About the Author:
Both Justin and Alexis are foster care alumni and together, they’ve traveled to five continents. Among their favorite memories are hiking Table Mountain in South Africa, enjoying ramen in South Korea, and getting engaged in Ecuador. They both enjoy cereal, playing basketball together (Justin often loses to Alexis) and making their daughter Maeva smile. They co-authored a 12-time award-winning, bestselling book titled Redefining Normal: How Two Foster Kids Beat The Odds and Discovered Healing, Happiness and Love. Stay tuned for more in the Maeva and Dad Redefine kid’s book series.
Titles of All Books:
I Love You More Than Cereal: Maeva and Dad Redefine Love
Redefining Normal: How Two Foster Kids Beat The Odds and Discovered Healing, Happiness and Love
1. Did you love reading books when you were little? Why or why not?:
I loved reading books as a way to escape the world around me.
2. At what age did you start reading books? What were your best memories of that time?:
I remember starting to enjoy reading around 4th or 5th grade and being able to complete in the spelling bee because of how much I was reading at that time. I would check out 3-5 books from the library and read them all at once.
3. What was the first book you loved reading? Why?:
I am not sure of the first book.
4. When did you first think about writing your first book? Why?:
The seed of writing a book was planted a long time ago from mentors but it became a reality in 2020 during the pandemic and also wanted to get closer to each other before marriage. This is when we started writing our memoir, Redefining Normal: How Two Foster Kids Beat The Odds and Discovered Healing, Happiness and Love.
5. What was the greatest obstacle you've encountered when you were writing your book? What made you overcome it?:
It was as if it was worth sharing so many personal things that felt like we were publishing our diary. I second-guessed myself so many times but then I had to remember that it had nothing to do with me and more of what impact we would have on others.
6. What pieces of advice can you give aspiring authors? What worked for you?:
Make sure you have an accountability partner that is willing to check in on you and make sure that you are staying true to your writing goals and deadlines!
7. Who are the authors or what are the books that had the greatest influence in your own writing? Why?:
I began to read a lot of memoirs while we were writing ours to understand writing style and ways to share our story so that the reader could get something from it.
8. What are your current or future writing plans? What can readers further expect from you?:
We are publishing our first children's book, I Love You More Than Cereal: Maeva and Dad Redefine Love in April 2023 and will have an entire series coming out in the years to come!
Awards, reviews, press releases, and other relevant information:
Nonfiction Authors Association GOLD
Reader Views Parenting/Family Relationships GOLD
2021 New York City Big Book Award
Distinguished Favorite in the Memoir category.
Reader Views Regional Awards - Great Lakes GOLD
Reader Views Conversation Award for the Best Regional Book of the Year
Reader Views Religion/Spirituality BRONZE
National Indie Excellence Award Regional Non-Fiction: Midwest
Elit Autobiography/Memoir GOLD
Readers Favorite Christian Living GOLD
Global Book Awards Family Health GOLD
2022 Illumination Book Award, Christian Living Bronze