South Seattle Native Pens Holiday Children’s Book

South Seattle Native Pens Holiday Children’s Book

Me_RVP_DMC_Nr15By Amber Campbell

If you didn’t know better you’d think South Seattle native Natasha Rivers was just another Demographic Researcher who bought her first house one year after graduating from UCLA and spends her free time volunteering at a local homeless shelter for battered women and children.

But she’s also an accomplished children’s book author.

“I love to write children books that celebrate multiculturalism, family, tradition, and love,” she says. “I enjoy working with kids and have six nieces and nephews. I write for them.”

Her recent book — “Damon and the Magic Christmas Tree” —  is a holiday story featuring a multicultural family including an adorable seven-year old boy who wants nothing more than a Superman action figure for Christmas.

“Through the course of the story, Damon learns the true meaning of love and family, and that it’s truly better to give than to receive,” says Natasha.

This week, she was kind enough to answer a few questions for GO: South Seattle’s People in Your Neighborhood column, a space dedicated to highlighting some of the most inspiring and engaging people in South Seattle.

Natasha Rivers



How long in Seattle’s south-end?
I grew up in the south-end of Seattle. I attended Whitworth Elementary School and South Shore Middle School before the remodel.

Where from originally?

Day job:
Demographic Researcher

What do you like most about your day job?
I like identifying ways to use the data available to tell a story about our growing city, education results for our students, neighborhood shifts and housing affordability, and changes to the economy in terms of who is or isn’t hired for jobs.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Being a role model to so many youth and young women inspires me and motivates me to get out of bed. I like to set a good example for my younger siblings who are completing high school and obtaining jobs for the first time.

What are you passionate about?
Family, friends, writing and creating.

What are your hobbies?
I love to write, travel, attend live music events, dancing, and cooking

Tell us about your family:
I have three brothers and two sisters. My whole family lives in the greater Seattle area. Before living in Seattle, my family lived in and eventually migrated from New Orleans and North Carolina.

What’s your most favorite thing about the Rainier Valley?
It feels like home. It is a walkable and vibrant area that is constantly evolving and attracting new people.

What’s your least favorite thing about the Rainier Valley?
I suppose it would be what seems like slower development. I wish that the city and/or developers saw the beauty of the south-end of Seattle and built additional spaces for new housing and hew businesses.

Where is your favorite place to go in the Rainier Valley?
The library, the remodeled South Shore and community center, and walking along Rainier Ave to witness all of the changes to the area.

If you could live anywhere besides the Rainier Valley, where would it be?
I enjoy living in Seattle, and I prefer living in the south-end of the city. The new development of this community and the development of downtown Renton, including The Landing, makes this area an ideal place to live.

If there was one thing you could change about the Rainier Valley, what would it be?
I would like to see more “bridging the gap” and community building opportunities.

Who inspires you?
My grandmothers inspired me. They were both educators and matriarchs of the family. They taught me to read at an early age and they always encouraged me to pursue my dreams.

What was the last thing you read?
Essence Magazine

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
When others around me are doing well (emotionally, mentally, and financially). Too many people I know are living check-to-check and surviving rather than thriving in this blessing called life.

What is your greatest fear?
Running out of the time necessary to make all of my dreams a reality.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I can really close myself off at times. I blame it on being an introvert, but I tend to look within to solve my problems and I could rely more on friends and family to help me out of difficult situations.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Nothing really, no one is perfect. We’re all flawed and fall short.

What is your greatest regret?
No regrets.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
I haven’t met him yet.

What is your current state of mind?
I’m typically pretty optimistic. I just believe things will work out.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I got a PhD from UCLA and bought a house a year later.

What is your most treasured possession?
Any pen and pad of paper.

What do you most value in your friends?
Their support and willingness to let things go and have fun.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Mindy Kaling

Who are your heroes in real life?
My family, Mr. Evans, and myself.

What is it that you most dislike?

Tell us something about you that not many people know:
I wrote more than 100 short stories in 3rd grade. My teacher Mr. Evans (Whitworth Elementary School) encouraged me to write more and skip two grades. He was very supportive of my passion to write.

GO: South Seattle’s People In Your Neighborhood column is a series of interviews with some of South Seattle’s most interesting and inspiring people.

Photos/Natasha Rivers (AKA “Tash Creates”) is the author of Damon and the Magic Christmas Tree, a story about a little boy who learns the true meaning of love, family, and that it’s truly better to give than to receive. Find more details here.


One Comment

  1. Very inspirational. Thank you for sharing! And the book is super fun and creative!