This Is Rutherford
New Book Released by Young Author
By Jennifer Ersalesi
Sometimes the lessons learned in life can be catalysts for creativity. High school student Letisha Arsi found inspiration from her experiences in middle school and she thought it would be worth using what she had discovered to write a picture book. This is Rutherford recently interviewed Letisha Arsi about her newly published book.
TIR: When did you discover that you enjoyed writing and illustrating?
Letisha Arsi: I would say back in my first middle school, because I always loved art and drawing, and my passion for writing came from my love for books, which later inspired and influenced my writing style.
TIR: Is the book that you wrote and published, Wimbo Meets Mr. Nightmare, based on real-life experiences?
LA: In a sense yes, it's based on life lessons that people are taught or learn at some point in their lives. Such as the main lessons of this book which combine facing your fears and standing up to bullies. Bullying was something I experienced a lot back in my first middle school. But instead of looking back at that part of my life as something bad that happened, I used my experience during that time as a way to connect with others who were bullied and/or still are dealing with bullies, and I pass on advice to help them not to give up.
TIR: Why did you decide this would be a good book to publish?
LA: Well, initially when I wrote a rough copy of "Wimbo meets Mr.Nightmare", it was just part of an assignment for my high school creative writing class. I was more used to writing kid novels that are still in the works and it was my first time attempting in writing a little kids book. When I read it to my class, everyone including my teacher was hooked on every word I had written. My teacher then told me, "You should publish this." Then years after high school, everyone I showed my book to kept telling me, "You need to publish this," "Whenever you publish this I want to buy a copy," and "When you publish it can you sign it?" That's when I finally felt motivated to start working on illustrating and eventually publishing my book.
TIR: Are you still actively writing? Do you think you will write any other books you might like to publish?
LA: Yes I am still actively writing, in fact, I've already started working on book two for my Wimbo series and I've started designing the next new cool and silly villain that Wimbo and his new friend will have to defeat.
TIR: Did or do you have any more mentors that inspired you to write?
LA: I would say my literature teacher Ms. Barrise from Robert L. Craig school definitely inspired me because she was the one that encouraged me to read more and taught me how to write short stories. Then later my creative writing teacher Mrs. DeSantis continued to encourage me with every writing prompt she gave me and allowed me to let my imagination run wild and free to create something brand new and original.
TIR: What can you tell us about the book?
LA: Well, I know growing up as a little kid, learning lessons can sometimes be boring. So I figured I could create a fun and still an educational way to teach kids valuable life lessons. When I wrote Wimbo meets Mr.Nightmare I designed it to fit with all sorts of elements that kids would like. Such as cute fluffy baby fairy penguins, superhero forms, magic, mild action, and a few scary characters such as the villain Mr.Nightmare. But of course, since it's a kids' book, I added in some comedy to make him a little less scary.
To purchase a copy of this book, click this link.