Hello wonderful (and extremely patient) readers! It's been a minute. Thank you for sticking around and coming back! I had a lovely summer making memories with my children, but there were also some hard things. Between my health and some needs from extended family members, things were a lot. But everything is on the up and up now, and I'm jumping back i with both feet. I want to thank my PB23Bunch for their understanding and support while I was away for a bit. We'll be jumping back in to the features now, and you are absolutely going to love learning about this amazing bunch of creators!!
So today, join me in welcoming Allen Wells! You might remember Allen from my Tuesday From The Trenches series. His 13 year journey to finding an agent was absolutely inspiring and now, he's back with a debut right around the corner! I love these success stories so much! So give a big hello to Allen!
Kailei: Hi Allen! And welcome back! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your writing journey?
Allen: Sure. By profession, I’m a mechanical engineer in the building design industry.
Well i’ve been writing since the second grade. First day of school, my teacher gave everyone a black marble composition notebook. She told us we would spend thirty minutes every morning writing in our journal. Realizing I was an introvert at a young age, journal writing gave me an opportunity to express myself. This was when I learned the definition of imagination and the art storytelling. I would open with “what I did my summer vacation…” and toward the middle flying dragons would’ve overthrown a king!
Kailei: Oh my goodness, I love that so much! Such fun imagination. So tell me, what inspired your debut book?
Allen: Well it all started when the one and only Grace Kendall at FSG, who had an idea to do a picture book celebrating queer parents, perhaps centered on baby’s first Pride Parade. Grace and I had had previous interactions when my agent, Erin Murphy, submitted my picture book manuscript, DANTE PLAYS HIS BLUES (HarperCollins Summer 2024) to FSG. Erin said that I would be “absolutely perfect to take on this project”, so Erin, being the Rockstar that she is put us together and now we have “IT’S PRIDE, BABY!”
Kailei: How exciting! I love hearing stories about unconventional paths and how cool that an editor reached out to you, and not the other way around. Those agents are amazing. Also, side note, congrats on DANTE as well!
"IT'S PRIDE, BABY!" sounds like such a joyful and needed book. What message would you like for your readers to walk away with?
Allen: That you are loved no matter who you love.
Kailei: Simple, powerful, wonderful. When does your debut hit shelves?
Allen: It’s Pride Baby is now slated to be released in 2024. It’s currently available for pre-order.
Kailei: Wonderful! I'll need to get mine ordered soon! Readers, make sure to do the same! So Allen, where can we follow you online?
Allen: You can find me:
FB: Allen Wells
Kailei: Thank you so much, Allen! I can't wait to see more about your journey!
Allen is generously offering one lucky reader a query critique!
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About Allen Wells
Allen Wells grew up in Jackson, MS where he spent a lot of his time with his head stuck in a book or creating worlds through his words or solving problems and puzzles.
When he isn’t writing, he’s trekking across the world, designing building engineering systems, in Alexandria, VA where he currently resides.
About PB 23 Bunch
The PB23Bunch is a diverse group of 12 authors and illustrators with Picture Books debuting in 2023. We cannot wait to get our books in your hands!!