Author Quentin Holmes at Leimert Park Book Fair.
Keep an idea book. Go back through it every few months. Pursue those you feel passionate about. But I say this about ideas: “Ideas are only as good as your execution.”
Real Street Kidz was a collection of drawings for a line of tee
shirts I designed. In college, I saw a friend selling tee shirts. I started
to design some. It’s a low, cost to entry business, so I got into it. I
expanded to track jackets. Then I went into partnership with a friend who
knew the design end and I moved to the production and sales end. I sold to ten different stores, so I learned about developing a brand.
A friend, a television writer, introduced me to Show Bible. From that source I developed an outline, a premise, and episodes for what I hoped would become a TV show. The first year I went to Disney, and several production show conferences. They kept telling me ‘we love the art.’ But when they told me I needed to develop the story, I got frustrated. A year and a half later I knew the characters so well that I decided to write Real Street Kidz.
No, I went online to www.guru.com and to www.massivebrain.com, sites I knew from my days in the fashion business. I found the two artists who did the illustrations for the book in India on the www.guru.com website. These artists had clients all over the globe and they had a style that was in line with what I was doing.
I self-published with Dog Ear Publishing, out of Indianapolis, Indiana. I felt they offered the best package and had the best design quality.
No. It’s a creative pursuit I took up because I saw a need for the types of characters I write about. They are diverse and their home lives
mirror a number of family types. For example, one character has a single parent; another is being raised by grandparents..
I work for US Toyota National Headquarters and have been there twelve years.
Bigger than that, my work atToyota influences my life. Especially meaningful to me is the Japanese concept of Kaizen, which means continuous improvement. That and working in teams. As a result of learning these concepts I am continually asking myself: how can I tell a better story? Write better characters? Offer better resources to teachers? Inspire kids more?
I’ve been entrepreneurial all my life. I grew up in Michigan. I had paper routes andpushed a snow blower along many driveways. Collecting money, connecting with customers, growing my customer base brought about a sense for business.
My parentstaught me the value of a dollar. They gave me my work ethic. My fatherworked thirty seven years for the Boy Scouts of America. He was a SeniorExecutive at their National Office, when he retired. My mom said things like, “I’ll give youthirty dollars towards that pair of shoes you want, but you’ll have to comeup with the rest!”
Author Quinten Holmes with a young fan at Leimert Park Book Fair.
Jean Perry Writes
Cover of author Quentin Holmes "Real Street Kidz"
“Ideas are only as good as your execution”