Today, I’m thrilled to introduce to you an extremely accomplished young man, still in college, who has already started his journey as an author and entrepreneur. Please welcome the first featured guest on Rosco’s Reading Room whom I’ll call the next generation of children’s authors, Deontae Henderson. And, mark my words, I’m also calling him one to watch!
Hello Deontae. Thanks for being here today. Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your books.
Hi Shana. Thanks for having me! I was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but I currently attend college at Tennessee State University in Nashville. I just started writing in my junior year of college. When I went home for winter break that year, both my younger brother Devin and I were feeling a bit discouraged and annoyed by others telling us what we can or can’t be in life.
I have large entrepreneurial ambitions and my brother has a desire to be a great basketball player. While I was home, I spent a lot of my break reading books, and my mother made a joke one day while I was reading that really struck home. She said as much as I read, I should write a book someday. When she said that, it clicked to me that writing a book would be a good way of expressing my frustrations.
This led to me write To the Top, my book about a little turtle named Koa that has a vision of reaching a place that no turtle has gone before. In his efforts to get to the top of the mountain, other animals attempt to discourage him by reminding him that he is a turtle and he belongs on the beach. Yet he overcomes the obstacles he faces and reaches the top despite their words.
“I can not stop until I make it to the top!” ~ Koa
That’s quite inspirational. Can you tell us something about your greatest success and your latest success?
Something I’m proud of would definitely be going from being told that I wasn’t talented or athletic enough to play sports at the Division 1 level, to walking onto Tennessee State University’s Track and Field team. A recent personal success that I’m also very proud of would be going from graduating high school with about a 2.3 Grade Point Average to becoming an honor student in college.
Wow. Very impressive! What has been your biggest challenge in terms of being an author?
A challenge for me is definitely trying to balance my classes with working, in order to pay for the creation of my books.
What plans do you have for the future, in terms of writing books?
I will continue to write inspiring children’s books while sticking to my truths, and hopefully, that leads me to become a legend in the industry. 🙂 If I fail, so what? No one will be able to say that I didn’t try. I’m going to enjoy this journey.
It certainly sounds like you’ve got the right attitude for this industry, and for life in general, for that matter. Where can people keep up with you and buy your books?
I also do a daily podcast on Anchor, Google Play, and Apple Podcast called “Just Deontae!”
Summary: Throughout life, everyone will encounter people that won’t agree with or believe in their vision. The story of Koa provides readers with a simple way of dealing with this type of adversity and how to fulfill the vision only they can see. Koa is a small turtle that is clearly different from his family and friends. He has a desire to reach the top of a mountain and get a greater view of the world, but on his journey he is stopped by other animals that believe he does not belong there for various reasons. No matter what views others have of Koa, he remains determined to make it to the top of the mountain. TO THE TOP empowers both children and adults by intentionally planting the roots of persistence into their minds.
In case you read this too fast, you might’ve missed the line above about Deontae’s podcast. That’s right. Deontae does an inspirational daily podcast. I listened to several and was blown away by his candor and wisdom. I’d advise you to go check it out now, and share it with your kids as well. The episodes are free and quick – just a good message for your child’s daily life, from someone who ‘gets it.’
Bio: DEONTAE HENDERSON is an American author and entrepreneur. A native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, he is the founder and CEO of S.M.O.O.V.E., an inspirational brand which is an acronym for Steady Moving On Our Visions Everyday. Through S.M.O.O.V.E., he creates bracelets, apparel, and books to encourage and motivate others to pursue the very best version of themselves. Deontae also has the opportunity to engage and participate in numerous speaking events across the country. He is a young man that is truly determined to leave his mark on this Earth and is not afraid to embrace challenges. Deontae Henderson lives by a quote from one of his favorite speakers, Les Brown, “you don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.”
Thanks for reading today. I hope this young man has motivated you to be your best self, as he has me! Please show him some love by checking out his book, leaving him a review if you’ve already read it, subscribing to his podcast, or following his social media pages.