My name is Abby Richmond and I’m this year’s teen leader of the PJ Our Way Design Team. I love to read and write, and I’ve self-published three books (Very Berry in 2009, Starring Eliza in 2011, and Beatrice’s Fortune in 2013). I’ve been selling these books for years for $10 each and donate the proceeds from each book to a separate cause. It was so much fun writing these books, because I put in a lot of elements from my own life at the time. They are all realistic fiction, and you can see a lot of my personality and my friends’ personalities shown through the fictional characters. That’s where I get most of my ideas––from real life. I love writing because it allows me to be creative and capture interesting stories that I think of, or hear about, or actually experience! In writing, you don’t just have to write realistic fiction like I do: you can write about any crazy plot you think up and still get away with it!
For each book, I picked a different organization to donate the proceeds to. For my first book, Very Berry, I chose the great organization Reading is Fundamental (RIF) because I love to read (obviously!!) so I thought it was an amazing cause. For Starring Eliza, which has a nature theme, I chose The Nature Conservancy, which protects wildlife all around the planet. As for Beatrice’s Fortune, I chose The Music & Youth Initiative, which is another awesome organization that helps underserved kids in the Boston area get music lessons and instruments (I chose this one because I’ve been playing the piano for nine years, and I think all kids should get that opportunity). I’ve raised over $5,000 throughout the years in total for these organizations.
Who are some of my own favorite authors, and who has influenced my writing? Hmm. At the time when I wrote these books, I really enjoyed Heather Vogel Frederick’s books (realistic fiction), J.K. Rowling (who doesn’t?), and lots of other authors. Now, a few years later, I still love their books, but I have some other current favorite authors at the moment, like Jane Austen and Harper Lee (clearly I like old books…).
Anyway, I hope you all have fun reading PJ Our Way’s great books! I really liked the ones I read, and I think you will too. Enjoy! :)