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STLCC Alum Pens Children’s Book Series

June 14, 2016

Marcus Armani  
Marcus Armani

St. Louis Community College alumnus Marcus Armani is making a mark on the children’s literature market, writing a series of 12 books for kids.

Titled “One Mulberry Tree,” the stories aim to captivate readers with tales of fun, adventure, truth and friendship.

Armani’s first book, “Whiteflies,” was released in January 2016 by Tate Publishing. His second book is scheduled for release at the end of the year.

In “Whiteflies,” the characters, Prince Patch and Princess Poppy, embark on an adventure, despite Queen Mother’s wishes. When questioned about their fun, they must choose between truth and a “whitefly.” The story unfolds with a life lesson whereby the siblings learn how to put things back into proper order, at the proper time, through choices.

While the series follows many choices, Armani wanted it to convey values beyond the words on a page. 
“Each book ends as it starts,” he noted. “For when we learn what we need to grow, it is not the world, but our hearts that have changed. And, that can change our world.” 


Armani began composing the stories as letters from a father, regarding important life lessons.

“Each book within One Mulberry Tree is a letter to my children, of the choices they must make, to find their best life,” Armani explained.  “So…if ever they doubt for what to do, they need only find a library and read what Father would say.”

While working and raising a family with his wife, Armani pursued his education at STLCC. Not surprisingly, his English courses were his favorite, and in particular, the two courses he took with Layla Azmi Goushey, assistant professor at Wildwood.

“Growing up, I loved writing stories, but I never pursued it. I thought I should be more practical in my choices,” he said. “I would read the author bio on the back of my favorite books and wonder. As a student at STLCC, I rediscovered my passion for writing and received the support and encouragement I needed to follow my dream.”

From writing prompts and critiques to his involvement with the campus’ Creative Writing Club, Armani polished his craft and began building the groundwork for his “One Mulberry Tree” series. He also had the opportunity to see his work published in the campus’ annual literary magazine, “Sycamore.”

“Marcus was a dedicated student with an innate attention to detail,” Goushey said. “Persistence pays off, and I know this is only the beginning for him as a published author.”

Coupled with his writing success, Armani persevered through his classes at STLCC before transferring to the University of Missouri-St. Louis. In 2015, he became the first person in his family to earn a bachelor’s degree. He is now completing his master’s in fine arts at Lindenwood University. 

“Life is a balancing act, but it’s important to finish what you start,” he said. “While it may be hard, in the end, it’s worth it.”

The book can be purchased from Tate Publishing or on Amazon.

Like “Whiteflies” on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Whiteflies-912801102138195/.