On a roadtrip home from Atlanta, Kenya Turner spontaneously wrote an entire children’s book, dictating it for the six hour ride home. This human resources professional and baker is now busy promoting this book, Little Cupcake Divas, and thinking of her next book to come.
What do you do for a living?
I am a human resources professional by day, baker and author by night.
When did you discover that you had a talent for writing?
While at Sacred Heart Academy in Louisville, my teacher Sr. Judith Rice, (the School Dean at that time) was impressed with my writings. From that point I can recall joining the school newspaper, performing in a Shakespearean oratorical contest and being involved in various other activities throughout college and in my professional career.
Tell us about how you wrote your first book.
Actually, the my first book was a creative journey that took place over several trips while traveling between Louisville and Atlanta. It was a reflection of my travels, family, friends and my passion for baking that took the form of a story–a children’s book. I read it in front of a few family members and was encouraged to publish it.
Did your book evolve from real life people and events?
Yes. Family members were inspiration for the characters in the book. The main character Little Mary was inspired by my mother. The other character Bobbi-Ann was a combination of two aunt’s names, and I used a traditional Philipino name Chona for the other character in honor of a dear friend I went to high school with at Sacred Heart Academy. We are still friends today.
What is next on the horizon for you? More books?
Yes! The next book is entitled Where’s Christmas? It’s a multicultural Christmas-themed book about a little boy’s search for Christmas.
How do you balance your job and your personal life?
Everything in moderation is how I strike a healthy balance.
What is the biggest life lesson you have ever learned?
You have to make things happen. You can’t wait for things to happen on their own.
Who is your mentor?
There is an African proverb that states it takes an entire village to raise a child. In my case, my village experience has included my parents, teachers at Sacred Heart Academy, my former youth ministers, college professors and various business owners in the local community.
What is best advice you have received in business?
Quality first. This should never be compromised.
If you were not in your current job, what would you secretly love to do?
I totally enjoy what I do. I cannot imagine doing anything else.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I am a runner who owns a wholesale bakery. I sample everything I bake. That’s what really amazes people.
What is your favorite place to go eat?
I am an epicurean of all cuisines, but I truly enjoy fresh seafood. Louisville has really put itself on the food map in recent years and I enjoy restaurants in the area that boast of a robust seafood menu in a pleasant atmosphere.
Where do you like to shop?
I enjoy going to upscale boutiques and finding unique pieces.
What is a treat or a luxury you do for yourself?
A lady can’t go wrong with a relaxing pedicure.
What is your weakness?
Cheese! I have cheese with at least one meal every day.
What is your favorite thing to do in Louisville?
I enjoy running and always look for scenic places to run with friends. It makes longer runs more enjoyable.
Three things you cannot live without (besides God, family and friends):
Coffee: Not only does it smell and taste good, but it has its health benefits as well.
Running shoes: I’m an avid runner with several half marathons, a marathon under my belt and am in training for another. I never travel without my running shoes.
Stand mixer: I own a wholesale bakery which is best known for its double bourbon cupcakes. It’s the heartbeat of my business.
What are you reading right now?
The Little Cupcake Divas, of course!
What are three of your “favorite” things right now?
- Working on my next children’s book
- Spending quality time with my nieces and nephew
- Learning new things about the ever-changing world of technology
Thank you to Kenya Turner for taking time away from one of her jobs to talk about her other job as an author. She taught us about all the in’s and out’s of publishing a book. For more information about Kenya, her book and her baking talents, visit her website at http://iamsweetonyou.com/Thelittlecupcakedivas.html.
Much gratitude as always to Adele Reding Photography and her beautiful FACES of Louisville photography. For more information about Adele, visit her website at http://adeleredingphotography.com.
Editor’s Note: On Saturday, July 13th from 2:00-3:00 p.m., Carmichael’s on Frankfort Avenue will host Kenya Turner for a special story time reading of The Little Cupcake Divas, complete with cupcakes and lemonade. Reserve your spot at Carmichaels by calling 896-6950. For more information, click here: www.carmichaelsbookstore.com.