EXCLUSIVE! Actress and author Makenzie Lee-Foster is writing her own destiny (and knows how you can, too!)
Makenzie Lee-Foster is ready to share her story with the world—and for her, that means literally writing a book (or three!).
The twelve-year-old actress has adored reading her whole life (case in point: she's one of our October book besties). But growing up, she says she didn't see a lot of characters who looked like her in books "doing normal kid things". Now, she's using her own writing to boost diverse representation in kids' stories and share inspiring messages. It's giving girl power!
Plus, Makenzie's postive influence goes past just the page; she's making a difference irl, too. Through her nonprofit Kickin' It With Kenzie, she hosts free events where she visits classrooms to talk about her journey to become an author and encourage other kids to pursue their unique goals.
Makenzie's first two books, Kickin' It With Kenzie: What's Meant For Me Will Be and Kickin' It With Kenzie: Luckily My Luck Is Me, remind us that everyone's dreams are important—no matter what size they are. Mark your calendars: Her next empowering book, Seeing Me Is Believing In Me!, drops this fall. Adding to our TBR rn...
Girls' Life: What are you hoping that readers will take away from your books?
Makenzie Lee-Foster: The message in my first two books is that, basically, you have your own destiny and you're in control of it, and what's meant for you will be. You know how a lot of things, like a lucky coin or a rabbit's foot, are considered lucky? But it's not an object; it's yourself that makes you lucky. And in my new book, Seeing Me Is Believing In Me!, I say, don't set yourself to what others expect you to be. Be yourself, live your own dreams, not someone else's.
GL: What do you think is the best thing about reading in general?
Makenzie: I think sometimes life can be stressful, and sometimes you can just be, like, "What am I doing?" I really think that books take you out of this world into a whole new adventure. Sometimes you can unlock things about yourself, like, "Whoa! I want to try that out!" or "She was so good at that! Can I do that as well?"
GL: I love that. And when it comes to actually writing a book, what were some of the hardest parts and the biggest challenges?
Makenzie: People taking me seriously. I was eight when I wrote my first book, and now I'm twelve. So people don't really take me seriously, like "You wrote this book? But you're like... huh?" I'm like, "Yes, I wrote that, even though I'm a kid! I did all of this."
GL: What advice would you give to other kids who want to do something like that but they're worried people won't take them seriously?
Makenzie: It's gonna be hard, but it's gonna be so worth it to make your dream come true. You just gotta keep trying and trying. You're gonna get there, I promise.
GL: Have you had the chance to meet kids who actually read your books?
Makenzie: Yes! And it's really fun cause they're like, "I love this book! It's just so much fun!" Especially the little kids, cause they're like, "I love this book, and I'm trying to be a book writer myself, and this book really helped me." And that's what I hope to do with my books. That's what I want to accomplish.
GL: What are your dreams and goals for the future? With books, but also just in general?
Makenzie: My dream with my books is to get an RV so I can reach more children and classrooms. And just with my everyday life, I really want to become an artist, and hopefully illustrate my next book [myself].
GL: What advice do you have for other girls about being yourself and not worrying about what everyone else thinks of you?
Makenzie: I know how sometimes girls feel they have to be perfect, but you don't! You're beautiful the way you are, and you can do anything. You can make your own destiny, you can follow your own dreams. You don't have to meet someone else's expectations.
Follow Makenzie on IG and stay tuned for the release of her newest book this fall!
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Images: Shakondi Lee