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“I Am Mixed” Q&A

The “I Am Mixed” children’s book was created to help multicultural & mixed race children be proud of who they are. It helps deal with identity issues and encourages them to be happy about all parts of their mix. This book has wonderful illustrations & great word flow for easy reading. It also has some Hollywood star power behind it; actress Garcelle Beauvais best known for her roles in “Flight”, “NYPD Blue”, and “The Jamie Foxx Show” is the co-author! We recommend this book for all parents raising multicultural children. We recently had the privilege of speaking with the co-authors of “I Am Mixed” Sebastian A. Jones and Garcelle Beauvais here’s what they told us:

Mixed Nation: How did you two meet?
Garcelle:  We met at a park where our kids started playing together on a twirly ride, so Seb and I started talking.  I had the idea to write a children’s book so when I asked him what he did for work, I couldn’t believe he said that he was a publisher and that he had just finished his first kid’s book. Kismet.
Sebastian:  It was a sunny day, the ice cream truck was chiming, and our kids all had mops of magical curls on their head.  Let’s chalk it up to divine awesomeness.

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Mixed Nation: What are you and your kids mixed with? 

Garcelle:  My kids are mixed with Haitian & Irish.  I’m all Haitian as far as I know.

Sebastian:  My son is a healthy blend of Cuban and Peruvian from his Mother’s side.  I am a mix of English, Indian, Portuguese, Dutch, African, Irish, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Scottish… erm… yep, I think that is it… in no particular order 😉  Let’s throw in some Welsh… after all, my last name is Jones.

Garcelle Beauvais - People Magazine - May 13,2013 2Seb & Son (MN Q&A)

Mixed Nation: Sebastian, how was it to collaborate with Garcelle?  Describe your partnership dynamic.

Sebastian: Working with Garcelle has honestly been amazing.  Her enthusiasm and honest love for the series is infectious.  It has been great since day one.  We clicked instantly and the bouncing back and forth with her and Stranger’s entire team has been awesome!  I just want to make sure the I Am vision is represented as something we can be proud of, and most importantly the message is told in the way Garcelle and I want it to be.  The ultimate test, would it be something we would read to our children?  YES!

Mixed Nation: Garcelle, have you been able to get any support or feedback from your friends in the entertainment industry?
Garcelle:  My friends have been very supportive, whether they have mixed children or not.  I really feel the book’s message is celebrating our differences and being proud of what makes you You!

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Mixed Nation: Sebastian, the artwork is amazing! Where did you find the artist, James C. Webster and how does the creative process work?

Sebastian:  James C. Webster is amazing.  He was referred by a colleague for a comic book project we did for a very high profile client, and he more than delivered, so we hired him full time.  Since then he has been delivering gold on the I Am Book Series and a comic book titled Dusu: Path of the Ancient (a fantasy comic, where all of the heroes are people of color).  We are so lucky to have him.  Not only is he a genius artist, he is also a genuine young man.

The creative process starts off with Garcelle and I organically writing our poem together.  It came very natural.  We wanted to really have the children speak to us, rather than have an adult inform us.  Oftentimes, as we get older, ideas are cemented, so we knew it was important to hear the voice of innocent hope. The art is healthy “mix” of James’ amazing paintings, which are based on the layouts of Stranger’s other genius artist, Darrell May.  These two guys create concepts and ideas based on the vision Garcelle and I share and we go back and forth until we’re all excited with the blue print of the initial storyboards and the characters themselves.  Then James lays down his magic.

But that’s not all, we are extremely fortunate to have a brilliant production artist who breathed color and life into the elements that are often overlooked.  The designer is none other than James’ better half, Adrienne Sangastiano.  Our brilliant editor Joshua Cozine rounds out the team with third grade teacher Megan Lewitin, our educational director, who both make sure this book’s i’s are dotted for our audience.

Mixed Nation: Garcelle, what has the response been so far?
Garcelle:  So far the response has been terrific with media and with the people who have seen it! Looking forward to when it’s out in book stores and I can go and see it on the shelves. You’ll probably hear me scream!

Mixed Nation: Sebastian, where can we find “I Am Mixed”?  

Sebastian:  For now it can be downloaded via ibooks, kindle, and nook or it can be preordered on Amazon and Barnes & Noble for the August 7th hardback street date!  For up to date info, find us on facebook (www.facebook.com/IAmBookSeries) and twitter (@IamBookSeries)  or www.iambook.com.  Here are the direct links: Kindle: http://amzn.to/10QO2G6   ibooks: http://bit.ly/10kwBR3  Nook: http://bit.ly/YYOJ3O Preoder via Amazon:  http://amzn.to/10QZIeE and Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/Z6ENFf


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8 thoughts on ““I Am Mixed” Q&A

  • mygirlstudios

    Love it!! so happy for you all!:))

  • Biracialmommy

    I am the mother of three biracial children. While I applaud the existence of a book of this nature I take great issue with the title of this book. My children are not puppies of “mixed” breed, they are biracial. I am biracial is a much more positive title.

    • Biracialmommy Mixed Chicks chat thought a lot about their podcast name before they chose “Mixed Chicks”. Their reasoning is that the word race is problematic because race is a social construct. The variations of human kind is much more complex than the four races that were taught to the last generation in high school biology. Humans are a composite (mix) of their two parents and each child has over a million ancestors counting back just 20 generations.

    • Biracialmommy The other concern with the word ‘race’ is that it’s actually synonymous with the word breed. For example two different breeds of dogs can make a mixed dog – just like two different races of people can make a mixed race person. It would be interesting to see what Steven Riley of Mixed Race Studies thinks. I’m sure he has some articles on his site that dig deeper into the topic too. PS – He’s on twitter @mixed_race

      • Biracialmommy

        Thanks, I’ll have to do some reading. I certainly don’t want to create any negativity.

  • LukeWhitehead

    I’m biracial myself and I’m proud to be “MIXED”! Biracialmommy Your personal opinion of the word “MIXED” does not reflect the large population of people; young and old that are proud to be “MIXED”. In reference to your puppy comment, the word “mutt” is very offensive, but “MIXED” is not. Have a great day!

  • Biracialmommy

    Lukewhitehead….I’m actually very happy to hear that. I wanted to know how someone felt that was biracial, sorry, mixed and if you don’t take issue with the term then I will rethink my initial reaction. I’m so proud of my little ones and never want them to be marginalized in any way. Thank you for your views and You have a great day as well!

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