Author and former pageant queen promotes stories with Black women in the leading role

 DETROIT, July 15, 2019 –  Octavia Reese, Detroit-native and Miss Michigan 2005, will return to Detroit Book Fest on July 21 with the next two installments in her sci-fi fantasy series, The Hibouleans. Last year, Octavia’s first two volumes aimed to inspire young women to fearlessly delve into STEM-related subjects through her epic adventure treasure-hunt story. This year, Octavia wants to remind fans about the importance of normalizing women of color in the protagonist role for any genre of adventures, especially sci-fi and fantasy.the Hibouleans Octavia Reese

“When Disney announced Halle Bailey will take the lead as Ariel in the new Little Mermaid, I was thrilled,” Octavia said. “But not everyone was.”

Octavia was referring to critics from various social media platforms that were upset to learn Ariel would be played by a Black actress.

“If people can get upset about the skin color of a half-fish-half-human fictional character, it only proves we still have a long way to go when it comes to accepting women of color in leading roles,” she said.

In her young adult series, The Hibouleans, Octavia created a world where leading teens, Taryn and Priya, are STEM fanatics and must use their math and science knowledge to solve clues as they embark on a life-or-death treasure hunt against terrifying shape-shifting Hibouleans. She said she wrote the series for all the brown girls out there that love problem-solving, strength-building, lab experiments and dream of having super powers and being the hero in epic adventures.

“It’s incredibly important, not just for young Black and brown girls to refuse to believe their skin color is limiting, but it’s just as necessary for everyone else to begin to envision women of color as main characters, too, not just restricted to foreign supporting roles,” she said. “We need an entire cultural shift – we have as much a right and a capacity to lead as anyone else.”

Octavia, who now resides in Chicago, represented the state of Michigan in the 2006 Miss America pageant, and is also a cellist and composer. She wrote The Hibouleans book score, too – the musical theme that accompanies her characters’ adventures in the series.

“As a musician, I also hope to show my audience that Black women can do anything – we can be queens, scientists, authors, physicians, Hibouleans, cellists and even mermaids.”Cello Goddess Open Octavia Reese Miss Michigan The Hibouleans

Find Octavia, her cello and The Hibouleans Volumes 1 – 4, this Sunday, July 21 from 10am – 4pm at Detroit Book Fest. For more information, visit and



Haiku 13/31

Tempting summertime

A delicious apple eat

before the glitter


Ok I used a generator for this one too only so I could have a good reason to share this awesome pic @the_lovewarrior took of me this summer 😆💖 also, STOP BLAMING EVERYTHING ON EVE.

#wisdom #poem #knowledge #poetry #poetsofinstagram #poet #consciousness #apples #appletree #glitter #sparkle #bling #shine #glittercase #diamonds #sparkly #shimmer #spiritual #enlightenment #universe #awareness #hope #peace #poetrycommunity #poems #instapoet #writingcommunity #writing

Haiku 9/31

Plowing through hassles

I am capable and strong

I can accept help

Asking for help has been tough for me. In my life, historically, asking for or accepting an offer of assistance has always come with a string or two — a hidden tit for tat clause. I don’t like feeling like I owe someone something or that I’m always under their debt and control because I accepted a favor.

So I’d rather just do it myself. Even if it’s the hardest or most complicated path, I’d rather do it alone and know that I am free from anyone’s leashes or expectations. But I’m softening. I’m learning that there are genuine gifts. I’m learning that I don’t have to wear all hats and handle all tasks and manage all things. I’m learning that some wonderful gems are happy to help because it is their pleasure to assist — not because they’re making a downpayment on a future favor; not because they’re holding a pot of boiling water over your head until you repay the gesture; not because they feel entitled to your time, energy and submission.

I’m grateful to be surrounded by people that give and love and help for giving and loving and helping’s sake. As I look at my friend-circle, I see genuine support and care, not leverage or manipulation. I see it in my church. I see it in my GirlGang. This is God. Caring for your neighbors and never standing idly by watching them struggle to their feet. This is what it means to hold each other.

It is a beautiful gift to help others. It is a more humbling gift to accept help.

Cheers to the best friends and the most sincere care.

Haiku 7/31

“Butts farts butts boobies

Fart fart poop …I love you, mom.”

My life with three sons.

New family rule: sure, you can talk about butts and farts all day long! But you have to do it in the bathroom. 🤦🏾‍♀️🤷🏾‍♀️ (This goes into effect after the first joke because let’s be honest, farts are kinda funny)



📷: @authenticadventureco

Haiku 6/31

Things I used to hate

About myself are the things

I love most today.


In couples therapy, I learned that each day is a conscious decision to want to be with your partner. “I love you today. I want to be with you.” Taking that same theory with me, I started practicing that for myself, to myself. “Today, I love me. And I want to be me.” Now, I don’t want to be me everyday. But I do more often than I used to, and it took me years to get this far. 2019 will be another year of radical self-acceptance and self-love.

Haiku 5/31

Brilliant talent serves.

With strength, purpose and passion,

She brings home the crown.

Octavia reese haiku a day

Today, I’m judging a pageant in Wisconsin. This one is dedicated to the Miss America program and all the incredible women that cross one of the hundreds of stages across America each year.