Here’s the situation… Se’Quince was a seventeen year old girl living with Cerebral Palsy. She knew she had a story inside of her, but she was afraid to tell it. With her mother’s encouragement, she finally decided to share her experience with the world.
The Situation room caught with Se’Quince and discussed what it’s like living with Cerebral Palsy and why her Life Is A Journey.
Michelle: Tell us a little about yourself.
Se’Quince: My name is Se’Quince Sarah Aiken. I just turned eighteen years old in May. I am a senior student who attends a private school for my disability, Cerebral Palsy. I drive around in a wheelchair. I cannot walk without support of my gait trainer/walker.
Michelle: For those who may not understand, can you give us a little background on what Cerebral Palsy is?
Se’Quince: Cerebral Palsy is a form of neurological conditions that cause physical disability in babies when they are born. It affects the brain and the nervous system. Mine is more physical because I cannot walk and more weak on my left side.
Michelle: Tell us about your book, Life Is A Journey.
Se’Quince: Life is a Journey is about my life living with cerebral palsy. I wanted people to read and understand what I went through from the time I was born up until the book’s January 2014 release. I received a lot of feedback because a lot of people didn’t know what my parents went through raising a twin daughter with cerebral palsy.
Michelle: What made you decide to write a book about your illness?
Se’Quince: I wanted to write my story for a long time. My mom kept encouraging me, but I had to wait until I was actually ready. I want people to know that because I have a disability, I can still live a somewhat normal life. I try to not let anything stop me from doing what I want to do in life.
Michelle: What was the writing process? Who contributed to your project and what role(s) did they play?
Se’Quince: The writing process was kind of hard. I wrote what I remembered growing up as much as I could up until the end. My mom helped me write the beginning, because she remembered exactly what happened when I was born.
Michelle: What do you hope readers walk away with once they read Life Is A Journey?
Se’Quince: Life is a Journey is an inspirational story of a girl with a disability. You never judge a book by its cover because you never know what people go through in life. A lot of people know me, but didn’t know or understand what I went through. You can see me every day riding around in my wheelchair or hanging out with my family, but they don’t know what me and parents go through raising me every day. The physical challenges of lifting me all the time, dressing me, lifting me to take a bath or shower, etc. It’s not easy! You may tear up once you read it J.
Michelle: Are you looking to write more books in the future? If so, what can we expect from you next go round?
Se’Quince: I am currently working on two new projects, a poetry book and a new novel. The poetry book will hopefully be released in the next few months. The novel
may not be released until 2015.
Michelle: Congratulations for being the June cover of Book Cover Magazine. How did you achieve that feat?
Se’Quince: I was surprised when I saw that I was the winner for the magazine cover. My mom helped me apply and go through the process, but I never imagined I would win. If I lost, I would have moved on and looked for the next thing.
Michelle: Will you be attending any events in the future, where readers and fans can come out and meet you?
Se’Quince: Yes, I am looking to attend the Caribbean Festival in Virginia in August with other youth authors I met over spring break in Virginia. I will also be attending the book festival here in New Jersey in October. I want to do a book tour, but we have to see how that works.
Michelle: As an author with a disability, what is the overall mission of your writing?
Se’Quince: My mission is to do things as normal as possible. I am learning the process of becoming a writer. I think Life is a Journey was a good start to start the process. Now I have to continue to work hard on becoming a better writer. If I keep getting good advice and guidance, I know I can do it.
Michelle: What advice can you give other people who may be living with disabilities and are ready to tell their stories?
Se’Quince: My advice would be never given up on your dreams. Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot do it because of your disability. Don’t let your disability define you. Think big, dream big!
Michelle: What has been the overall response to your novel thus far?
Se’Quince: We have received a lot of good feedback for my book. Like I mentioned before, when people don’t know what you go through in life, they are amazed like wow-really. I never knew that. We went into detail about cerebral palsy and the different types of it. There is more than one type.
Michelle: Will Rahway Girls Publishing be releasing any other authors in the future?
Se’Quince: No, we will not be releasing any new authors. We are still learning the writing and publishing process. We came up with the name Rahway Girlz Publishing so we can have a publishing name behind Life is a Journey. The book was self-published. We are new to the game. We still have a lot to learn before we bring other authors under us. We are working hard so we can one day be picked up by a well-known publishing company.
Michelle: Is there anything you wish to share that has not yet been asked in any interviews, but you would like your fans to know?
Se’Quince: I am very outgoing. I like to travel, go shopping and go to the movies. I love to read. I like to hang out with my mom, sister and gramma. One day I want to design pocketbooks, because they are my favorite accessory.
Michelle: How can readers and fans follow and/or contact you?
Se’Quince: On Facebook I’m Author Se’Quince Aiken. Twitter @angelaiken. My website is www.sequinceaiken.weebly.com.