About Me

Nath jpegNathalie Mvondo
Pronounced “mm-VON-do.” The “m” is silent.

I wrote and sold my first book when I was seven, in Cameroon. My mother would not give me any allowances, so I tore off the back pages of my notebook. I made up characters, drew and wrote, creating identical artisanal comic books. I glued the pages with the resin of mango trees, and sold the copies to my classmates for ten cents. The next week they came asking for more: a series was born. I however got into trouble when my mom asked why she needed to buy me a new notebook so early into the school year. Ever since, I have fallen in love with writing and followed my tribe’s–Bulu–tradition of storytelling.

I’m a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), a member of the Association of Children’s Authors and Illustrators of Color (ACAIC), and a student of the Institute of Children’s Literature.

I live in Northern California, where I study cultural anthropology and nutrition. I write children’s stories and young adult fiction; English is my third language.

Contact Information
Email: nathalie.mvondo (at) yahoo.com

Websites
o Multiculturalism Rocks! – Cultural Diversity in Children’s Literature
o Because He Says So Devotional
o Wattpad
o Facebook
o Twitter
o Pinterest

Interviews
1- Added 02/01/2010: @ Ari, from Reading in Color! You can read all about it here. (First written interview ever) Thanks, Ari!
2- Added 05/27/2010: Support school libraries. Edi Campbell, Librarian, blogger and book reviewer, interviewed me in April for School Library Month on her blog Crazy Quilts. On her home page you will learn more about getting involved and making a difference for (our endangered) public libraries.
3- Food for thought, thoughts on food. Edi Campbell interviewed me for our blog It’s Just Food. Read about it here.
4- A shout out to award winning journalist Amy Bowllan for all her work, and especially for hosting the Writers Against Racism series. To contribute to the fight against racism, to promote children’s books as an efficient tool of progress and education, please contact Amy with your answers to the W.A.R. questions, a picture (head shot, book jacket if it applies) and a 3-sentence biography. Read my W.A.R. responses here.
5- Black History Month Round-Up Question: The Color of Universal Narrative Experience, by Dhonielle Clayton of Teen Writers Bloc – Feb.25.2011

39 Responses to About Me

  1. Hi Nathalie,

    I saw the notice of your new blog on the blueboard. Congratulations! I’d love to offer to write something for Black History Month/Lincoln’s Birthday in February that might relate to my new picture book Finding Lincoln (Albert Whitman, 2009) which is about a boy trying to take a book about Abe Lincoln out of a segregated library during the 1950s. Thanks – and good luck.

    Best,
    Ann Malaspina

  2. HI, Nathalie,
    I heard about your new blog at Reading in Color. I’m the editor of MultiCultural Review and also have several books, fiction and nonfiction, on multicultural topics. We should talk more. I’d love to do a guest post, and I’m wondering if you’d like to write something for MultiCultural Review as well.

    Best,
    Lyn

    • Hi Lyn,

      thank you so much for your interest. Yes, it would be a honor for MR to welcome you as one of our guest bloggers! Please, give me about 24 hours. You’ll be receiving an email soon, as well as Ann.

      Thank you,

      Nathalie

  3. I love the story about writing a book series for your friends! I managed a one-off imitation of “Ramona the Pest,” but series were beyond my stamina. Thanks for your comment on my blog–I enjoyed what I found on yours!

  4. I loved reading about how your creative sparks were alive and aloft at such a young age. Once creativity ignites, you can’t put it out. It’s so wonderful that you are pursuing your love of storytelling.

  5. Navjot Kaur says:

    Hello Nathalie,

    It is so wonderful to hear your thoughts about diversity in publishing. I too believe that diversity should be celebrated every day, not only in chosen months of the year.
    It is for this reason I chose to take a leap of faith and start up a small indie press to raise dialogue around issues of bias and stereotype. As a teacher I was tired of the same old instructional books about the Sikh identity. When my son was diagnosed with hearing loss and began wearing his hearing aids I knew I would have to be proactive to ensure he had the strongest foundation about his personal self moving forward.
    Just the other day a friend suggested my book to one of her peers. The teacher’s response was “Oh, Mohammed might like this book”. Mohammed is a Muslim and my book brings awareness to the Sikh identity. When teachers are not informed about the differences in their now global classroom communities, how can we expect these children, some our leaders of tomorrow, to think critically about what they see and hear before passing judgment?

    Yes, my book is a small start but we were not afraid to portray the true identity of a Sikh right on the front cover of a children’s picture book. Yes, it was a Cybil’s nominee. No, it was not chosen to move forward. And yes, it’s selling!
    Please check it out and feel free to share your thoughts.
    A Lion’s Mane
    http://www.saffronpress.com

    • Hi Navjot,

      first, congratulations to A Lion’s Mane for the Cybil’s nomination and for the difference the book is already making in children’s lives and in the classroom. And yay! I am not surprised that it is selling! I hope that more people realize that multicultural books do sell. There are very good books out there. They just need to be a little bit on the spotlight; sometimes that’s all it takes to get the sales off the ground (this is coming from a former bookseller specialized in children’s kidlit). :)

      I’m glad and honored that you contacted me, and I also thank you for sharing your personal experience. I will contact you with the hope that we can continue this conversation via email… Thanks again.

