Meet the Author


Hello and Welcome!

Everyone has a story, here is a bit of mine…

 

Where it all began

Gladys T. Kenfack - Author when she was eight years old
I was born in Cameroon in West Africa. In Kindergarten, they told my parents that I couldn’t stop talking in class. I loved telling stories—every interaction I had, I wanted to share my latest discoveries, such as the fact that tadpoles are not little fish but rather baby frogs!

My childhood was full of adventures. I was more the on-the-go, on-your-feet all the time type of kid. I did not like reading much, mostly because there were no books that I could truly relate to. None of the characters looked like me or were in settings that I was familiar with, so I’d let my older sister read all the books and summarize them for me.

 

Growing up….

While in college, I always kept a journal, in which I wrote down my daily experiences and interactions. Although I was studying computer science, I often got compliments and prizes for best papers in my writing classes. Upon graduation, I started a blog about “random musings of a queen” (me of course), and many friends and family found it very entertaining.

I didn’t start writing children’s stories and later on books until my older son was born. I wrote short stories and read them to him to share my African heritage with him. He began to find them boring, as there were no illustrations—I can’t draw a circle. 🙂 So I was so fortunate to find and meet talented artists and illustrators that grew up on the continent that could relate to the stories and bring them to life.

My journey as a children’s author

My first book, Mambo Goes to School, was released prior to my son beginning pre-school. My second book, Mambo Goes to the Market, followed, as I love Gladys T. Kenfack - authortaking him to the farmers’ market, and I wanted to pass down the tradition of haggling for prices that I inherited from my mother.

On a trip to Cameroon with both of my sons, Felix and Julian, we visited the village, and guess what—I reflected on the village reunion I had a kid. The children were just thrilled to visit Grandma as well, and the trip resulted in two titles: Mambo and the Village Reunion and Awa Visits Grandma.

I keep a short notepad on my phone whenever I have ideas for future titles. Although I get story ideas from many places, people and things, having kids definitely helps a lot—some of these titles include: “Broccolicious,” “I Don’t Like That,” “K is for Kilimanjaro,” “Mambo at the Special Olympics,” “Where is your Energy?”….and a lot more. As I began to write, my interest in reading spiked. Now, I love to read. I often read a lot of children’s book by other authors and also nonfiction books. Reading is truly magical.

Besides writing….

  • I love to sing. As a kid, I wanted to become an opera singer. I have been singing in choirs for over two decades. I am a classically trained soprano.
  • I love to make internationally-inspired meals. My favorite cookbook? Google.com 🙂
  • I enjoy hiking. My family is lucky to live in the Pacific Northwest (rainy Seattle); the mountains and the views are breathtaking, and nature plays a big part in my inspiration and journey as a writer.
  • I love to travel. As an adult, if you ask me what I want to do for the rest of my life, my answer is always the same: Travel, travel, and travel. Discovering new places and new cultures and meeting new people are some of my favorite things in the world.

A Summary on the more formal side

I grew up in Yaoundé, the capital of my home country, Cameroon, and then moved to the US for college education. I hold a BS in computer science from Brigham Young University and an MBA from Seattle University.

After graduation, I spent a decade working as a software engineer and marketing professional. Recently, I embarked on an entrepreneurship journey, with my focus on empowering and enriching lives through art. In addition to operating a design studio in Cameroon, I launched a platform where African artists and designers can sell and promote their art. These initiatives are creating jobs, improving the lives of many, and mostly inspiring others to reach for their dreams.