Keziah Nevaeh Stanisclaus Tracey, 13, wrote her first book last year, Jordan’s Perfect Christmas, about a boy who learns the true meaning of Christmas. It’s much more than presents, and Jordan learns that it’s all about the love of Jesus Christ.
With the help of her mom, Nelly Tesia Stanisclaus, she got it published on December 13, 2020, and the book is now available on Amazon.
Not resting on her laurels, as if writing one book wasn’t inspiring enough for the teen author, Keziah read from her second book, Love the Skin You Wear, which celebrates Black beauty that will inspire both children and adults alike that was streamed live on Friday on her Facebook page facebook.com/KeziahSpeaksAndWrites and [email protected] KeziahSpeaksAndwrites.
Speaking to the Sunday Guardian from her New York home on Tuesday Keziah said “I became serious about writing when I went to school in Trinidad, in Standard Three.
“We did a lot of creative writing in class and I started tapping into my creative side. I’ve always had a passion for writing.
“My first book came about when Christmas was right around the corner. I wanted to do a book for every holiday and children.
“The response has been amazing, it’s going just as planned and I’m very happy that kids enjoy reading it.”
Commenting on her second paperback Love the Skin You Wear, which is also now available on Amazon, she said she loved being Black.
Keziah said she felt that some other Black people should appreciate being Black, they shouldn’t be ashamed of their culture, and that’s why she wrote the book.
She said many Black people out there wanted to be what society wanted them to be, they didn’t really like how others were making them feel uncomfortable in their space and where they were.
Keziah, who was born in the US, her mother is Trinidadian and her father, Winston Tracey is Jamaican, said her speaking was influenced by watching many different interviews. She said she sometimes pretended she was in an interview talking to herself, asking herself questions. Keziah said she loved letting her imagination run wild putting herself in different characters and acting them out.
She said Jenny Han was her favourite author whose To All the Boys novels had been made into a Netflix movie.
Keziah said her role model and one of her biggest influences was 22-year-old Amanda Gorman who recited her original poem The Hill We Climb at the inauguration of President Joe Biden, on January 20. Her words were very inspirational and uplifting.
The PS 189 Bilingual Center eighth-grade student’s favourite subject is science, and she does a lot of art. Her favourite food is roti and fried rice. The Originals is her favourite Netflix series and she enjoys Beyonce’s music.
When asked where she sees herself in the next two years, Keziah said hopefully not in the pandemic or stuck at home. Since life is full of surprises, she could literally be anywhere in two years and would just go where life takes her.
On what job we can see her doing as an adult, Keziah said she would probably be on the cover of Vogue magazine, she could be an author, actress, model or singer combination.
Keziah said on her plans on writing new books in the future, she might want to move on to novels.
She said she had two younger siblings, Jourdan, seven, and Ziarre, 11, who were very ‘crafty’ also. Keziah said she wanted to inspire kids, have them tap into their creative side, and not let anybody tell them they cannot do something. She advised them to keep a journal, write down what they are feeling, write short stories if they wanted to be a novelist.
Nelly Tesia Stanisclaus, Keziah’s mother, said her daughter’s literary foundation was laid in Trinidad where she was encouraged and nurtured in reading and writing from a young age.
She said Keziah attended her Aunt Magdalene Marshall Stanisclaus’ pre-school, the Gordon Miller Early Childhood Educational Centre in Sangre Grande, at the age of three.
Stanisclaus said her daughter’s cooking inspirations came from her grandmother, Christiana Stanisclaus, Nelly’s mother.