You do not want to miss this interview with Author and finance guru Crystal McLean. She noted an issue in our communities and wanted to develop a way out. Instead of leaving the community to fend for themselves, she developed a solution to remedy the problem, hence her book. Any child could benefit from learning about financial literacy.
1. Tell us about your background and journey.
I am currently in the finance industry after receiving my B.S. degree in Banking & Finance in 2016. I have always had a passion for finances, but more importantly, the literacy that is lacking in my culture. I recognized from my upbringing that Money was a hot topic in my household. It was something that was not widely talked about, and it brought on tension/embarrassment when it was discussed. After being a single mother for many years and a financially struggling full-time college student, I realized the tools and strategies I lacked. It was at this point in my life that I realized how much I needed those tools. Over time, I learned strategies that I wanted to pass on to my daughter, so the cycle would not continue. After realizing there was a lack of resources still, I decided to change the narrative and create a book for her. The project grew to be bigger than my household, and now is about to reach households across the US. 2. When did you decide that you wanted to be a writer?
One of my favorite stores is B&N and I go there often to read, study, relax and so much more. My daughter and I would go to have our Mommy/Daughter time as well. We went to look for a book for her that was targeted around finances. However, there weren't really any that she could identify with. This frustrated me, and it was at that moment in the parking lot that I decided I would create a book for my daughter that was fun, adventurous, but also educated her on the necessary topic of money.
3. Do you write for a living, or do you have another career?
I have a full-time position in the banking industry. However, I desire to continue creating literature centered around financial literacy for children. I enjoy creating resources to assist in their learning.
4. Who is your favorite author, and why?
I have many favorites! Myles Munroe is one of my absolute faves because of his writing style and the level of wisdom he releases.
5. What inspires you?
I am inspired by the desire to inspire others. The next generation is my focus because I believe this is an investment in our future. I am inspired when I see young girls and boys reach for their dreams and goals without fear. This excites and motivates me!
6. What does your typical day look like as an author?
With me wearing many different hats, I like to fit my writing into certain parts of my week. I try to make windows of time to write, and other times to create promotional material, engage my audience, and begin thinking of other creative ways to help drive home the topic of financial literacy. Stay tuned for our #wealthybox! I am more than an Author, I am an employee, wife, mother, Author-prenuer, community leader, and so much more.
7. What is the name of your book? What is it about? What inspired you to write it? If you have not published yet, what inspires you to keep writing?
The name of my book is "Harmoney & the Empty PiggyBank" and it is about a young girl who wants something really bad. However, her parents tell her no. She creates a plan as an entrepreneur that her family supports her on, and she has to deal with investing, budgeting, saving, and so much more. My daughter inspired me to write this book as a tool for her and also for other young courageous kids that want to learn early how to reach goals, and how to manage their money. My book is now published and is available in Barnes & Nobles, Books A Million, and Amazon.
8. What piece of advice would you like to give to future aspiring writers?
I would tell aspiring writers to JUST WRITE. Don't start out focusing on editing, illustrations, publishing, etc. Just write to get your message across, and then focus on the logistics afterward. Also, don't be afraid of critique after you have your draft completed. I got a group of trusted friends to read, give me suggestions, and feedback to make my project even more effective. Lastly, create strategic time to write. Don't leave it up to chance. The strategy is everything!
To learn more and keep up with Crystal, please see below.