Yella’s Prayers: Meet the Model!


A new edition of my coming of age novel, Yella’s Prayers, would naturally mean a new book cover. Sure, my book covers include stock photo models, as countless covers do. But for the rerelease of the first book I ever wrote, I knew precisely which model I wanted to represent the novel’s heroine.


I’m privileged to know the multitalented Shanelle Nicole Leonard—my favorite stage actress. We’ve sung and danced on a couple of the same teams (we’ve even been in a music video before!), but she’s a far better singer and dancer than I’ll ever be. 😀


Shanelle has performed on a number of stages and has worked with the Seattle Shakespeare Company, Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre, and more. She played the leading role in The Noise Made by People, an award-winning short film at the Northwest Film Forum’s Local Sightings Film Festival. And my favorite role of hers was that of Luna C in Oo-Bla-Dee, performed at Cornish College of the Arts, where she graduated in 2012.

While in the Professional Actor Training Program in the Department of Dramatic Art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Shanelle played in several productions with the Playmakers Repertory Company at UNC-CH.

Keep it up, Shanelle! 🙂

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