Hi, my name is Toya Wilson and reading is a passion of mine. Growing up, I could always be found with a book. I started making up stories in elementary school and writing them down in junior high. [When I was in school, it was called junior high, not middle school.]
By the time I entered college, I had notebooks filled with short stories and devoured books as often as I could but I was still convinced my path was nursing. Off to college I went where I persevered and was admitted to the nursing program. This period in my life was important for many reasons. I learned the importance of appreciating the elderly during my clinical rotations in a nursing home. I observed the heroics of nurses trying to save a life and witnessed the sadness of death. I realized that no one could live my life but me and that worrying about what others think of me will not benefit me or make me happy. When I changed my major from nursing to English, I felt instantaneous relief. My three years teaching middle grade Language Arts taught me the importance of following my dreams.
When the path to traditional publishing seemed impossible, I decided to self-publish. Not only because I like what I have written; not only because I think I have something to say; not only because I believe children will love what I’ve written but because I am compelled. There is a price when dreams are suppressed as Langston Hughes’ poem ‘Harlem’ illustrates.
Harlem by Langston Hughes
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore— and then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?