The Atlanta Voice talked to author Lenox Stafford about her new book, I See Posts. The Blackout! Stafford, who has lived all over the country and the world, calls Atlanta home and calls the book, “a fun suspense story for kids between the ages of 8-12.”

With so many digital distractions for middle school-aged students these days, Stafford believes a book aimed at that particular age group is timely.

“Reading will never go out of style. It expands your imagination, vocabulary and exposes you to a world that is larger than the block/neighborhood you grew up in,” she said.

Author Lenox Stafford’s latest book, “I See Posts. Blackout!” officially released for all formats on, Wednesday, April 12. Photo submitted

The Atlanta Voice (AV): What or who inspired you to write your book, “I see Posts. The Blackout!”?

Lenox Stafford (LS): To be honest, I have lived away from home for a long time and there were a lot of things, people and places I forgot all about. I felt disconnected because Atlanta has changed so much, but I had also changed too after living in Chicago, NYC and London, England in my adult years. The idea for this book was planted after I started hanging with my sister, who is big on the skate scene here. It was either when I fell on my butt or while I was struggling to learn a few skate moves that I realized there is something in this setting that would make a good story.

AV: Why do you believe the topic will interest young people, especially the teens and tweens that are so locked into their cellphones and iPads these days?

LS: Who wouldn’t want to be the first person to see posts before everyone else? In this book, I meet kids where they are because we live in a time where authors have to compete with tablets and other mobile devices for kids attention. What I love about Kamaui’s journey in this story is that it takes place outside all day and although she needs her phone, she’s not consistently on it because she has a case to solve and a talent show she needs to practice for. The kids will feel all of her emotions and hopefully relate to her. Don’t worry teens, I have something coming down the pipeline for you all that will allow me to push the suspense even further for your age group.

AV: Is the book going to be only available via Kindle or e-editions?

LS: I’m covering all bases. The Kindle version of the book is currently on pre-order, but the official release date for print is April 12, 2023. The audiobook is in post-production and will also be available soon.

AV: What is the message or lesson you hope readers will take away from “I see Posts! The Blackout!” ?

LS: My entire mission is to inspire kids and teens to never play it safe or small. We want them to take everyday risks, honor their cultures and also form friendships with people from different backgrounds.

Lenox Stafford. Photo submitted

AV: Where are you from and what got you into writing/becoming an author?

LS: I am from Atlanta and am a proud alum of Booker T. Washington Highschool and Clark Atlanta University. While growing up, my parents frequently took us to the library and bookstores. The irony is although my background is in journalism, I was scared to take a chance on creative writing. I didn’t trust myself to come up with stories on my own because as a journalist, there’s no room for creativity. You stick to the facts and stats. Fortunately, while being lazy one day and tuning in to a Rocky marathon, I was encouraged by the storyline and had a thought based on, “Well, if he could do it, then I could do it, too,” but not boxing though, just writing. Things started aligning in my favor when I made that commitment and religiously began attending all types of writing workshops and conferences around New York City at the time.

AV: What is your favorite book(s) and why?

LS: That’s not fair! You can’t ask an author what are their favorite books! If I had to choose, the book I often visit is The Alchemist by Paulo Cohelo. Whenever I’m about to make a huge move, such as when I moved to NYC with no job and London, England with no family, I visit this book to remind myself of the main theme, which is, when you really want something, the entire Universe will conspire in your favor to help you achieve it.

AV: Lastly, why do you, a published author, believe reading remains so fundamental to a person’s educational growth?

LS: Reading will never go out of style. It expands your imagination, vocabulary and exposes you to a world that is larger than the block/neighborhood you grew up in.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Donnell began his career covering sports and news in Atlanta nearly two decades ago. Since then he has written for Atlanta Business Chronicle, The Southern Cross...