Hello, friends! Can you believe that we're coming into the very end of October?? I sure can't. This month is probably my favorite... it finally cools down in AZ, it's my birthday month, and I LOVE both fall and Halloween. (Love all things spooky, can't handle horror... it makes sense, really ;) But I hope you're also loving this time of year. Hopefully there are caramel apples, cider, hay rides, and pumpkin patches in your life right now, because really, we all need that. But as per usual, I digress...
The actual reason I'm here today is not to sing praises to October, but to sing praises to Malcolm Newsome! If you don't know him, you should! He is a force and definitely one to watch. I feel so lucky to be part of the PB23Bunch alongside such amazing authors, and Malcolm is one of them and the author of the forthcoming DEAR STAR BABY illustrated by Kamala Nair! So join me in welcoming him to the blog!
Kailei: Hi Malcolm! I'm so excited to be chatting. First off, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your writing journey?
Malcolm: Sure! How much time do I have? Hehe. Kidding! …sort of.
I’ve had the great fortune of having lots of varied experiences throughout my life. I think much of it was fueled by my constant curiosity and willingness to dive into new things. For example, since double-majoring in Psychology and Applied Sociology at Northern Illinois University, I’ve gone on to work in banking as a branch manager as business banker, have run a couple different small businesses, become a software developer and later an executive vice president for a software development firm, and I now work as an ethical hacker/penetration tester for a cyber security firm.
As for writing, it was something that I simply did for fun—beginning in childhood. I can recall making up stories on my parents’ new typewriter when I was in 3rd grade. In 6th grade, I started writing movie and commercial scripts as a way to convince my parents to get me a camcorder (they never did). And in high school and college, my writing took the form of hip hop and other types of song lyrics.
The real commitment to traditional publishing came at the start of 2019—mostly fueled by a desire to see the types of stories that I wanted my children to be able to read and experience.
Kailei: That is truly an amazing journey! I love that you wrote hip hop and other song lyrics too. I think we are going to have to see those some day!! But what great motivation to jump in and create those stories that you want for your own kids. So after that decision to commit to kidlit, what inspired your debut book?
Malcolm: Like the kid who writes the letter in this book, I had my own wonders, wishes, and sadness to process when miscarriages struck my family. And, in many regards, I still do.
It was only during that time that I discovered just how many others had similar experiences. Initially, I felt foolish that I had no idea of how many people had been impacted by unplanned pregnancy loss. Then I realized how taboo of a subject it is in our world. Over time, I came to think that most people don’t really talk about it in part because they might not really know how to.
When we went through it in my household, I didn’t know of any stories to share with the children I’d already had at the time. Such stories could have made discussing it easier.
Knowing now that millions of families are affected each year, my hope is that this book helps supply some words to aid on the healing journey for those who have and will experience this horror.
Kailei: That is powerful, Malcolm. I'm sure it was such a tough time for your family and what a beautiful way to heal and offer support to those on a similar journey. Your book sounds truly incredible. What message would you like for your readers to walk away with?
Malcolm: Miscarriage and infant loss has been such a taboo subject for far too long. In more recent years it seems that people have been addressing it more. But I think we still have quite a ways to go. I would be delighted if DEAR STAR BABY helps people have difficult conversations about miscarriage and infant loss—especially with children.
Kailei: Such an important book! So tell me, when does DEAR STAR BABY hit shelves?
Malcolm: April 4, 2023! (Of course you can pre-order now, though!)
Kailei: How exciting! Where can we follow you online?
On Twitter: @malcolm_newsome
On IG: @malcolm.newsome
On my website: www.malcolmnewsome.com
Kailei: Thank you so much for joining us today, Malcolm! I cannot wait to get my hands on DEAR STAR BABY and all of the other books you put into the world!
Malcolm is generously offering one lucky reader their choice of a PB MS Critique or a Query Critique!
For bonus entries:
Subscribe to this blog and comment below
Winner will be announce on Twitter. Thank you all for your support!
About Malcolm Newsome
Malcolm Newsome is a children's and Young Adult author represented by James McGowan of Bookends Literary. He is the cofounder of Black Creators in KidLit. His upcoming books include DEAR STAR BABY (@beamingbooksmn, 2023) and
SYDNEY'S BIG SPEECH (@harpercollinsch, 2024).
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!!