What's in a Page: Candles and Fruit Roll-Ups might be the key to Terrence Terrell's success
Terrence Terrell keeps himself busy. He's a series regular on Chuck Lorre's latest CBS venture, B Positive; he's writing and directing an animated short, Skin Deep, which draws on his own experiences with colorism and mental health; and he plays LeBron James in the upcoming comedy All-Star Weekend, which also happens to be the feature directorial debut of one Jamie Foxx. Between all that, he's been publishing a children's book series. The latest installment, My Little Black Book, promotes self-love for Black children. Below, the actor and author answers EW's burning book questions to tell us how he got his taste for reading and explain just what an energy corner is.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What is the first thing — ever — that you remember writing?
When I was 5, we moved from Mississippi to California and I wrote my grandmother a Christmas letter. I missed her terribly and wrote asking her to have Santa come pick me up and place me under her tree, for Christmas, to bring us back together.
What is the last book that made you cry?
My book The SHES makes me cry all the time. I wrote the book to honor my mother after she passed, and every time I read it, a child always says something reminding me of her. It's always "Your mommy is in heaven and now she's a real superhero" or "I'm a superhero now too." It makes me cry every time.
Which book is at the top of your current to-read list?
The book that I am excited to read is Awakening the Heroes Within, by Carol S. Pearson. My acting coach, Diana Castle, loves to have us read while on our journey in the arts.
Where do you write?
I usually write in my "energy corner." It's where all my pillows are in one spot with a candle , stones, and lots of essential oil burning.
Which book made you a forever reader?
The book that turned me into a forever reader was The Ugly Duckling. It gave me hope and educated me on self-love at a very young age.
What is a snack you couldn't write without?
When I write, I like to feel like a kid again, so I get my favorite candy, which is always a Fruit Roll-Up, and an orange soda.
If you could change one thing about any of your books, what would it be?
It's hard to imagine changing anything in my books because they truly are a gift from a different place. When the inspiration hits, the words flow out of me. They're not pre-planned or mapped out in advance. Plus, I've had the opportunity to see the immediate change in children's mindset after reading the books or having the books read to them, so I'm very grateful for the books as they are.
What is your favorite part of this book?
My favorite part of My Little Black Book is that I included my real grandparents inside to help guide the importance of togetherness in the Black community. I think they would've been happy to see themselves as cartoon characters.
What was the hardest plot point or character to write?
The hardest part was picking the Black inventors to put into the book to make it flow, and to have impact and inspire at the same time.
Write a movie poster tagline:
The tagline for My Little Black Book would be "Time-traveling is always fun when you don't know where you're gonna end up!"