My Celebrity Dream Readers for UPTOWN THIEF

Recently, I was riding BART, the Bay Area’s subway, and saw a woman reading a novel. Something about the book cover caught my eye, and I thought, one of these days, I might see someone reading MY book!

More than any celebrity reader, the idea that I could be sitting near someone on public transportation, and that person would be reading my book and not having any idea that those words, those characters all came out of my head, is dizzying.

However, I would also be thrilled to have celebrities read my book. These folks came immediately to mind. They are writers, directors, actors, comedians, rappers, talk show hosts, and activists. I would be incredibly honored to have any of them reading UPTOWN THIEF.

shondajanet mockroxane gayaaron sorkinoprahallison pearsonamber roselatifah

Trevormichelle-robert-kingAngela R ava


lavernepiperMindy Kalingtaraji  eva salma hayek

deraytanehisiamericazoe2          Rosariogab2Amy Schumerlena 2

From top left: Shonda Rhimes, Janet Mock, Roxane Gay, Aaron Sorkin, Oprah, Allison Pearson, Amber Rose, Queen Latifah, Trevor Noah, Michelle & Robert King, Angela Robinson, Ava DuVernay, Tina Fey, Aziz Ansari, Laverne Cox, Piper Kernan, Eva Mendes, Salma Hayek, Deray McKesson, Ta-Nehisi Coates, America Ferrera, Zoe Saldana, Rosario Dawson, Gabrielle Union, Amy Schumer, Lena Dunham

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Aya de Leon directs the Poetry for the People program in the African American Studies Department at UC Berkeley. Her work has appeared in Essence Magazine, xojane, Ebony, Guernica, Writers Digest, Mutha Magazine, Movement Strategy Center, My Brown Baby, KQED Pop, Bitch Magazine, Racialicious, Fusion, and she has been a guest on HuffPostLive. She is the author of the children's picture book PUFFY: PEOPLE WHOSE HAIR DEFIES GRAVITY. Kensington Books will be publishing her debut feminist heist novel, UPTOWN THIEF, in 2016. For more info, go to