Alice Faye Duncan loves picture books because they allow her
to “sing” without a music education or singing voice. In her words: "YOU DON’T
WANT ME TO SING. Really." Although she does play the ukulele on school visits.
An only child, Alice grew up in Memphis where she still lives. She was introduced
to picture books at library school at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
Then, at the University of Memphis she took a children’s literature class that
inspired her to write Willie Jerome, about
a boy who plays jazz on a rooftop, published in 1995. She’s been writing ever
since. And in case you were wondering, her top five favorite songs are “Harvest for the
World” by the Isley Brothers, “Mister Magic” by Grover Washington, “Optimistic”
by Sounds of Blackness, “Respect Yourself” by The Staple Singers and “Young,
Gifted and Black” by Nina Simone.