy and young people love to read.
Me: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
JFAM: Probably, writing as a collective group. Our mom thought it would be great for us to work together because of the different reading and writing levels amongst us. The writing technique she taught us made it so we did not have to actually write each word of the book. We got a lot out of writing “HIP HOP HAIR” that way. It made it easier for some of us to focus on catching spelling errors while others focused on more creative ways to make our book stand out. Some of us also listened to how our writing flowed when we read the book aloud.
Me: Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
JFAM: We usually get our information and ideas from current events or how we want to express our feelings. We talk to our parents or Google search topics we’re interested in. It’s been difficult for a lot of children and teenagers during this time. We’ve even experienced things that were tough and we didn’t quite understand what was going on. So, writing helped us express our feelings. It also helped our parents know what was on our minds and talk it out.
Me: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
JFAM: We’ve learned so much! Books are fun to read and can help you improve your reading fluency. Some of our reading levels have improved, some of our writing levels have improved, and some of us have improved in public speaking. We’ve also used our book to deal with things that were troubling us and many other children and teenagers can relate. That’s why we make sure our profits aren’t just spent on ourselves. We also give back to our community.
Me: How do you plan to use the money from your book and other endeavors?
JFAM: We have so many things we want to do. We want to invest in the stock market, save up to attend art school and law school. Some of us even want to purchase a horse and travel. But, most of all, we believe God has given us the opportunity to lead by example and we all definitely want to continue to do that by giving back to our community. We will continue to expand and help others with the proceeds from our books and clothing brand.
(NOTE: “HIP HOP HAIR” is NOT a part of NOR affiliated with the Flipaclip and Canva websites or the Flipaclip and Canva companies. Additionally, “HIP HOP HAIR” is NOT endorsed byFlipaclip or Canva, the Flipaclip or Canva companies, or any of their subsidiaries. Flipaclip is a trademark of Visual Blasters, LLC. (Miami, Florida, USA) and Canva is a trademark of Canva Pty Ltd. (Sydney, Australia).
JFAM Johnson™ is the name for a collective of creatives, 8 siblings ranging in ages from 4 to 13 years old. Emmanuel B. Johnson, Abigail C. Johnson, Elizabeth M. Johnson, Jael K. Johnson, Phoebe Shalom D. Johnson, Sarah Naveh K.Y. Johnson, Judah A. H. Johnson, and Joshua S. B. Johnson make-up this eccentric group of young creators. They are the authors of “HIP HOP HAIR,” the #1 New Release on Amazon for Children’s Rap & Hip Hop.
JFAM Johnson™ decided to do more than support each other. They’ve purposed to join together and work as a focused unit to create literature, clothing, and other works of the imagination. Their mission is to educate and empower Black American boys and girls by promoting self-awareness and self-acceptance. Their motivational clothing brand, Umotiv8 Cre8tions & Fashion, is dedicated to uplifting their community and encouraging positive change in the lives of Black American children and teenagers. They continue to dedicate a portion of their book and clothing brand profits to community causes they care about. They reside in Baltimore, Maryland.
Other works by JFAM Johnson™: