The interest in providing life lessons, promoting kindness, love and understanding among children of the world is the main objective for this immigrant, who decided to write books to send these type of important messages.
Jessenia Nieves, originally from Puerto Rico, arrived in the United States at the age of 9, without knowing the language, she never imagined that this change over the years would bring her the opportunity of a lifetime.
In our Historias Extraordinarias (Extraordinary Stories) section, we had the opportunity to interview Jessenia Nieves, a mother of 8 children, exclusively for perlarico.com, who shares with us what led her to enter the writing world and how she managed to combine her personal life and work as a school bus driver.
1. Thank you and first of all congratulations for taking the time to share your story. When did your desire to write books begin?
Jessenia: I have always loved writing stories since I was a child. However, I had messy handwriting and horrible spelling, so the idea of becoming an author never crossed my mind. It was only after having children of my own and making up stories that I fell in love with storytelling again.
“I believe stories have the power to change hearts and minds and (in doing so) can change the world.”-Jessenia Nieves, Author of children’s books
2. How’s the process when you begin writing books?
Jessenia: My best book ideas came in a flash of inspiration and were written pretty quickly. I think about the idea for a while and write some notes, but then I wait for that moment when I hear the voice in my head and I have an idea of the story. The writing can happen in a day. After that, I sit on it for a few days, checking and adjusting individual lines. I’ve found that picture book drafts that took me a long time to write tend not to work out in the end.
3. We know that you are a mother, how have you managed to combine being a mother, having a job and being a writer?
Jessenia: I really don’t know what to say when people ask, ‘How do you do it all?’ Perhaps the best answer is, ‘I don’t.’ The best advice I can give you is: be flexible, lower your expectations, laugh at yourself, be present and try to enjoy the little moments. To be honest, my best writing comes at night when my husband is at work and the kids are sleeping.
Jessenia continues to build her path as a writer, sending positive messages not only to children, but also to young people.
Nieves recently published her third book titled, Self Love Journal for Teens, which is expertly designed to give teens that extra bit of support on their journey to self-love.
4. It’s very impressive and valuable what you do. What can you tell us about, Jessie and The Kindness Beads?
Jessenia: I wrote this book out of a need to train children to be kind.
“As a school bus driver, I saw many children being teased. I knew I had to do something, so I wrote my first book Jessie and The Kindness Beads.”-Jessenia Nieves, Author of children’s books
In 2021, Nieves launched, Jessie and The Kindness Beads, that tells the story of Jessie who is bullied daily on her school bus and around school because she is different than others, written in English and Spanish.
5. Where did the idea of writing your second book My Affirmations ABCs come from?
Jessenia: I did it for my children. I wanted to write a book that helps children understand the power of words, positive words and affirmation. Help kids unlock that power within them and be inspired by the most powerful voice they have, their own!
Jessenia reinforces, “What I want through the book is for each child to believe in him or herself, its abilities and its talent without fears. The way a child’s mind is nurtured is what he or she is shaped to be. I feel that if a person is trained to think positively, using affirmations early in life, It will really take you a long way.”
6. What’s next for Jessenia Nieves?
Jessenia: I would love to put out a series of books that inspire children to keep dreaming and see the magic in the world. I would like to try to dive into rhyming verses, poetry writing style and the imagery it conjures up.
Without a doubt, a story full of surprises. Thank you Jessenia Nieves, you are admirable since your main task as a mother of 8 and a hardworking driver has not eliminated your desire to motivate and teach the young the most important thing in life, self-love.