Four Inane Questions with author Crystal Everett
When it comes to making an impact in the lives of young people, Crystal Everett checks countless boxes. She has more than a decade of experience working with students, holding roles with local nonprofit organizations, as well as in higher education. She currently serves as the manager of career and technical education for Kansas City Public Schools.
The educator/advocate/facilitator can now add another title to her namesake—children’s author. Mari and Mommy Move It! is Everett’s first book, and was inspired by how she and her husband, Marquis, raise their young daughter. Released last fall, the book tells the story of Mari, a curly-haired toddler who connects through music and movement.
In addition to her newly minted author status, Everett continues to identify herself as a storyteller. She frequently writes blog posts and started a podcast, Conversations with Crystal.
We caught up with Everett recently in-between wordsmithing sessions to ping her with our bevy of bonkers questions.
The Pitch: Forget R&R. What’s your idea of a horrific vacation?
Crystal Everett: My idea of a horrific vacation is attempting to hang out and travel with too many people. I think you can always find something to do in a new location, but you’ve got to have the right travel crew in tow.
What does that look like? A crew that is ready to hang out and have fun, do some scheduled activities, and go with the flow as plans adjust. Because self-awareness is key, I’m the least likely to experience this type of horrific vacation because they’re not really my jam.
You can only choose to wear one color for the rest of your life—what is it?
All-black everything for me. I’ve found that you can’t go wrong with a black dress, black pants, or even a black blazer when all other colors fail. Besides looking like a restaurant hostess, the color black has a way of commanding attention while blending in all at once.
If black were the only color in my wardrobe, I’d only need to worry about having clean clothes and forget about trying to remember if I wore a certain piece the week before. Also, no one says they’ve got to find their little orange dress, do they?
What’s your all-time favorite children’s book?
It has to be The Berenstain Bears series. There was a book for every situation, written for kids to understand everything from money to having a babysitter, to conflict with friends, to trouble in school, and everything in between. One of my mom’s teacher friends used to refer to my brother and me as the Berenstain Bears, so it brings a warm, fuzzy feeling.
My favorite children’s book to read to my daughter is Hair Love. It captures what it means for little Black girls to love their hair and the many ways it can be styled. It’s absolutely relatable—and a top favorite for her as well.
We need a definitive answer—creamy or chunky peanut butter?
Hands down, creamy all the way.
When I make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I’m looking for something smooth, not crunchy. Truthfully, I could eat creamy peanut butter by itself, but chunky peanut butter is a no-go. Along with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, peanut butter crackers are a go-to snack, and I just can’t see how they could be any good with chunky peanut butter.
Bonus 5th Question: As a writer, what is the most overused word in the history of overused words?
It’s probably a tie between awesome and interesting. I recognize that even when I’m speaking, I end up using these words as transitions even when I don’t actually mean that something was awesome.
My 5-year-old daughter is the person who made me question my use of the word awesome simply because she takes things extremely literally. Something I responded to with the word awesome was not, in fact, awesome! I might actually put the word actually on this list as well.