Author Interview – Nonku Kunene Adumetey

Author of I Celebrate My Skin

Joining me today is the author of the children’s picture book, I celebrate my skin, Nonku Kunene Adumetey.

Welcome Nonku. What a delightful book, ideal for young children, with a great message. Tell us a little about your book.

Nonku: I celebrate my skin, is a children’s picture book that teaches them to love and embrace their skin tone. It also teaches them to embrace others. 

I Celebrate My Skin is an inclusive children’s book about self-discovery and self-love. Focusing on celebrating and embracing skin tone diversity, I Celebrate My Skin is a fun and meaningful book you and your family will want to pick up again and again. The book includes modern illustrations that weave in a touch of traditional elements, playful language, and interactive fun activities at the end.

This family book will teach young children:
•That their skin is worth celebrating
•That all skin tones are beautiful and worth celebrating
•That their skin is functional and can do so many things
•That diversity and inclusion are strengths

Helen: What made you choose to write a picture book?

Nonku: When we celebrate our birthdays, job promotions, any success in life we go all out and do what we want unapologetically. I chose celebrating your skin because we also need to love and celebrate who we are unapologetic. Going all out in loving yourself for me is truly success. 

Helen: A great topic and a message we all need hear right now. What or who inspired you write this book?

Nonku: My family, my kids inspired me to write the books and then grief of losing my father inspired me to write. I chose children’s books because I want to inspire my children’s and other young children out there to love themselves and enjoy seeing themselves in books. 

Helen: Family is so important. Are you working on anything right now? What makes you choose what to write about?

Nonku: I am working on a couple of titles for next year’s release. They about celebrating yourself and embracing who you are with a different twist. I am telling my story; I am building and empowering my inner child. My ideas are truly my story, personal what I am feeling or what I experienced. I’d like to write little encouragement books, I am not sure what genre those would be. I love to spread positive vibes.

Helen: You have a young family which must keep you busy, tell us a little about your writing process.

Nonku: I write mostly at night, for a while I would start writing or working on edits at midnight. I am a bit of a Panster, lol! love to free form and not follow a rigid plan. It helps me relax and not stress if things go a different way

Helen: Me too, I am a night owl. Thank you so much for spending time with me. To end our chat, what advice would you give other aspiring authors?

Nonku: Do not be shy to ask for help from seasoned authors. There is so much information out there and honestly, it is impossible to learn it all. Sometimes you have to go through the process to learn different things. Also, more importantly, be patient with you self and your work. 

About Nonku Kunene Adumetey

Nonkululeko Kunene Adumetey (also known as Nonku) is a loving wife and devoted mother of two happy toddlers. Her children both love singing, storytime, and tasting home-cooked cuisines. When Nonku tastes delicious food, she hums a blissful tune, which she never realized until both her children started humming along. 

Nonku was born in the Kingdom of Eswatini, where she lived until she was 16. She left to complete high school in Canada and later moved to the United States to pursue her college education.

Her passion is to inspire her children and all children to celebrate who they are, understand their differences are beautiful, know their diversity is a strength, and believe their voices are should be heard.

Her hero is her late father, Themba Micah Kunene, a man from humble beginnings who worked tirelessly to provide a full life for his eight children. Her father’s unconditional love, wisdom, selflessness, and work ethic inspire the core of Nonku’s principles and life mottos. One of his favorite mottos was “umtsentse uhlaba usamila”, a saying about a strong grass that gets deeply rooted during its early stages of development. The essence of this saying embodies the core of early intervention and teaching young minds early so that they grow up strong and informed about the world. This is what inspires Nonku to write children’s book, to inspire and empower young minds for a greater future. 

Link to ebook on Amazon US | Amazon UK

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Author Interview – Jordan Bell

Author of Aunt Jodie’s Guide to Evolution

I’ve always thought encouraging children to engage and learn more about our world is very important, and today I am chatting with the Australian author of Aunt Jodie’s Guide to Evolution, Jordan Bell.

Welcome Jordan. To start us off please tell us a little about your book.

Jordan: My first published book was Aunt Jodie’s Guide to Evolution, a book which takes the real science of evolution and explains it in a way that primary school kids can understand. Fully illustrated in colour, it’s a chapter book that helps kids understand how the diversity of life, in all its glorious creativity, came to exist. Unpacking the concepts of inheritance, variation, and selection, the reader joins twins Sophie and Matt on a science adventure to understand evolution.

Helen: What made you want to write about STEM topics and for young children at that?

