NIGEL AND THE MOON — Antwan Eady, Author
Updated: Nov 16, 2021
Welcome Antwan Eady!
Today we're so excited and honored to speak with author, Antwan Eady! Antwan is from Garnett, SC but he's currently living in Savannah, GA. He's super talented in writing, and making magic with words ✨.
First, we can't help but swoon over Antwan's debut children's book NIGEL AND THE MOON (illustrated by Gracey Zhang). NIGEL AND THE MOON is about a boy who's afraid to share his dreams with the world, so he shares them with the moon at night. How perfect is this book for Creative Quest readers?! BookShop.org writes:
From debut author Antwan Eady and artist Gracey Zhang comes a glowing tale about the young dreaming big. A perfect story to demonstrate how pride in where we come from can bring a shining confidence.
When Nigel looks up at the moon, his future is bright. He imagines himself as...an astronaut, a dancer, a superhero, too!
Among the stars, he twirls. With pride, his chest swells. And his eyes, they glow. Nigel is the most brilliant body in the sky.
But it's Career Week at school, and Nigel can't find the courage to share his dreams. It's easy to whisper them to the moon, but not to his classmates—especially when he already feels out of place.
What a wonderful story to inspire others to follow their dreams 💖, thank you for sharing this with the world, Antwan. You can pre-order NIGEL AND THE MOON at your local bookstore or online by clicking one of the links below:
NIGEL AND THE MOON, is scheduled for release February 15, 2022. Antwan has another picture book, THE LAST STAND, scheduled for 2024 and it's being illustrated by Jerome and Jarrett Pumphrey.
Congrats Antwan !!! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions to help shed light on your creative career path—this is an amazing resource for younger creatives who may be interested in becoming an author, or picture book author in the future.
Read on to hear more about Antwan's career road map—which included bagging groceries to flipping burgers and working in an insect laboratory prior to writing books!
Part 1: Career Details
Let's start from the beginning, what industry do you work in?
What is your job title?
What does this career’s ladder look like?
Writing. It starts with writing. From there, you should query agents if you're interested in publishing traditionally.
What do publishers or agents look for in an author?
Passion. Rich storytelling. Something new.
If I have no work experience, what's the best way to get my foot in the door?
Start where you are. Write. Write. And write.
Advice on choosing a business (or industry) where my creative powers are being used for good and not evil? Publishing is a business, but that doesn't mean you have to compromise yourself. Never compromise self. Tell the stories that you believe in. Follow your heart.
What skills or programs will I need to know? What hardware or art supplies will I need?
I once believed that I needed the perfect laptop or the perfect environment in order to write. Those things never came. I wrote my first book with a laptop that was old...and given to me by someone else. It couldn't hold a charge and had to be plugged in constantly. But I started where I was. Use a pen/pencil and phone.
What type of work will I be doing as a young author?
With writing, you'll continue to grow. This is especially true when starting out. Keep an open mind. Be a sponge. Above all, never stop learning.
What does an average day look like for a professional like yourself now?
As a full-time writer, I begin my day with calm music and my morning routine. From there, I'll have breakfast. Some days are easier for me to dive into writing...some days are more challenging. But I try not to be too hard on myself. I give myself grace by watching Naruto or another show. If I'm not feeling creative, I'll handle other authorly duties like updating my website, sending emails, organizing upcoming events, and more.
Do you work for a company, own your own company, or work as a contract employee or freelancer? Are you repped by an agent?
I work for myself. I am represented by Steven Malk of Writers House.
What client or company or project are you most proud of and why?
I'm proud of everyone that I'm working with. From HarperCollins to Penguin Random House, these publishers have produced some of my favorite books. It's a joy to be in such great company. I'm also proud of all of my books.
Where do you work? Do you work in an office, your own studio, can you freelance from anywhere in your line of work?
I work from home most days (at my desk or wherever I'm feeling inspired). I also write in a local cafe and the cafe at Barnes and Noble. I also LOVE writing at the park when the weather's nice.
Part 2: About The Artist
What are your pronouns?
What were you like when you were in elementary school?
I was a creative and curious kid. Adventurous for sure. I wanted to be a scientist majority of my life, and I expressed this as a kid by having telescopes and chemistry sets. But I also loved poetry and reading. I also loved the outdoors. I fished every chance I could.
What were you like when you were in high school?
In high school I was the focused class clown. I had great grades, but I enjoyed having fun as well. I knew where I wanted to go to college and I was determined to get there. No one in my family had gone to college, so that's why I had to be really focused.
Is college necessary for this role? Did you go to college?
I'm a Clemson University graduate. Funny enough, I didn't study creative writing in undergrad. This was a traditional university. College isn't necessary for this profession, but a willingness to learn craft is.
How did you land your first job?
My entry into this field was by way of querying agents. Here's a secret. My first book was rejected by over 20 agents. But I didn't give up. I continued to write and it was with my second book that I landed an agent.
When you were just starting out (think first job), how did you handle life and finances?
When I was started out, there was so much about I didn't know about life or finances. Often times, there's so much that we won't learn in books or school...experience can be a teacher. "When you know better, you do better."
Has your career evolved from one industry to another?
Starting out I was working in veterinary medicine as a career. Now I'm in publishing.
Part 3: Musings Of A Creative Superhero
Do you have any shoutouts to special people that helped you land your first gig, or find your creative superpower?
My parents and siblings. I always say that if I'd dreamt a thousand dreams, my parents would've supported me a thousand times. A major shoutout to my agent and editors (Mabel Hsu and Rotem Moscovich).
Do you have a creative outlet outside of client work?
Hiking/Walking in nature.
Where would the world be without creative thinkers / creative problem solvers / designers / artists?
It's scary to imagine a world without creatives. The world needs us.
You can thank Antwan for his story, learn more, and follow Antwan at:
Thank you Antwan !!!