      Blessings,

      Nathalie

  6. hope101 says:

    Hello, Nathalie: Hope101 here, from Tartitude. I’m happy to report you won a copy of Laura Kinsale’s LESSONS IN FRENCH. Can you click the link on my blog announcement and send me your mailing address? That way I can get Sourcebooks to mail you a copy toute suite. :)

    Best,

    hope101

  7. Edi says:

    Nathalie,
    Where are you from in Cameroon? I visited there for 6 weeks in 1999 and traveled from Dja up to Maroua!

  8. Rita says:

    Hello,

    If you have a moment, I’d like to introduce you to my new children’s book called The Many Colors of Friendship. Realizing how important it is to give our children tools and the right education about Diversity;Multiculturalism and Racism, I wanted to write something meaningful that children come come away with a positive message. This book means the world to me and I’d like to share it with you. My 7 year old daughter, Katherine, also wanted to help write it and has inspired my life beyond words.

    I hope you like it!

    Thank you,
    Rita Kaye Vetsch

    http://www.eloquentbooks.com/TheManyColorsOfFriendship.html

    • Hi Rita, thanks for letting me know about your book. I am a little backed up for the next few days, but I will get back to Navjot and you as soon as possible. You’re on my mind. :)

  9. Rama says:

    NATHLIE, I JUST WANT YOUR EMAIL TO BE CONTACT. THANKS

  10. Karin says:

    It’s so nice to meet you on here! I must say, that I have some “weird” connection with African culture and people. If I am discribing this correctly…
    (I have two manuscripts that are making the rounds, one is set in Botswana and the other is set in the south about slaves) Whatever I write I tend to slip into this culture.
    I am glad that I found you, via your comment, as I can’t wait to read more of your blog!!!!

  11. Hi Nathalie;
    Can you send me your email address? (I want to introduce you to someone!)

  12. Mel u says:

    Nathalie you responded to a post I left yesterday on Coloronline concering a TV ad for a skin whitening product aimed at early teen age girls in the Philippines-you said you were very upset by the ad-just to verify it is real here is the ad as seen on TV here in Manila

  13. Stephanie says:

    You have a great blog and resource! I will soon be launching a website for parents raising little global citizens. Our main sections are on culture, language, tradition and books. In the books section, we feature multicultural children’s books and books related to the holidays/traditions we feature. We feature two global holidays per month. I would love to talk to you more about it if you are interested.

    Kind regards,
    Stephanie

  14. Troy Horne says:

    Nathalie,

    I would love to be a guest blogger here. We should create a blog wheel and link to each others sites. This would strengthen all of our sites and our voice in the blogger world. Heck in the world in general. Can I guest blog here? WOW I can’t believe this awesome blog exists!! Thank you!

    Troy Horne
    onebug.org

    • Hi Troy,

      thanks for stopping by and for the words of encouragement. A blog wheel is a terrific idea and would love to have you as a guest here. Will contact you soon. :-)

  15. kelstar71 says:

    Tu es merveilleux, Nathalie! Merci pour tout! Je te apprecie. J’espere que tu as beaucoup succes et benedictions.

    • Kelly, tu es une telle source d’inspiration!!! Merci de donner une voix à ceux qui en ont le plus besoin. Wishing you much, much success in the days and years to come. Thank you for your friendship.

  16. OneBrownGirl says:

    Absolutely wonderful to have found you!

  17. Beth Hull says:

    Hi Nathalie, I don’t know if you remember me – we met at the Spring Spirit conference last year. I finally joined SCBWI and might be going to the schmooze on the 31st. Maybe I will see you there?

    I do book reviews on my blog on Mondays; I reviewed Sellout by Ebony Joy Wilkins today, which was a fantastic YA novel about a girl accepting herself for who she is and where she comes from. You might be interested in the book. The skin-whitening video someone posted above reminded me of it.

  18. Becky says:

    I am so glad to have connected with you on LinkedIn! Such a pleasure to meet a like-minded individual:). I would love to collaborate with you if you are interested. I believe that increasing cultural and global awareness in kids will help them develop into compassionate adults- and multicultural literature certainly plays a huge part in the process! Thanks for your work:)- Becky from kidworldcitizen.org

    • Hi Becky, first thank you so much for your interest. Your enthusiasm is both contagious and encouraging. Do you have my email address? I would love to continue this conversation privately, but I won’t be free and therefore won’t be able to follow up before the end of July. Best regards, Nathalie
      PS: Your website is AMAZING! Linking it here. Thank you again.

  19. Becky says:

    Mine is kidworldcitizen (at) gmail (dot) com :)

  20. Emma Engelfried says:

    Hi Nathalie,
    My name is Emma and my mom met you the other day at my sisters house for the World Cup game. She told me a little about your studies and work. I am currently also studying anthropology in Seattle and have a strong interest in nutrition, but am unsure how to pursue my interests outside the classroom. I wanted to get in touch with you and maybe hear more about what you do and how I might be able to pursure my own passions.
    If you have time to shoot me an email so we can chat that would be awesome.
    Thanks,
    Emma

    • Thank you so much for your note, Emma! I had a wonderful time with your family, and I look forward to meeting you as well. Something tells me we’re bound to have a very interesting conversation. I look forward to it. I sent you an email!

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