Jordan: I write Children’s STEM, for kids in the upper primary years – because the ideas in my books aren’t introduced by the school system until high school, but I think that’s too late! Kids are absolutely capable of understanding scientific theories if they are presented in the right way, and it’s crucial to their developing worldview that we get real science into their brains early. I deeply believe that we need a scientifically aware and well-educated citizenry to face the challenges of the future – I think my books contribute to this need.

Helen: How do you choose what to write about? Which topic are you tackling next?

Jordan: After I published Aunt Jodie’s Guide to Evolution, I asked my readers what topics they’d be interested to hear more about. Overwhelmingly, with the Australian bushfires in the news globally, they said they wanted an Aunt Jodie’s Guide to Climate Change – so that’s what I’m focussing on now. Coming up in the future will be a Guide to the human body, and a Guide to the universe.

I’m currently at the end of an initial draft of Aunt Jodie’s Guide to Climate Change. Once I finish this draft and polish it, it will be sent to a climate scientist for review, to make sure all of the scientific detail is spot on, and then I’ll look at another round of edits from feedback from beta readers.

Charles Darwin

Helen: With such specific topics, and the need to get your facts spot on, how much time to you spend on research?

Jordan: I research extensively. My general science knowledge is strong, from my undergraduate science degree and my wide-ranging reading, but to make sure I’m really getting the science correct, I read widely and deeply into the specific topic I’m tackling. Each of my books is also peer-reviewed by a leading scientist in the field to make sure there are no errors of fact. When you’re introducing big ideas to little minds, it’s a sacred trust, and I take that responsibility seriously.

Helen: I would think that is a lot of work, how do you fit it all in?

Jordan: I work full time and I have a 7-year old, so it’s a case of “making time”. I’ve recently hatched a plan with my husband to take our daughter to school two mornings a week, so I can have an hour of writing time before work on those two days. I think about my work a lot, and do some research when I have free time, but actual “fingers to keys” is just those two hours a week at the moment. It’s been very productive already though; in the last three weeks I’ve added 2000 words to the manuscript, as well as re-read everything I’ve written so far (16,000 words) and given it a light edit.  

Helen: With such a busy life, I would suppose you have to plan everything to find time to write, but are you still a planner when you write? Many writers are called ‘pantsters ‘ as they write freeform.

Jordan: Definitely a planner, although my work doesn’t always follow my plans. I usually start by roughing out chapters with a short summary of what will happen in each one, eg “In the first chapter, Matt and Sophie are on a fieldwork weekend with Aunt Jodie; she has taken them out camping while she assists in sample collection with Dr T. Sophie and Matt are curious about the purpose of the work, and so around the campfire at night, Aunt Jodie and Dr T explain the key components of climate change science to the twins.” But often, a piece of work that I think I can manage in a chapter ends up taking two or more chapters to explain, as I’ve underestimated how much there is to say!

Helen: I can imagine! I bet you had fun choosing your cover design, such a myriad of possibilities.

Jordan: My illustrator, Gabriel Cunnett ( came up with the concept – the three main characters reading together, but transported to a pre-historic setting, as they used their imaginations to “travel” in time. I loved the job he did in bringing the characters to life in such a vibrant way.

Helen: I agree, I think most children would be drawn to your book. One final question, do you have any advice for other aspiring writer’s out there?

Jordan: It’s practically a cliché, but, “write a lot, and read a lot”. Read widely – both within your genre and outside it, you never know when new ideas and inspiration might hit. And show other people your writing, and be open to their feedback – it’s painful and scary but can push you to grow and develop. What’s in your head doesn’t always make it to the page, so having a trusted second pair of eyes on your work can help you round out what needs to be explained.
I also often listen to a meditation before writing, I like this one that helps you unlock your creativity: but there are lots of others out there. I think getting centred and calm helps me focus on the work in front of me and not get too distracted by everything else that is happening in my life.

Helen: Thank you so much, Jordan, for spending time with us today. We wish you all the best with your book: Aunt Jodie’s Guide to Climate Change. You can find out more about Jordan and where you can purchase her book here.

Jordan is a psychologist and educator, with a passion for science communication. She has a PhD in Educational Resilience, but is also a nerdy parent who loves reading to her daughter. When she couldn’t find enough children’s fiction with a strong STEM message to help her daughter learn about the world, she wrote Aunt Jodie’s Guide to Evolution. She believes that understanding the theory of evolution is an important key to scientific literacy for our developing citizens. Jordan prefers writing in her local café with a pot of strong tea, so the COVID19 lockdown was a challenge, but she’s adapted her writing routines for the moment. She loves reading science fiction and long walks in nature. Jordan is currently working on her second book, Aunt Jodie’s Guide to Climate Change. Follow her at or for more information or for cool science links. She’s also on Twitter @AuntJodiesGuide