Four years ago this October, a hurricane named Sandy arrived to NY with a dream. Of course, we had seen hurricanes before but were cocky in our assumptions that nothing Mother Nature birthed could truly touch us. Until the waters swallowed up our streets and the winds knocked off our crowns. Sandy succeeded where her predecessors failed.
After Sandy made her debut, my office on Wall Street was closed for a week. With trains down and havoc growing around me, while browsing in internet on my phone, I came across an article on People.com about a 9-year-old charged with the death of a 3-month old infant. I had so many questions: What do they do with little kids in jail? What happens when they’re released? What would that story look like in Brooklyn? What if she didn’t do it?
The questions buzzed so relentlessly, that in the safety of my Brooklyn my apartment, while my city struggled through Sandy’s aftermath, I started writing a book. A week later, I finished the first draft of my debut YA novel ALLEGEDLY.
Two years later, after heaps of revisions and research, I signed with my agent.
One year later, I signed with Harpercollins.
Today, we talk about Sandy like she pulled up to our shores yesterday, the daily evidence stark reminders. Graves to visit,100 year old trees missing, boardwalks reimagined, entire homes replaced. She left her mark, changing the way we look at storms. We heed weather warnings, we build with stronger foundations, we are more alert of our surroundings, we pay attention.
As much as I hate what Sandy has done to my city, I admire her destructive resolve. So much so that I want to be like Sandy. I want to blow through this literary world and change it’s appearance. I want old thinking of books with kids of color to die a quick death. I want people to pay attention to the kids growing up in juvenile prisons and group homes. I want to build a solid career with other awesome authors. I want to be a game changer.
So I’m not just an author. I’m not just a girl. I’m a storm with skin. And I can’t wait to get to know you! 🙂
And seriously, shout out the 2016 Debs!!!!!!! I hope I make you proud.
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