Author, entrepreneur, and brand creator Quentin Holmes (known to his friends as Q) has dedicated his life to empowering the world’s youth through trendsetting literature, media, and fashion. The son of a hardworking father whose career advancement moved the family to nearly every region of the country, Quentin gained exposure to people from a wide range of different social, economic and racial backgrounds. In the end, the family’s economic status was greatly improved and the Holmes children were afforded opportunities that previous generations did not have.
Rooted in a family tradition that valued education, Quentin earned a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from the University of Michigan. Taking classes and socializing with young people from all over the world enriched Quentin’s already well-rounded perspective of social diversity. Suburbanites, children of farmers, inner city kids, and people from Third World countries were all striving for the same goal of a college degree.
Quentin began to realize that for the students he went to college with, the kids he grew up with, and even for himself, life is not as much about where you’re from as where you’re AT and where you’re going. Drawing on his firsthand experience with young people from a wide range of different social backgrounds, Quentin developed his first brand, At Wear apparel. Since its launch in 2003, the brand has gained national attention; Quentin marketed At Wear for five years and was featured in Slam Magazine, Dime Magazine, Long Beach Press Telegram, BlackVibes.com and the feature film, The Reunion.
Since 2009, the Real Street Kidz Multicultural Book Series has brought a much-needed voice and powerful cultural influence to the preteen book genre (ages 7-12). The life long lessons of hard work leading to success that Quentin learned during his upbringing are beautifully illustrated through his characters. The theme of teamwork echoes at the very heart of the entire series, calling on preteen readers to embrace these indispensable lessons.
Likewise the main characters in Johnny Skip2 and Sporty Lou bring vital multicultural characters to life, but this time for his younger readers (ages 3-6). Both picture books; like their Real Street Kidz predecessor, diligently seek to inspire, embolden, and entertain a brand new generation of children.
BPM: Tell us about your most recent books for kids and Real Street Kidz Series. They all make great gifts!
Johnny Skip 2: The Amazing Adventures of Johnny Skip 2 in Australia – The Johnny Skip 2 series is for kids 3-to-6-years old who LOVE adventures! Sporty Lou: Soccer King – The Sporty Lou series is for kids 3-to-6-years old who LOVE sports!
It’s hard for me to imagine but it’s been almost nine years since I wrote my first book series (Real Street Kidz). I feel truly blessed for all of the encouragement and support you’ve given me over the years. My goal in writing the Real Street Kidz series was to promote multiculturalism in children’s literature. I also wanted to offer stories that would motivate and encourage young tweens to learn the value of teamwork and friendship, and I wanted to create multicultural characters that would stand the test of time.
Nine years later, I’m married with two young children and now I want to add to my book collection. But this time I’m including picture books that I hope will inspire a whole new generation of readers to dream and explore. The goals I had with the ‘Real Street Kidz’ characters haven’t disappeared, they have expanded with the addition of two new dynamic culturally diverse characters.
I am proud to introduce Sporty Lou: Soccer King, and Johnny Skip2: in Australia which are now available via Amazon.com and all other major online book retailers in 3 formats; hardcover, softcover, eBook, and even exciting coloring books. I’m so happy with the way these books have turned out! Both the story and the artwork are perfect for the stories I was trying to tell.
The Real Street Kidz Series – The Real Street Kidz preteen (7-12 year old) captures the real essence of modern preteens who have broken out of society’s stereotypical boxes and embraced new trendsetting styles, fashions and interests of kids in other cultures. Multiculturalism, along with the heightening of positive individual differences for success, is a theme across the books in this exceptional series. It is this type of awareness that builds a pattern of success for kids everywhere, no matter their background.
Through reading Chasing Action, Art of Authenticity and Good Ideas, I hope that kids will begin to think “outside the box” and realize that teamwork and individuality is the greatest formula for success.
BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special?
Sporty Lou is about a young Hispanic boy who is learning to play the sport he’ll grow up to love for the first time. I think you’ll laugh when you see Sporty Lou’s trials as he’s learning how to play. Even if you never played sports I think you’ll still appreciate the struggle that goes along with learning something new as a kid.
