Author of UPTOWN THIEF
(Kensington, July 26, 2016)
A graduate of Harvard College, with an MFA from Antioch University, Aya has been an artist in residence at Stanford University, a Cave Canem poetry fellow, and a slam poetry champion. She publicly married herself in the 90s and in 1995 began hosting an annual Valentine’s Day show that focuses on self-love.
In 2009, she became a mom and stopped working as a performer. Since then, she has written for for various online media outlets such as xojane, Ebony, Fusion, Quartz, Guernica, Womans Day, Writers Digest, Mutha Magazine, The Good Men Project, Bitch Magazine, Racialicious, and her own blog.
When she’s not writing or teaching, Aya can be found singing backup for her kindergartener’s Michael Jackson tribute concerts or watching suspense shows on Hulu while she distractedly cooks and cleans the house.
About UPTOWN THIEF
Marisol Rivera will do whatever it takes to protect her women’s health clinic––including bankrolling it with an escort service and a successful series of robberies that target CEOs involved in a sex trafficking scandal. But can she and her team heist a security-obsessed billionaire? Especially when he doesn’t want any of the escorts on the team, he wants the madam. Marisol hasn’t been a sex worker for over a decade, but the lure of a big score that could save the clinic is too much to resist. However, in spite of her financial brilliance, she has no way to calculate the risks to her psyche and to her life, especially when she finds herself in danger of falling for an ex-cop involved in the case. Is he feeding her info to help her out or to set her up? As the secrets of her sexual past resurface, her perfect plan begins to unravel. Marisol must outwit the Central Robbery detectives, and outrun a vicious pimp. She will need all her Lower East Side street survival skills to save her clinic, her team and her own skin.