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Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Mom Whose Son Inspired Her to Write Books For Black Kids Has Secured Government Contracts After Losing Corporate Job

By Arthia Nixon, The Ambassador Agency

B. Jane Turnquest with son

Nationwide — When B. Jane Turnquest’s 20-year corporate career came to an abrupt halt during the pandemic, she unleashed her inner author and began self-publishing books so that her son could see Black characters such as mermaids, knights, and pirates in fairytales. After adding protagonists dealing with autism, understanding self-worth and adding clean romance to her line-up of books, Turnquest quietly launched Quill Ink Parchment Publications and her versatile talents have caught the attention of the government of The Bahamas, which recruited her to be a part of several publishing projects.

“It really is a dream come true to be able to write and then wake up and see over 1,000 reviews on Amazon alone for my work,” said B. Jane . “Growing up in The Bahamas, I never imagined that I would have been an internationally known author, co-publish a youth magazine with my son and have people from around the world reach out to say they enjoy my work. I think people used to doubt self-published authors but now it’s become more acceptable and when you have strangers supporting you and leaving positive responses, you see it is absolutely worth the investment. I would encourage anyone who has a passion to pursue it to go for it because it can take you global.”

B. Jane says it is a joy to know that she has nearly 30 books with Black protagonists, each selling a respectable amount of copies. She was also shocked when she went viral in social media groups after sewing Regency-era costumes for her son and niece to play dress-up in that were compared to Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series gained popularity on Netflix when Shonda Rhimes added a diverse cast. She then went on to write her own novel set in that era with diverse characters

“When we were younger, we didn’t have many books with characters that look like us or historical films showing us in high society so it is important for me to give that to my son and to other children,” B. Jane says. “I feel that I am contributing to creating uplifting Black stories for Black children to identify with, to enjoy and be impacted by.”

She pointed out that it is important to layer her stories with something lighthearted and easier to absorb by young readers. She did this with a book about the color brown, which tackles racism and self-esteem entitled Patrick and Margaret-Kate’s Great Palette Debate. In The Memoir That Makes You Go Mmm – her most popular book, and Tell Tail – a mermaid fantasy story – the protagonists are on the autism spectrum.

“Readers are asking for more of these stories because it helps not just with the children who are directly affected, but it also starts the conversation with those who are not within their own homes so they can have an open mind and use it as a teachable moment,” she says.

As for other projects that B. Jane took on in 2022, she was a part of The Bahamas’ first national anthology of stories, published a youth magazine for The Bahamas Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture, hosted a workshop for at-risk inner-city youth, and donated over 500 books to regional private and public schools.

B. Jane Turnquest’s books are available on Amazon and other online retailers.

For press inquiries, contact info@ambassador-agency.com