The story behind Bokky for Breakfast

Bokky for Breakfast was inspired by an actual event. My oldest daughter Jocelyn, “Jossie” was always a good eater but ONLY if you gave her what she asked to eat. The easy part was she would tell you what she wanted when she became old enough to speak. 

One day when Jocelyn was a toddler, I asked her what she wanted for breakfast and she replied “Bokky!” I was confused. I didn’t know what she was saying. Thankfully I was able to figure it out. I was surprised and amused by her choice for breakfast. I always thought that incident was a cute story. I toyed with the idea of someday writing a book about it.

The story for  “Bokky for Breakfast” remained in the back of my mind for YEARS. 2019 came along and it was a rough year for me spiritually. I stopped being able to hear the Lord. I believe everyone can hear a calm, guiding voice that reminds you of things or tells you things you probably would not know on your own. Hearing like that is a special insight that I believe comes from God. However, in 2019 it felt like my ears were blocked. Even though I prayed and did things as usual, I could not hear anything and I was miserable. 

My church held a New Year’s Eve service to bring in 2020. To my surprise, my ears became unblocked and  I could hear the Lord speaking again. The first thing I heard were several assignments the Lord had previously given me. I had ignored these tasks because I felt like I was too busy.  I quickly listed the assignments I heard in my notebook so I would not forget them again. One assignment was to write the book “Bokky for Breakfast”. I believe that because I had not done what the Lord told me previously, I had to go through a period of “radio silence” for Him to get my attention. 

Early February of 2020 arrived and I STILL had not started writing because I was busy. One Wednesday my family and I attended Midweek service at church. There was a guest speaker, Apostle Demontae Edmonds. I’d heard him speak before. I knew that he often gave specific and accurate messages he heard from the Lord to people. I hoped he’d hear and share a word about me. 

Before he started his message Apostle Edmonds said “I’m hearing that someone here is supposed to write and illustrate children’s books”. Of course, this immediately got my attention, but I was struggling with the word “illustrate”. I knew I wanted a professional illustrator to do the pictures for the book, so I was not sure he meant me.  Meanwhile, my youngest daughter, Sophia gave me the death stare, as if to say “Why are you not standing up? He’s talking about you!” Just then, Apostle Edmonds, stepped over in front of our row where we were seated. He waved his hand over the area and said “And you’re sitting on this side of the church.” At that, I got up and walked to the front of the church so he could pray for me. He told me I was to write children’s books to help them with their self-esteem and I should not be timid.

I began the process of writing ‘Bokky for Breakfast’ but had difficulty getting the story fleshed out. By then I should not have needed any more outside motivation to write the book. However COVID was raging by March 2020, and we had a governor-mandated 90-day shutdown. I now had no excuses because I had plenty of uninterrupted time to complete the draft of Bokky for Breakfast (sorry world)!

Around the same time, I was also working on an Afrofuturism/Sci-Fi book for adults inspired by a dream I’d had. I met a dental consultant on Facebook from listening to dental podcasts. We occasionally chatted about dental subjects via messenger. For fun one day I messaged him that I wanted his son, a talented graphic artist to illustrate my story as a webtoon. 

He responded, “Oh, what kind of project are you doing? My wife is an editor and works with Highlights Children’s magazine”. Of course I immediately thought of “Bokky for Breakfast”. From there she helped me edit the initial draft of B for B, and write my query letter which I sent out to a few publishers. Imagine my delight when I heard back from Brandylane Publishers saying they were interested in publishing my book! As it turns out I also know another writer, who had worked with Brandylane and recommended the company.