Matthew Toffolo: What is your novel about?
Brenda Welburn: The Time Travels of Annie Sesstry is the story of three African American children who travel back in time with the utterance of the word “Sankofa.” They meet their ancestors and discover the challenges faced by Americans of African descent in the years of slavery and reconstruction. The book is a celebration of family, history, and culture.
2. What genres would you say this story is in?
Historical Fiction, Young Adult
3. How would you describe this story in two words?
4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?
5. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the
most times in your life?)
Bridge Over Troubled Water
6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
7. What motivated you to write this story?
A desire to tell my children and grandchildren the story of their ancestors and to tell a more accurate story of the African American experience at a level middle school students could understand
8. If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would
9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
Public policies that affect children and youth
10. What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?
I have read the same portions of my book that I selected at events and I was curious to see how it sounded when read by a stranger who had no background or connection with the story. The fact that the price was reasonable made it a
11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
Don’t concern yourself with what other people think of the idea of you writing a book.
You can never do too much research on the process of self-publishing.
Talk to other writers about their experience
Watch NOVEL Reading:
Performed by Allison Kampf
TYPE OF STORY: Young Adult Novel
The history of the MacElmurry-Calhoun family is told through the travels of Annie Sesstry, a smart, sassy, and artistically talented African American teen who is resistant to her parents’ efforts to instill in her an appreciation for family history and African American culture.
On a family outing Annie, her sister Emma and her cousin Josh fall through a time portal that takes them back to Crawford County Georgia in 1867 where Annie discovers a family secret of time travelers searching through the ages in an attempt to identify an ancient, unknown ancestor. The youngsters meet their fourth generation great-grand parents in the post-Civil War South of Reconstruction. Their adventures give them a whole new perspective on family and history.