Author and Illustrator Cassandra Hill is a native of South Carolina. She holds a Bachelors of Arts and a Master of Arts in the field of Speech Language Pathology. She currently resides in Maryland and practices speech language pathology in a private practice setting. As her employment history is inclusive of delivering speech language pathology services to children in the school setting for eight years, she continues to serve that population by using her gift of storytelling.
Poetry was Mrs. Hill’s first vice and it laid the foundation for her first children’s book. She is the author and illustrator of two children’s’ books Shyann I Am! and It’s Your Birthday Shyann! She also is the writer and producer of the musical CD Change the World Shyann! that accompanies the second book Its Your Birthday Shyann! The song encourages today’s youth to build relationships with children of different cultural backgrounds at home and all around the world. Review of It’s Your Birthday Shyann! KIRKUS DISCOVERIES RAVES: Presented in verse form with no specific meter, It’s Your Birthday Shyann! is fully and brightly illustrated, with a small map and flag included for each visitor, as well as basic instructions for dances. Hill provides proper pronunciations and depicts each visitor in a traditional costume, teaching readers about many different cultures. A valuable tale that promotes multicultural education.
When did you know without any doubt that you wanted to become an author?
It may sound unrealistic. But, I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was seven years old. I used to love it when my mother read bedtime stories to me. I was a very visual child and I could imagine all sorts of things through the art of storytelling. When I told my mother I wanted to be a writer at the age of 7, she purchased an orange Maxwell typewriter. True to life with white keys and the ink ribbon. You couldn’t tell me anything. She taught me to type at the age of 7 and I’ve been writing every since.
What inspires you?
Life inspires me. My mother inspires me. The drive to succeed inspires me to work around the clock. I’m a dreamer and I want a lot for myself. I want to be able to help my family when needed. I know the only way to achieve those things is to work hard. I’d like to achieve those things through doing what I love and what I’m passionate about in life. That’s being a writer.
When did you realize you had reached your goals as an author?
I’m still striving. When every child knows who Shyann is, I will have met my goal as an author. I want Shyann to be a household name.
What do you enjoy most about your career?
The joy I see on the faces of the children when I read to them and when they’re invited to come on stage with me at the end of the show. I don’t just read my book to the children. I perform it for them. They love it and so do I. My primary message is just to show children how much they are alike. I want them to focus on things that they have in common and for them to formulate friendships around that. And let’s face it, everyone likes celebrating their birthday.
When can we expect another book from you?
I have another one already written. Again, I’m introducing Shyann to the masses right now. Shyann and I are just beginning our journey.
What is the best way for your fans to know what you’re working on? Facebook/Twitter? Do you post for your own sites or do you have your assistants do the posts?
I’m on social media. As far as the postings go, it’s a collaborative effort as I do work around the clock. Many times 10 to 12 hours a day. It’s a grind to be successful. But, I’m up for the challenge.
Tell us something new, something bold that you’ve never told any other magazine... news tip :)
I love writing poetry. It’s my first love. I have another book at home full of poetry ready to go in addition to another children’s book. It will be published one day. My poetry is deep. That’s another whole aspect of who I am. Poetry can get you through any hurdle in life. Thanks for asking.
Shyann I Am