By Portia Williams
For author Malika Dickerson, pen name, ‘Auntie Liki,’ a childhood dream has come into fruition. Dickerson recently self-published her first book, entitled ‘Dog Gone Shame,’ and shared her work with students at Minford Elementary School on Tuesday.
“The Dog Gone Shame book series is all about dog. His name is pretty much based on a misunderstanding about what his name actually is,” Dickerson said. “The books starts with a poem, called, ‘A Dog Named Dog.’ So, in Dog Gone Same,’ he runs away, he feels neglected, and connects with a stray cat, and a stray dog, and they become friends. And so, Dog follows them on their journey through five books in the series until the end, with Dog, and Buster and Fancy.”
She said Dog Gone Shame was a work she first began when she was in third grade.
“I have four books in my Auntie Liki’s Book Corner. There are four different book series, and I started writing the series back in 2009-2010. And so, Dog Gone Shame was the last of the four books that I re-wrote. I first wrote Dog Gone Shame when I was in the third grade. So, I re-wrote all of these books, because I was a child when I first wrote them. Gone Gone Shame was my masterpiece. It was 23 pages, handwritten, and I thought it was a novel, I was a kid, and it was a really big deal to me. It took me about one year to complete Dog Gone Shame, getting it written and then ready for publication,” she said. “It is all about friendship. They are unlikely friends, when the book starts off, Dog doesn’t realize that he is supposed to hate cats, but cat tries to tell him that he is supposed to hate him, because he is a cat, but Dog says to him, “Why would I hate you, I don’t know you. So, the book is about being friends with someone and not being judgmental, and making unlikely friendships.”
On Tuesday, Auntie Liki visited Minford Elementary School, where she had the opportunity to share her book, Dog Gone Shame with Melanie Ramey’s class.
“It was a lot of fun. It was so cool to see the kids were learning, and understanding the book that way that they did,” she said. “They took turns reading the book, and did it in a play format, by reading parts. For the most part, the kids understood all of the words, Mrs. Ramey had practiced the words in the book with her class. It made me so happy to see that they were learning, and that they were excited about learning.”
Liki and Ramey have a friendship that dates back to Grant Middle School, and Portsmouth High School, and were recently reconnected through the social Media site, Facebook.
The pen name, ‘Auntie Liki, comes from her relationship with her nieces and nephew.
“I have two nieces and a nephew, and one of my nieces calls me ‘auntie,’ and my other niece and nephew call me Aunt Liki,” she said. “So, I figured, if I was going to pick a name to go by I could combine those names,” Liki said.
For Auntie Liki, writing has been a passion for her many years.
“I have always wanted to write. I have always wanted to be writer,” Liki said. “But, I have been working nine to five jobs in accounting, and when the economy crashed it was actually an opportunity to pursue my writing career. It has taken much time, and several years. I had to start at the bottom, doing freelance writing jobs, which I still do.”
Liki selected Archway Publishing, a self-publishing book company with a strategy in mind.
“I chose Archway Publishing because they are a division of Simon and Schuster, and a lot of times, a traditional publisher will look at some of their self-published titles that are in their line, more so than somebody that solicits their management as an unknown author,” she said. “If I can make this book series popular, then maybe Simon & Schuster will pick it up that way.”
For information on how to purchase Auntie Liki’s books visit the website: https://malikaddickerson.wordpress.com/ or the Auntie Liki’s Book Corner Facebook page. To order an autographed copy of her books visit: http://doggoneshamevirtualbooksigning1.eventbrite.com.
She also said dates, times and locations for other book signings are forthcoming.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.
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