Updated: Jun 23
Childhood memories have a way of bringing us back to a time of innocence and pure joy. In Reginald P. Howard's new book, 'Whodunit,' he takes readers on a hilarious journey through his childhood memories, highlighting the mischief and mayhem that only a close-knit family can bring.
Book 4 in the Mini Tales Collection
With Book 4 of the Mini Tales Collection, Reggie invites us once again into his world, where laughter, family, and unforgettable memories take center stage.
As with previous books, Reggie's artistry shines through, combining his unique visual storytelling style with heartfelt narratives. Each page is a work of art, capturing the essence of the stories and adding an extra layer of depth to the reading experience. Prepare to be visually captivated as Reggie's illustrations breathe life into his tales.
Q & A with the Author and Illustrator Reggie
Q: What inspired you to start writing the Mini Tales Collection, and how did you come up with the idea for your latest book, Whodunit?
A: It was truly unexpected. Initially, my plan was to create a single book titled "His Story," and I had no idea it would evolve into a series. But as I delved deeper, I realized that there were countless more stories waiting to be shared. It was like a valve that couldn't contain the flow of ideas.
"Whodunit" became a compilation of some of my most cherished tales, the ones that my family and I would gather around and laugh about for years. I found a unique way to translate these stories into art. Take, for instance, the broken bed story, which sparked the idea for "Whodunit." From there, I began weaving together similar mysterious and mischievous narratives, where the mission is to uncover the culprit behind the chaos. It captures a child's response to the ultimate question: "Who did this?"
Q: Can you share with us some of your favorite childhood memories that inspired the stories in your new book?
A: The broken bed story and the burn mark in the kitchen hold a special place in my heart as classic tales. They exemplify the childlike determination to find a solution, no matter how absurd it may seem. As kids, we boldly embark on our ventures, fully believing we can get away with it. These stories encapsulate that spirit of youthful mischief and the question lingers: Can you truly escape the consequences?
Q: What message do you hope readers will take away from reading Whodunit, and what do you hope they will learn about your family and upbringing?
A: As I mentioned in my first book, every person on this planet has a story. Everybody has a childhood. In Whodunit, my intention is to remind readers that each individual has a story to tell, and every person has experienced the joy and mischief of their own childhood. As you delve into the pages of this book, I hope it sparks a sense of nostalgia, prompting readers to reflect on their own upbringing and the funny tales that shaped their lives. I firmly believe that everyone possesses their own unique and humorous stories, ones that can be retold countless times and continue to bring laughter with each retelling.
Through Whodunit, I invite readers to embrace the universality of these experiences and rediscover the humor in their own cherished memories. That's what I want readers to get from this book.
Q: What was your writing process like for this series of books?
A: When it comes to my writing process, I have a unique approach that centers around storytelling through art. Surprisingly, I begin by creating a sequence of pictures, letting them unfold without any accompanying words. Then, I revisit those visual narratives and carefully weave in the written component. Through this captivating interplay between images and words, a book comes to life organically.
This method has guided the creation of my first four books, allowing them to evolve into engaging stories that seamlessly blend the power of visual storytelling with the richness of written expression.
Q: You've talked about the importance of storytelling in your family. How has that influenced your writing, and how do you see storytelling as a way to connect with others?
A: The influence of family is deeply ingrained in my creative process, as many of my stories revolve around the experiences and interactions I've shared with loved ones. Through my art, I have the privilege of capturing these moments in picture form, preserving the authenticity and truth of each memory. These stories are not imagined or fabricated; they are genuine recollections from my own life and the lives of my family members.
The importance of storytelling in my family has greatly shaped my writing. It has instilled in me the belief that stories have the power to connect us, to bridge the gaps between individuals and generations. It is my sincere hope that my stories, captured through art, serve as a way to foster connection, evoke laughter, and spark conversations that resonate with readers from all walks of life.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers, particularly those who want to write stories that are both humorous and heartfelt?
A: Being in the right space is crucial for nurturing your creativity and allowing your ideas to flow freely. When I talk about the right space, I mean being in the right frame of mind and having a peaceful environment around you. It's like setting the stage for your creative process.
Q: Finally, what's next for you as a writer and an artist, and what can your fans expect from you in the future?
A: Recently, I've been exploring the world of oil paintings, pushing my creative boundaries to see what I can achieve. One particular source of inspiration came from my older son's success in the Navy. He's currently stationed in Pensacola, eagerly awaiting the start of flight school.
His stories and experiences sparked a fire within me, allowing me to envision these beautiful oil paintings in my mind. I wanted something truly special to commemorate his journey, something that resonated with my own vision rather than anyone else's. And I can proudly say that these paintings have exceeded my expectations.
But it doesn't stop there. I have a genuine curiosity for various creative art mediums. Pottery, for instance, has been a past passion of mine. Exploring different forms of artistic expression keeps my creativity alive and allows me to continue growing as an artist. Who knows where this journey will take me next?
A Celebration of African-American Stories
By sharing our personal narratives, we create bonds and find common ground with others. Storytelling becomes a universal language through which we can relate, empathize, and find joy in our shared human experiences.
It's important to celebrate and uplift black voices in literature and media. In an industry where black artists are often overlooked, it's crucial to highlight and promote the work of black authors and artists. Reginald P. Howard's 'Whodunit' is a perfect example of a book that celebrates the black experience through humor and storytelling.
"This book celebrates the black family experience through humor and storytelling" - Infinite Generations
As readers and consumers, we can support black voices by seeking out and sharing their work. By promoting diverse perspectives and experiences, we can broaden our understanding of the world and celebrate the beauty of our differences.