Meet the Members: Allyson Neal

“Writing is truly my passion and I’ll be doing this for a long time.”

— Allyson Neal

A member of the Writers’ League since July 2020, Allyson lives in Sugar Land, TX.

Scribe: In what genre(s) do you write?

Allyson Neal: I mostly write children’s literature and I’ve also written two non-fiction history books about the community where I grew up in New Orleans. I was inspired to become a writer after reading Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Nikki Giovanni, and Judy Blume in my youth. They’re all great storytellers and I longed to join them in telling stories that would entertain, inform, and inspire.

Scribe: What author would you most like to have a drink with, and what’s the first question you would ask them? 

AN: Right now, I’d like to have drinks with Jason Reynolds or Kwame Alexander. They’re both very accomplished children’s book and young adult book authors. I would ask them about what inspires them and how they were able to successfully transition from independent publishing into traditional publishing, which is something that I long to do as well.

Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?

AN: If there could only be one book, it would definitely be the Bible. The Bible, to me, is more than literature. It contains everything that I need to nourish my Spirit and it has great stories of God’s partnership with mankind that move beyond inspiration and into fueling the greatness of our capabilities to love, forgive, and strive toward a higher calling of being human. So, I would need the Bible to keep me sane and to fuel my hope that I would be rescued and not die on the island.

Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?

AN: I hope that my writing will take me around the world to share my stories in multiple languages and with children of diverse cultures. I also hope that it allows me to interact with children and to read portions of my books to them. They are the best critics and when they love a book, they are its best cheerleaders.

Scribe: Here at the Writers’ League, we love sharing book recommendations. What’s one Texas-related book that has come out within the past year that you couldn’t put down? 

AN: In Search of the Blues: A Journey to the Soul of Black Texas by Bill Minutaglio is a book that I would recommend. Black people are now faced with even more disparities with regard to our race and differences. Sharing our stories, our pain, trials, and triumphs is a great way to tear down the walls that separate us from others.

Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion!

AN: I love writing children’s stories! For the past five years, I’ve been collaborating with my daughter in writing the books that I’ve published independently. And, last year, we completed our first chapter book. I had an opportunity to read it to her fourth grade classmates at their school’s career fair and it was so much fun! I read a little bit of the first chapter which included a cliff hanger and the kids were hooked! To experience the joys and pain of the readers was amazing. I also received a lot of great feedback from the kids. Writing is truly my passion and I’ll be doing this for a long time. —

Thank you, Allyson!

If you’re a Writers’ League member and you’d be interested in being interviewed for our Meet the Members feature, email us at member@writersleague.org for more information. It’s a great way for other members to get to know you and for you to share a bit about what you’re working on!

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