Johnny Skip2 is a fun adventure story about a young African American boy and his loyal dog named Grounder. The two travel all over the world with Johnny’s magical “Skip2” device, adding small things to his growing collection. On this trip Johnny and Grounder head to Australia where they meet a sad mama Kangaroo, who’s lost her baby! As the kids read along they learn fun facts about Australia and help Johnny and Grounder find the lost baby ‘roo’.
BPM: Is there a specific place/space that you find inspiration in?
When I became a parent 4 years ago…I wanted my daughter to see diverse characters in the picture books, because it seems there is less effort being used to make sure that diversity and multiculturalism exists in this platform. The most recent addition of my young son Caleb caused me to begin thinking about the wonderful day when I’ll be able to teach him sports. So, I wrote a sports themed picture book called “Sporty Lou: Soccer King” that reminds every one of the first time they learned how to play their favorite sport.
Meanwhile my daughter is very adventurous so I wanted to create a story that would encourage her growing sense of adventure, so I wrote an adventure themed pictured book called “Johnny Skip2.”
BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
My first preteen series (Real Street Kidz) are longer stories. All three books are at least 80 pages. In those books, I had more time to develop the characters and tell engaging stories.
Sporty Lou and Johnny Skip 2 are 32-page picture books. I really enjoyed the challenge of telling an engaging story with less words. I also enjoyed the marriage between text and illustration. I was really fortunate to work with an illustrator that did a fantastic job of bring the story to life.
BPM: What are the 3 most effective tools for sharing your book with the world?
I find a lot of success selling my books at book fairs. I really like meeting the kids and providing them with a signed copy. I feel it builds a deeper connection with my audience. I send out regular newsletters. Please sign up for updates at: http://www.QuentinHolmes.com. I also run Facebook Ads and Amazon Ads to reach new audiences for my books.
BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?
I’m currently writing the next 2 stories in the Sporty Lou series. The first book is about soccer. The next two will be about basketball and baseball. After I complete these those books, I’ll turn my attention to writing the next 2 picture books in the Johnny Skip 2 series.
BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Multicultural Children’s Books by Quentin Holmes
Author Website | http://www.quentinholmes.com
Amazon Author Page | amazon.com/author/quentinholmes
Facebook Author Page | fb.me/AuthorQuentinHolmes
YouTube | http://www.youtube.com/c/QuentinHolmes
Quentin Holmes email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Parents, teachers, and youth workers know all too well the joy of finding reading material that both educates and inspires children through great story-telling and eye-catching artwork. Sporty Lou, and Johnny Skip2 are the kind of books that parents seek out, due to its conscious duality in design to both entertain, and educate, while always appealing to the heart. Both books diligently seek to inspire an entire generation of children to dream and strive for greatness.
About Sporty Lou: Soccer King by Quentin Holmes
The Sporty Lou picture book is for kids 3-to-6-years old and adults who LOVE sports! Sporty Lou is a spunky determined kid with a big heart and bigger imagination. At the feet of his ‘mighty dad’, Sporty Lou is taught the basics of soccer. He struggles and falters but his little body holds a giant heart that won’t back down from a challenge! Cheer along as Sporty Lou’s imagination turns his backyard into a stadium full of roaring fans. Will he ultimately give in or take his first steps towards becoming a true sports legend?
About Johnny Skip2: The Amazing Adventures of Johnny Skip 2 in Australia
Johnny Skip2 is a world traveler; a collector of small things, and an adventurer all wrapped up into one little kid. But he needs your help. Come travel with Johnny and his little dog Grounder as they journey to the wonderful land of Australia in search of native muntrie berries. Adding to the adventure is a mother kangaroo that has lost her ‘joey’ and this leads Johnny on a quest to find her. The Johnny Skip 2 adventure offer new sights and colorful Aussie phrases from ‘The Land Down Under.’ Johnny Skip2 is a great interactive read-a-long that kids will love reading over and over again.
Purchase Multicultural Children’s Books by Quentin Holmes
– Easy-to-read, empowering and entertaining stories for young children
– Picture Books & Coloring Books. Available in hardcover, softcover & eBook