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Daily Inspiration: Meet Phallon Perry

Today we’d like to introduce you to Phallon Perry.

Hi Phallon, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
I was born in the Cherry Hill neighborhood of South Baltimore. At the age of six, my family relocated to Baltimore County where I started grade school. I attended middle school at Sudbrook Magnet Middle School where I studied Visual Arts and Drama. Later we moved to East Baltimore where I attended Baltimore School for the Arts where I studied Theatre Production. During that time, I was accepted into the Spoleto Study Abroad program for Creative Writing.

This was the first time, I had ever traveled to Italy. Being able to live independently in a foreign city at the age of 17 and develop my skills as a writer was really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It was that experience that led me to apply to Indiana University for undergrad where I studied creative writing. I graduated in 2008. During the 2011-2012 school year, I piloted a creative writing program for Leaders of Tomorrow Youth Center.

During that time, I taught 325 students in West Baltimore. I noticed that many of my students did not relate to the books offered by the school system so it was there that I decided to write my own children’s stories for my students. It was there that my interests shifted from novels for adults to picture books that tell the story of the underrepresented child in children’s literature. I left that role when I was accepted into Northwestern University’s MFA in Creative Writing program.

I was one of seven people admitted into Northwestern’s Creative Writing program during my application cycle. Because of my new interests in writing for youth, I focused my writing on YA novels and short stories. A little over a year after I graduated from Northwestern, I returned to Baltimore and my daughter, Autumn was born. When children are young, parents always like to make predictions about what professions their children will go into when they become adults. For my daughter’s first birthday, I presented her with Dream to be from A to Zzz, which ended up being my first published children’s story in 2016.

It depicted my daughter in a variety of occupations ranging from A to Z. It was important to me that she saw a girl that looked like her in a book, celebrating her talents and interests and beginning to think about her future. Dream to be from A to Zzz has been a very successful book and children of all ages have enjoyed it.

After publishing that book, I published Austin’s Pansies. Austin’s Pansies is a story I wrote for the elementary school students I used to teach. Bullying, family, culture, nature, friendship, and self-love are all themes explored in this story. At the end of 2020, with the help of my then five-year-old daughter, we published Like a Butterfly. It is a story about a young girl and the community that loves her.

During this time, I have also been able to help other budding children’s book authors create and self-publish their own stories.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
When I attended Indiana University for undergrad, I knew I wanted to study English and perfect my craft as a creative writer. As a teen, I considered myself to be an adventurer, but I must admit, it was challenging for me to move to a new state at the age of 18 and not know a single person there.

Even though living in Bloomington, Indiana was an overall positive experience for me, it was definitely a culture shock. I went from being a part of a thriving, diverse, arts-based community, to living in a small college town where you could go an entire day without interacting with another person of color.

Now, as a working adult and single mother, finding opportunities to nurture my creative side has been difficult at times. It is exciting to see that my 6 year old daughter is interested in exploring her own creativity, and by working together, it will allow us to collaborate and create something amazing!

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I currently work full-time as a fundraising professional for a nonprofit organization. I also continue to do freelance work for Leaders of Tomorrow Youth Center. I help them raise funds to support arts-based education in Baltimore. I love to work in industries where I feel I can make a difference in someone’s life through my skills as a writer. If we are going to work 30-40 years of our lives, it is important to me to wake up happy and excited about the work that I am doing and the people I am able to help.

I also continue to write children’s books and help other authors tell their stories. If you are interested in purchasing any of my books or need help bringing your story to life, please visit my website at www.phallonperry.com or email me at info@phallonbooks.com.

What matters most to you? Why?
It is very important to me to be able to do what I love and make an impact in the world. I think about how I can continue to be a positive asset to this world, long after I am gone. My beliefs are that I will do this through the stories that I create and by my family.

Pricing:

  • $20 Dream to be from A to Zzz
  • $20 Like a Butterfly
  • $15 Austin’s Pansies

Contact Info:

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