Launching The Goddess Twins during a Pandemic

Yo, this year has been full of surprises to say the very least. I had absolutely no inkling that when I was given my publication date of May 19th 2020 it would mean my book launch would sit in the midst of a global pandemic! Last year, I envisioned my launch as a fury of flights and book signings and interviews and readings. I had planned to do a 6 city tour, completing in London, England where the book concept was born and my cousins who inspired several of the characters live.

Yodassa Williams holding her debut novel, The Goddess Twins

But oh, the universe had other plans indeed! Covid-19 altered the entire world and made it impossible to execute my book tour as I had originally dreamed. I had to go through a period of mourning this, of letting go my dream of debuting my book in person. I really wanted to see the faces of my readers, to feel their energy and excitement for work I had been toiling over for years and years. I had to let go of all of these hopes in order to craft a new dream for the launch that would fit with this new reality. Once I realized I had to shift to an entirely new plan and started reaching out to my networks, I’m grateful that opportunities arose to support the creation of a virtual book tour to support The Goddess Twins’ publication.

Virtual Book Tour for The Goddess Twins

I’m hugely thankful that I was able to set up readings and interviews that were virtual and join able to anyone able to access the internet. My debut week, from May 19th to May 26th, I had various online events. I was able to be interviewed by awesome folks from WeXL and The Melanin Chat, and also hosted an online game of facts about celebrated black women while also featuring me reading short excerpts from my book! That ‘Black Girl Magic’ game and reading was crafted from me just thinking, ‘how can I make a reading more involved?’ and I do not think I would have come up with the idea to craft a game on facts about black women without the open door that was created by my tour needing to be virtual. So, in the end, I feel like I brought true excitement and buzz to my novel during it’s first week of birth, even though this was not the ideal circumstance! And THAT, my friends, is how we do it, black girl magic style!

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Yodassa Williams is a powerful conjurer of black girl magic (70% Jedi, 30% Sith). A Jamaican American writer, speaker, and award winning performing storyteller, alumna of the VONA/Voices Travel Writing program and creator of the podcast ‘The Black Girl Magic Files’, Yodassa (Yoda) launched ‘Writers Emerging' in 2019, a wilderness writing retreat for women of color and non-binary people of color. In 2020, Yodassa's debut YA Fantasy, The Goddess Twins, will be published by Spark Press. She grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and currently resides in the Bay Area.

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