Children's and young adult novelist Sam-Davis speaks

Gabrielle Martinez, Staff Intern
Current "Raine" book cover, Tyreetta Sam-Davis's latest work.

Tyreetta Sam-Davis, a Donaldsonville native, is a female writer breaking boundaries within her own community.

Sam-Davis, at 27, is both self-taught in the skill of writing and self-publishing. Her five-star rated works are currently being sold on Amazon, a popular way modern writers can publish original works on their own unique terms.

She describes herself on her Amazon bio as "mother, wife, full-time student, army veteran, and now a published author." She also outlines her initiative to "follow in the footsteps" of one of her favorite writers, Walter Dean Myers. Myers is a five-time Coretta Scott King Award winner, famous for his diverse children's books particularly telling the stories of, and for, black youth.

"I started writing because I had read so many novels," she said, divulging into the beginning of her writing career. She accredits much of her inspiration to Louisiana itself, such as the culture and language.

Sam-Davis shared that as a child, she was into reading but did not pick up writing until later in life. She also recalled that her upbringing in Donaldsonville effectively shaped both her and her writings today.

She specifically describes the city as a small community, yet she recognizes the poverty that affects many.

Sam-Davis initially brought up her newest young adult novel entitled "Raine." This is her second book published.

"The young adult novel Raine is about a young adult in New Orleans," she said. "He faces adversity because his mother is a drug addict, and he doesn't have a father. He is trying to survive."

More specifically, Raine follows Raine Landry, a 13-year-old, who must sadly succumb to New Orleans gang culture in order to save both himself and his best friend, King Brooks. He unfortunately, becomes aware of the immense money within the gang's illegal activities and faces difficulties as he is brought deeper into the waters of gang life and further from his passion for art.

Tyreetta accounts Raine as a small accomplishment but also as an achievement to knock off her list.

She is currently rewriting her first work, named "Xavier's Blues," with plans to republish it this year. However, she has two children's graphic novels inspired by her son still up for purchase.

Similarly to "Raine," "Xavier's Blues" originally followed a struggling New Orleans teen who faces a common theme of loss. With intelligence and a passion for reading, Xavier must attempt to navigate life in the city with his friends.  

Who motivates Sam-Davis to write these stories? "I do it for my son," she said.

She says that she wants to instill a similar love for reading within him. "He's seven years old," she said, emphasizing his youth and the importance of her children's upbringing in relation to literature.

In a recent Facebook post, Sam-Davis further shares, "My goal is to write books my sons and kids from my community will relate too (slang, Louisiana food, colorism in the black community, absent parent, poverty, strong females, strong men, abuse, etc.)."

Career-wise, her next goal is trying to get her books into the Donaldsonville library. She happily shared that she will be discussing possible efforts towards this within the upcoming week.

As for the future of her writing, Sam-Davis said, "I'm working on another young adult novel and I'm also planning on publishing more children's graphic novels."

She mentioned wanting her prospective works to further relate to the experiences of childhood and young adulthood within Donaldsonville specifically.

When asked if she could give any advice to her younger readers, she encourages them to go to their local library and to go get lost in books to pass the time.

You can find Tyreetta on all the media platforms listed here: Amazon User: "Ty Sam-Davis," Facebook: Tyreetta Sam-Davis.